A Pet Passport (dog passport, cat passport etc) is the popular name for the Pet Travel Scheme that originated in Europe but now which extends to other parts of the world as well. The idea being that if a pet can be easily and comprehensively identified and also confirmed as having had a rabies vaccination, then the pet is able to travel between countries that have signed up to the Pet Travel Scheme without the need for quarantine. The way pet's identity is verified is through a microchip that is fitted under the skin of an animal and this chip can then be easily read by a wand scanner that is passed over the location of the chip but which does not make physical contact with it. Your pet does not feel any discomfort when being scanned and the microchip's presence under the skin does not cause infection or ongoing irritation.
Every pet, irrespective of whether it has already had a rabies vaccination, must be vaccinated once the microchip has been fitted. About a month after the rabies vaccination has been given, your pet's blood is tested to ensure that the vaccination has taken and then a pet passport document can be issued.
For people who regularly travel between countries the Pet Passport scheme now enables owners to take their pets with them which enhances the life of both the pet and owner.
All EU countries recogise pet passports as do Croatia, Gibraltar, Norway, San Marino and Switzerland although Sweden have specific additional requirements. As with all travel involving pets it is always best to plan ahead if possible and ensure that all countries you are likely to visit on any given trip, do accept a PETS Passport.
Micro chipping for all dogs in England and Wales is likely to be compulsory by March 2015. This news has been welcomed by the Dogs Trust and RSPCA because if a dog is lost it can be quickly identified by a scanner connected to a laptop PC and the Internet because all chipped pet data is held in country specific pet databases.
Dogs and cats are the most common of pets to be micro chipped but rabbits and many others can also benefit from micro chipping. Birds, horses, reptiles (such as snakes and tortoises), fish and almost any small mammals can all be micro chipped by your local Vet. You never need to lose your pet because they, and you as their owner, can be quickly identified.