- If we want to travel nationally with our dog, all we need is a leash, a muzzle and a valid health book.
- When traveling abroad, our pets must have a dog passport. How to make it? What are the rules? Where can you get such a document? We explain.
A pet passport is a document that helps identify pets (dogs, cats, and ferrets) when traveling abroad. Such a document is even required when crossing the borders between the Member States of the European Union. This is a different situation from ours, because for people, having an ID card is enough.
pet passport Not only does it help identify a pet at the border, but also makes it easier to find in the event of a lost animal. Thanks to him, the relevant services will easily contact us as owners. Thanks to the dog passport, we can easily ensure the safety of our four-legged friend abroad.
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Before the pet passport law was introduced, pets traveling across borders had to be quarantined. All this was intended to serve the common good and to ensure that the visiting pet did not pose a threat to the inhabitants of the visiting country. Depending on the law of a particular country, the quarantine can last up to several months and be psychologically harmful to a pet. The owners themselves have not wanted to part with their pets for so long.
To remedy this unpleasant situation, the European Parliament adopted a regulation on the non-commercial movement of pet animals on 12 June 2013. This regulation introduced a document formally named the EU animal health certificate – popularly a passport for a pet. It facilitates travel with dogs, cats and ferrets to all countries of the European Union. As we can read in the guideline, these species were selected on the basis of an inventory that takes into account their susceptibility to rabies or their role in the epidemiology of rabies.
The European Parliament’s Regulations are available online in their entirety and include: information on the maximum number of pet animals that may be transported across the border, the conditions under which this may take place and deviations from these conditions.
While we as residents of a member state of the European Union can cross the border without additional documents, our pets must have one. Under the law introduced in 2013, the pet passport facilitates travel only within the territory of the countries of the European Union. This means that such a document is mandatory in all 27 Member States.
A passport is required also from people who travel with their pets, also from countries outside the European Union, who want to cross the border of a Member State. The document will also facilitate travel to European countries such as Northern Ireland, Andorra, Switzerland, Faroe Islands, Gibraltar, Greenland, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Monaco, Norway, San Marino and the Vatican. Although they do not belong to the Union, they will not quarantine an animal with an EU health certificate.
However, if we travel outside the European Union, in addition to a veterinary passport, we are required to legalize it at the Poviat Veterinary Inspectorate. This procedure requires that we present the original EU animal health certificate, an application for legalization and a document confirming the good health of our four-legged friend.
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In a dog’s passport, just like in a human passport, we find detailed information about his identity. In addition, the EU health certificate contains information about your pet’s health and vaccination history. A country that receives an animal on its territory must first make sure that it does not infect anyone with rabies if it is bitten.
Among the data to be included in the veterinary passport should be information about the location of the microchip or tattoo (if the animal was registered before July 2011) and their creation date and alphanumeric code. They will help to efficiently carry out the pet control at the border. In addition, basic information such as name, species, breed or estimated date of birth, as well as color and special characters are required. The document must also contain our owner details – name, surname, contact person and signature.
If we want our pet to cross the border into someone else’s care, the person authorized to care for the animal must be listed in the dog’s passport. The details of the veterinarian who issued the document are also important. There is also information on rabies vaccination and the date of blood draw for testing the level of rabies antibodies by titration.
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A dog passport can be obtained much easier and faster than a human document. The document is issued by a veterinarian with special qualifications. Finding such a specialist should not be difficult. It is enough to contact the District Medical and Veterinary Board, which maintains a register of doctors authorized to issue such documents. In addition, the lists are easy to find on the website of the National Medical and Veterinary Chamber, where specialists are registered by voivodship.
To obtain a pet passport you only need to go to a recognized veterinarian, who will verify that our pet is marked in accordance with applicable regulations and has been vaccinated against rabies. For such a visit, you should bring a health booklet of the dog, on the basis of which the specialist will fill in information about vaccinations, treatments and therapies in the passport.
Depending on whether our pet has been chipped and vaccinated before, the procedure can take a few tens or a few minutes. The biggest advantage is certainly that you do not have to wait long for the document – you can order and collect it the same day.
Just like the issuance of the document itself, the cost of the passport depends on whether the animal has been chipped and vaccinated before† If we go to the visit only after writing the document, the cost should be close to PLN 100. This amount includes both the veterinarian’s fee and the fees paid by the National Medical and Veterinary Chamber, such as printing documents. If, on the other hand, the doctor has to examine and vaccinate or chip the animal, then we have to be ready for additional costs.
Both a pet passport and a human passport do not need to be issued until adulthood. Just like us, our pets can travel even when they are only a few months old. A passport for a pet can be issued after reaching 4 months. This is when your puppy will receive its first rabies vaccination. Your pet may not travel abroad until 21 days after the vaccination.
Don’t be fooled by people who say that a pet passport – as well as a passport for a human – can expire. A pet passport is issued once in a lifetime, but must be updated over the years and supplemented with more information about health status or previous therapies and treatments. Most important, however, is the rabies vaccination data, so stay tuned – if you don’t want to wait 21 days, your pet’s vaccinations should be continuous.
It’s also worth remembering that we can take up to five furry babies abroad at a time. If their number is six or more, we are required to provide documents confirming their age (not less than six months each) and participation in a competition, exhibition or sporting event.
Due to the emergency situation in Ukraine, the procedures for entering travelers from Ukraine with accompanying animals transported for non-commercial purposes have been changed by the decision of the Chief Veterinary Inspectorate. Animal keepers do not have to submit a complete set of veterinary documents at the border. Detailed and current information on the official website of the Chief Veterinary Inspectorate.
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