Whether you choose to take your pet on holiday with you or leave your pet in the care of a responsible person, consideration should always be given to your pet’s welfare.
Under the Animal Welfare Act you have a legal responsibility to ensure their welfare and to provide for your pet's needs as does any person whom you choose to leave them with.
Taking your pet on holiday
Things to consider
- Many animals can find the change in routine and environment and the experience of travelling very stressful. Carefully consider if taking your pet on holiday with you is the best thing for them. It may be better to leave your pet in the care of a responsible person whilst you are away.
- Always make sure that your chosen holiday destination has all the facilities necessary for your pet’s requirements.
- Check with your vet that your pet is healthy and safe to travel. If your pet requires medication, but is safe to travel, make sure you take this with you. Always make sure that your pet is fully vaccinated, and has had up-to-date flea and worming treatments.
- Make sure that your pet wears a collar with an identity tag with your name and holiday address and contact details on, so if they get lost you can be reunited as quickly as possible.
Taking your pet abroad
There are certain rules that you must follow when taking a dog, cat or ferret abroad. The rules depend on the country you're going to or coming from. For more information take a look at this guide to taking your pet abroad, or call the Pet Travel Scheme helpline on 0870 241 1710.
Your pet(s) could be exposed to diseases and health risks that we do not have in the UK. Therefore your pet will need to be vaccinated against other diseases, including rabies. Ask your vet for advice.
Information on exotic diseases in cats and dogs can be found under the Defra Dog and Cat Travel And Risk Information (DACTARI) Scheme. Further information on diseases your pet may encounter abroad can be found in the Animal Welfare Foundation leaflet, ‘Taking your pets abroad’.
Transporting your pet
For information on the different methods of transporting your pet and how you can help them to have a safe, stress-free journey, please see our
Transporting your pet factsheet (PDF 91.7 KB)
Keeping pets safe while you're away
There are a number of options to ensure your pet is cared for when you are away. You can:
- Ask friends and family to look after them
- Have a pet-sitter
- Take them to a boarding establishment.
For information on all these options read our
Keeping pets safe while you are away (225KB) factsheet.
It is a criminal offence to leave any animal without making proper arrangements for their welfare.