For many Americans, the thought of traveling abroad is romantic. We dream of visiting ancient places like Athens and Rome, of seeing the northern lights of Finland, or of experiencing the beauty of the Netherland controlled wind energy. For whatever reason, we’re stopped from experiencing these dreams, but if your cats are our number one reason why you can’t jet set to far off destinations, you’re in luck.
For many years, pet travel was limited and even prohibited in certain countries. Your sweet four-legged family members would suffer long waits in quarantine for potentially weeks on end, and pet parents couldn’t justify these requirements. Thankfully, that is a thing of the past in Europe.
In 2016, the USDA and the Council of EU reached an agreement on pet travel that is great news for all those struck by wanderlust. If you want to plan an extended stay in Europe you can now apply for a pet passport that is good throughout all of Europe. The requirements are easy, safe; there’s no more quarantine waiting.
Pet parents, state-side, must now have proof of a rabies vaccination, which if you don’t already have done, you should have done as soon as possible for obvious reasons. The second requirement is to have an ISO 15 digit standard microchip registered for each pet. The microchip is becoming a much more regular thing with adoptions and rescues, and you can usually find a local shelter that can do this for you at a low cost for you. The microchip is not only required for European travel but can give you peace of mind as a pet parent.
The process for getting a pet passport is a little more involved than suggested here and involves a trip to the Veterinarian for a special form as well as applying to the USDA before your trip. You can find more information on the traveling with your pets with your local USDA office or online.