If you are thinking of taking your pet abroad then speak to your vet today.
This is because pets cannot re-enter the UK within three weeks of the Rabies vaccine and you need more time to make the necessary arrangements, so why not start two months before you intend going abroad.
The Pet Travel Scheme (PETS) is here to keep the UK free from rabies and other diseases.
It allows pet dogs, cats and ferrets from certain countries and territories to enter the UK without quarantine as long as they meet the rules.
It also allows pet owners in the UK to take their dogs, cats and ferrets to other European Union (EU) countries, certain non-EU countries and territories and return them to the UK without the need for quarantine.
For pets travelling to non-EU countries there may be additional requirements so it would be best to contact DEFRA at www.defra.gov.uk
New changes to the rules came into effect in Jan 2012 so it is no longer compulsory for pets to have a blood test after their rabies vaccination and pets do not have to wait six months before re-entry.
It is no longer a requirement to treat your pet for ticks 24-48 hours before re-entry, although it is highly advisable.
Treating your pet before they return home can help to reduce the risk of importing new tick species and the serious diseases they carry into the UK.
Ticks feed on both animals and humans and carry diseases, some of which are fatal.
In the UK Lyme disease is increasing so it is important to regularly treat your pet to reduce the chance of tick borne diseases.
Rabies is a virus that can affect most mammals and is usually caused by a bite from an infected dog.
More than 55,000 die as a result of this disease every year and although Europe is mainly free there are still occasional outbreaks.
Tapeworm can infect dogs whilst abroad and can cause fatal disease in humans.
Sandflies transmit Leishmania which can cause kidney and liver disease.
Mosquitoes transmit heartworm which can be fatal.
Finally check your pets insurance to make sure they are covered whilst abroad and make sure you keep the booster vaccines up to date.