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EU Pet Passport: What to Know & Our Experience Getting It

EU Pet Passport: What to Know & Our Experience Getting It

EU Pet Passport is an incredibly useful document, as it lets your pet travel freely within the EU with it.

There are certain rules to follow when getting it and owning it. We had to actually re-do certain documents and vaccines for it, so it’s important that you know the rules and follow them.

EU Pet Passport for a cat
Poofy is a dual citizen

EU Pet Passport

If you’re just visiting Europe or staying for up to 4 months (assuming you’re American your tourist visa will be valid for just 3 months), you should get an EU passport for your pet.

It’s valid for life and handy to have, especially if you’re traveling between US and Europe often. This is also the reason why we don’t need to get another USDA document now because Poofy has a European Passport.

In some countries, like Spain for example, anyone can walk in with their pet to a certified vet, pay the passport fee, and get a passport. The vet will check your pet, and his documents and fill them in.

However, various countries won’t issue your pet a passport unless you’re a legal resident of this country or hold citizenship. Italy and Ireland are some of those countries.

We were unable to obtain Poofy’s passport in Italy due to our residency fiasco. We got another certificate of health from a local Italian vet stating that Poofy is good to fly (not a hard process, we just walked in for 5 minutes), and flew with him to Poland. Then we got him a passport thanks to my Polish citizenship.

After getting his passport he was flying all over Europe without any extra documents. He was also traveling between the US and Europe a bunch of times.

Now, there’s a caveat when it comes to EU Pet Passports…

Parisian Cat in front of the Eiffel Tower
Poofy in Paris

Pet with EU Pet Passport but Rabies Expired

This is very important information because it changes a lot for your travels with an EU passport. Currently, the rabies vaccine for the European Pet Passport is valid only for a year. Not 3 years.

If you’re outside of the EU, like we were as we moved back to the US for a while, and your pet’s rabies shot is about to expire it’s an issue.

You can obviously vaccinate your pet outside of the EU without any problem… BUT…

Non-EU certified vets cannot put a new vaccine sticker, or sign anything in their EU passport. If they do that, it automatically invalidates your pet’s passport.

If your pet’s rabies vaccine expires while outside of the EU and you need to be revaccinated, then you need to go through the USDA letter again (if coming from the US).

Then, once you arrive back in Europe your EU Pet Passport you need to visit any certified vet and revaccinate them for rabies, as the records won’t automatically transfer.

Cat visiting Colmar on a boat in Little Venice area.

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