Spoiling your fur baby can be hard work, especially if you’ve already got them a fur coat, goldthread mattress, Versace food bowl and executive doghouse (all real items for the record). If you’re a pet parent facing this dilemma, don’t worry, because even if your best friend has the best of everything, chances are they’re missing the hottest accessory around – a pet passport.
That’s right, no longer does your Tonkinese or Spoodle have to suffer through the indignity of hanging in quarantine with the common animals; those flea-ridden souls that have been imprisoned there by the poor folk in economy class. Oh Lord no, armed with their own documentation, there’s nothing but express lane between their litter box at home and something exciting and new to pee on in Paris, London, New York or Rome.
Officially, the Pet Travel Scheme or “PETS” is a system that allows animals to travel easily between member countries, because why would anyone want to put their beloved Oriental Shorthair into a nearby boarding kennel, when they could drag the bat-eared thing on holiday with them.
no longer does your Spoodle have to suffer through the indignity of quarantine
PETS started in the United Kingdom, where they’ve historically had strong border controls to safeguard local animals against diseases like rabies, which included a compulsory six-month quarantine period for all incoming beasts. PETS was introduced to help speed up that process and let domestic animals move freely between reciprocal countries, but just like us humans, only as long as they qualified and followed the correct procedure.
Like all great fashion items, the passports themselves come in various shapes and colours. Sometimes they’re small blue books and other times it’s a pretty pink A4 sheet of paper. Regardless, they all contain the same basic info about the pet, including hot gossip like whether or not they’ve been treated for ticks, fleas and tapeworms.
Having rolled out from the UK to the EU and countries beyond, including New Zealand, Japan, the USA and Australia, there’s no word yet on whether Brexit, and the new appetite from within the United Kingdom to tighten up their borders, will apply to foreign pets as well as their owners.