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With holiday preparations well underway, ensure your pets are ready for their summer holidays too - especially if you are planning to take them with you.

With the continuing growth of the Pet Travel Scheme (PETS), pet owners can now take their pets abroad without the worry of quarantine. But pet owners will need to meet a number of strict conditions relating to their pet’s health to qualify for exemption.

To comply with PETS, all animals travelling from the UK to another EU country, must be microchipped, vaccinated against rabies and blood tested, issued with a PETS certificate for travel abroad and, if they are to return to the UK from certain countries, pets must be treated against ticks and tapeworm.

In line with PETS, ‘protecting against parasites’ experts Bayer Animal Health provide the following advice to help you prepare your pet for a happy and healthy summer, offering peace of mind at home and abroad:

Pet Identification
Make sure your pet is implanted with a microchip that meets the ISO specification and that the microchip number has been correctly recorded on all travel documentation.

Tracer microchips comply with all international standards and, because its database, Petlog, is part of the European Pet Network, if your pet is lost while travelling in Europe, it can still be traced.

Even if you aren’t planning on taking your pet abroad, your pet could still go missing this summer as doors and windows are left open to combat the heat. So for peace of mind, make sure you microchip your pet.

Vaccination for Rabies
Your pet must be vaccinated against rabies and you will be required to provide vaccination records and blood test results which are at least six months old.

PETS Certificate
Your vet will issue a certificate if: your pet’s microchip can be read and the same number is shown on the vaccination record and blood test result; it has a current rabies vaccination given after it was microchipped; and it has been blood tested with a negative result for rabies and shows no clinical signs of the disease.

Tapeworm and Tick Treatment
Before pets are allowed to re-enter the UK under PETS, they have to be treated against the fox tapeworm and certain ticks, between 24 and 48 hours prior to check in.

Drontal protects cats and dogs against all common intestinal worms in the UK - including fox tapeworm - and it contains praziquantel, the only ingredient approved by PETS to control this tapeworm.

Bayer’s new spot-on wormer is also available from vets for any cats unwilling to take tablets.

With the continuous expansion of PETS and pets travelling more freely abroad, the UK’s pets are more exposed to exotic parasitic diseases that are uncommon in the UK. Your vet will be able to advise you of treatments that repel ticks.

Bayer Animal Health’s Dan White concludes: ‘Your vet will be able to provide further advice about how to meet the PETS criteria or you can call the PETS Helpline on 0870 241 1710.

Most importantly, if pet shows signs of illness after returning from abroad, consult your vet immediately.