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So, you're tempted to take one home with you ...

Often people fall in love with a stray animal they 'adopt' for the duration of their holiday
and ask how you would go about taking a dog or cat back to the UK.

Traditionally this has been a seriously long term and expensive business, on average, taking about 7 months and costing the best part of 2,000.  However, from 1 January 2012 the UK's Pet Travel Scheme fell into line with the rest of the EU and the whole process became much quicker and cheaper.

Having said that it still costs hundreds of pounds to transport an animal so if you are tempted think it through very carefully and be absolutely certain before making any kind of commitment. It's easy to get carried away while you are on holiday but remember there are also many rescued animals in the UK who desperately need homes and they would be much more immediately available and economical to adopt.

However if you are seriously tempted here are the facts.

The animal needs a passport to travel and the process is as follows:
  • First it must be microchipped. A passport will be issued at the same time.
  • Next it needs a rabies injection.
  • The blood test and 6 months quarantine are no longer necessary.
  • After the rabies injection there is now simply a 21 day waiting period before entry to the UK.
  • Before the animal can travel the vet will need to treat it against tapeworms. There will no longer be any mandatory treatment for ticks. 
  • The vet will prepare and issue the necessary paperwork and the treatment has to be administered no less than 24 hours and no more than 120 hours (5 days) before entry into the UK.
  • Travel arrangements then need to be made. Only certain transport companies and routes are approved to carry animals and direct flights from the island are only possible in the tourist season. Out of season planes go via Athens. You also need   to buy an airline approved "sky kennel" that will allow the dog to stand upright with head erect whilst in transit. 
  • Generally, you will pay a price per kilo of the dog and kennel combined (though some companies will ask a flat fee regardless of size). You need to do your research.
It's worth noting that in 2016 Thomson Holidays recognised KATs as a registered charity and is consequently able to offer more competitive prices for transporting adoptions.
(400 instead of 600 for a dog and 200 for additional animals travelling under the same name). 39 animals were adopted using this incentive in 2016 with a further 10 adopted in Holland as flights there cost only

For further information on approved routes, quarantine regulations & the Pet Travel Scheme go to the Defra website - www.defra.gov.uk
2 cats photo

Puppies photo
Approximate costs (in euros)

Microchip 40
Rabies injection 20
Passport 15
Quarantine in Kefalonia per week (approximate) 35-50
Quarantine in UK variable
Transport costs variable
worming pre-transport 10?
Cat driving photo

Dog in suitcase photo