I know, this is likely to be one of a hundred different articles in various magazines at this time of year, BUT there is stuff you need to know...
The Pet Travel Scheme was originally set up to be easy for pets to travel with their owners to and from France in a car, and this remains the simplest route by far.
Your pet can now have a passport provided they have a microchip and a rabies vaccine given at least 3 weeks before the date of travel. No more blood tests are required for the EU, but given that rabies is still common in many areas of Europe (including northern Italy, for example) AND and that as many as 1 in 20 pets fail to respond fully to their first rabies vaccine, we still strongly recommend that you have the rabies blood test to be certain that your pet is protected. I for one certainly would want to know.
To leave the UK, all you have to do is make a booking for your pet when you buy your own tickets for the tunnel or ferry, and then not forget their passport. Or yours, for that matter.
Coming back into the UK, you will have to find a vet to give your pet a tapeworm treatment betwen 1 and 5 days before the final departure for the UK, and have the vet enter the time and date of treatment in your pet's passport. And err, that's it.
The moment you start thinking about flying, it gets more complicated and expensive. For more information, check the DEFRA website pet travel routes page
And if you want to go to a non EU country, you may find that different regulations apply, so you should either call us on 020 7723 0453 well in advance or check the DEFRA website, this time on the countries page
And finally, something you might want to take into consideration is that your pet might be exposed to a whole host of different infections and diseases the moment you leave our green and pleasant land. If you want more information on the horrors of life abroad, check the BVA's nasty diseases my pet could catch leaflet.
And finally, if you decide it's all too much of a nightmare, you could send Pooch down to the lovely Haxted Kennels for a couple of weeks in the glorious Kent countryside to spend his or her time gambolling in the flower-strewn meadows playing with their new best friends all day. No olive oil, no garlic, no policemen with guns. Bliss.