My sister lives in Spain and if we leave the EU, she will probably return to the UK. What are the implications for her rescue dog who will come with her?

Nik Oakley advises…

At the time of writing, we have another Brexit extension, but the good news for people returning to the UK after we leave the EU is that it is somewhat less complicated than UK dogs travelling to the EU. Your sister’s pet must either have an EU pet passport issued in the UK or in the EU. The alternative options are unlikely to be relevant to her, but a UK pet health certificate valid for travel to the UK or an Animal Health Certificate issued in the UK and used to travel to the EU are also acceptable. However, the latter is only valid for four months. Going the EU pet passport route – obtainable from a vet – the dog will need a registered microchip, a rabies vaccination and tapeworm treatment. As you must wait 21 days from the date of the rabies vaccination before a dog can travel, make sure your sister plans this in advance. The vet must record the dog’s chip number on his vaccination card too.

The journey needs to be on a Defra authorised route with an authorised carrier, which means the Channel Tunnel and recognised ferry crossings or Eurostar. Most low-cost airlines and charter routes do not allow dogs. Once the dog arrives, the first thing that needs to be done is to re-register the microchip. That can be done through Petlog and there is a form on their website that can be completed. Naturally, the microchip number will be needed and your sister will need to sign a declaration that she is the authorised keeper of the dog. Petlog charges £17 for this, but the fee includes premium membership, which means free updating of details whenever needed. It’s also a bonus if the dog goes missing. The downside is that they can take up to 28 days to process the application. Given the length of time reregistration takes, make sure it’s done promptly and the dog has a new tag with the correct contact details on. Otherwise, there’s little hope of an absconder being reunited.

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