January is often the time of year that we all start looking to book our summer holidays- it is also the time of year to consider a pet passport if you intend to take your dog or cat abroad with you.

The Pet Travel Scheme (PETS) is the system that allows pet dogs, cats and ferrets from certain countries to enter the UK without quarantine as long as they meet certain rules. Most EU countries and 52 non EU countries are currently eligible.

Around 45,000 pets have taken advantage of this scheme since 2000, and numbers are increasing each year. The procedure is fairly straightforward.

The procedures:

· Have your pet micro-chipped Before any of the other procedures for PETS are carried out, your pet must be fitted with a microchip so that it can be properly identified. A simple, usually painless injection to implant a small microchip under the skin.

· Have your pet vaccinated After the microchip has been fitted your pet must be vaccinated against rabies. Will often be performed at the same time as the micro-chipping.

· 24 hours to 5 days before re-entering UK, your pet must be treated against tapeworm.

· Arrange for your animal to travel with an approved transport company on an authorised route. Or most commonly, traveling with you in your car on return.