Microchip and Rabies Vaccine Info for International Pet Travel
Updated: Apr 8
What is an ISO microchip?
An ISO microchip is a tiny device (the size of a grain of rice) that is between 12 and 15 digits long. It carries a unique identification number. This identification number is registered to your pet for life. The device can be implanted in between your pet's shoulder blades or the back of the pet's neck. The microchip does not have a battery, it is read by a specialist scanner that sends out radio waves to detect the microchip, when the microchip is found the scanner beeps and reads the identification number. The ISO microchip is internationally recognized. This means the chip can be read in the vast majority of countries around the world.
Why do I need an ISO microchip to move my pet abroad?
When moving your pet abroad many countries now insist that your pet has an ISO-compatible microchip.
The microchip stops the risk of any documents being incorrectly matched to a different pet. The animal is always scanned for their microchip upon arrival to their new country. The microchip number is required to be documented on the pet's Rabies and Health certificates. The other huge advantage of having your pet microchipped is your pet can be traced. If your pet gets lost it can be scanned and tracked back to the last address and phone number that it was registered to. It is important to update your pet's information if you move abroad.
What is Rabies and why does my pet require a vaccine against it to travel internationally?
Rabies is a virus that infects the central nervous system. The virus can be transmitted by the saliva of the infected animal to other animals and humans. If a human is not given the appropriate medical care it can ultimately cause disease in the brain and death.
Each country around the world has different exposures to Rabies. The UK for example has eradicated the virus and is rabies-free. India has an endemic on its hands with Rabies which accounts for 36% of the world's death.
Eradicating the virus requires all animals that can transmit the disease to be vaccinated. Any pet moving by air is required to receive the rabies vaccine before travel. Many countries including the EU, require the animal to have had at least a 21-day incubation period before allowing them to arrive in the importing country.