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Is your pet dog using their passport this summer?

Press release issued: 17 June 2013

The Great Pet Survey, led by academics in the University of Bristol’s Schools of Veterinary Sciences and Biological Sciences, was launched last year to find out where in the world UK dog owners take their dogs but more owners are needed to take part in the study.

The survey, led by academics in the University of Bristol’s Schools of Veterinary Sciences and Biological Sciences, aims to find out how dog owners protect their pets against some of the parasites and diseases they may encounter whilst travelling.

Findings from dog owners who have already participated in the survey include:

  • Knowledge of diseases that pass from dogs to humans was generally poor, with eight per cent of travelling dog owners unaware that they could contract rabies;
  • More than 50 per cent of all journeys recorded were to France;
  • Countries visited included ‘at-risk’ areas of canine and human diseases, such as leishmaniasis (disease spread to animals and humans by sand flies) and dirofiliariasis (canine heartworm disease);
  • 36 per cent of dog owners took no specific precautions against parasitic diseases while abroad, even though most travelled to areas of significant risk;
  • Overall dog owners who travelled reported a better knowledge of diseases in dogs and how to prevent them that those that did not take their dogs abroad.

Jess Stokes, a postgraduate in the Veterinary Parasitology group, who is involved in the study, said: “We are delighted with the number of people who have taken part in the survey but with the summer holidays fast approaching we want more dog owners to take part.

“Last year the legal requirements for pet travel were changed and further reviews will take place over the coming years.  By completing the survey, it will enable us to know if existing pet travel legislation is adequate, excessive or even relevant.”

The survey is for UK-based owners of dogs with pet passports, and takes between five and 15 minutes to complete.  All information given will be kept confidential, used for scientific research purposes only, and not released to any third party.

To complete the survey go to:


Further information

Pet dogs from the UK have been able to holiday abroad using a Pet Passport since 2000.

Rules for the scheme were changed in January 2012, simplifying requirements for owners but also decreasing the level of protection against imported diseases.

The Great Pet Survey was launched in 2012 by the University of Bristol and Companion Care Vets to collect and analyse information about the travel patterns of UK resident dogs, in and around mainland Europe, over the last decade.

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