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Monthly Archives: June 2011

Taking Your Pet to France on Holiday

You can now take your dog or cat to France thanks to the “Pet Travel Scheme”(PETS) which involves your dog having its own “Pet Passport” ! The scheme applies in the following countries only: Andorra, Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Gibraltar, Greece, Iceland, Italy, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Monaco, The Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, San Marino, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the Vatican.

This Pet Travel Scheme allows people to take their pet dogs and cats on holiday to France and then to enter back into the UK without them having to go into quarantine – however, you and your vet must follow the rules carefully – otherwise your dog or cat could end up going into quarantine or having a return journey to the UK delayed.

The basic requirements for taking your dog to France are outlined below. If you are going to a different EU country, please check with the websites I suggest to see if there are different requirements and regulations.

To obtain a Pet Passport you have to do the following things in this order, in association with your vet :

Firstly have your pet microchipped.
Secondly have your pet vaccinated against rabies (even if your pet has already had a rabies vaccination). Detailed information is available at the DEFRA website. Further detailed information about all of this is available at the DEFRA site – I have put a link further down this article.

The dog will require a booster Rabies Vaccination every 3 years
Then when you are ready for your journey :

Although not necessary under the scheme, its advisable to get a tick treatment before you go as the Babesia tick is present in France but not in the UK.
If travelling on a ferry, on most shorter ferry crossings your dog must stay in your car so please make sure you leave a window slightly ajar and leave some water or food. Preferably travel on as short a crossing as possible and make sure your dog is in a safe area eg have a dog guard across the back of your car or a secure crate. You can arrange with some ferries to check the dog during the journey, as long as sea conditions allow this to be done safely.
Or, if travelling on a longer ferry crossing, for example on the Brittany Ferries ships Pont-Aven, Bretagne and Cap Finistère there are kennels available on board the ship and there are also 14 dog friendly 4 berth cabins on the new Brittany Ferries Cap Finistère which can be used on longer crossings to Spain.
Before your return journey to the UK :

Your pet must be treated by a vet in France against tapeworm using an approved treatment (not less than 24 hours and not more than 5 days before your return to the UK). (I believe the product used for the tapeworm treatment must contain praziquantel). Ensure all your documentation is correctly completed by the vet or you may not be able to travel.
(If you want to travel separately from your pet there are approved transport companies which can arrange this – all the same rules about visiting vets etc. will still apply).

The main DEFRA site will explain about Pet Passports and also has a link to a site explaining the risks of taking your dog or cat abroad and some of the diseases they can be exposed to which are not present in the UK :

http://www.defra.gov.uk/wildlife-pets/pets/travel/pets/procedures/support-info/health.htm

Dogs Away is a useful organisation who, for a small fee, will help you to book in with a French vet for your visit in the 24 – 48 hour period before leaving France to get the tapeworm and tick treatment. Well worth it even if your French language abilities aren’t too bad as they are dealing with this every day so know exactly what to arrange with the vet.

Dogs Away : http://www.dogsaway.co.uk/

Brittany Ferries Pet Travel information :

http://www.brittany-ferries.co.uk/pet-friendly-holidays/pets-travel-scheme

P&O Ferries information :

http://www.poferries.com/tourist/content/pages/template/onboard_taking_your_pet_1Taking_your_pet.htm

Condor Ferries Travel Information :

http://www.condorferries.co.uk/Trip/TakingPets.html

There is good information, particularly if you read right down to the veterinary information at:

http://www.day-tripper.net/info-pets-abroad.html

This DEFRA information explains clearly about the blood tests, boosters and vaccinations ! http://archive.defra.gov.uk/wildlife-pets/pets/travel/factsheet/euvetfactsheet2.pdf

If you would like to take your dog with you on a Eurocamp or Keycamp holiday then the good news is that many of the campsites allow pets although you may be restricted to certain mobile homes. However booking a site with your dog cannot be done online so for more information with Eurocamp have a look at this page : http://www.eurocamp.co.uk/ecuk/camping_holidays/travelling-dog-friendly-parcs.html

For some excellent information about taking your dog with Keycamp have a look at http://www.keycamp.co.uk/pdfs/KC-Dogs-on-holiday.pdf#false

For more information about ferries and taking your pet abroad please refer to : http://www.ferryonline.co.uk/travelling-with-a-pet.htm

Here is a nice downloadable guide from Eurocamp Independent which also discusses such things as taking your dog to restaurants in France or taking them to the beach etc. :

http://www.eurocampindependent.co.uk/camping/documents/ECiDogsonholiday.pdf

If you are wanting to fly your dog to France – I would suggest that you shouldn’t need to do this if you are emigrating – take the ferry instead – however for a complete picture here is a website about an airline to help :

http://www.animalairlines.co.uk/faq.html?gclid=CI2g7qvE0KcCFYFB4QodyGRvBg

For information about some great campsites to take your dog please return to our main website at http://www.bestfrenchcampsites.com/

 

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Stopover Hotels at Cross Channel Ferry Ports in Portsmouth and Poole

I am going to build up a collection of recommended stopover hotels at the various ferry ports. We drive down from Scotland to Portsmouth or Poole usually to take an early morning ferry. I don’t like to travel overnight as some people do as I suspect I would fall asleep after about 2am. So we prefer to get down to the channel coast and then have dinner and stay over in a hotel ready for an early start in the morning. I must admit the examples I have shown are low budget hotels but they have all been perfectly acceptable.

We have found the Innkeepers Lodges to be exceptional value as they included breakfast but they have changed ownership and I think the Portsmouth Hotel we stayed at is now a Travel Inn.

In Poole we have stayed at the Premier Inn at Holes Bay which is nice as it looks out over the sea so you feel as though you are already on holiday – it also has a nice restaurant with a well stocked collection of wines in the bar!
http://www.premierinn.com/en/hotel/POOHOL/poole-centre-holes-bay

We have also stayed at the Travelodge in Portsmouth. This is in the city centre so can be a little noisy and the surroundings are not all that inspiring but the advantage is it is directly across the roundabout from the Cross Channel Ferry port for Brittany Ferries :
http://www.travelodge.co.uk/hotels/info?hotelId=62

If you want to stay a little out from the centre of Portsmouth then the hotel which we stayed at when it was an Innkeepers Lodge but is now a Travelodge is called Portsmouth Hilsea :
http://www.travelodge.co.uk/hotels/info?hotelId=479

This was a nice hotel when we stayed at it. It had a Toby Carvery which was excellent.

Does anyone have any other recommendations ? We may cross at Calais at some point as well so it would be interesting to hear of hotels near there.
On the way back from France we have usually booked a night at a Keycamp or Eurocamp campsite near the ferry port and that has worked well.

 
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Posted by on June 6, 2011 in France, holiday, Uncategorized

 

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