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 :
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 :
P&O Ferries information :
Condor Ferries Travel Information :
There is good information, particularly if you read right down to the veterinary information at:
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. :
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 :
For information about some great campsites to take your dog please return to our main website at http://www.bestfrenchcampsites.com/