No one wants to put their dog in boarding kennels when they go on holiday.
Especially when so many fantastic dog-friendly accommodation options have exploded across Europe. From glamping right up to 5 star hotels, there are holiday options and budgets for everyone with dogs these days. Italy, France and Holland have all been voted the most dog-friendly countries, allowing pets on public transport, inside shops and are more commonly permitted into dining areas than not.
If the idea of crates and airport procedures for pets seems daunting, nothing could be simpler than packing the car (no crate needed here) and hopping on the train to cross the Channel.
It takes a totally painless 35 minutes (you dont even need to leave the car) to arrive in Calais from Folkestone, and off you go in whichever direction you wish.
Here are the main guidelines for preparing your dog for stress-free travel:
Step 1 – Pet travel documentation: for dogs being prepared in an EU country, you should get an EU Pet Passport. If you are preparing your dog in a non-EU country or territory you will need to obtain an official third country certificate (apart from Croatia, Gibraltar, Norway, San Marino and Switzerland who also issue pet passports).
Step 2 – Have your dog microchipped. The microchip number and date the microchip was inserted must be logged into the Pet passport or on the Third Country certificate. If you already have a microchip make sure it contains your current contact details.
Step 3 – Have your dog vaccinated against rabies, and the date shown on the pet passport by the vet. Pre-entry waiting period to the UK is 21 days after first vaccination date. Travel to the UK must take place within current vaccination validity.
Step 4 – Have your dog treated against tapeworm not less than 24 hours and not more than 120 hours before your scheduled arrival time in the UK. To make this step stress free, calculate the date and make an appointment with a vet abroad before you travel. You can even take the tapeworm pills with you, so all the vet has to do is witness your furry friend taking it and sign & date the pet passport. The pills you want are with the important active ingredient ‘praziquantel’, brands include Drontal and Prazitel Plus. They can be bought online or through your current vet.
Step 5 – A blood test is no longer required if you are entering the UK from EU and listed non-EU countries. But if you are entering the UK from an unlisted non-EU country a blood sample must be taken at least 30 days after the rabies vaccination. The pre-entry waiting period to the UK is then three calendar months from a successful test result.
And Voila! You could be pooch-watching and paddling in the Cote D’Azure together in no time.
Handy Extra Tips:
- All vaccinations and treatments must be given by a registered vet and logged in your pets passport or third country certificate including date, time, vet’s stamp and signature. (Make sure they squiggle their signature over the vet stamp.)
- For the list of EU & non EU countries and the most up-to-date information refer to the DEFRA website:
- Don’t forget to book your doggy on the EuroTunnel with you. He/she will cost around £18 and will stay in the car with you during the half an hour crossing.
- There are no pet checks at Folkestone, but you may want to take advantage of the doggy excercise areas, and allow time when returning at Calais for the checks at Pet Reception (just literally follow the paw prints!)
And we know all this Brexit talk is getting people worried about taking their pets across to Europe. You can read about Eurotunnel’s Brexit promise here: https://www.eurotunnel.com/uk/brexit-promise/