Taking yourPet Abroad

Taking pets from the UK to France is pretty straightforward. As of the 1st January 2021, you are not able to obtain an EU pet passport in the UK.

Prior to this date, dogs, cats and ferrets in the UK were eligible for an EU Pet Passport which allowed them to travel freely within the EU.

However, since Brexit the rules have changed. in 2021, your pet will require a microchip, rabies vaccination and an animal health certificate (unless you have a pet passport issued in the EU).

Here’s what you’ll need to do…

Travelling from UK to France in a motorhome

If you are planning on taking your dog from the UK to France in a motorhome, there are two main options:

  1. Board a cross channel ferry; or
  2. Pass through the Eurotunnel.

Whichever option you choose, be sure to let the company know that you will be bringing your pet with you. It is best to do this well in advance to ensure for a smooth journey.

When traveling across/under the channel, dogs generally must stay in your motorhome or in a pet travel carrier.

If taking the Eurotunnel, it costs an extra £22 per pet, with most ferries also charging a similar price.

Get microchipped

All pets travelling abroad must be microchipped for identification purposes. A tag on the collar with your phone number isn’t enough!

Your pet will need to be microchipped before any rabies vaccination so that your vet can record your pet’s unique microchip number on their animal health certificate.

Have the rabies vaccination

All dogs, cats and ferrets must be up to date on their rabies vaccinations.

In order to travel from the UK to France, you must be able to prove that your pet has had their rabies vaccination within the past year, but at least 21 days before your arrival in France.

An animal health certificate

In order to take a pet outside of the UK, you will require an animal health certificate. You do not require an animal health certificate if your pet has an up to date EU pet passport issued in Northern Ireland or an EU country.

You must take your pet to your vet to get an animal health certificate no more than 10 days before you travel.

The certificate must be signed by an official veterinarian (OV), so it’s good to check that your vet can issue animal health certificates. If they cannot, ask them to help you find an OV.

When you visit your vet, you’ll need to take the following:

  • microchipping date
  • vaccination history

Your pet’s animal health certificate will be valid after the date of issue for:

  • 10 days for entry into the EU or Northern Ireland
  • 4 months for onward travel within the EU
  • 4 months for re-entry to Great Britain

Your pet will need a new animal health certificate every time you leave the UK.

Treatment for Tapeworm (dogs only)   

If you are planning on returning to the UK after traveling to France, dogs will need a tapeworm treatment.

All dogs must be wormed by a vet, with this recorded on their animal health certificate or pet passport. This needs to be done between 5 days (120 hours) and 24 hours before returning to the UK, based on your arrival time in the UK.

If you fail to have your dog treated within this time scale, then he or she may be put into quarantine for up to 4 months.

A couple of other things that it may be worth doing, or at least thinking about, are:

  1. Tick treatments are no longer compulsory, but still may be worth doing as a precaution, particularly if the current course will run out whilst away.
  2. Make sure your pet insurance is up to date. It’s also a good idea to take your details and policy number with you.
  3. Remember to take your own vet’s contact details in case of an emergency.
  4. Research vets nearby to where you’re staying. This way you’ll be ahead of the game when it comes to getting the tapeworm treatment before your return.
  5. It’s always a good idea to get your pets checked over before you travel. As well as making sure they are fit for travel it will give you the chance to ask your vet any questions you may have, and about the necessary requirements for your particular destination.

For all the latest and most up-to-date information

please refer to the advice as offered on the UK government website

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