Pets are part of our families, and often, where we go, they go too. So how exactly do we go about travelling to France with our furry friends? Here’s what you need to know about travelling to France with your pet post-Brexit.
Bringing a pet from the UK to France post-Brexit
It’s still possible to bring your pet to France from the UK, but post-Brexit, there are several rules and regulations to follow. Your pet must be microchipped, vaccinated against rabies and have an Animal Health Certificate issued in the ten days prior to travel.
Therefore, your dog must be over 12 weeks/3 months old (the minimum age for rabies vaccination), and the vaccination for rabies must have taken place at least 21 days before travel.
If you are travelling from a country other than the UK, US, Australia, or Europe, then you will need to carry out a rabies antibody titration test from the vet or a recognised laboratory. Here is the link for these rules.
You cannot travel with more than five pets; otherwise, this is seen as a commercial enterprise.
Due to the Dangerous Dogs Act in France, if you have a Rottweiler, Staffordshire Terrier or other breeds on this list, you will need extra documentation, and your dog will need to be on a lead and muzzled in public places at all times.
Which documents do I need post-Brexit?
As a UK resident, your pet will need an Animal Health Certificate issued by your vet. Note that UK-issued pet passports are no longer valid. If you are planning to stay more than three months in France with a temporary long-stay visa, it may also be an option to apply for an EU pet passport, in which case an Animal Health Certificate is not required.
As a British person living permanently in France as a French resident, your pet will need an EU Pet Passport issued in France and up-to-date rabies vaccinations. Dogs will also need to receive a tapeworm treatment between five days (120 hours) and 24 hours before returning to the UK.
Preparing your dog to travel to France
It is best to prepare your dog for any long period of travel by car. Get your pet accustomed by beginning with short trips. French law dictates that your dog must be restrained by a harness, cage or net and be on the back seat or in the boot of the car – your pet must not be able to interfere with the driver while driving or in the case of an accident.
It may also be an idea to train your dog to become used to being left in the car unattended for periods of time. Obviously, not in hot weather!
Plan for your pet – much as you would account for the needs of young children, you need to give some consideration as to the needs of your pet. Where will you build in exercise and toilet stops? Might they need to be left alone? Consider the time of year, departure time, likely weather conditions and length of the journey.
You will need to pack a bed and blanket if it is cold, a water and food bowl, a collar and identity tag, a towel for muddy paws, poo bags, tic and flea treatment and a muzzle if required.
Read our guide to Travelling by Ferry With Your Dog Between France and the UK.
Traveling to and around France with your pet
Most people choose to travel by car as it offers your family maximum flexibility. Ferries and trains do allow pets, but tickets must be bought in advance, and there is a surcharge. Some airlines do accept pets – do check before booking.
Where to stay in France with your pet
Many gites, hotels and campsites are dog-friendly in France, but you must check beforehand that pets are acceptable and that you know and abide by the rules in place. Usually, there is a surcharge to cover additional cleaning costs, and there may be a refundable security deposit.
Travelling in France with your dog: rules and regulations
Dogs are seen in many places in France and are normally allowed in restaurants, cafes, bars and markets. Do ensure you pick up after your dog and that they are on a lead in public places.
Dogs are allowed on certain ‘dog beaches’ much the same as in the UK, but rules vary across France. Generally, dogs are not allowed on beaches in the high season months due to the heat and public health requirements.
Muzzles are required on public transport and at ferry ports.
Processionary caterpillars in France
Your dog is at risk from Processionary Caterpillars in France. The nests can often be seen in fir trees and look like white cotton wool.
If your dog comes into contact with these caterpillars – wash their eyes and mouth immediately and get them to a Vet immediately as the tiny hairs shot out can be fatal.
Do remember that hundreds of thousands of dogs live safely and happily in France – this is precautionary advice.
Read our guide Bringing Your Pet to France? 10 Quick Answers to Your FAQs
Returning to the UK from France with your pet
Returning to the UK from France, you will need to ensure your pet has been treated for Tapeworm between 24 and 120 hours (five days) before travel. This must be carried out by a vet who will issue a certificate and/or stamp your Pet Passport.
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