Traditions - General Info Section

Traveling with pets between France - UK

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Traveling with pets by ferry from the UK to France

Pets are lucky as they are now entitled to passports.

And so should you feel, as pets passports make your life easier when traveling to/from France.

Here are the links to the official sites with the requirements and regulations for pet travel:

1-Official Pet Travel Scheme - overview

2-DEFRA - Department for Environment Food & Rural Affairs

Here's an overview of the basic regulations:

Dog, cat or ferret - requirements to travel to France

1-Microchip

Beware that your pet must be microchipped first, then vaccinated against rabies, otherwise the vaccination won't be valid for travel!

Your pet’s up-to-date passport must show the number of the microchip.

2-Rabbies vaccination

Your pet must be at least 12 weeks old before being vaccinated.

His up-to-date passport must show that he has been vaccinated against rabies.

The date and time of administration and the name of the product used must be recorded in his passport with an official veterinary stamp and signature.

There’s however a delay of 21 days after the vaccination, period during which your pet can’t leave nor re-enter the UK.

3-Rabbies annual booster

Once vaccinated, your pet needs an annual rabies booster.

Again, the date and time of administration and the name of the product used must be recorded in his passport with an official veterinary stamp and signature.

Don’t miss the date, though, as you’ll have to start from scratch and wait for 21 days before being allowed to take him to France and back to the UK!

Traveling with pets by ferry from France to the UK

Beware, as some regulations are different for dogs, cats and ferrets.

1-Before returning to the UK with your DOG:

Tapeworm treatment

Your dog must be checked and treated against tapeworm:

No less than 24 hours and no more than 120 hours (5 days) before landing back in the UK.

The date and time of administration and the name of the product used must be recorded in his passport with an official veterinary stamp and signature.

Don’t forget to book an appointment with a French vet as soon as you arrive!

There no (more) requirement for tick treatment.

2-Before returning to the UK with your CAT or your FERRET:

Your cat or ferret needs to have his passport up-to-date, but doesn’t need any tick or tapeworm treatment.

3-Some ferry companies’ regulations

Pets that are not covered by the ferry company's PETS Travel Scheme Compliance are not allowed to travel.

Keep in mind that most ferry companies don’t accept:

- a pet booking on the day of the departure
- an unaccompanied pet (he is not a child!)
- a pet traveling with a passenger on foot, bike or motorbike
- some ferry companies don’t even accept rabbits

So check carefully with your ferry company before hand!

Here are the links to the major ferry companies:

Brittany Ferries

P&O

Condor Ferries

DFDS pet travel

4-Traveling with pets by ferry – Tips

Some ferry companies provide kennels - you have to book in advance and obviously pay a fee.

Cages are decently spacious, but some pets feel stressed when confined in a restricted space and communicate their anxiety to the other pets around.

In my own experience, it is much better to leave your pet in your car as he will be in a familiar surrounding with your family scent and objects.

I find night crossings much easier, as your pet will do the same as you: he'll sleep through the night and won't be aware of the passing of time.

Make sure that he has enough water for the journey.

Leave your car windows slightly open in order to create some ventilation.

N.B. Your dog will need to have a muzzle when in public areas (passenger terminal etc…) even if he is the sort that 'leaks everyone to death' as mine does!

Traveling with pets on airlines AF & BA

Airlines have completely different regulations as some accept small pets in the cabin.

Guide dogs are accepted on board, but always inform the airline when booking.

Here are the links to their pet travel pages:

Air France

British Airways

Flybe

Ryanair

Traveling with pets - Quarantine

Beware: if your pet doesn't meet the entry requirements to the UK, he will be put into quarantine upon arrival!

You'll also have to pay charges for the quarantine and for his transport.

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