One of the best things about being in the EU is the freedom of movement for both people and canines. Hopefully this won’t change with the forthcoming British Exit from the EU (Brexit) and will stay as is for the next 2 years at least.
Travel is a very important part of my life and I want my dogs to experience it also. From within the EU, the Pet Travel Scheme (PETS), is an easy way to include Fido in all adventures you go on. We have traveled within the EU without any issues and thought we would share a few tips we have learnt along the way.
Here is our step by step guide to travelling within the EU with your pet
In the UK, Microchips are mandatory but that isn’t the case in all countries. Make sure your dog is microchipped before you start the vaccinations. It is really important that the microchip is done prior to any travel related vaccines as per DEFRA regulation. Make sure your vet scans the chip and that it works prior to any vaccines.
Make sure you allow enough time (and money) to organise appropriate vaccinations for your dog. Your dog must be up to date with all vaccines and in good health to be approved for travel
As the UK is rabies free, this vaccine is compulsory before entry into the United Kingdom. You can’t travel for at least 21 days after your dogs rabies injection so make sure you plan ahead.
Make sure you keep note of the renewal date. We prefer to use 3 year vaccines but some vets still only do yearly ones.
Most vets will charge for signing off on the passport. Our current vet charged £45 ($60) per passport but make sure you ask for a multi-pet discount if you have more than one pet. The process is really easy and just a few stamps and signatures are needed to make sure everything is legal. The Passports have recently changed and there is now a clear plastic film that the vet needs to use to cover the signatures. Make sure that your vet uses it as it will give you trouble coming back into the country if the plastic is not used (we have had to deal with this previously and it has held us up numerous times)
Most travel companies charge a fee for travelling with your pet. Make sure you have paid this ahead of time as these can range from a few hundred for airline travel to a £20-50 on a ferry or train. Make sure you budget this into your travel fund as unexpected surprises like this can shock you.
Depending on your mode of transport, your pet may need to stay in a crate for the period of the journey. This is especially true for flights and for boat crossings as a crate is also useful if your dog needs to stay in the car without you. A lot of Ferries will not allow pets on deck but only have them stay in the car. Keeping your pet secure without you is a smart idea.
Travelling on Euro Tunnel is easy as you stay in the car with your dog.
Some ferry companies require that your dog is muzzled while being exercised or checked at port so make sure your dog has practiced wearing a muzzle.
On your return journey, your dog will need to be treated by a foreign vet for tapeworm 1-5 days before reentry into the UK. Make sure you factor this into your planning and have a few approved vets on call to sign and stamp the passport in order to return
Please note that your dog must be a minimum of 15 weeks old at the time of travel and up to date on all vaccinations
Hope that was helpful for you all. We can’t imagine going on holiday without the dogs now
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Great tips! We’ve never traveled too far with our dogs, and never out of the US. Someday!
Wow, I had no idea. We’ve only traveled in the US and Canada. I won’t fly with Dexter since he’s too big for the cabin. I’m glad you are able to do so much traveling with your dog.
Ahh, how awesome to live somewhere where you can so easily hop from one country to another, and with your dogs, no less. My dogs will never see Europe, not with the length of the plane trip required, unless we were moving there! I, myself, am even jealous of your well-traveled pets! Look forward to seeing more of your adventures.
Good to know, as I really want to see north Italy soon..
Great work compiling the information!
Useful info! I had no idea there were pet passports. My husband and I have encountered the crate regulation on a ferry.
Very helpful tips for those who like to travel with their pups. I’m glad that there are safety measures in place for both. Thanks for sharing!
Bren @ Pibbles and Me
I need to double-check if Mr. N’s microchip is the right kind. Would love to go to Europe with him some day.
This is great information thanks! Mom has been looking into us moving overseas for retirement so she needs to know what’s involved in taking your pets into the EU. Love Dolly
I didn’t realize that it was so involved to travel with a pet in Europe. That is wonderful that the UK is rabies free, I can see why they are so strict about the vaccinations.
This is really great information and an awesome resource! Thanks so much for sharing!
Wow – great tips. I know the UK has always been strict but I thought France and other countries were very relaxed, and I guess you can travel. I love how dogs can come in restaurants in for example Cannes where I visit each year.
Very interesting post. I am curious about the need to chip the dog before the vaccines?? Not sure why that is necessary.
What fantastic information as I have been thinking of flying to South Africa via London although we would only be in transit there. I know what is needed for South Africa which is simple. Thank you
Ours flew to New Zealand with us, so the number of hoops increased correspondingly!! We managed it though!!!
Great information. I haven’t ever traveled outside of the US with dogs probably mostly because I’m worried about what’s involved with doing it. I’m definitely going to reference this if we ever go to the EU with the pups. My boyfriend is Scottish, so it might happen some day!
Thanks for sharing this. The only time I travel with the girls is when they are going to the vet. Hmmmmm. Maybe that’s why they don’t like traveling.
This is terrific information, thanks for sharing it! I’m surprised that the microchip must be obtained prior to vaccinations, I would never have considered that. I do hope Brexit doesn’t make Pet Travel less convenient, I so admire how Europe accommodates pets! Sharing!
Love & biscuits,
Dogs Luv Us and We Luv Them
What an interesting article! It’s obvious you’ve traveled a lot with your pets. Pet Passports? I love that! I wish they did that here in the United States! Thanks for all your information. I will share this on my social media. Cheers.
Very informative post! I especially like the concept of Pet Passports. Pinning this on my “Bark About” board!
As I live in the Uk I know we are quite strict about dogs coming into the Country – I have always worried about leaving my dogs in the car on their own – I hadn’t thought about the Euro Tunnel – think I will book that mode of travel ! Thank you for the info x
Great post! We have been struggling with this. We live in London and travel a lot to Europe. We found difficult to find airline that will allow our small sausage dog to travel in the cabin with us. Do you normally travel by car to Europe?
We normally travel by car as find it easier to pack all the dogs and their things