Travelling to France with a dog – the essentials

The UK rules and regulations concerning pets, travel and vaccinations have the sole purpose of ensuring that no nasty diseases are brought back into the UK by people returning from the European continent.

Travelling to France with a dog

If you are thinking of travelling to France with a dog or a cat, there are therefore some important things you need to know before you go.

Your pet must be micro-chipped

Before your pet has any vaccinations it will need to be microchipped by a vet.

microchipped dog

Checking dog microchip. Photo via Sternrenette CC BY-SA 3.0

The vet must annotate the pet’s microchip number in the pet passport and date it prior to any vaccination date.

If your pet was microchipped some time ago it would be worth asking your vet to check that the chip is still readable.

If you are travelling to France with a dog and the chip can’t be read at the port then you may be refused entry. Nobody wants that inconvenience and hassle!

If your vet can’t read your pet’s microchip then he will have to re-chip your pet who will then have to be re-vaccinated and issued with a new pet passport.

Even if your pet’s old microchip can still be read it’s worth asking your vet to check that it meets current ISO standards.

Your pet must have a valid pet passport

Dog pet passportYour cat or dog must have a valid pet passport in order to return to the UK after your holiday in France.

The pet passport is issued by your vet and details your pet’s microchip number and all of the vaccinations that your pet has been given.

It’s obviously an important document so make sure you keep it somewhere safe but not so safe that you can’t remember where you put it!

Note that since 29 Dec 2014, the details of the vet issuing the passport must be included in the passport.


Vaccination against rabies

Record of vaccination against rabiesIf you are travelling to France with a dog, your pet will only be allowed entry if it has been vaccinated against rabies.

The details must be recorded in the pet passport and should include the date of the vaccination, date the booster is due and the batch number of the vaccination.

The rabies vaccination has to be given at least 21 days before you are due to travel back to the UK.

Booster vaccinations are due annually.

All rabies vaccinations for pets must be clearly recorded in the pet passport.


Treatment against tapeworm

Your pet must be treated for tapeworm (echinococcus) no less than 24h and no more than 5 days before your return to the UK.

Dog vaccinations pet passportFor this you will most likely need to visit a vet in France.

If you are staying with one of our dog-friendly B&B hosts they will be able to make an appointment for your dog to see a local vet.

Mention it when you make your accommodation booking and we will ensure the necessary arrangements are made.

The rules and regulations for travelling to France with your dog or cat have been relaxed over recent years which makes the whole experience much less onerous for the pet owner.

Just ask your vet if you’re not sure about anything.

Making sure your pet’s paperwork is up to date and that the microchip is readable will ensure you enjoy a hassle-free holiday to France.

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