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Travelling to France with a dog: what you need to know

 
For many of us, our four-legged friends are an important part of our lives. So why leave them behind whilst you go on a family holiday?

Travelling to France with a dog after Brexit has made things a little more complex, but it’s totally achievable provided you plan ahead. That’s why we’ve narrowed down what you need to know before travelling to France with a dog from the UK…


Travel Requirements

Microchip

Your dog will need to be microchipped on or before the date of their rabies vaccination and the number on their microchip must match the number on their documentation. The microchip will then be detected using a microchip reader at the airline, train or ferry terminal.

Rabies Vaccination

You must get your dog vaccinated against rabies before travelling from the UK to France. You then have to wait a minimum of 21 days before travelling.

Pet Passport or Animal Health Certificate

Proof of vaccination can be in the form of an animal health certificate or in a valid pet passport.


Check the UK Government website for more information on travel requirements to and from France with a pet.

Mode of Transport

Transport Options

Although air travel with a dog is possible, we would recommend driving and taking either a ferry or the Eurotunnel crossing.

While ferry crossings do tend to be cheaper than the Eurotunnel, they take longer and you have to leave your dog in the car whilst you go up to the main deck.

The Eurotunnel is often more expensive but only takes around 40 minutes to cross the channel, plus you get to stay in the car with your dog. For dogs with separation anxiety or those who aren’t good travellers, the Eurotunnel is probably the better option.

Car Safety

You wouldn’t travel in a car without a seatbelt, so why should your dog? Make sure they are secure and comfortable for the trip by installing a dog seat belt and harness, a crate or cage, or a barrier between the boot and the back seat. For extra comfort, you can also purchase car hammocks which create a cosier space for the dog and protect your seats.

Comfort for Everyone On Board

Remember to consider the extra space that a dog will take up when travelling, so ensure that you know where luggage is going to go and perhaps consider purchasing a roof box if necessary.

It’s also important to remember that this may be your dog’s first long trip in a car. Some dogs may find this quite distressing, so ease them into it with training drives f you can. Start with a ten-minute drive and slowly build up to an hour over a couple of days to make sure they are comfortable and happy in their surroundings.

Travelling across France can be long and hot in the summer, even if you have an air-conditioned car. Remember to pack plenty of water for yourself and your dog. Air conditioning actually dehydrates dogs so refill water regularly. A portable dog water bottle is a good idea for when you’re on the move.

There are ‘Aires’ all along the autoroute across France. Be sure to plan to stop every 2-3 hours and let your pet stretch their legs and get a good bit of fresh air and water. If you can, it is best to stop at an ‘Aires de repos’, which do not have any services for your car but will usually have a decent grassy area, picnic tables, places to refill water and also toilets.

If your dog gets car sick, then make sure to mention this to your vet prior to departure as they may be able to prescribe motion sickness medication for the journey.

Discover pet-friendly properties in the French Alps

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A brown dog running with a ball in a garden.

Pet-Friendly Accommodation

Finding pet-friendly accommodation is the next step when planning your holiday to France with your dog. Not all property owners accept pets for a variety of reasons, however, finding suitable self-catered accommodation isn’t difficult considering the vast amount of choice out there.

Some things to look out for are secured gardens, close proximity to great walks and dog-friendly bars/restaurants and a vet surgery nearby just in case of emergency.

OVO Network partners with over 100 pet-friendly properties across the French Alps, check out the fantastic range of chalets and apartments here.

Daily Routine

Finally, don’t forget that if your dog isn’t used to being away from home, then a change of scenery can be quite an adjustment for them! As much as possible, try to keep their daily routine the same as at home.

Although dog food is widely available in France, if you have a fussy dog or one with specific dietary requirements, ensure you pack enough food for the duration of your stay.

The French Alps in particular are a playground for dogs! Fantastic hikes with stunning mountain views, snow to play in and lakes to swim in during summer, make them the ideal spot for a getaway with your four-legged friend. Discover our top recommendations for dog-friendly walks in the French Alps here.


Fancy a dog-friendly holiday in France?

Check our range of pet-friendly properties based in stunning locations across the French Alps…

About Author

Hi, I’m Amy. I am a Copywriter and Editor for OVO Network. I have lived between the French Alps and UK and love to share my knowledge of the area with readers!

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