Travelling To France With Your Dog: Let's Sniff Out the Post-Brexit Rules
Travelling to France with your dog is easier than you think and, as they're part of the family, leaving them out just feels wrong when you're planning a family holiday abroad.
Dogs love the mountains - from riding the gondolas to exploring the many mountain trails. Your furry friend will fit right in to the alpine lifestyle and lap up the holiday adventure with the rest of the family.
Statistics released by the Kennel Club towards the end of 2020 have shown that a whopping 91% of owners said their dog has had a positive impact on their health and well being, so what better way to thank your dog for being there unconditionally than to bundle them up with the rest of the clan for a summer alpine adventure?
Great News About Taking Your Dog On Holiday To France
Yes, taking your dog to Europe is still possible! Now that the UK has left the EU, there are, at last, concrete guidelines about what you should do and, more importantly, when you need to do it.
The main change is that a UK pet passport is no longer valid.
Instead of a UK pet passport, you'll need to get an Animal Health Certificate (AHC). The AHC is issued by your vet and proves that your pet is micro-chipped and vaccinated against rabies.
If you have an EU pet passport (BENELUX clients, Irish guests, etc.,) these are still valid.
You will need a new certificate each time you travel with your pet. This has to be obtained within 10 days of the date you travel. The document is valid for 4 months, for a single trip into the EU, travel within the EU, and return travel to the UK.
As with all procedures, if you follow the rules, travelling with your dog will be fine, and they'll sail through customs. However, if the paperwork is incorrect or missing, your pet may not be allowed to travel. Make sure you take a bit of time to ensure everything is in order before you set off.
If you are travelling from Northern Ireland to the EU with your dog, there's no change from the pre-Brexit requirements.
A Step By Step Guide To Taking Your Dog To France Post-Brexit
We always recommend that the first thing you should do is read the latest government guidelines for pet travel for the country you're travelling from. You can find the UK government guide for pet travel to the EU here.
Here’s our checklist:
By law, all dogs over 8 weeks old need to be micro-chipped. This should only need to be done once and costs around £16.
A rabies injection is required at least 21 days before travel. A dog must be at least 12 weeks old before it can have the first rabies vaccination. The vaccination costs around £50 and should be repeated every 3 years. If you keep this inoculation up to date, then travel overseas should be much easier.
Contact Your Vet
It’s a good idea to get in touch with your vet and just have a chat about what is required and any recommendations they have. You can then make an appointment to visit the vet (within 10 days of the day you intend to travel with your dog) because only an official vet can issue a certificate. The cost is around £110 for the consultation, reviewing, and finalising documentation.
The Animal Health Certificate (AHC)
Here are the details of what is normally on the certificate:
- Pet owner’s details
- Description of your pet
- Details of rabies vaccination
- Canine tapeworm treatment
- Intended country of entry into the EU (the certificate must be issued in the language of the country of entry into the EU and not your country of destination)
Getting A French Passport For Your Dog
Many of our guests have been talking about getting a French Passport for your dog. We’ve spoken to our local vet here in the Haute Savoie and they have explained this is possible once your dog is here in France. So, the next time you travel here, your dog can come to France without the Animal Health Certificate and use its French doggy passport!
The dog must be registered on the French national database, i-Cad, which applies to all dogs within France. There is a separate fee for this. The whole process costs around €50-75 per dog. Changing the passport is carried out at the vet, with your dog present, and the i-Cad registration is done via a postal form. Therefore you will need to do this when you are already on French soil. This may take some time but is certainly useful if you have a holiday home in France or come here more than once a year.
Pet Holiday Insurance
Firstly if you already have pet insurance for your dog, then check to find out if your policy includes pet travel. If it does then find out exactly what is covered as not all policies offering overseas pet travel are comprehensive, so you need to know that accidents, illness and injuries are covered to give you peace of mind.
Packing For Your Dog
You know your dog and what they need so the list will vary. Here are some things you should consider:
- Extra dog lead
- Favourite toy or bone
- Blanket or towel from home to lie on
- A current photo of your dog ( in case you get separated and you need to show someone)
- ID tag with telephone number including international dialing code
- Poo bags
- Travel sickness tablets
- Plenty of water for the journey
- Dog bowl
Dog Food And Treats
Now that the UK has left the EU, certain rules have changed regarding what food (including dog food) that you can take with you. You aren’t allowed to take meat based or milk based dog food including treats into the EU unless you have written confirmation from your vet that your pet requires a certain dog food for medical reasons. You can't take packs that weigh more than 2kg. Plant based dried products such as those in vegan dog food or treats would be allowed.
You need to have a plan of when your dog will need to have food:
- Use your usual dog food and treats for the journey in the UK and be prepared to dispose of any food not eaten before leaving the UK.
- Have vegan treats and or dried vegan dog food for the journey through France.
- Schedule a stop at a supermarket to buy regular dog food or wait until you arrive in your destination and visit the local supermarket to stock up on pet food supplies and treats.
Check Your Dog’s Microchip Details
As the pet owner, it’s your responsibility to make sure the contact details you have registered with the microchip company are up to date.
Coming Back Into The UK
Again, check the UK government guidelines for the latest pet travel information when planning your trip.
As with pre-Brexit requirements, your dog must be treated against tapeworm before entry into the UK. Treatment must be given by a vet not less than 24 hours (1 day) and no more than 120 hours (5 days) before the dog's scheduled UK arrival time.
You can't buy an over-the-counter worming tablet for your pet. The tapeworm treatment must contain Praziquantel to be effective against Echinococcus tapeworm.
The treatment date and time must be recorded by the vet in your pet's documentation. If the treatment is not administered in time or incorrectly documented, then entry into the UK could be refused.
We have two great vets near Morzine both of which can provide this treatment. Veto Family in Taninges are fantastic and speak great English but you will need access to a car to get there. Closer to Morzine, the Montriond Vets is a 15 minute walk from the Super M bridge or you can take the free M bus that runs throughout the season.
We recommend booking in advance to make sure your dog gets treated in time!
The Actual Journey For You And Your Pet
It is costly, but dogs can travel as pet cargo from London Heathrow, London Gatwick, and Manchester. However, travelling to France with your dog in this way can be stressful for your pet; only you know your dog and how they may react. Dogs aren't allowed to travel in the cabin on a UK flight unless they are registered assistance dogs. There are specialist companies who can give more information to help you.
We recommend taking the Eurotunnel as the best stress-free way for your dog to travel. You all stay together in your vehicle and the whole journey only lasts 35 minutes.
Here's what to expect:
- Your dog should always be pre-booked on your ticket before you are due to leave.
- When leaving the UK - Go to the pet reception to check in with your dog. Sometimes there is a drive through option which is also clearly signed.
- When leaving France - Before check-in at Eurotunnel at Calais, you must go to the Pet Reception where your dog will be scanned and the documents checked before you proceed to the normal check-in.
- Eurotunnel advises you should allow at least 45 minutes for check -in on the return journey.
- Proceed to the departures area where there is a designated dog exercise area. You can also use the large carpark to walk your dog.
- Remember that dogs are not allowed into the terminal building where the duty free shop and coffee areas are located.
Dogs remain in the vehicle on the car deck while the family makes their way to the passenger decks above. You won't be allowed back to your car during the crossing, even to quickly check on your dog. Once onboard, make sure they have everything they need and factor in some delay time just in case.
Here's what to expect:
- Pre-book your dog on your booking.
- When you check-in, declare that you have a dog and the person at check-in will help you do the rest. You don't need to leave your car.
- Once you are onboard, you will leave your dog in the vehicle for the duration of the trip. The shortest crossing time is from Dover to Calais which takes 90 minutes.
In The Car
Travelling through France is very easy and there are plenty of places on the autoroutes for toilet stops. It's a great way for your dog to travel, just make sure to:
- Take enough water and food for the journey.
- Try to give your dog its own space in the car.
- Take a towel or blanket from home which your dog uses. The familiar smells will be a comfort to them during the trip.
- Be vigilant on the journey to make sure that you spot any signs of your pet not being their normal selves - it can be a sign of car sickness.
- Plan your journey to include more stops than usual so your furry friend can stretch their legs and get some fresh air.
- Have a favourite toy or even something new on standby for those times when your dog is restless.
Breaking up the journey
There are plenty of pet-friendly hotels where you can stay the night. We recommend you plan your stopover and book in advance to know that you have a reservation. Prices for pets do vary, so check this out at the time of booking.
Why Choose The French Alps For Your Alpine Pup Getaway?
You can drive to the Alps, so your dog is with you at all times and in a vehicle it knows. A stress-free journey is a great way to start the holiday.
It can be warm in the Alps during summer, but there's often a breeze, and the temperature cools down at night so your dog will never be uncomfortably hot.
You can stay in luxury accommodation without compromising on standards to find pet-friendly apartments.
Morzine has a variety of shops, which means you can easily pick up dog food and other doggy treats. You don't have to worry that you can't get what your dog needs, especially with new rules about bringing food from the UK into the EU. Remember that if your dog needs a specific diet for medical reasons you can bring that food with you from the UK.
In France, shops, bars, and restaurants are more pet-friendly than in the UK. You will be welcome as long as your dog is well behaved.
There are great vets in and around Morzine who can look after your dog and prepare them for their journey back to the UK.
The holiday company you choose for your accommodation will be able to give you details about what kind of bed they supply for your dog. They may also supply food and water bowls, spare leads and toys for your pet.
More Mountain Have Tried To Think Of Everything
What can we say - we love dogs. In fact, many of our staff own dogs, so we speak your language and have put together the most fantastic package for your canine companion. Their tails will be wagging when they see what's in store.
Where You Will Stay
We've created a unique portfolio of self-catered apartments, hand-picked to provide a stylish retreat for the whole family while focusing on the needs of your pet. Your accommodation is centrally located with easy access to great walks.
In addition, the apartments have fully or partly enclosed garden areas or secure terraces for a safe, independent outdoor space.
What Surprises Are Included For Your Dog?
There is nothing better than thoroughly spoiling your dog every so often and that’s why More Mountain have teamed up with Mutts and Hounds (M&H). Here's what complimentary canine luxuries will be waiting for your furry friend when you book an Alpine Pups Holiday package:
- A M&H quilted waterproof dog jacket worth over £50
- A sack of M&H chicken baked biscuits
- A M&H doggy rope toy
While in the apartment, you'll have use of luxury dog products, including a M&H cosy bed, food and water bowls, and a doggy towel.
The Best Walks With Your Dog In Morzine
Morzine is a big natural summer playground for your dog and the rest of the family. There's so much choice of walks to explore the stunning landscape. From the challenging steep mountain trails to the meandering forest tracks, there's something to suit each and every dog, not to mention the owners!
Easy Route Around Lac de Montriond
On the outskirts of Morzine is the stunning Lac de Montriond. The glacial turquoise water is simply breath-taking. A path surrounds the lake so you can wander around and finish off with a drink or meal at one of the waterside restaurants.
Picturesque Picnic Stop
Start in the centre of Morzine by taking the Pleney lift to the top of the mountain. You can continue to neighbouring village of Les Gets on a lovely 3 hour walk. There are plenty of places to stop for a picnic and admire the wonderful views.
Challenging Hike With Stunning Views
The Col de Cou is a great hike during the summer. Drive up to Lac des Mines D’Or in the Vallee de la Manche and follow the path leading up the hill. The long ascent takes you through meadows that get steeper all the way to the French-Swiss border. From the top, you’ll see views of the Dents du Midi and the Vallee de la Manche.
Treat Your Dog The Same As The Rest Of Your Family
We don't want you to be on holiday and worrying about your furry bundle stuck at home or in kennels. Travelling to France with your dog doesn't need to be difficult, so why not give it some thought and take the whole family on holiday.
Check out the accommodation and imagine how much fun your dog will have with you in Morzine. We know you may have questions about bringing your dog on holiday, so do get in touch, and let's talk it over.