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For cross channel day trippers, shoppers and visitors to Calais, France, wanting information on taking pets abroad (The Pets Travel Scheme came into force 28th February 2000)

Pet travel information

January 2012 – The rules have been eased considerably. You no longer need a blood test to prove the obligatory rabies vaccine has been effective, and wait six months before re-entry into the U.K. Your dog must be identified with a microchip, and have the rabies vaccination. You do however still have to wait 21 days after the vaccination before you can return to the U.K. for the first time. The treatment against tapeworm must still be carried out between one and five days before the animals return.

Introduced in 2000 the Passports for Pets scheme has proved very popular. Dover is the most frequently port used. Many hundreds of thousands of pets have travelled with their owners since the scheme was introduced.

Good news – Norfolkline have been given permission to become part of the Pets travel scheme. The scheme is mainly concerned with dogs and cats. If you are taking your horse with you, you need to contact the cross channel company first. Guinea pigs and hampsters are now included in the Pets Travel Scheme.

Most of the larger cross channel companies currently have schemes of one sort or another. Click on the logos below to find out more.

We hear that anti flea drops are much cheaper in France.

Pet shops in Calais

– Vacansoleil Self Drive Camping Holidays, pets allowed at many sites.

About the Pets Travel Scheme

The scheme applies in the following countries only; Andorra, Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Gibraltar, Greece, Iceland, Italy, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Monaco, The Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, San Marino, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the Vatican.

You must have a vets certificate to show that your pet is fitted with a microchip, vaccinated against rabies, and successfully blood tested. You must also have an official PETS certificate.

The ports; Eurotunnel; Calais – Folkestone, P and O Ferries, Brittany Ferries – Roscoff – Plymouth, St Malo – Portsmouth, Cherbourg – Portsmouth, P and O Ferries – Santander – Portsmouth. Expect pay at least £25 for a pet ticket.

You will have to wait at least 6 months (the time it takes for the rabies virus to become apparent and to ensure they did not contract the disease before inoculation).

Although not required it is advisable to treat your dog for ticks before you go. The Babesia tick is present in France but not the United Kingdom, so your dog may not have developed immunity from it. If you get your dog treated in France, make sure the vet issues the official certificate.

WARNING – many of the attempts to get cats or dogs through fail (1 in 7) because of incorrect tick and tapeworm treatment or incorrectly filled in forms.

How to go about it

Seven months before – go to your vet and get a microchip implanted in the back of the pets neck. This is programmed with an ID number. At the same time a rabies shot will be given and entered on its "passport" (no photograph required).

30 days later – return to vet and have a blood sample taken. This is sent to a lab approved by the Ministry of Agriculture, to see if the vaccine has "taken". If it has a certificate will be issued which will allow the animal to travel 6 months after the inoculation.

6 Months after innoculation – travel with pet. Find a vet to visit for the return leg before you leave.

On returning your must visit a vet to get an injection against tapeworm and to be sprayed with anti tick powder. This must be done no less than 24 hours and no more than 48 hours before travelling back. This is the cause of most problems for returning pets – ensure your certificate is in order before you leave the vets (costs about £25).

Finally, you must sign a residency declaration form confirming the animal has not been outside the approved countries in the previous six months.

On your return (via Dover), follow the yellow paw signs for Customs.

Accommodation in France

A surprisingly large number of hotels and Logis accommodate pets – let us know of any recommended places. Visit these web sites for more information; /

BUT . . .

Some countries require an export health certificate issued by the vet to say that your pet is fit to travel on the specified dates. They are; France, Gibraltar, Greece, Iceland, Italy, Liechtenstein, The Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland.

In addition, an import certificate is needed for the following countries; Gibraltar, Iceland and Sweden.

A separate certificate from the vet stating that the animal has been vaccinated is required in the following countries; Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Germany and Luxembourg.

The scheme only applies to motorists (foot and coach passengers are NOT included). British Midland has a licence for Heathrow – Amsterdam.

Additional permitted routes for Guide dogs and hearing dogs

From Australia or New Zealand arriving at London Heathrow Airport

Travel to Eire (Southern Ireland) under the PETS scheme you can't enter direct from the continent. You can enter the United Kingdom and enter Eire from a United Kingdom entry point as long as your pet has valid documentation for the PETS scheme.

Information on PETS HELPLINE

0870 241 1710 (8.30am – 5.00pm Monday to Friday) – leave your name and address for a information pack. Be prepared to wait – they take a month to answer the phone (we gave up after 35 minutes).

PETS HELPLINE 0870 241 1710.

or write to;

Export of Cats and Dogs Section, DEFRA, 1A Page Street, London SW1P 4PQ.

Tel: 020 7904 6347.

Factsheets – online or download a PDF sheet.

Useful official web site. (click on Pet information, then Pet travel) or

Vets in Calais

Full list and telephone numbers of vets in Nord-Pas de Calais, call 0033 327 96 84 38.

Clinique Vétérinaire du Parc Saint Pierre des Drs Fermé J. M. 73, rue Aristide Briand (near the Town hall) Tel: 0033 321 34 93 88. Open: Monday to Friday 9.00am to 7.00pm, Saturday 9.00am to 4.00pm. We notice that consultations are about 100 euro if booked in advance and 200 euro if not.

Centre Vétérinaire Curie – 139, Bd. Curie, 62100. Calais. Tel: 0033 321 82 15 11.

Clinique Vétérinaire du Docteur Nowosad – 138, Bd. La Fayette, 62100. Calais. Tel: 0033 321 36 67 96.

Clinique Vétérinaire des Salines (Dr. DELVAL Valérie) – 11, Place Crevecoeur, 62100. Calais. Tel: 0033 321 00 71 00.

Docteur Christiane Petry – Veterinaire. 1148 Bd du General De Gaulle. 62100 Calais. Tel: 0033 321 34 77 39.

Dog friendly camp site near St. Omer. "Wife works at vets as receptionist, they can book the vets through the campsite and get a discount, and they'll direct you to the vets surgery".

Other French VETS (Find a vet in France)


From Brittany Ferries.

Centre Veterinaire, 12 place Rioust des villes Audrains, 22550 Matignon. Brittany

Tel: 0033 2 96 41 22 05. Matignon is situated approximately 15kms west of Dinan which is about 35 minutes drive west of the port of St Malo.

Centre veterinaire Briocelande, 58 Miroir Aux faes, 35400 St. Malo. Tel: 0033 299 81 94 51.

St. Malo is one of the nominated ports for the Pet Travel Scheme and is situated only five minutes drive from the port.

Michel Garancher, 154 Bd. de Verdon. 35000 Rennes. Tel: 0033 299 54 46 48.

M Lamer of Le Goff Lamer vets, 4 rue Jacques Rodallac, 56110. Gourin. Tel: 0033 297 23 56 12 (Visitor comment – "I found a vet in central Brittany who knows about the scheme, has a scanner which read my dog (eventually) and had the right certificates. Very helpful and even speaks English.")

Clinique vétérinaire du chat perché.130 rue de la République. 50600 SAINT HILAIRE DU HARCOUET (approx. 40 km of Mont Saint Michel). Tel: 0033 233 49 10 18. E-mail: Open 6 days a week plus a 24/24 emergency service offered (365 D/365 D). "In order to avoid bad surprises, please note that services during the night or on bank holidays or on Sundays cost more. We help many British customers therefore we are use to the return to U.K. service."


Clinique Veterinaire, 18 place Poulet-Malassis, 61000. Alencon. Tel: 00033 233 26 29 51.

Clinique Veterinaire, Le Haut Gelé, ZA 50310. Monebourg. Tel: 0033 233 21 11 14.

Dr Fabienne Ringot, Cabinet Veterianire St Marc. 7 Rue Alsace-Lorraine. 76000. Rouen. Tel: 0033 235 981 745.

Docteur Borel, Cherbourg. Tel: 0033 231 97 41 41

Drs Dalagoutte et Roger, Cherbourg. Tel: 0033 231 96 55 82

Town Vet Telephone Number
Chatillon-sur-Chalaronne Dr. Lenoir 0033 474 55 0057
St. Genis-Pouilly Dr. Radiguet 0033 450 42 1234
Villefranche sur Mer Dr. El-baz 0033 493 01 7422
Bergerac Dr. Carrad 0033 553 74 4390
Louviers Dr. Larson 0033 232 40 0334
Uzes Dr. Jacquemart 0033 466 22 1065
Villefrabche de Lauragais Dr. Jubenot 0033 561 81 6401
Montpellier Dr. Leplat 0033 467 27 3732
Reze Dr. Nouhin 0033 240 32 3854
Prayssac Dr. Untz 0033 565 22 4646
Monebourg Dr. Bastin 0033 233 21 1114
Corbigny Dr. Vignault 0033 386 20 0163
Hellemmes Dr. Nowak 0033 320 56 7419
Calais Dr. Alcouffe 0033 321 82 1511
Randon Dr. Hodencq 0033 470 41 5142
Pau Dr. Barande 0033 559 30 1156
Selestat Dr. Guth 0033 388 82 8687
Kientzheim Dr. Ortet 0033 389 78 2379
Paris Dr. Gittins 0033 140 59 0476
Neuchatel-en-Braye Dr. Savalle 0033 232 97 0147
St. Aubin sur Scie Dr. Lamaiziere 0033 235 84 2735
Ouville la Riviere Dr. Zachee 0033 235 83 0210
St. Germain en Laye Dr. Lazard 0033 134 51 3133
L'isle sur la Sorgue Dr. Silovy 0033 490 38 1188
Mandelieu la Napoule Dr. Begue et Combe 0033 493 49 2849
Mandelieu la Napoule Dr. Faure et Pepin 0033 493 49 3619
Mandelieu la Napoule Dr. Texier 0033 493 49 7850

Find a vet in France

Webanimo. Under the pop up menu "Choisissez une Activité" go to " Vétérinaires", and choose your department.

Ani-Malin. Just type in the town name.


Any Vet will be able to treat your animal. Ask at a Tourist Information Centre, Town Hall or Police Station, and they will be able to direct you to an English-speaking Vet.

Banned Breeds

Several breeds are now banned from importation. This includes the Pitbull terrier but more notably for most travellers, all Staffordshire Bull terrier crosses or purebred dogs without papers. It does not apply to pedigree dogs i.e. dogs with Kennel club registration and documentation. This same ruling also applies to English mastiffs.

All these breeds as well as Rottweilers and any Rottweiler crosses must be muzzled and on a lead in all public places.

You and your dog's health

Vaccinations – Piroplasmosis – Leishamaniasis – Lymes disease – Heartworm – General advice – Vaccinations for your pet


If you are travelling in Europe then your dog should have a current rabies vaccination (essential). Additional vaccines should be kept up to date and check that they are not going to run out on holiday. Your dog will be encountering different bugs and so may be at more risk than you would be at home. Vaccinations to do are a routine booster for Distemper, Hepatitis, Parvovirus and Leptospirosis. You may wish to consider vaccinating also against kennel cough. You can have an intranasal vaccine (a few drops squirted up your dogs nose) against kennel cough – this can give more protection although none are a 100% guarantee.

Leishmanns disease (Leishmaniasis)

This is a disease transmitted by the Sand fly. It is not a problem in the United Kingdom but affects dogs in southern France, Spain, Portugal and other countries with a sub tropical climate. The disease once contracted is terminal but can be treated to delay its progression. Prevention is the best option and this is easily done by a regular treatment with a flea control product such as Frontline on a regular basis. Please note that this disease can be transmitted to Humans and so its wise to protect yourself in areas where the sand fly is prevalent.

Piroplasmosis (Babesiosis or Tick fever)

This is a disease that carries many forms and is not a big problem in the United Kingdom Travel in Europe could place your dog at risk from this disease. It is also fatal if not treated, but treatment is, if given early very often successful. It is carried by a tick and again prevention is by treating your dog with a good flea control product such as Frontline. Tablets such as Program are not effective against ticks. After trips into long grass it is wise to check your dog for ticks. Any that appear can be carefully removed using special tick remover tweezers or a spray with a flea product will finish them off.

It is possible to vaccinate against Piroplasmosis but I understand that it is still possible to get the disease.

Lymes Disease

This is a disease that can affect Humans and Dogs it is now appearing in certain areas of the United Kingdom but may not be encountered unless you are specifically in those areas. It is again carried by a tick and one that is found on deer. So the same advice is given as for Piroplasmosis. Treat preventatively using a flea control product and remove ticks found after a walk. It can be found in areas with mild winter climates and deer populations. A vaccine is available against Lymes disease it is still experimantal and not widely available.

Heart Worm (Dirofilaria)

Heart worm is a problem for dogs living in sub tropical environments. It is transmitted by the mosquito and although not endemic in the United Kingdom it can be found in the more southern parts of Europe. This parasite can cause severe damage to the heart as well as affecting the kidneys. Preventative tablets are the best option. They are not widely available in the United Kingdom but should you feel you may be travelling in an area that puts your pet at risk speak to your vet about the possibility of starting treatment before you leave.

With just 12 pets allowed on the boat per crossing it is advisable to book early

DFDS ferries – DFDS Seaways Ferries (Cost in 2012 £19 each way).

eurotunnel to France – Eurotunnel.


cheapest ferry to calais – PO Ferries.

"P and O Ferries accept the carriage of pet animals on the Dover-Calais route, at a charge of £15 each way for any travelling onboard."

brittany ferries to France and spain – Brittany Ferries.

One of the most popular cross channel companies for pet owners.

This year Brittany Ferries has announced record carryings of pets – almost 30,000 dogs and cats – accompanying their owners on holiday during 2006. This has been a continuing trend since the introduction of the "Pet travel Scheme" in July 2004, when the government-approved Pet Passport was introduced. Doubtless the ease with which pets can now be taken by car to France and Spain, combined with the modest cost of so doing – only £10 to France and £20 to Spain – are both factors that have contributed to this growth.

Brittany Ferries flagship, Pont Aven, which operates the company's longest route from Plymouth to Santander in northern Spain, has 42 kennels within a special area on one of its upper decks. On the 19 1 ⁄ 2 hour journey owners can visit their pets as often as they wish which makes the journey less stressful for pets and owners alike.

For further information call 0871 244 1400 or visit

All Brittany Ferries routes are approved by DEFRA for participation in the PETS scheme. This applies only to cats and dogs and, before commencing travel it is the owner's responsibility to supply A valid DEFRA approved Pet Passport or veterinary certificate showing that the pet has been:

– micro-chipped, vaccinated and blood tested for antibodies to rabies. At least 7 months should be allowed for vaccination before travel commences.

– treated against ticks and fox tapeworm not less than 24 hours, and not more than 48 hours, prior to returning to the United Kingdom.

Pet Insurance

AA 5 Star Pet Insurance. Tel: 0800 444 500.

Argos Pet Insurance.

sainsburys bank – Sainsbury's Bank. Tel: 0845 300 3190.

Useful Outside links

– DEFRA. Low down from the Government.

– Passports for Pets, useful web site with much information.

– travel agency specialising in holidays, advice and information, with regard to taking your pets abroad. Tel: 0208 441 9311. 433 Cockfosters Road. Barnet. London. EN4 0HJ.

– International pet travel agency.

Global Freight Management Ltd (International pet relocation). Tel: 0113 250 1162. Address; 99A High Street, Yeadon, Near Leeds Bradford Airport. West Yorkshire. LS19 7TA.

Paws Abroad, holiday accommodation for you and your pets in Europe.

Good bulletin board full of tips on every subject.

Rescue a United Kingdom dog – Rescue Dogs.

say no to 0870 – Say NO to 0870.

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