Pets travelling to France need a pet passport and certain vaccinations – an expert explains the details
Our rescue greyhound, Tinker, often comes with us on our trips around the UK, and is used to long periods of travel. We’ll soon be house-hunting in France, and want to bring her along too, so she’s not left in kennels while we’re back and forth. Can you tell us what we need to know to make this happen please?
Firstly, organise a pet passport – this allows your dog, cat (or ferret!) to travel back and forth between France and the UK, as long as you comply with the legislation. The official government website is www.gov.uk/take-pet-abroad/overview, but the main criteria are as follows.
When you enter or return to the UK from France, your pet needs to meet certain entry requirements. Tinker will, therefore, need to have a microchip inserted if this hasn’t already been done, and have a rabies vaccination. You must wait 21 days after the vaccination (or the last of the primary course of vaccinations) before your pet can enter or return to the UK (note that the day of vaccination counts as day 0, not day 1). Different brands of rabies vaccination last for different length of times, but most last for up to three years. These details must be recorded in an official EU pet passport. You must also use an authorised carrier and an approved route. Finally, before re-entering the UK, Tinker will require a tapeworm treatment (for dogs only) at least 24 hours but no more than 120 hours before re-entering the UK.
As well as complying with legal recommendations, it is also important to cover your pet against the various diseases it may get while abroad. You should ensure that your pet is covered against fleas, ticks and sand flies as there are various diseases which can be transferred in this way. It is also important to keep up to date with their routine annual animal vaccinations. In fact, there are extra vaccinations available against some of the more ‘exotic’ diseases (Leishmania and Lyme disease) if you wish to be extra cautious. Speak to your vet about these before you travel.
Brian Faulkner, Petplan’s resident veterinary surgeon.