Dog to France – Cat to France – taking a pet to France

Taking a dog to France – Taking a cat to France – Taking a pet to france

dog to france

Before taking your dog to France or your cat to France or any pet you must book your return journey in the UK with a Pet Travel Scheme (PETS) approved carrier on a PETS approved route. Dover to Calais route is an approved route. Eurotunnel and P&O are both approved carriers. You will not be able to take your cat or your dog to France if you are not covered by the Pet Travel Scheme.

The Pet travel scheme

The Pet Travel Scheme has been designed to allow animals such as dogs and cats to travel easily between countries and avoid quarantine but also to stop spreading rabies and other diseases. To be part of the scheme and before taking your cat or dog to France will need the following:

  • Be fitted with a microchip
  • Be vaccinated against rabies
  • Wait 21 days from the first rabies vaccination before travelling to France or any other European country
  • Arrange a blood test (N.B. Your pet may not re-enter the UK until 6 calendar months has elapsed from the date the blood sample, which led to a satisfactory test result, was taken. Therefore please allow at least 7 months for vaccinations before travel.)
  • Insure that your dog or cat has been treated against ticks and tapeworm not less than 24 hours and not more than 48 hours before travelling to France by a registered vet
  • Has a pet passport

How easy is it to travel with my cat or dog to France?

This will depend on which carrier you are using

Easiest option:
In three steps with Eurotunnel :

1. Declare your pet when you book your Eurotunnel ticket online
2. When you arrive at the terminal go to the pet control building on the French terminal and let them know you are taking a cat or a dog to France with you. (Going through pet control on the UK side is not required. It is only when returning to the UK)
3. Finally just check in with your pet and wait to be called for your departure.

1. There is a dedicated exercise area available for your pet
2. The journey time is only 35 minutes
3. Your pet stays with you the whole time

Other option with P&O

1. Check in at least an hour before boarding the ferry
2. Your pet has to stay in your car the whole time
3. If you are travelling by foot you will have to carry your pet in an RSPCA-approved container and stay on the lower deck for the Journey.

How much does it cost to take my cat or my dog to France?

If you are travelling with Eurotunnel
It costs £15 per pet. Just choose your ticket online then add your dog, cat or any other pet that’s part of the authorised list

If you are travelling with P&O
It costs from £15 each way per pet on the dover to Calais route

Looking after your dog or cat when travelling to France

See below a list of useful tips which will help ease the journey for your favourite friend

  • Ensure your pet is healthy before setting out
  • If your pet travels in a container (when you are on foot for instance) make sure he tries it out before the journey
  • Feed your cat or dog about two hours before you travel to France
  • Make sure your pet goes to the toilet before he boards the ferry as the journey is a little longer than if you are travelling on Eurotunnel
  • When you are travelling back to the UK make sure you have all the required paperwork for your pet such as a passport (link to passport page) and that all the requirements of the PETS scheme are met otherwise your pet could be taken into quarantine or even returned to France

Are all dogs allowed to travel between France and the UK

The short answer is no so be careful before you book your trip.

Travelling with a dog to France
In France, Dangerous dogs are classified into two different categories. Category 1 type dogs who are not allowed to enter the country and category 2 type dogs who are allowed to travel under strict restrictions which are as follow:

  • Your dog must be kept muzzled at all times in public places
  • Your dog must be on a lead at all times in public places.
  • It might be required for you to register your dog with the local mayor
  • You must have your pet insured.
Below is a breakdown of the dogs per category Category 1 (without pedigree)
  • Staffordshire terrier
  • American Staffordshire terrier or better known as pitbull
  • Tosa
Category 1 (with pedigree)
  • Mastiff
Category 2 (must have a pedigree and be registered with a breed society)
  • Staffordshire terriers
  • American Staffordshire terriers
  • Tosas
  • Rottweilers
Travelling with a dog to the UK
See below a list of dog breeds which can be seized by the British authorities and their fate decided by the court
  • Pit Bull Terrier type
  • Japanese Tosa type
  • Dogo Argentino type
  • American Stafford Terrier
  • Fila Braziliero type

Special thanks to Ranking Academy who helped us put this together

If you are running a dog walking business check out their very comprehensive dog walking business guide