We welcome dogs, cats and other pets to our Brittany Holiday GiteHolidaying in France doesn't just have to be for you and your family, our pets are just as much a member of the family as granny and the kids, and through the Pet travel scheme they can just as easily come on holiday to our Gite too!
We are very happy to take pets at our quiet holiday Gite, our only request is for guests to keep their pets off the furniture and ensure that any mess in the garden is cleaned up afterwards. Our garden is safe and secure and fully fenced in and there are plenty of walks and places to run through the forests and country lanes surrounding our holiday home.
France in general is much more relaxed about dogs in public than in the UK. Although as you'd expect there are some peak-season restrictions on some beaches and visitor attractions, there are very many where dogs are welcomed at any time of year; and we've never had any problem with taking our dog with us around the towns or into restaurants in France - a bowl of water is always made available for example.
Every year we usually have one or two dogs visiting our Gite so if you'd like your favourite friend to join them then do check for dates that we have vacancies and drop us a line.
Its easy to follow the Pet Travel Scheme requirements and take your pet abroadPet Travel Scheme that now means that it's now even easier to take your Pet Dog, Cat or Ferret to/from the continent.
The rules for bringing your pet into the UK are described in detail on the DEFRA website, but boil down to:
- Ensure that your pet is uniquely identifiable either by microchip or tattoo. This is a fairly cheap process that most vets can carry out, or if your pet came from an animal rescue centre they they are quite likely to already have been micro-chipped. The only nightmare scenario would be if the microchip fails when you're abroad because you then face the whole quarantine process on your return, so its worth getting your vet to verify that the microchip is still working before you leave the UK.
- Vaccinate your pet against rabies at least 21 days before the date you are due to return to the UK. Prior to 2012 there used to be a requirement to wait 6 months after vaccination and then have a blood test to verify that the rabies vaccination had worked. This requirement has now been abolished as long as the vaccination is at least 21 days prior to entry to the UK and you are returning to the UK from the EU or one of the listed countries.
- Collect their pet
passport which your vet will issue. This records details of
the unique identification number (microchip or tattoo), Rabies
inoculation and bi-annual booster dates, tapeworm treatment, etc.
Our dog's pet passport even has space for a photo of him but we've not been able to get him to sit still for long enough in the photo booth !
treatment for dogs is required to have been completed before
you return back to the UK, and this must be between 1 and 5 days
before the time of your back in the UK. So if you're going for a
short trip to France you could potentially have the treatment done
in the UK before you depart, but for most people this will mean a
trip to an overseas vet before you come back home.
For pet guests to our Brittany Gite we provide details and directions to a local vet in Loudeac that we use, its about €30 for the consultation and tablet which you can administer yourself. This is another area where the rules were changed in 2012; the treatment can now be up to 5 days before travel (it used to be 24-48 hours beforehand) and tick treatment is now no longer mandatory, although is recommended.
- Finally ensure you are travelling to the UK with an approved transport company on an authorised route - all the ferry routes from France are, as is Eurotunnel, but only the more major airlines that fly into large airports like Heathrow, Gatwick, Manchester, etc are - so if you are using a budget airline it is best to confirm beforehand.
Check with your planned ferry or airline routeIf you are crossing the Channel by ferry then read the conditions of carriage, for example, some ferries may charge a fee and access to your pet may be restricted during travel, and do check the travel options page of our website to know exactly how long the ferry journey and drive in France is going to take.
If you are travelling to France by air then the International Air Transport Association (IATA) website also provides a great deal of information on transporting your cat or dog by air.
For full details of ferry and airline travel choices and location maps, see the ferry and airline travel options part of our website.
Making sure your pet has a comfortable journey as wellFinally, when setting off to France do ensure that your pet has water available at all times and that there is plenty of fresh air circulating around. Most large pet shops will sell "no-spill" water bowls and a small battery powered fan can help them to keep cool - the temperature inside a car can easily be double that of outside so please don't leave them in the car on a hot day.
We also recommend using a travel cage for small pets which also makes it a lot easier to pack the car as well, and to take frequent rest stops on route to the Gite.
Thinking and planning ahead will help when travelling to France with your pets, but if you have any helpful tips please do feel free to drop us a line.