Traveling to France with your dog

5 things to take into account when traveling to France with your dog

Dogs have conquered our hearts and homes and are a companion to many families and individuals. With the growing importance of dogs even up to the point of being considered as part of the family, most people wouldn’t leave their dog behind. Not even for a week while on vacation.
And luckily, there is no need to go without your furry little friend while you are out and about, discovering new places in France! You can take him with you, you just need to be well prepared. These five simple steps allow you to be well prepared to take your pooch with you to France.


1. Get a pet passport

Travelling from outside the EU, your dog may not have a pet passport. However, within the EU pets are obliged to hold a pet passport. You will only need to get it once, as it will be valid for a lifetime. The pet passport does not only hold general information about your dog like your dog’s chip number (which is necessary when travelling to France, or anywhere else in the EU), but will also give information on the vaccinations your pet has received.

Please bear in mind that not all dog breeds are allowed to travel into France. American Staffordshire Terrier („Pittbul“), Mastiff („Burbull“) and Tosa are not allowed to travel to France. Puppies under the age of 3months are not permitted to travel to France either.


2. Vaccinations

No matter from where you are travelling in the world you will need the rabies and distemper vaccination (usually your dog will already have the distemper vaccination anyway) and get his tapeworm treatment to be able to take your dog to France. Between April and October there is a high risk of ticks in France. Tick spray or tick collars will be able to help keep ticks off. To see what combinations of collar and spray may be possible please consult your vet for the particular products. Also, a check-up at your vets in your home country after the journey is advisable.

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3. Timing is key

Not only prior to the trip timing needs to be considered like a 21 day lead time after getting the rabies vaccination before travelling, the time of the follow up vaccination depends on the vaccine, please talk to your vet to make sure to plan enough time for the vaccinations before the departure.
However, also during the trip you will need to make sure to plan enough time for breaks for your four-legged friend. If you are planning on taking your friend for a little break to a local café or restaurant make sure to ask permission to take him. Usually, it isn’t a problem to take your dog to a restaurant, nevertheless it is polite to ask and they may give your dog a bowl of water as a refreshment. As most French people have dinner at 8pm it is advisable to avoid taking your dog at this time as it may be packed.

4. Choose the right transportation

Trains are an economic and easy way to travel to and around France. Taking your dog with you on the train isn’t a problem, either. Often, with a small dog which is transported in a dog bag or dog carrier purse, travelling on the train is free of charge. For larger dogs it is about 50% of the price of a human ticket.
Keep in mind that your dog may get motion sickness if he is not used to riding the train. Make sure to take the right medication for your pet and take precautions. If possible, try taking your dog on a train prior to the trip to see if he is scared of going on a train. Some dogs may not enjoy going on the train and will refuse to get on.

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5. Packed to the rafters

Taking your dog’s favourite blanket, collar, lead, food bowl and toys will make the transition to a new environment as easy as possible for your dog (and ultimately also for you). Through familiar smells and items your dog will adapt faster.
If you are planning on packing a ball to play at the beach, think twice. Depending on your travel time and location access may be denied to your dog to the beach. Generally, the beaches, at least the bigger ones, are closed off for dogs during the summer months. Nice and Cannes beach are closed off to dogs throughout the year.

Have you considered all 5 points? Perfect, now you are set! Take your pooch on holiday with you to France! On y va!