Travelling to France with dogs

Traveling with dogs to EU

The new UK Government rules for British citizens taking their pet dogs to France, or any other EU country, from 1st January 2021.

What’s on your New Year Resolutions list? One of ours is to get back to France for a holiday with our three dogs, to do this we need to understand the latest rules, including covid-19 rules, for travelling to France in 2022.

The UK Government have announced details of new requirements for the British travelling with pets to the EU as it becomes a third country following the Brexit transition. Pet Passports are no longer valid if issued in the UK but are still valid if issued in an EU country. Here is what you need to know to take your pets one holiday with you this year.

1. Pet Passports are no longer valid

The pet passports we have used to travel to and from France for over 5 years are no longer valid. They contain the history of all the dogs’ vaccinations and vet checks. This is a real shame and very disappointing as it was a quick and easy way to travel with 3 dogs and kept a log of their vet checks and vaccinations.

However, you can still use a pet passport if it was issued in an EU country or Northern Ireland, so it is just the British passports that are no longer valid since Brexit.

2. Your pet needs to be microchipped

I would say every dog needs to be microchipped anyway in case they are lost or stolen, but to travel this is mandatory. They need to be microchipped with their rabies vaccination if they have not already been microchipped or the vaccination will need to be given twice.

It is advisable to buy a microchip reader so you can check the microchip works and if the microchip doesn’t meet ICO standards then it might not get picked up by the agency reader. Always better to be safe and take your own reader when travelling. The one we have is the Halo Reader and we take it with us to check the dogs before travelling.

If the microchip is faulty or the reader cannot pick up the details properly the pet will have to have a second microchip implanted, and re vaccinated (the original chip will not be removed).

Travelling to France with dogs

Ask your vet to check the microchip is readable.

3. Tattoo

Some owners preferred to get their dog tattooed. If this is the case, then the identification number the tattoo must have been added on or before 3 July 2011, the tattoo is clearly legible, and your dog was vaccinated after it was tattooed.

Your vet must record the date of tattooing, the tattoo number and the date of the rabies vaccination in the animal health certificate.

4. Animal Health Certificate

You will need an Animal Health Certificate if you are travelling from the UK to any EU country or Northern Ireland.

You do not need an Animal Health Certificate if you have a pet passport issued in the EU.

You get an Animal Health Certificate from your Vet, but they must be registered as an OV (Official Veterinarian). You need to do this more than 10 days before travelling. The Vet will need the microchip date and vaccination history.

The Animal Health Certificate is valid for one trip only. Every trip will need a new Certificate and valid for:

  • 10 days for entry into the EU or Northern Ireland
  • 4 months for onward travel within the EU
  • 4 months for re-entry to Great Britain



Company Price AHC Microchip Rabies County
Hampton Park Vets £149.00 £24.92 £76.40 Ringwood, Hampshire
Cedar Vets £250.00 (£50.00 additional dogs up to 5) £149.00 £59.50 Ringwood, Hampshire
Beaumont Vet Group £250.00 (£50.00 additional dogs up to 5) £15.00 £76.00 Oxford
St Annes Vets £201.61 £20.00 £55.00 Eastbourne, Sussex
The Vets Salisbury £125.00 £17.25 £43.27 Salisbury, Wiltshire

Find and independent veterinary practice for the best prices.

5. Rabies Vaccination

You must have your vaccination at least 21 days prior to travel.

At the time of writing, I have not been able to establish if the Rabies jab is every 1 year or 3 years.

6. Tapeworm Treatment

For pets travelling to: Finland, Ireland, Northern Ireland, Norway or Malta they will need an additional tape worm treatment, and this will be added to the Animal Health Certificate.

The treatment must have been given no less than 24 hours and no more than 120 hours (5 days) before travel date.

The treatment must:

  • be approved for use in the country it’s being given in
  • contain praziquantel or an equivalent proven to be effective against the Echinococcus multilocularis tapeworm

Make sure your vet has put added the following details in the ‘Echinococcus treatment’ section of the animal health certificate

  • the name and manufacturer of the product
  • the date and time they treated your dog
  • their stamp and signature

7. Arriving in the EU – entry points

Dogs travelling into an EU country from a third country i.e., United Kingdom other than Andorra, Switzerland, Faroe Islands, Gibraltar, Greenland, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Monaco, Norway, San Marino, and Vatican City State enter via the travellers point of entry (TPE) designated by the EU country where they go through the appropriate checks.

8. Repeat trips to EU

You will need an animal health certificate every time you enter the EU, but pets will not need another rabies vaccination if the vaccination is up to date.

For Finland, Ireland, Northern Ireland, Norway or Malta each trip will require tapeworm treatment.

9. Taking more than 5 animals

You cannot take more than 5 animals on a trip to the EU unless you have evidence the animals will be: competing, showing or in a sporting event.

check out the Government website for all the latest news and updates for travelling with your pets abroad

10. Travelling during Covid outbreaks

Check with your Travel Agent first or if travelling independently, check the guidance from the country you are travelling to, see Foreign travel advice. You will need to know if they have any quarantine requirements, show a valid vaccination certificate or whether they will allow British Citizens in their country at all.

Get tested using a private covid-19 tester see travel test providers.

Get an NHS Covid pass see Using your NHS Covid pass.

11. Get Digital Covid pass

If you are fully vaccinated then it is worth applying for the NHS Digital Covid pass just to make travelling simpler and in some countries such as France, they may ask for this. Everyone over the age of 16 are eligible for this, younger children will need a negative COVID test. The digital pass is only valid for 30 days.

Find out more here.

12. Different rules from Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales

There are different rules depending on where you are travelling from so make sure you check this before travelling: Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland.

13. Time left on passport

Each country has their own rules about time left on passports at time of entry, make sure you check this before booking your holiday. See here.

14. Do you need a visa?

Check here to see if you need a visa to entry the country you are visiting.

15. Travel Insurance, what does it require

We leave home with Travel Insurance as we just don’t know what lies ahead but to get the best price you may need to show vaccinations or Covid testing results. Check first.

16. Travelling safely with pets during pandemic

Check the guidance about best practice for travelling safely on public transport and visiting shops, restaurants abroad. Here are the guidelines:

  • Ventilation: keep car windows or hotel windows open to improve air circulation
  • Wash hands more frequently and keep hands away from the face
  • When coughing or sneezing cover up the mouth and nose and dispose of tissues appropriately



Brexit has made it much harder for those wishing to holiday abroad with their dogs from the UK. We do not like to leave our dogs in kennels when we travel, we like to take them with us and Brittany Ferries does, or did, offer an overnight Ferry from Portsmouth to Caen with dog friendly cabins.

Brittany Ferries offer pet friendly cabins on 4 ships: Connemara (Rosslare to Bilbao), Galicia (Portsmouth to Santander), Salamanca (Portsmouth to Santander) and Normandie (Portsmouth to Caen).

The price of taking your dogs to the EU has increased considerably but the requirement for a blood test has been removed, so they only need an Animal Health Certificate instead of a pet passport and as long as the rabies vaccination is up to date then this doesn’t need to be an additional expense.

Taking our 3 dogs to France is going to cost us £450 before we even start to thinking about accommodation and Ferry costs so this is a big consideration to future holidays.

Did you find this interesting?
User Review
0 (0 votes)

Follow Us

Follow us on Social Media