Dog Travel Blog

Real life experience of travel with dogs and Pet Passports in France

New DEFRA pet passport travel rules from 2012


This is an update as at 1st January 2012

As at 1st January 2012, the pet passport process became much simpler (and much cheaper!).  Gone are the days of the rabies jab, blood tests and then a six month wait before re-entry into the UK that we were familiar with.  The new requirements, as we understand them, are set out below.  However, we urge you to double check with the DEFRA website, by phoning DEFRA itself or by talking to your vet that you have everything fully prepared before you cross that channel.  In our experiences on Eurotunnel,  there has been NO check as we leave the UK – we are not asked for our pet passports, we have not been required to show any documentation.  That all happens when we come back into the UK.  So, if you leave the UK without the proper paperwork, you and your pet will be in trouble when you try to re-enter the UK.  You are warned!

So, from 1st January 2012 (for entry into the UK from the EU and some specifically listed non EU countries – refer to DEFRA’s website for more detailed information regarding the requirements for pets coming into the UK from other non EU countries):

  • Your pet will need to be chipped by your vet
  • Your pet will need to have a rabies vaccination
  • Your vet will need to complete a pet passport, documenting your pet’s chip number and stamping the correct page to show the rabies vaccination has been given and its expiry date – you will need to keep this passport very safe and take it with you when you and your pet travel!
  • Wait 21 days before travel
  • No less than 1 day but no more than 5 days before your scheduled return to the UK, you must visit a vet to have your pet treated for tapeworm (the requirement for the treatment for ticks has now ended).  This will usually be in the form of tablets, perhaps Milbemax.  The vet MUST stamp the relevant page to show that treatment has been given (with date and time).  This is what will be examined at your departure point.   Our advice is to double check the vet’s entry in the passport before you leave the surgery especially if the treatment has been given at a surgery a long way from your departure port/airport.  If this treatment isn’t given or the treatment has been given outside of the 1 to 5 day window, you will not be able to re-enter the UK.

Things are much simpler now.  But, don’t forget that there are bugs and pests which will make a beeline for your pet while abroad so you still need to give him or her protection:

  • You should buy a Scalibor collar if you are going to the hot climates like the southern regions of France, Spain, Portugal, Greece etc to protect your pet from mosquitos which can pass on leishmaniasis (this is a very nasty disease and you will want your pet to avoid it at all costs)
  • Even though tick treatment is not necessary now for re-entry into the UK, you’d be well advised to still treat your pet yourself against ticks as they can carry nasty diseases.  We would still plan to treat our dogs just before heading into France and just as we get back.  We also give them a dose of Milbemax before we arrive in France to protect them against tapeworm and heartworm while they are there, on top of the treatment they will also receive at the vet before coming back into the UK.

I must say that I’m not entirely comfortable with giving my dogs too many chemicals in these tablets and topical treatments but I’d rather do that than risk them getting leishmaniasis, heartworm or some horrible illness from a tick.

And, finally, do not let that rabies vaccination expire.  At least now it wouldn’t mean another six month wait but you would be stranded abroad for 21 days at least if you realised you’d let the rabies vaccination expire while you were away.

If you’re thinking of somehow skirting the rules, perhaps by taking a risk and trying to avoid the Pet Control at the ferry ports, don’t.  Rabies exists in some parts of Europe – that’s a horrible fact.  We do not want it in the UK and we do not want the Pet Travel Scheme being put at risk by people trying to bend the rules.

The motto of all this is be prepared and organised where your pets are concerned so that you can all have a bon voyage!

posted under | 228 Comments »

228 Responses to “New DEFRA pet passport travel rules from 2012”

  1. Sharon says:

    i was worried about the return home as we are going to France and Germany in August, but you blog has helped me loads


  2. Lucy says:

    Thank you so much for a fantastic helpful site. We want to take our dalmation to Chamoneix for a month from the middle of Jan and I will be contacting my vet on Monday as I’m a bit worried about the six month re entry but is that changing from Jan? I’m a bit confused… Kindest Regards Lucy

  3. J Wilson says:

    It would be great if they would allow us just to do the treatment ourselves and not have to visit the vet every time. It would make timing the return journey much more flexible and not so stressful. And it would also make it much easier for people who want to take a short break in France – which I imagine would be very common if you are lucky enough to live in the South of England.
    Great website though – keep up the good work !

  4. s.metcalfe says:

    We have a home in France as well as England and we travel here every 6 weeks. Our Westie is 8 and she has travelled here 5 times per year for the last 8 years and each time we come back to England a visit to the vet is required.

    Surely Tick And worm treatment could be administed by caring owners.
    The new rules will make it a lot more flexable for travel if no vet vist is required. heres Fingers & Toes crossed

    • jill wilson says:

      How are you supposed to tell a caring owner from a well meaning but misguided owner? Better to be safe than sorry . we don’t want their diseases killing our dogs.

  5. Nick Bradshaw says:

    Hi, I will be in France this December, and have to return before the 1st Jan, so unfortunately have to leave my Lottie until the new year for a few days in order for me to collect her after that date. Can anyone recommend a good kennel near Calais? Thanks, in anticipation, and I don’t think I am the only one in this position, unless DEFRA bring the date forward!!

  6. Ylande Evison says:

    They are thinking of extending the window from 24-48 hours to 5 days….much more workable, and of course, no tick treatment needed.

    I just wish they would make a decision, less than 2 months to go until the change & still nothing!!

  7. Judy Bean says:

    At least the proposals to extend the window for worm treatment from the current 24/48hrs to 1-5 days will make travel plans much easier. I don’t know how many people have found that a lot of French vets do not believe in giving too much tick/worm treatment and most of the ones we visit usually tell us to give it when we want. Our dogs have been travelling with us since the pet passport came into being when we had to fill out paperwork prior to returning which was faxed through to our port of entry (luckily this was only for a couple of trips under the passport was issued), we have found that the further from the ports that you are visiting a vet, the cheaper it is, one tip I would give is to always ask how much the visit will be (take your own treatments) and if you have more than one dog haggle for the best price for both. If it seems too much say thank you but au-revoir and they will soon change their minds as it’s easy money for old rope for them. We usually pay between 20 – 30euro for 2 dogs but some times even less. Just always check the passport thoroughly before leaving the area to make sure the times/dates & stamps are correct.
    Roll on 2012:-)

  8. Ann H says:

    This from DEFRA site:

    What you need to do if you are travelling from 1 January 2012

    From 1 January 2012 tapeworm rules will apply to pet dogs only. Not less than 24 hours and not more than 120 hours (1-5 days) before its scheduled arrival time in the UK under the Pet Travel Scheme, your dog must be treated against tapeworm and the treatment recorded in the EU pet passport or the third country official veterinary certificate.
    •No treatment is required for dogs entering the UK from Finland, Ireland or Malta).
    •Please refer to separate advice if you are travelling with assistance dogs

    Your dog must be treated against the tapeworm Echinococcus multilocularis using an approved/licensed veterinary medicine whose active ingredient is Praziquantel, or an equivalent product. You should check with your vet to ensure the correct treatment is used.

    A qualified vet must carry out and record the treatment in your pet’s passport or third country certificate. You must not administer the treatment yourself. The vet will charge you for this service. The treatment must be carried out every time your pet enters the UK.

    If, before you enter the UK, less than 24 hours has passed since the treatment, you will have to wait until the full 24 hours have passed before you can enter with your pet. If the treatment was done more than 120 hours before you enter the UK, you will have to have your pet treated again, have the treatment recorded in the relevant document, and wait at least 24 hours before entry. In these circumstances the waiting period and treatment for tapeworm can be carried out in quarantine.

    Pets being taken abroad from the UK on day trips will need to have the treatment carried out in the UK not less than 24 hours and not more than 120 hours before they enter the UK on the return journey. In these circumstances, it is recommended that a further treatment should be administered 28 days after return.

    Pet owners are reminded that it is considered good practice to regularly treat their animals against a range of ticks and tapeworms as part of their routine health management, especially if travelling abroad. Veterinarians are advised to discuss with their clients the appropriate course of action.

  9. Rosalyn Wie says:

    Looks like it is definite that we will have a bigger window to work in as it has been clarified that there will now be 1-5 days to get the visit to the vet prior to returning to Uk.

    We are dying to take our mini wire abroad with us in the summer.

  10. Montecristo says:

    AMEN!! it will also allow Canadian dogs to visit the UK! Since the law was created in the 18th century it was about time it was amended…. and the UK now has a long open channel to France … a rat could easily bring rabies back to the UK … far more likely than a well cared for lap dog! If it is in line with the rest of the EU where we have traveled a lot – then it will be just a vet certificate proving your dog has had a rabies vaccine and all other usual shots and microchipping (ISO 15 digit). That will be it.

  11. Glyn says:

    At last they have made a decision and surprise surprise we are NOT “falling in line with the rest of europe” we will still have to be ripped off visit a vet ………… if we MUST be different from the rest of europe why cant OUR vet do it & save messing about abroad ? worm tablets are effective for 3 months ……. I am really dissapointed with this

  12. Pippa says:

    Can anyone tell me what happens at the Anglo French border? I want to take a puppy to Brittany for my brother and sister in law to keep there. It seems to be very difficult to find out what a puppy needs to have to STAY in France. If it is a long drawn out process – guess who has to look after the puppy till a passport is done – but does anyone check cars leaving Britain? I would be traveling with two other dogs who will have passports.

  13. ann says:

    We have used the petpassport for quite a few years. Last Summer the vet we booked into in the Spanish pyreenes didn’t have a rubber stamp- so she wrote her tel number. practice details and qualification number. At the border- eurotunnel- they wouldn’t accept the details, the evidence of payment or telephone her. They said it was a growing problem. We had to go to a vet in Calais (just in time to beat the clock ticking!) and pay for the stamp.
    Beware…stamp is essential.

    RE anglo French border –you can take out any number of dogs. With euro tunnel they want to see you have paid for theri ticket and tht you are not asecurity risk so they might search your car for explosives. if you want to bring dogs back in to England you will have to start the process at least 6 months in advance.-chec with defra.

  14. Andy Sherratt says:

    Can anyone confirm about taking a dog out of the country immediately after the rabies vaccination – we were late getting the booster for our dog and are planning to go to France 18 days after the vaccination, returning more than 21 days later. Would be reassuring to know we won’t have any issues.

  15. jay says:

    my vet says I do not need to give an annual rabies booster and it can be done every 2 years. We have not taken our dog to France/Spain yet. Will this be a problem please?

    • Editor says:

      In the UK, there is no law to vaccinate any dog against rabies. We only have to do it to travel with our dogs abroad. Therefore, the vaccination only has to be repeated at its expiry. This can be two or three years depending on the type of rabies vacc your vet uses. Our vet, for example, uses a vaccination which has a three year expiry. In mainland EU countries, such as France, it is the law to vaccinate dogs against rabies every year. This does not affect UK dogs unless you decide to permanently live abroad in which case you would then need to adhere to the laws in that country.

  16. So nice to finally find a useful blog. Thanks so much for taking the time to write this up 🙂

  17. Janet says:

    Thank you for all you advice and your blog. I have been reading this web site
    For over a year now and it has been of great value to me.

    The time is almost upon us when in April I am taking my two lovely dogs through Feance down to Andalucia for 12 weeks …… CAN’T WAIT !!

    So carry on blogging and HAPPY TRAVELING TO ALL

  18. rachel mcdermott says:

    Very useful information.

    Thank you so much for taking the time to coplie it. It is very well written and easy to follow. Answered loads of questions I had.

    Can I publish the link on GSD Owners and Obedience UK?



  19. sam boylett says:

    hi ,,, i was wondering if you can help me out ive sold a terrier dog to a friend in france but im going to have to take it over for him !!! so the dog will not be coming home with me . so will the dog need a passport as i intend traveling by ferry ?

    • Editor says:

      Hi. I’d check with Defra to be sure, but we think that there are no formal requirements for dogs to leave the UK – the Passport is required for entry into the UK. However, as you are technically importing a dog into France, there might be French regulations to which you will need to adhere (it is the law in France for dogs to be rabies vaccinated on an annual basis).

      Also, the ferry company may have its own checks (like when you use a kennel in the UK).

      If there is the slightest possibility that you or your friend will bring the dog back to the UK then organising a Pet Passport in the UK might be the least-hassle option.

      All the best

  20. Sue Jackson says:

    I read your BLOG last year before going on our first holiday to France with our Border Collie. It was brilliant and made our trip go so smoothly. This year we are going back to France for a holiday in May and then back again in September. The September holiday will be spent near the border with Switzerland. I know that you have visited the site we are staying at. Is it Ok to come and go through the border of France/Switzerland with our dog? I presume I will have to carry her passport along with ours at all times? We are tinking of spending odd days walking in Switzerland and then returning to the site based in France at night. Are you able to help?



    • Editor says:

      Hi Sue. Thanks for your nice comments! Re Switzerland, have a look at this link. We walked from France into Switzerland when we stayed in the Jura but have never driven in and out with the dogs. Also, we’ve found this bit of interesting advice on TripAdvisor: “Visitors who have a domestic animal with them must also have its “passport” showing proof of innoculations, etc. And check local regulations concerning dogs closely. In some places muzzles are required and in others some breeds are not permitted. In all cases dogs must be kept on a lead, regardless of the area”. Just proves to us that when it comes down to it, we think France is about the dog friendliest place going! If in any doubt, call DEFRA for some more solid advice. Good travels!

  21. Sue Jackson says:

    Hi thanks once again for such great advice, really appreciated. Van I just ask did you use the Scalibor collars in Annecy/Switzerland? I know I also need to have a conversation with my vet.

    Can I just add that the camping site coverage is excellent we had chosen Le Tailefer and then I revisited your BLOG and I was totally convinced it was the site for us as we also like the CL sites in the UK, they are much better for us and our dog. Please keep the comments coming, as like you we hope one day to be able to take longer periods of time touring Europe. Work just gets in the way at the moment!!!!

    Kind Regards


    • Editor says:

      Our dogs have worn scalibor collars throughout our travels in France, including Annecy. We just make the decision that we’d rather not take any risk we don’t need to with regard to them being bitten by something nasty like a sandfly. The collars do also protect against ticks which is an added benefit. Le Tailefer is a lovely site and the family running it is really friendly. We had a great time there – had it pretty much to ourselves if I remember. Hope you have many more happy travels!

      • Anne Grose says:

        Be careful with Scalibor collars if you have a dog of a collie breed, as they can be violently allergic to them.

        Both of my collie crosses (lurcher and a collie/basset) were so allergic to them they nearly scratched themselves to death for 5 days and they only had them on for 3 hours.

  22. paula says:

    would be obliged for the adress and e mail of the vets practice in ardres
    calais france thanks

  23. Becca MacD says:

    We’re planning on going out to France over Easter from Thursday evening to Monday afternoon by Eurotunnel. Do you know if it’s possible to get our vet in the UK to give our dog the tapeworm treatment. We normally get it done by a vet in France, but seeing as it’s Easter weekend (will probably be closed or twice the price!) and it’s now changed to a 5 day window, do you know if this is do-able?
    Love the blog – we have so much fun travelling around Europe with our little yorkie, but it’s always a nightmare trying to find out if and how the rules have changed – this makes life much easier!

    • Editor says:

      That’s a really good question! The time window fits and I think it’s ok, but I would check with DEFRA just in case they stipulate it can’t be done on the UK side – got to protect those foreign vet fees!

  24. Becca MacD says:

    Thanks – I just phoned DEFRA and they said that would be fine to get our UK vet to administer the tapeworm treatment. It definitely makes life so much easier for weekend / long weekend trips over!

  25. M Mauger says:

    Hi Can anyone recommend any vets near Calais or any other location a day or two away from the port and give me an idea of how much I should expect to pay for them to administer the tape worm tablet?

  26. bigdogzola says:

    Hello – very nice to find yoursuper blog..I live in South of France and it’s soooo nice now to have some time to travel up to Englandwithout worrying about thedog travel rules – here’s a little video we made on the tunnel (heehee):

    Anyway now we make a holiday on the way up without worrying about the 24/48hr rule to get over to England etc…

    Hope you have French holiday fun this year! Greetings from France! Bigdogzola xx

  27. Birgit says:

    Hello, we are planning to travel with our Mini Labradoodle from Ireland to Germany this year. As far as I understand we need the passport with a valid rabies vaccination and also a tapeworm treatment ( only on the way back to Ireland?)
    Does anyone have tipps for the trip on the ferry?
    Between UK and Mainland is it better to take the Eurotunnel /Train or the Ferry?
    Does the dog have to stay in the car while the trip?
    Thanks for your help in advance

  28. Birgit says:

    Hello, we are planning to travel with our Mini Labradoodle from Ireland to Germany this year.
    Does anyone have tipps for the trip on the ferry?
    Between UK and Mainland is it better to take the Eurotunnel /Train or the Ferry?
    Does the dog have to stay in the car while the trip?
    Thanks for your help in advance

  29. Ellie Judson says:

    Thanks for an interesting site.

    Our experience: we were told at the channel port, by the customs officer who checked our documents as we left France last year, that he could have refused UK re-entry to Tosca, our cocker spaniel, if he’d been a Jobsworth. The problem? When we took Tosca to the Dunkirk vet for her flea treatment etc, the receptionist scanned Tosca’s microchip and used a black biro to fill in the date and time in her passport. The vet himself entered the product used, and his signature, with a blue biro. The customs guy said that it could have indicated fraud: the vet may have filled in the treatment details outside the timeframe, giving us the opportunity to fill in the date and time ourselves, to fit in with our sailing. He said that on future visits to France, we should ensure that the same biro was used for all the entries !!! When I told our home vet about this, he said that it’s best if all the entries in the passport are made in blue ink, so that owners can’t be accused oby customs officers of photocopying false details into the passports.

    • Gaz says:

      This same thing has happened to me, except that the VET involved was an absolute jobsworth and now my dog is stuck in UK quarantine for 4 months!

      We prepared everything in Vietnam before I left, Layla had rabies vaccinations at 6 months and then a booster after she had her microchip. We waited 30 days and sent the blood sample which was passed and DEFRA confirmed that she would only spend 1 month in quarantine. Then when she arrived in the UK the vet say trhat a date had been crossed out and so now it is 4 months in quarantine, no chance of appeal and absolutely no understanding or flexability from DEFRA.
      Does anyone know if there is a way to challen ge this? Why can’t I pay to have the original sample tested against a new sample to prove it was from my dog?
      Every email from DEFRA starts and ends with ‘paperwork, paperwork, box ticking and paperwork’ they are such jobsworths and don’t seem to care about either animal welfare or whether or not she has rabies, they just want their boxes ticked because they are mindless jobsworth drones, hate them!

  30. Joyce Fuller says:

    Does my dog require tapeworm treatment to enter the
    Republic of Ireland from Northern Ireland.

  31. Elaine Roberts says:

    We travel to France regularly with our four dogs, but we have just adopted a year old dog. She had her rabies vaccination on the 4th May 2012 and has a passport.

    We leave for France on the 13th May and return 4 weeks later. Am I allowed to take the new dog with us to France even though the vaccination for rabies was only given approx 10 days prior to entering France?

    Would really appreciate your comments on this ASAP. Thnkyou.

  32. Andrew Kitchen says:

    Hi Great information found on the site, however just a small question. Do the vets administering the return drugs have to be registered to the scheme or can it be any vet so long as they have a practice stamp? We found France easy, but this year it is Hungary so I’m worried.
    Regards Andrew

  33. Roxanne Moore says:

    We are awaiting the arrival of our puppy in June. We have a house in France and travel regularly but only for 1 – 3 days.
    I’ve been reading about visiting the vet before you leave the Uk and again before re entry to the UK, but if I go for the weekend only, will the treatment given before the leave the Uk still be valid on re entry?
    Typically we would take the Friday afternoon ferry from Dover and return on Sunday night. I am hoping the answer is yes!, as otherwise taking our pet to France would be a nightmare and impossible to comply with the vet visits over a weekend! The French take their weekends seriously and cannot imagine finding a a vet on a Sunday…. many thanks in advance for any comments on this.

  34. Sarah Holman says:

    Love this site – it’s answered all my questions and we are looking forward to taking our Yorkie out to France for the long bank holiday weekend in June! Plan to get our vet in the UK to give the tapeworm treatment as we’re only away for 4 days, so within the 1-5 day time limit!

  35. Maria says:


    I would like to know how well Defra officers check the pets and the documents when you arrive to the UK. Are they really careful and look at all the information in the passport without missing a point or they are now more relaxed and just overlook the documents? Do they verify the vet who fills the forms and so on?


  36. Gail C says:

    Hi there
    FYI – I’ve answered my previous question – the Pet Travel Scheme confirmed that you can get the deworming stamp in the UK on a friday and have it be valid on your return to the UK on the sunday

  37. Maureen Hall says:

    So glad I found this forum. We are taking our dog for a weekend to France, and were worried about getting a vet over the weekend to see him there. Now it seems we can just see our own vet before we depart for the treatment required. This is right, isn’t it?

    • Editor says:

      As long as you will not be in France longer than the 1-5 day window, you can have the treatment done in the UK.

  38. Hazel k says:

    Our cocker spaniel has had 2 rabies shots and on both blood tests shows no antibodies. Vet says she could not be covered by pet passport as she had not passed the blood test. Would this still be the case now the new rules have come in , could she get a passport as blood test result is not required.
    we hope to go th france September but are worried now.
    Thanks Hazel

    • Editor says:

      Under the new rules, you would need the vet to re-vaccinate against the rabies and prepare the pet passport as the blood test is no longer carried out and you’d be fine.

  39. Jeff says:

    The 21 day after initial Rabies vacinnation wait applies to entering France as well as coming back to the UK. So you cannot leave the UK immediately after the injection. I have confirmed this with Defra, please can you update your website. Thanks.

    • Editor says:

      I have to say thank you very much for this comment. I am so glad you have corrected us on this. I asked the same question of DEFRA a long time ago and was told that you could leave the UK immediately after the vaccination but there were the obvious rules for re-entry. But we have checked on the website of the French equivalent of DEFRA and it states that the initial rabies vaccination is “considered valid after 21 days”. I guess DEFRA is only particularly concerned with entry into the UK, not into other countries. Anyhow, thanks once again. We’ve updated the site accordingly. I suppose this only goes to show that it’s important to check, check again and check once again before heading abroad with our pets!

      • Eric says:

        And still the DEFRA pet scheme ONLY mentions entering or re-entering the UK only after 21 days following the rabies vaccination. This is not very clear at all!!! Even the Euro Tunnel states “when leaving the UK pets are not required to go to the pet check zone”… This IS a clear statement!

      • Martin says:

        I guess DEFRA is only concerned with entry of pets INTO the UK. Out of the UK is not an issue to them and rules may differ from country to country in any case. Best to just build in that 21 day leeway after that very first rabies jab.

  40. Sarah says:


    We’re looking at getting a cocker spaniel in October when it will be 8 weeks and taking it to France in November for a few months. The breeder says as long as the puppy is under 12 weeks we will not need to have the rabies vacc in the UK, and only when we return to France in May 2012.

    Can anyone confirm if this is correct? Can the dog travel to France without the rabies jab if under 12 weeks?

    We will have the normal puppy vaccinations done before we leave.

    Thanks for advice in advance

  41. Sarah says:

    Sorry I need to alter my last comment at the end of the first paragraph – I meant to say ‘ when we return from France in May 2013’.


  42. Sugarandsnails says:

    So much easier although my uk vet was concerned that the new rules poses a greater risk to rabies in uk. My dog was vaccinated in France and the booster was due in 2 years but in uk its one year ( same vaccine???) needless to say when we went for booster we were too late and needed blood test etc . New rules are so much easier, more straight forward and much more affordable. Hooray!

  43. Sugarandsnails says:

    Sarah, your dog only needs to be vaccinated to return to uk. Not to leave

  44. Simon says:

    If I am only going to France/Belgium for less than 5 days can I get my dog wormed before I go? Or must it be done abroad?

    • Editor says:

      As long as you will be returning to the UK within the five days, you can have the treatment done and the passport completed in the UK before you leave. Check with DEFRA if you need re-assurance on this.

  45. Jenny R says:

    We are nervously thinking of taking our two labradors to Hungary next year starting their pets passport within the next few weeks. Am i right in thinking that i can get our dogs checked in hungary before returning to UK as the timing has now changed to 1 – 5 days. The trip from Hungary to Dunkirk takes a good 20 hours without many stops but with the dogs we would need to stop far more fequently possibly with an overnight stop in Germany. I tried to find a vet in Dunkirk but failed miserably – at least i have time on my side if it is 1 – 5 days. Anyone know of an English speaking vet in the Balaton region of Hungary and do i need these special collars in Hungary??

    • Editor says:

      If you enter ‘vets in Dunkerque’ on Google, you will find several references to English speaking vets in that area. Personally, I would see a vet there rather than in Hungary simply because the port vets are so familiar with the passports. But perhaps someone else will have some info for you re a vet in that part of Hungary. Re the scalibor collars (assuming that’s what you’re referring to), these are needed particularly in hot southern climates where sandflies exist. Again, if you search for ‘sandflies in Hungary’ on Google, there are some results. The collars do also protect against ticks. Hope you have very happy travels! 🙂

  46. elizabeth says:

    Hi there

    I must say your website with all its information has helped me over these last days. My husband got told he was moving to france with his job and things had to move very fast. We have two newfoundlands,Bella is only 1, and lucy is 9. We had to rush to the vets in the uk and get their pet passport, both are micro shipped anyway, so all they needed was rabies shots. I didnt realise until the vet told me that they couldnt leave for 21 days… its been very hard as they are staying with a lady from the newfoundland rescue in the middle of the northumberland national park, and im counting the days till we can go get them. Bella is missing us so much and at first wasnt eating…and as lucy is quite old all she does is sleep alot !!!! its a long way for us to travel back from Toulouse so I am trying to find out the best way of doing the journey. I will probably fly home to Glasgow and hire a car and drive to folkstone…where i will drop off the hire car and meet my husband who will have driven from france. Then we will get the dogs into our car and start our new lives…. I wish i hadnt had to leave them as its breaking my heart every day…but Im glad I found your website, it has helped, and we will be getting the dogs scalibor collars as it gets very hot here in the spring and summer… thank you again and I will update you when we arrive with our babies….

  47. Lucy says:

    I will be in France from January for potentially up to as much as 5 months with my two dogs who already have their PET passports. One has had one since the old set of rules and had a blood test at that time after his first jab etc as normal. Our second dog had her’s sorted under the new system.
    My question is regarding if and when I would need to reboost under France’s guidelines considering they are potentially going to be there up to 5 months.
    The vaccines they have had in the UK are valid for up to 2 years and all currently in date and not due to expire for a while. But I’m aware that in France generally, dogs tend to get vaccinated for rabies yearly?
    How long do we have to be in the country before we refer to the French protocol and they get counted as “French” dogs? Will this affect their reentry into the UK when we do go back?
    Or do we not need to reboost at all and can remain with our two year lasting UK ones which (with their validity/non-expiry) will allow us reentry into the UK whether we return after 3 months or 5 months or whatever it may be?

    Many thanks for any light you may be able to shed on this question 🙂

    • Editor says:

      I would suggest visiting your local vet once you’ve started living in France. I have a feeling that a dog is categorised as resident after 3 months and would therefore require annual rabies vaccination but the vet would be able to confirm for sure. Possibly DEFRA may also know because they may often be answering questions from people who spend whole winters or summers away in Europe so it might be worth giving them a ring.

      • Anne Grose says:

        I live in France and it is NOT a legal requirement to have a rabies vaccination every year.

      • Editor says:

        Thank you for the info. Our French vet had told us that rabies vaccinations in France legally had to be renewed annually (rather than every 2 or 3 years as given in the UK). I guess she meant if the dog was crossing borders rather than just a French dog born and living in France. 🙂

  48. paula says:

    i am leaving the uk for portugal….for good. my lovely st bernard is coming too, does he need the rabies jab if he will not be returning to the uk?

  49. Judith says:

    Hi i was wondering how much it cost for the microchipping, rabies vacinne and passport as i want to take my little yorkshire terrier on holiday to france some time in july

    • Cressida says:

      Hi, I’m in the process of getting my little Yorkie his passport. Fees vary between vets but I paid £17.50 for his microchip, £59 for the rabies vaccine. He has to visit the vet again in 2 weeks for a health check and to have his passport issued. I think it’s another £59 fee. The rabies shot lasts for 2 years. It’s been very easy to do and organise. So far no ill effects from the vaccine either. I have used Vets4 pets. All good. I hope that this info helps you.
      I would also like to say what a great site this is. Many thanks for all the good information.

      • Kay says:

        Paid for a first Rabies vacc. today, £38. The passport is £20. Already had the chip when a Pup, that cost £20, although the local Council were doing them free at the time but it wasn’t worth the drive, and no doubt queue, to the venue.

  50. Christine says:


    Can anyone advise me if my dog needs any additional paperwork (besides the pet passport) for entry into Spain.

  51. Pam says:

    Advice welcome please. We are considering bringing a setter home from Greece to UK and are exploring various options. Would I obtain the pet passport in Greece or UK? Also any advice on bringing the dog by air? We have been advised that it is very expensive to bring a dog to London and that it is much cheaper to, say, fly it to Brussels then pick up from there.

    • Editor says:

      Hi. Can’t help with the air travel query but can definitely confirm that all the Pet Passport paperwork including the initial rabies jab will need to completed by a vet in Greece more than 21 days before your planned entry into the UK with the dog. The tapeworm treatment will need to be done and entered into the passport separately in Greece (or the country from which you are departing to enter into the UK) between 1 and 5 days before entry.

    • Ant says:

      Hi Pam, would love to hear how it has gone with bringing your setter back to the UK from Greece. Did it all go o.k. (air carrier passport etc..) I ‘m thinking of doing the same in a few months and would really appreciate some tips (preperation/ flight costs ). Antx

  52. Jim says:

    We are planning to take our dog with us this summer on holiday to the Republic of Ireland. Before the new 2012 rules I believe pets could move freely between the Republic and the UK without restriction of any kind. The 2012 rules apply equally to movement of pets between all EU countries, including the Republic and the UK. However, I have read on the web (unofficial sources) that no checks are made when moving between these two countries – in other words the 2012 regulations changed nothing between Ireland and the UK. However, this can not be confirmed on Defra or Ireland official web sites, as they probably are unwilling to admit they do not enforce EU law. Can anyone confirm what the current state of affairs on the ground at the borders is?

  53. Sam says:

    Hi, I was wondering if anyone has concerns about the actual Rabies vaccine itself? We were hoping to take our dogs to Spain for four weeks in the summer, but I have been reading about the vaccine and how dogs can get terrible side effects, or even die. We are so worried about giving them something that could potentially harm them. Any other opinions on this would be greatly appreciated.

  54. Bill says:

    Hi Pam. Re your question about air travel from Greece. The dog will be required to travel as cargo to the UK at a cost of around £1000. If you fly to Brussels, or anywhere in mainland Europe it will cost around 80 Euros and the dog will go as excess baggage unless it and the case are under 8 Kgs when he/she can travel in the cabin with you for around 40 Euros. I have been trying to discover who has made the rules regarding pet flight into the UK but the airline Also s say it is DEFRA and they say It is the airlines. We regularly travel by train and ferry to Paris to fly to Cyprus with our Papillon.

  55. Lenka Kovacik says:


    As mentioned above, we refused to leave our dog in the car for 2-3 hours while on ferry, so that Eurotunnel was the only option.
    It was not cheap either but I believed that ‘Pet friendly travel’ advertised on Eurotunnel webpage would be worth it. Was it? Decide yourself.

    Bringing cocker spaniel into UK seemed to be very easy as 6 months quarantine was cancelled in January 2012 as new rules were applied. I followed all the requirements on the eurotunnel website including checking DEFRA pages, calling to DEFRA twice and also contacting our vet in Czech and a department for dog transport in Czech. I’ve heard so many people having problems at the France border so no wonder I did as much as I could to prevent it happening to us.
    Result?? Hundred of pounds spent extra for a hotel, car, another booking, french vet…
    Why? I don’t know either. Who to blame? In the stars…
    Everywhere I looked and asked, DEFRA including, no one mentioned that as to a tapeworm treatment, so called Stronhold is not licensed in France. No cry or shout was there to help. Some french officer adviced me in English much worse then mine, that we have to stay in France for 24 hours and have a new Tapeworm treatment by french vet. One Englishman started telling me what happened to them, called one of the officers a lier and she accused him from rasism. So this is how it is in France nowadays…
    Not only we had problems with our car and spent nearly 20 hours driving to France, we had to face another problem to getting acroos the channel…By the way I was supposed to be at work on Monday afternoon, my husnad as well. There was no chance I would leave my dog in a kennel as advice, therefore my husband helped us to find a hotel and left for London on his own. Beny and me waited till the nearest vet opened after lunch break and had injected second tapeworm treatment in last 5 days..Awful isn’t it. And 45 euros lighter..
    Later on, I booked a returned ticket for tonight so that my husband can pick me up from this F.cking country! Yes, they are not all like this, I know. Since yesterday I’ve met several nice Frnech man, including the vet clinic staff. But isn’t it suspicious that there’s soo many vet clinics and hotels in Calais advertising being pet friendly? And french officers saying ‘you are not the only one’…then for sake, if we are not the only one , why anyone hasn’t sorted that out yet?????
    At the border we were shown a leaflet where it says that so called Stronghold is not licensed here. But this leaflet is not available nowhere online, not even on Eurotunnel webpage, nor DEFRA…The only place it’s distributed is at the check in by the tunnel…I looked again at all the available information when booking a trip with pet at eurotunnel website yesterday and there is not a word of any exemption as to which company’s drug is used for the treatment…
    Our vet in Czech is a registered doctor, gives out passports and paperwork for dogs travelling abroad for ages and he has never heard of such a stupid rule. He also used that product on purpose because he believed it’s the best one for our dog available nowadays.

    Its quite said that all the above is about our stress. But who knows how the dog must feel after all this?
    I admit I broke all the rules of this hotel, taking Beny to the breakfast and everytime I go and get a coffe from the machine. Oh yes, officially they want you to leave the dog outside the building while doing anything mentioned above because he is not allowed to stay in the room on his own..Luckily the hotel is not full and the staff is quite friendly and understanding. Probably I am not the first one with similar story…

    I am thinking about sending it out to tv\newspaper or just simply go to court and ask for all the money I had to pay extra and I those lost by having days off…
    But who will pay for the stress that my poor doggie had to go through? It’s priceless!!!!!
    Please do not mention I put him into it. Although he will be 15 this April, he is very fit dog travelling with us to the mountains in Europe every year. If this is so called ‘pet friendly travel’, what it would look like if it wasn’t..would they be beaten or what???

    Hopefully we’ll be more lucky this time…fingers crossed, we are leaving in 2 hours…

    Please spread the information about ‘Stronghold’ to your friends and relatives. It might save a lot of time, money and stress to someone.

    • Editor says:

      You’ve obviously had a difficult experience. Unfortunately, it seems that Stronghold doesn’t cover tapeworm (go to this link: We’ve always had Milbemax administered as the tapeworm treatment. Remember that the UK does not currently have tapeworm so requires stringent treatment for pets who have travelled to areas where tapeworm exists. Stronghold protects against ticks and fleas (which can sometimes pass on tapeworm) but does not protect against tapeworm itself which is why you were told to get your dog treated again. This isn’t the fault of Eurotunnel or the French or the Pet Passport Control – sadly, your vet didn’t administer the correct treatment, however innocently. This is possibly a good reason why it may be better to have this treatment dispensed at a vet closer to your departure point – these vets are more experienced and knowledgeable of the requirements for entry into the UK. Hope you have a good stay in the UK after all the drama. 🙂

  56. Jade says:

    Hi we live in France and we are going travelling in the summer to Corsica Sardinia Italy and Rome then over to Croatia, we our not sure if our dog needs any jabs for this trip just wondering if you could help

  57. Angharad says:

    Hi there,

    My husband and I are moving to the south of Spain in July and have been advised to give our two dogs the Leishmaniasis vaccine before we go. I have been reading up on the possible side effects of taking this vaccination which include swelling,angina and acute pain; I am obviously hesitant to inflict this upon my dogs but equally want to avoid catching the disease itself. Was wondering if you had any more information/advice or personal experiences on whether to administer the vaccine or not as other blogs seem quite hazy.

    Many thanks!

    • Hi Angharad,
      I traveled from Ireland to Malaga last year and I vaccinated my dog, the disease here is quite common and fatal if contracted. It really is horrible… It is contracted by sandflies I think and a flea collar will help but is not a guaranteed option.. My dog was thankfully fine after the vaccinations but it took 3 shots before it is fully effective, the vet checks the blood first before they give it to ensure they don’t have it already. (On a side note not all vets here speak English so maybe bring a dictionary if you don’t speak Spanish)

  58. anne says:….so if we are only going abroad for 3/4 days I will only need to treat for tapeworm here at home??

    • Martin says:

      Well technically yes – at a vet who will do the correct passport paperwork for your pet’s re-entry into the UK. But I think you should double check with DEFRA on this as the wording on their website is a little vague. Perhaps someone else has done this already and can confirm.

  59. I moved with my dog to Andalucia and leishmaniasis is rampant here. On the plus side though there is a vaccination available, it might be worth looking into if you are planning on travelling with a dog in these parts as a flea treatment is not 100% effective.

  60. maxine kendrick says:

    Can anyone advise me the new rules for the booster injection for rabies in Spain. My vet shows 3 years in the pet passport, but I know that Spain did require the booster every year.
    However my vet in Spain did say that it is now 2 years, is this correct? We are travelling to our house in Spain next week, I do use Advantix and Advocate, but do I need a collar for leishmaniasis as we are situated in the Costa del Sol, I am worried reading the above posts.

  61. Tanya says:

    This blog is brilliant, thanks. I’ve gained more info from here than Defra! My dog has had a passport now for three years, he’s due a booster this week so went to the vets to make an appt for his booster, they had sent me the usual reminder which I assumed was to keep his passport going. The receptionist asked me what the appt was for and I said his booster, isn’t that the one to do with his passport? So now I’m confused as I didn’t seem to get a straight answer and just kept referring to Defra! All I want to know is how long is his passport valid for? With or without the booster? I wasn’t confused before ( so I thought!) he’s 13 now and gets really stressed with visits to the vet so the less I go the better. They said it might only be three years.? When I asked does he have to go through all the rabies injection process again, if so when? They said look it up on Defra. I think the rules change so much they just didn’t want to commit to anything either way!!
    Re: travelling Europe… Believe or not I’ve done a fair bit with my dog.. I’m now wondering how haha! Euro tunnel to France, no one checked the passport or even looked at the dog. , it was done on a machine. Through France, to the south, along the coast throught to Italy, no border control, through Italy to Ancona. At Ancona I paid for ferry to Patras , supplied passports for both of us but no looking over the dog! Drove off ferry , to Killini from there to Zante. No one looked at the dog, stayed for the summer. Sprayed him and me with Avon skin so soft, ( mosquito deterrent so I’m told- which seemed to work) and put garlic on his food. The ferries to Greece are much better than ours, they had a camper deck, with electric hook up, and we stayed in the camper for the journeys, dogs are allowed on the ferry deck but only outside. On my return , now with my daughter, we had a ferry again from Patras to Venice, I can’t remember if someone checked over the dog at Patras but certainly no tablets, injections. Back through th Alps, via Brittany and St malo to Portsmouth. He cut his paw in the Alps and we visited a lovely vet in Morzine ( highly recommend her) then another in Brittany for the return to UK. They were lovely too, very patient as he go into such a state going through the door that they let me give him the tablet in the reception area!! All through Europe he was welcomed in restaurants, bars, banks, shops, even McDonald’s gave him a cup of water and I didn’t have to ask. They say a muzzle is required but I’ve not had to use it. The only time I didn’t have it was in Venice so he wasn’t allowed on any of the boats. Also drove from Geneva back to France and again , plain sailing. Hope this has been helpful if a bit toooo long!!!

    • Martin says:

      The pet passport is valid as long as there is an up to date rabies vacc recorded within it. Re checking across European borders, there are unlikely to be checks as we now have an open border situation between EU members. We understand that annual rabies jabs are a legal requirement within mainland EU countries. Your pet passport is a UK requirement for entry into the UK. Non EU countries may have their own rules.

  62. Liam O'Dowd says:


    We’re due to take our dog out of the UK next friday as we’re moving to Ibiza. We didn’t realise his rabies booster had expired so had it done first thing this morning. Anyone know how strict they are about dogs going into France? We are spending 12 days there before heading to Spain so he’ll be fine going into Spain, its more getting out of the UK that we’re worried about.

    He’s had rabies vaccinations since 6 months all up to date so his passport has plenty of stamps, its just a case of whether he’ll get thoroughly checked on the way out and if anyone will bother to do the maths on the dates!

  63. Lynn says:

    We have the same situation as Liam, our dogs rabies vaccine expired on 3/6/13, he’s booked to get his booster tomorrow. Do we have to wait the full 21 days before leaving UK for Spain? We were planning to enter France on the first lap of our journey 14 days after his booster!

  64. Sandra says:

    We are moving to Ireland and want to know if I have to have a passport for my dog’s as I am not bringing them back into the uk.

  65. cally says:

    we are bringing our dog back to the uk at the end of August from Spain,her last rabies jab was 2sept 12 if we get held up (house sale)can we go to our local vet in spain for a booster jab before 2nd sept??
    and does the 21day rule stil apply if she has this booster before her rabies exspires.
    hope this makes sense

    • Editor says:

      The 21 days only applies if you let the vaccination expire but if it was me I would get the booster done in case you forget about it during all your moving arrangements – the last thing you’ll want is a 21 day delay.

  66. Sarah Bateman says:

    Hi there. We have just traveled back from France with our two dogs. We had been staying in Pontivy Brittany and found the vet there to be amazing and much cheaper than the UK vet at home. Travelling back on the Euro tunnel was a piece of cake, just an extra 10 mins! My one question though is that we are returning again to France in just 3 weeks and may come back again to the UK after a following week, How often should the dogs get tapeworm treatment and should it be done every time we return back to the Uk, even if the dosage is still working in our dogs systems?? Thanks

    • Editor says:

      Hi there.rules state treatment within one to five days no matter how often you travel.if you find different then please let us know

  67. Sarah Bateman says:

    oh, i forgot to mention, that even though we were only travelling to Brittany in France, we still got our dogs vaccinated against leishmaniasis, as we have heard that it is spreading all over France and MAY even hit the UK at some point. The course of three jabs was expensive (approx £145 each dog), but was worth the stress of worrying about every mozzie that came near us in the evening! Call me crazy, but we even had the Scalibor collars on them and they had been advocate treated too. Love my dogs too much to risk one nasty bite. The treatment was all great for ticks too. Sarah x

  68. Chris Peters says:

    Please could anyone tell me if they have successfully travelled to France less than 21 days after their dog had the rabies vaccination? My dog had hers yesterday and we plan to travel on 10th August which will be 18 days after (we won’t be returning until 2 weeks after that) . We just need to know we won’t be refused entry to France. We know we are ok coming back to the UK.
    Anyone who can help this will be much appreciated 🙂 x

    • Stephen R says:

      I’m very interested to know more experiences here, due to an unforeseen issue we may have to do the same in September. The Defra web site is unclear about this but did you take your dog, were you checked or OK when going into France?

      • Kathy O'Toole says:

        There was no check on leaving the UK. Our dog was vaccinated the day before we travelled.
        Kathy O’Toole

  69. Chris Peters says:

    Please could anyone tell me if they have successfully travelled to France less than 21 days after their dog had the rabies vaccine ? My dog had hers yesterday and we plan to go to France on the 10th August which will be 18 days after via Eurotunnel. We are not returning to the UK until 2 weeks after that so we know we are ok to return to the UK. We just need to know we won’t be refused entry to France. Does anyone have any experience of this? Any help anyone can give will be much appreciated 🙂 Thank you x

    • Editor says:

      There seem to be no checks on leaving the UK but it’s not impossible for there to be spot checks I guess. Technically you are breaking French law and technically you could be refused entry.

      • Chris Peters says:

        Just returned from our trip to France… Had no problem at all leaving the UK via Eurotunnel less than 21 days after the rabies jab, no checks were made at all and had no problem returning after having the tapeworm treatment.

        Not related to this particular topic but just as a word of warning to those going to France in motorhomes, our motorhome was broken into whilst we were sleeping at a French Autoroute service station with a designated motorhome/caravan parking area and our phones, ipad and money were stolen. A horrible experience and that was with 2 dogs in the motorhome. We were told afterwards by numerous people that these places are targeted and are dangerous and not recommended to stay there overnight. :\

  70. Your blog is most helpful. I didn’t even know about the 21 day requirement and thought it was six months. I am so very happy because I am returning to the UK to live out my “golden years” closer to my family and couldn’t go anywhere without my little Yorkie. At least now, I don’t have to wait six months. Thanks so much for making an “old” young woman very happy.


  71. Kathy O'Toole says:

    Just returned from France following a 2 week holiday with our dog. Travelled via Euro tunnel. Realised just before leaving for holiday that the booster jab had not been given when it expired in oct 12. Rushed to vet night before leaving. Told by vet that rules had been relaxed and the vaccination was valid for 3 years not 2 and it didn’t expire until oct 13. However as he was there I might as well get the booster done and then he would be covered until July 16.
    Such a relief! I thought I’d have to cancel holiday or find someone to look after dog for 2 weeks. Went on holiday, returned 2 weeks later(Sat 27th July)Arrived at pet passport control following horrible 10 hour drive from south of France just so relieved to be getting on the train. Had no doubt that the passport was in order… but of course it wasn’t!
    ‘But zere is a gap, madame, in zee passeport. You dog cannot travel wiz you’. Pleaded with the official, rang the UK vet , he spoke to her but to no avail. As far as they are concerned there is a gap in the passport and we have to wait 21 days before dog can return to uk. So the very thing that I had NEVER wanted to do ie put my dog in kennels ,has happened(this is why I got him a passport at great expense in the first place.) He is currently stuck in France in some Pet- Hotel. Which,incidentally , the official was very quick to give me the details of (do you think they get a commission!)We now have to go back to France on Friday, pay for a hotel for the night return trip through the tunnel and pay for cost of kennel and more tape worm treatment. Le rip off, or what!!

    • Paul Dineen says:

      what was the gap i dont understand

      • Kathy O'Toole says:

        The vaccine was due in Oct 12. Vet said it was valid until oct 13 but didn’t endorse the passport to say that. The gap was from end of oct 12 to `12 July 13 when vaccine was done.

        Actually the gap was irrelevant. The rule we fell foul of was the 21 day wait after having the jab, before coming back to the uk.

    • Emily says:

      My dog has just been give his booster but he also has a gap in his passport as it shows the vaccine was due to expire after 2 years however my vets told me it was 3 years. Does this mean I have to wait 21 days before bringing him back in the country? In your case was the booster still sufficient despite the initial vaccine having expired?

      • Editor says:

        If the rabies vacc expired, you will need to wait the 21 days as far as I understand it.

      • Kathy O'Toole says:

        Sounds like your vet is as hopeless as mine!
        Yes you will have to wait 21 days before bringing him back to UK.
        The fact that the initial vaccine had expired was largely irrelevant. The 21 day wait was the important point.


  72. Tanya says:

    We have just returned from a two week holiday in France. Our 8 year old Basset Hound had a reaction to the tapeworm treatment (Propender Bayer) and died the following day. We are still investigating if this has happened to any other dog. Our lovely boy was fit and healthy before he had the pill, started vomiting an hour and a half later then died of GDV. We are devastated. Any comments welcome.

    • Editor says:

      We are so very sorry to hear this. What a terrible shock for you. Perhaps some light will be shed on what happened.

  73. Diana says:

    Hi. i’m travelling one way to france so i won’t be returning to Ireland with my Dog. Do i need to give her the tapeworm treatment? Thanks!

  74. Kim Woolf says:


    Could someone help with uptp date information..

    Im thinking of brininging a dag back from Spain,

    Would he need to be passported, and rabies injection…how long would it all take?

  75. John says:

    Just thought I would publish this email to DEFRA helpline as it is a bit unususl . . .


    I hope you had a good Bank Holiday break.

    Last Thursday, 22nd August, my family of wife and two grandchildren
    plus dog were returning to UK, (via DFDS Seaways (Dunkirk-Dover,
    pre-booked 1600 hrs ferry), from Germany via Luxembough, Belgium and
    then France.

    The dog had been worm treated by a vet in Germany and Pet Passport
    stamped. Dog microchip number: 985140000044087.

    As we got to Belgium the car broke down and cannot be repaired until
    Thursday at the moment.

    If the car is repaired on Thursday my intention is to retrurn with it
    and dog to UK, probably re-entering UK via DFDS again at Dunkirk/Dover.

    The dog will have expired it’s travel window of 1-5 days on the date in
    the Pet Passport – my question is, will I have to get him treated again
    – wait another 24 hours and then being us all back into UK?

    Grateful for your swift reply, many thanks,

    etc, etc, etc.

    Will post the reply when I get it!!

  76. Kathy O'Toole says:

    Hi John,
    My understanding of the rules is that you would have to (re)visit a vet between 1 & 5 days before your return.
    I’m pretty sure that’s what DEFRA will say.
    Bad luck!

    • John says:

      Coprrect – rules is rule so we were not prepared to poison him again so soon so left him with our daughter till we rDrontal knocks him about for a couple of days, being 45 kgs means he needs a big does. He ho, at least he is well loved while we are away.

  77. mae says:

    Please I need some advice. My kennel in Ireland is requiring that I blood test my vaccinated passport holding irish dogs, after a three weeks trip to France. She claims that is the law in the UK and Ireland. Is that true?

  78. Fraser says:

    Hello, great blog.
    Im returning to the uk from france but cant wait the full 21days.
    What wouldhappen if i try to go home after just 19 days instead?
    Is it worth the risk?
    Many thanks

    • Editor says:

      I really hope you are not suggesting smuggling your dog into the UK rather than going through Pet Control. If so, your actions could put the whole Pet Passport scheme at risk. The 21 days wait after the initial rabies vacc is to give the vacc chance to inbed itself within the animal. It’s not a joke – we don’t have rabies in the UK but taking risks such as this could change that. If you go via Pet Control less than 21 days after that first rabies vacc you will be refused entry. If I’m sounding harsh then I’m sorry but these rules are there for a reason and I don’t want my future trips abroad with my dogs being ruined by people trying to break the rules and spoiling it for everyone.

  79. Mick says:

    We lived in Spain for a number of years and acquired a dog there.A Spanish vet issued a Pet Passport and we had the yearly rabies injections.Since moving back to the UK the dog has had a rabies injection valid date of 3 years.This would cover our trip out to Spain this winter as the injection was this year.
    My wife thinks this may not be accepted on our return as the dog originated in Spain and hence should be vaccinated every 12 months.
    I believe that as we are entering the UK the UK valid date must be accepted.
    There doesn’t seem to be any Defra guidance on this.

    • Editor says:

      As I understand it, as long as the latest rabies vaccination you have documented in the passport is within its valid date that’s what’s important at the Pet Control centre. The origination of the dog should be irrelevant. However, I always say the same thing – phone DEFRA for extra reassurance. You won’t find an answer to such a specific query on DEFRA’s website so a phone call would be necessary. Better to ask the question even if you think you know the answer!!

  80. vallyval says:

    hi this is a very helpful blog,
    however i have one quick question

    i am taking my 2 year old Pomeranian with me to Russia this xmas.
    we are first traveling by car to Sweden to avoid putting him in the luggage area on the plane from London and than flying from Sweden in the cabin with him to Russia.

    we come back on the 1st of January to Sweden and leaving straight away to London by car again.
    my question:
    do i need to give him 2 vaccinations(in Sweden and Russia from tapeworm or will the Russian one still work>?
    many thanx

  81. Zuzana K says:

    Hi I would like to find an answer about rabies vaccination. My dogs have been rabies vaccinated 3/2012 in UK. this vacc was valied for 3year – till 3/2015. I fount out that in France is the law annual rabies vacc. My question is Do I need to re-vacc every year if I want to enter France? I am comfused about this. Thank you for answer.

    • Editor says:

      If you are entering France with your dog solely as a visitor for holidays, you follow the Pet Passport rules which is the 2 or 3 year rabies vacc (depending on which vaccine your vet used and recorded in the passport). If you and your dog are living in France, you are viewed as residential which means you need to follow French law which requires an annual rabies vacc.

      • Zuzana K says:

        Thank you very much for your answer. I am going to Czech Republic (for 2weeks holiday) from England where I live and only driving through France. I am happy to know there is no need to revaccinate my dogs annualy.

  82. Mary Edwards says:

    My husband and I have been planning a trip to Europe in our motorhome with our rescue cross breed for a few months to be utterly devastated to find out that we cannot take her due to her having staffie in here when we got her from the rspca it said she was a cross breed ! Our vets have suggested having a genetic test done to ascertain how much of a staffie she is does anyone know the percentage which would allow her to go she has a fantastic temperament and it is such a shame ALL dogs with any sign of this breed are stereotypical as “dangerous sorry but defra were no help only suggesting french embassy who told me border control deal with this issue when I got nowhere we decided to scrap all our future plans Gutted doesnt cover it !!

  83. Lukasz says:

    Hello, just wondering if you can give me some information. I’m planning to take my dog with me to travel by car this summer. We would go from Amstrdam port to Germany then Poland then Lithuania. Wondering what do we need to have for this?

  84. liz D says:

    HI, we live in France since Aug 2013, our lab has a PETS p/port and has had rabies jab renewed, the last one was June 2013, query, does he need to be vaccinated for rabies again before returning to the UK?

    • Editor says:

      The expiry date of the vaccination recorded in the passport will give you the answer to that.

      • liz D says:


        So we don’t need to convert to a french pet p/port yet, only when it expires. How about the comment if you are in france for longer than 3 maonths it is considered that the dog needs to follow the french rules and have jabs etc as if he was a frnch resident(dog), would this only be the case if his jab was out of date?

        So there should be NO problem visiting UK and returning back home to france?

  85. Tony says:

    Hi, We have been taking our dog to France on holiday for several years and had no problem at all using the pet passport scheme. This year we are staying close to the German and Swiss borders and would like to travel into these countries on day trips.

    I presume that travel with a pet across these borders is easy and does not require any trip to the vet. I would hate to get into Germany only to find that we have to go through some lengthy procedure to get back to our gite in France though! Does anyone have any advice or experience please?

    • Susanne Benfield says:

      Hi my vet in Germany has told me that only the UK requires for the dog to be wormed every time it returns to the UK

  86. Susanne Benfield says:

    Hi I have just come back from Germany and was told by the vet there, that there will be a new pet passport as of 2015. It will be laminated to stop forgery. My question is

    Has anyone else heard this??
    Will I have to apply for this before I go to Germany in December to return in January 2015???

  87. Marilyn says:

    Hi we are driving down to Tenerife, and considering taking our small bichion, she is 12 now, but very young for her age, we want to take about 3 days to get there, when we go through France how do we find the vet for my dog to have her worming tablet also I have to do this for every country I go though I have been told, is this true, also we will be returning by plane.

    • Editor says:

      Hi. The worming requirement is for UK re-entry. However, despite the open border Schengen agreement, some countries may have their own requirements if they’re not part of that arrangement. We’ve driven into Germany and Italy – there are no border controls. There are differing restrictions though from country to country regarding how your pet travels in a car. But surely you’re looking at a ferry crossing for Tenerife – there may be issues there and Tenerife may well have it’s own requirements as it’s an island (despite being Spanish). There are also more complications regarding plane travel …. refer to DEFRA for this one.

  88. leanne says:

    hi, just to offer some info on our experience. we are currently travelling around Europe in our campervan with our 9 year old beagle. we travelled from the UK to Spain, then Morocco, back into Spain, Italy, Eastern Europe next. The pet passport scheme covers all these countries, At no point has anything been checked!! suprising to us, but that’s why the UK re-entry is strict. And quite rightly so. There are wild dogs in lots of countries unvaccinated & dog owners in central Europe are not as vigilant as UK owners. We have kept ‘jake’ up to date with his annual vaccines etc. (heart worm & leishmaniasis is rife in some areas). It really isn’t stressful at all taking a pet abroad, the pet passport scheme is brilliant, its enabled us to travel with our dog for over 7 months now and hopefully another 7 months!!

  89. Jojo says:

    Found a good dog kennels in france based in Normandy and Paris called Goldenway International pets. They also do quartine kennels.

  90. jacqueline Ekins says:

    We moved to the Algarve in Portugal from England last October, and want to buy a Cockapoo from the uk as they don’t have them there. We would return to Portugal by ferry with the puppy who would obviously have a pet passport and be micro chipped etc, and be of a suitable age. Is this viable and easy enough to do when we are not able to spend weeks in the uk whilst all this happens?

  91. Paul Steven says:

    I have read on numerous sites that nobody checks the pet passport when entering France via the tunnel or by ferry from the UK. Is this correct?

    Or do I need to check in my pet when arriving in Calais from the UK? It is not very clear.

    When we traveled to Southern Ireland from the UK last December there were no checks when arriving in Dublin.

    • Dora says:

      We have travelled to France a couple of times with our dogs and hope this is of use.
      Your pet details should be included on your ticket and you will be issued with a card to hang in the windscreen of your vehicle when you check in at Dover. It is a good idea to arrive in plenty of time at the port. Sometimes customs will scan your dog to ensure the details of the microchip match those of the PET passport.
      There is not a problem with taking an animal out of the UK but you have to fulfil certain criteria to bring your pet back into the country.
      Border control will check the pet passport and scan your dog both in Calais and again in Dover. It is essential that it has had tapeworm treatment between 1 & 5 days prior to your return and that the vet has stamped and signed the pet passport. The name and manufacturer of the product must also be recorded as well as the date and time of treatment. It is a good idea to check that these details are correct before you leave the veterinary surgery, especially if it is some distance from the ferry port.
      Not all French vets have a scanner as the law in France is that pets are tattooed rather than microchipped so it is a good idea to get a list of vets in France (you can check online) that are in the pet passport scheme. As you would expect, there are several in the Calais area.
      There are some services that can arrange an appointment with a vet in the pet passport scheme but they will charge a fee.
      Happy travelling!

  92. Helen says:

    Thank you for this very informative site which was very helpful in reducing the angst associated with taking our 6 month old golden retriever on holiday with us.

    Here are a few details that may be helpful to others. We travelled through France to Germany to pick up our son from his school exchange trip, then we had a week in Switzerland and a week in the French alps staying mostly in self catering accommodation with hotels at the beginning and end. When we crossed into Switzerland from Germany they were stopping everyone, and inspected our passports and the pet passport which just had details of the rabies jab in it and this was fine. We also crossed into Switzerland from France to start our journey home but we were just waved through this and all other border crossings we did. The Swiss are also pretty dog friendly. He was allowed on all the gondola lifts etc at no charge and when we ate in the restaurant on a lake steamer, not only was our dog allowed in but the waiter brought him a bowl of water without being asked. He was not allowed in maintained lakeside swimming beaches in either Switzerland or France but he went swimming with our kids in a mountain lake in France when we just swam off the bank.

    All the hotels we stayed in were very dog friendly though obviously we chose ones that take pets. The hotel in Germany even gave him a blanket and a welcome note, although we had a travel crate with us for nights and long journeys in the car.

    The return to the Uk today went very smoothly. We visited a vet in Montriond near Morzine four days ago. Despite the distance from the coast she was very familiar with the requirements and used blue ink to fill in the passport on the tapeworm page and she also filled in the clinical examination page for good measure though this was not looked at at the Eurotunnel. The lady who checked our papers was very friendly and said everything was “parfait” as she handed us the form to stick to the windscreen. All in all a very positive experience just requiring the vet visit and an extra 10 mins at the tunnel before check in, definitely worth it to have our dog share our holiday.

  93. mick says:

    can anyone tell me were i can buy a scalibor coller in paris

  94. Emma Robertson says:

    I am British and having moved to Nice, France. If I get a puppy and treat her for everything here, will I be able to bring her back to the UK after at least 21 days then? So there’s no six month wait?

    I don’t want to sound stupid I just want to check! Thank you!

  95. Malle Brookstein says:

    Does my dog need to have a full medical before returning to the United Kingdom from Spain?

    • Editor says:

      During your vet visit required between 1 and 5 days before entry into the UK, your dog will undergo a simple health check.

      • Malle Brookstein says:

        Than you for that. The vet in spain says my dog needs tick treatment before returning to the uk is this true? I treated him before coming to spain two weeks ago if they treat him it will be to soon as you suppose treat them once a month

      • Editor says:

        Please just read our FAQ page … everything you need to know is there.

  96. Jane B says:

    Hi. There is so much info on here and other websites. I am looking for clear guidelines for the following and welcome all advice:

    I live in Switzerland.
    I am considering buying a puppy in England and taking her home to Switzerland, driving through France. Can get tunnel or ferry (prob tunnel after what I have read on here plus would be with her all the time)

    I would also want to bring her with me when I visit the UK from time to time.

    How old would she need to be to travel? She is 8 weeks now.
    Would she need to have her rabies jab to leave the UK and go through France and enter Switzerland (I know this cannot be given until she is 12 weeks?) How long is the jab valid for?

    What else must she have and is this what is mentioned in the passport?

    Does the passport just apply to when entering the UK or is it recognised throughout the EU?

    The Swiss vets will put in an ANIS microchip once she is in Switzerland.

    What would be the procedure for preparing to visit the UK in future when she is older? Is it the UK side of things that is actually the more complicated/thorough?

    What would be any potential complications for going back to Switz after a stay in Uk of about 8 days?

    Is there actually a book we can buy that contains all this info in one place?

    All help and advice gratefully received as I have fallen in love with the puppy and am working with the seller to find out as much as we can to ensure a smooth journey.


    • Editor says:

      The pet passport scheme described on this site is designed to facilitate pet entry into the UK and replaces the 6 month quarantine scheme. All your questions relating to taking your dog into the UK for holidays can be answered here on our site, especially by reading our FAQ page which will tell you what you need to do before you cross the Channel to the UK. Switzerland may have its own rules regarding what you may have to show at the border if it’s manned – the UK pet passport may be sufficient if it shows your dog’s inoculations as well ….. if not, you’ll need your separate inoculation documentation but you’ll need to check with the Swiss authorities on that one. But regarding taking your dog to the UK for holidays, all the procedures you need to go through take place before getting on the ferry or train on the Europe side of the Channel. 🙂

  97. Karen says:

    We are moving to France permanently , will I need to get my dogs vaccinated against rabies or passported as they won’t be returning back to the uk or any other country

    Regards Karen

  98. Graham says:

    I have just collected a new style passport for one of my dogs. It has 28 places to record anti-echinococcus treatment but only 7 to record the clinical examination. As both of these are completed before traveling back to the UK, this seems to me to be a rather foolish lopsided design.

  99. Mary's says:

    If your 10 week pup isn’t coming back to the UK and travelling with full inoculations and a fitness to travel by veterinarian and is entering Lithuania ( what is Lithuanian policy) ? Pup is then going to be vaccinated in Lithuania at 12 weeks .. Is that pup allowed to be flown from UK connecting in Germany to Lithuania with just the vaccinations and fitness to travel certificate ???

  100. Petra says:

    Does the dog need to be annually vaccinated before re entering UK?
    Or just passport/rabies and tapeworm check?

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  • Answers to frequently asked questions about the Pet Passport scheme
  • New DEFRA pet passport travel rules from 2012
  • Is France dog friendly?
  • Thinking of taking your dog(s) abroad?
  • Dog travels 2010
  • Dogs in France 2011
  • Dog travels abroad 2012
  • Dog travels 2013