Toby the Dog
Travel Tips

Travelling to Europe with Pets

Leaving your beloved pet behind can be an enormous wrench. so why not bring him/her with you? We have a number of Holiday Villa Owners that are happy to accept pets (see our dog-friendly villas here) – but if you’ve found a perfect place to stay you still need to get there. Travelling between the UK and mainland Europe requires knowing and following some rules so that your pet – and I’m talking dogs and cats here – doesn’t get quarantined anywhere and you don’t get hit with any charges.

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UK-EU Pet Travel Rules

There are a number of long-winded regulatory documents that you could read if you wish, but, provided you’re travelling with up to 5 dogs and not for animal commercial purposes, you’ll find everything you need on the Defra website: dog travelling routes.  Here are the main principles you’ll have to follow:


This shouldn’t be a problem as it’s already a requirement in the UK. If you have just got your dog, or haven’t got round to doing it, your vet can do this, usually for a fee of around £10 – £15. There is more information here: get your dog microchipped
Dog and Child in Tuscany
Our dog Toby (and our daughter!)

Pet Passport

You’ll need a Pet Passport – again, your vet can issue this. The passport is effectively a recognised record of your pet’s identity and its vaccinations, so when you go to your Vet you’ll need to take your pet, its identity and vaccination records and any rabies blood test results (if you have them). Make sure that your pet’s passport has all the following sections filled out:

  • details of ownership – you must sign section I if your pet passport was issued on or after 29 December 20
  • description of animal
  • marking or identification of animal
  • vaccination against rabies
  • rabies blood test (if needed)details of the vet issuing the passport (for passports issued from 29 December 2014)
  • your dog’s tapeworm treatment (if needed)

Rabies Vaccination

This has to be done at least 21 days before your date of travel so make sure the vaccination is up to date.

Tapeworm Treatment

This has to be done from 1 to 5 days before you return to the UK. The treatment has to be certified by a vet in your pet passport under Echinococcus treatment, with both date and time recorded. Your dog can be put into quarantine if you don’t follow this rule so it’s an important one. We can help you find a vet near your villa if you wish.

Travel Routes

Lastly, you can only use certain routes and companies to enter the UK  – you should check them here: Approved Sea and Air Routes for Pet Travel

It’s worth checking as, at the time of writing, EasyJet does not transport pets or animals in the hold of their plane. Ryanair does, as do British airways.

Most Ferry companies seem to and the Eurotunnel is also Pet friendly. And probably the kindest way to transport a pet as you get to stay with them.For more information on looking after your pet when you travel, have a look at this RSPCA factsheet.

And that’s it:

  1. Microchip
  2. Passport
  3. Rabies
  4. Tapeworm on return
  5. No impromptu night sailing trips across the channel

Keeping your dog happy:

It’s also worth remembering that, regardless of the rules, travelling can be upsetting and traumatic for your pets. We recently found a great post about making sure you keep your dog happy: 

6 things to remember when travelling with your dog.

Find a Dog Friendly Villa

Finally, you have to find out where to stay – have a look at our selection of villas in Italy and France for your dog friendly holidays

Dog chewing a stick

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