Travelling abroad with a dog

Discussion in 'Labrador Chat' started by Penny+Me, Jan 8, 2017.

  1. Penny+Me

    Penny+Me Registered Users

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    hello everyone!
    So I haven't been around for a long time, many apologies for that but life has been pretty hectic the last year or so. As some of you may remember I gave birth to my little girl last February so the last 11 months have been very busy! She's now coming up to almost a year old and I can't believe I haven't been on the forum for that long! So many new faces and information to try and catch up on.
    I come back with a question if you all don't mind.
    I want to try travelling abroad sometime this summer for a holiday. My husband and I have done package holidays in the past, most before we had Penny. The last one was our honeymoon two years ago and my parents looked after her whilst we were away. Now, however, we don't have that option as my sister is living at home with my niece and my parents have two dogs of their own so it would just be far too much chaos for them to take on looking after Penny for a week too. Also she triggers my mums asthma quite badly so I feel like it's not really fair to even ask because of that.
    I've been looking at something along the lines of doing a eurocamp type of holiday to France. Probably northern France since it reduces driving time with a dog and now an almost toddler in the car. I've been looking at the pet passport scheme and that looks fine - Penny will just need the rabies vax as everything else is all up to date so I have no worries about that.
    My main concern and question is about the travelling. The car travel I'm ok with as she will just go to sleep and we will plan for a stop every couple of hours anyway because of our little girl. I'm worried about the ferry crossing mostly as I found some information on the eurocamp website that said for short crossing dogs have to stay in the car and for longer ones they have to go into a kennel on the ferry. I don't know why but I sort of assumed they could just be on the actual ferry with you. I really don't like the idea of leaving her in either situation. Does anyone have experience of travelling like this with their dogs?
    It made me think that perhaps we should look at taking the Euro tunnel instead because at least then it's just driving and we will all still be together.
    I've travelled to France many times with my family as a child but never with a dog and we have always taken a ferry because we towed a caravan. We always did the longer crossings - average about 6 hours.
    I'm looking for advice and experiences really before I make a decision whether or not this is the sort of holiday we can do. (Last year we booked a chalet in Cornwall with the dog so didn't have any issues!)
    Thanks everyone!
     
  2. drjs@5

    drjs@5 Moderator Forum Supporter

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    Hi Lauren!
    Welcome back, lovely to hear from you!

    Can't help with your query, but i'm sure Karen and Fiona at the very least will be able to help you out with these queries.
    Just wanted to say Hi :hi:

    jac
    (any up to date photos welcome :) )
     
  3. snowbunny

    snowbunny Administrator Forum Supporter

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    Hi Lauren!

    I would take the tunnel. I do it at least twice a year in both directions and it's so easy. I wouldn't leave my dogs unattended in my car on the ferry, no way. You don't need to do anything special on the Eurotunnel with a dog in the car on the way to France, but on the way back, you need to ensure the dog is wormed by a vet between one and five days before travelling (get them to put the hour on the passport or you could be refused travel!) and then you just go into the pet office before you check in. It's really very painless, the crossing is about 35 minutes and you don't have to sit around for hours like you do for ferries.
    Tunnel, tunnel, tunnel :)

    No, I don't work for them!
     
  4. Cath

    Cath Supporting Member Forum Supporter

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    We always use the tunnel every time we go to France. It is very easy. One thing you must make sure of though, is that you allow 21 days after your dogs vaccination before you can come back into the UK. Other than that it is just as Fiona said, visit the local French vet before coming back home. We usually eat our sandwiches while going through the tunnel.
    The other thing we have done in the past is email the local French vet and book an appointment so everything is set up before we go. The dogs normally sleep all the way. Annie was only 6mths when she first went to France and was no trouble at all. In November when we last went to France it was £19 each way for the dogs. Good luck.

    https://www.gov.uk/take-pet-abroad/rabies-vaccination-boosters-and-blood-tests
     
  5. Cath

    Cath Supporting Member Forum Supporter

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  6. Jes72

    Jes72 Supporting Member Forum Supporter

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    We take the tunnel so H can stay with us. The hotel nearest the terminal allows dogs. I think it's the Holiday Inn, Folkstone. We stop there for the night then get an early crossing.
     
  7. edzbird

    edzbird Supporting Member Forum Supporter

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    The tunnel sounds like ideal travel option. We have to use the boat to travel from the Isle of Man. In the winter it is a 3.5 - 4.5 hour journey, the dog stays in the car, alone. They DO have a tiny pet lounge - max 6 dogs - and a couple of pet cabins on the winter boat, but I wouldn't be comfortable to take Coco in them even if we COULD book one - I shudder to imagine trying to walk him up the stairs in crowds of people. In the summer it is more like 2.5 - 3 hours, no pet facilities. I worry about the heat. Last week (we weren't on the boat thankfully), it sailed around for TWELVE HOURS - unable to dock in the UK due to fog! and ended up back in the Isle of Man - there is NO access to the car deck whilst at sea. We don't travel very often.
     
  8. Emily_BabbelHund

    Emily_BabbelHund Longest on the Forum without an actual dog Forum Supporter

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    This made me curious...do you not have to do regular rabies vaccines in the UK then?

    The Chunnel trip actually sounds like an adventure! My landlord in Spain is British and drives down using the Chunnel with his wife and their two lovely spaniels every year. He always tells me it is a snap and that the dogs love the trip.
     
  9. edzbird

    edzbird Supporting Member Forum Supporter

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    No need for regular rabies jabs in the UK - the disease is not present (though it is possibly present in bats - bat handlers are vaccinated, it is not the classical rabies virus associated with dogs).
     
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  10. Debs

    Debs Supporting Member Forum Supporter

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    Hi Lauren, we travelled to France via the tunnel last October. The whole process was so easy, it's worth the extra travelling time.
     
  11. angiem

    angiem Registered Users

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    Brittany ferries do an econimie service with dog friendly cabins, we have travelled with them for the last two years from Portsmouth to le harve, our lab loves going on her holidays to france, we use a company called Questen France to book the mobile home with and the give us a discount code for booking the ferries, the outbouns sailing is overnight and the dog sleeps in the cabin with you, the return crossing is afternoon/evening but you would still need to book a cabin for the dog, have a look on the Brittany ferries website, also a lot of the restuarants etc are very dog friendly in france, our lab comes out every evening for dinner with us.

    enjoy your holiday
     
  12. Cath

    Cath Supporting Member Forum Supporter

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    Welcome to the forum angiem
     
  13. snowbunny

    snowbunny Administrator Forum Supporter

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    Hello @angiem and welcome to the forum. Thanks for the information, I'm sure it will be very useful to some members.
    Why not pop across to the Introductions section and tell us a bit about your Lab? :)
     

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