How can you bring your pets to France?
For many would-be expats, the idea of moving abroad without the four-legged member of their family is unbearable. Find out how to bring your pets to France so they can join in the adventure!
Since 2004, it has been far easier to bring your pets to France or another EU country. In 2012, the UK introduced the Pet Travel Scheme (PETS) which makes it easier to move your dog, cat or ferret between the UK and other European countries. An update to this legislation was introduced on 29th December 2014, aimed at strengthening its enforcement and improving the security of the pet passport.
Preparing your pet for travel
Your pet must be fitted with a microchip and be vaccinated against rabies to legally travel to France. Equally, there must be a gap of 21 days between the date of the first rabies vaccination and the date of travel. A vet must also treat any dogs for tapeworm, no less than 24 hours and no more than five days before travel. This can be administered as a tablet.
It is very easy to move your pet from the UK to anywhere in the EU now, thanks to the Pet Travel Scheme (PETS).
Once this has been done, you will then need to obtain a passport for your pet, which can be issued by most vets in the UK. You will find that most vets in the UK – and indeed in France – will be aware of the regulations for the transportation of pets, so should be able to help you through this process.
Travelling with your pet
A pet should be able to travel with you by most airlines, although you will find that the low-cost airways (such as EasyJet or Ryanair) generally do not take pets. Car ferries over the Channel and the Eurotunnel trains will also let you bring your pets to France. However, they must stay in the car on the car deck at all times during the crossing. It is therefore very important to ensure that your car is stocked with plenty of fresh water and some bedding and toys, to ensure they travel in maximum comfort.
Upon arrival in France
France is a nation of cat and dog lovers. You do see the occasional strays, but there is an organisation called the Société Protectrice des Animaux (SPA) which is the equivalent of the UK’s RSPCA, who do a great job to help these animals. The SPA is also a great place to adopt animals and they are able to advise on treatment, microchipping and anything else you are concerned about.
The cost of vets (vétérinaire or véto informally) in France is usually lower than in the UK. Nonetheless, it’s still a good idea to keep an eye on costs if you have a sick or old pet – and you will often find that pet insurance is a wise idea.
The France Buying Guide walks you step-by-step through each stage of the property buying process in France. Additionally, there are also practical recommendations from our experts who have been through the process themselves. The guide will help you to: