Holidays With Your Dog

Posted on December 23, 2018

The UK is such a great place to travel with your dog, wonderful places to explore, some fantastic country side to walk in and many many delightful pubs to have a well-earned post walk rest. Not only that, organisations such English Heritage and The National Trust are dog friendly and many holidays rentals specialise in dog friendly accommodation so you and your dog can visit some historical places that have shaped our nation.  What a wonderful way to explore!

Travelling by train? Not an issue.  By car? Many motorway rest-stops will have dedicated areas for dog walking and drinking stations for your pooch, but how easy is  to travel outside the little island we call England? Well, unfortunately it’s not that easy at all!  The only affordable way to leave Blighty with your dog is via the Euro tunnel, by car, or via long distance Ferry.

You might be wondering, what about the Eurostar? The answer is NO, they don’t accept pets. And by plane? Well, if you don’t want to spend over £2,000 exporting/importing your pet and have them being handled as a cargo then no flights for them.

The UK has a very restrictive rules when you want to bring a pet in or out. The only airport ready to deal with pets at all is Heathrow, which has a dedicated centre to quarantine animals.  As an island which is rabies free, strict rules apply every time you leave and return.

These will possibly change from the 31st of March 2019 but until then this is the process:

  • Your dog should be seen by a vet within 2 months of travelling.  They will examine him, register his details in a Pet Passport (which costs around £90).  This is valid as long as you have free pages within the passport on which to contain future information
  • The vet will vaccinate for rabies and this will be registered on the passport (which costs around £45).  The rabies vaccination needs to happen every year.
  • When leaving Dover or Folkestone you will need to make your way to the designated “Pets” area and present your paperwork.  Your dog’s microchip will be checked and you will received a certificate with permission for your dog to leave the country. Something similar happens at the different ports around England.

On return, the process is very similar with one very important thing to do before you leave. Within 5 days of your return date and no less than 24hrs, you MUST visit a Vet wherever you are and have your dog examined and for him to take a deworming pill, the Vet will sign and stamp your pet passport that this has been done, as well as check that the rabies vaccination is still valid. Only after this visit to the vet are you ready to cross the Euro tunnel again.

Our recommendations:

  • Although It is very straight forward process, the fact that you must visit a Vet in a foreign country might be a bit complicated, so do all the research and even contact them before you travel and ask if they will be available on the dates you are planning to visit the clinic. Don’t leave it to the last minute as they might be on holidays too!
  • Ensure your dog wears a collar with an ID tag containing his information in the local language you are going to spend most of your time in. We had our dog with the following info “Por favor llamen/whataspp al 0044 xxxxx” basically please call us to …with the full international codes.
  • Carry with you all your dog’s main vet info ie. Vaccinations card, and Insurance certificate info, as in case of an emergency you might need to provide proof or contact the provider

Once you have all the paperwork and the admin is complete, you just need to start planning a great holiday with your dog and be pleasantly surprised about how dog friendly the other countries around us are!!

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This article has been written by Beatriz Garcia-Martinez from, the best settling-in specialist in London. What B doesn’t know about living in London probably isn’t worth knowing anyway.

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