Everything You Want To Know About Travelling With A Dog To Normandy
If you're looking for a holiday abroad but aren't sure what the options are for travelling with a dog to Normandy then this guide has been written for you. Leaving your dog behind when you go on holiday as they're part of the family and also not enjoying your holiday because you miss your dog are common concerns. You also have the challenge of finding a reliable kennel in the UK and the significant cost.
Fortunately there is a solution; you can take your pet on holiday with you. And travelling with a dog to Normandy is ideal as it's not too far to go. There are a number of travel options you can consider but before you plan any travel, you need to get a passport for your dog.
First steps: the pet passport
If your pet isn't microchipped, organise with your vet to have this done. They can do the microchip and issue the pet passport at the same time. If they don't issue pet passports, they'll be able to advise where you can get it done. A rabies injection is given when the pet passport is issued and must be done at least 21 days before you travel. The passport lasts for your pet's lifetime but the rabies injection must be renewed every 3 years. Your dog will need to have an additional treatment before you leave France which is detailed below.
For more information about the pet passport visit https://www.gov.uk/take-pet-abroad
For the top 5 things to remember about a pet passport visit
Options for travelling with a dog to Normandy
The most popular ways to travel are either by ferry or the Eurotunnel. The options are outlined below so you can decide based on whether you can leave your dog alone or not.
If you don't want to leave your pet alone, this is the perfect way to travel to France. The Eurotunnel links Folkestone to Calais, you stay in your car with your pet and it's a journey time of just 35 minutes.
Watch Blake's doggy adventure on Eurotunnel including checking in at Folkestone, stopping off for some exercise in a designated area, driving into the tunnel and calling in at Pet Reception in Calais before the return journey.
The process is very straight-forward and incredibly pet-friendly. The cost for taking your pet is £19 each way. You hand over the pet passport with your own passport in Folkestone and drive straight off at Calais with no further checks.
Check out the pet information page https://www.eurotunnel.com/uk/tickets/travelling-with-your-pet/
Timetable and tariff information here https://www.eurotunnel.com/uk/home/
Brittany Ferries, P&O, DFDS and Condor all have options for travelling with your dog to Normandy but they vary depending on the operator and the route you take. When you hand over your human passports at the UK port, you'll hand over your pet passport and the microchip will need to be checked.
P&O operate between Dover and Calais with a 90 minute crossing costing £15 each way for pets. Dogs have to stay in your car during the crossing. More information and top tips at http://www.poferries.com/en/dover-calais/travelling-with-us/taking-your-pet
There are a number of routes for getting to Normandy via Brittany Ferries. These include Poole to Cherbourg, Portsmouth to Caen or Portsmouth to Cherbourg routes where dogs remain in your car on the car deck. Dog-friendly cabins are available on the Portsmouth to Le Havre route. The journey to Caen is a longer crossing than the Cherbourg route but overnight sailings are available. A sticker will be placed on your windscreen and on day time crossings you can ask for a pass to visit your dog during the crossing. The Portsmouth to Cherbourg crossing is the shortest at 3 hours. Crossings are from £16.50 and your dog will need to be muzzled. Watch this video for details of the pet free cabins
DFDS are another ferry company who accept pets on their Dover - Calais, Dover - Dunkirk and Newhaven - Dieppe route. Dogs must stay in the car and prices vary depending on the route. More information at https://www.dfdsseaways.co.uk/good-to-know/pet-travel
If you want to go from Portsmouth to St Malo you can travel with your pet on Condor Ferries or Brittany Ferries. Information from Condor is at https://www.condorferries.co.uk/advice-info/travelling-with-pets/
A Pet Owner's Experience
Kathryn, her family and Kaya, the family pet, travelled from Essex to Normandy in the summer of 2017 for the first time. Kathryn said "Our beloved pet dog Kaya is now 11 years old and whilst she still acts like a puppy, we personally thought she was too old to go into kennels. The family wanted a family holiday outside of the UK and somewhere we could easily take the dog and Normandy ticked all the boxes. The motorway service stops have lots of grass verges to allow for dog walks and it was very evident that a lot of British people travel with their pets."
Your Time In Normandy
There are dog-friendly beaches and also many restaurants will accept dogs but do check. The list of beaches in departments 50 (La Manche) and 14 (Calvados) is here http://www.plages.tv/chiens/liste-basse-normandie Many of the beaches on the West coast from Granville up to Carteret have pedestrian walkways overlooking the beaches which allow dogs.
What You Need To Do Before You Leave Normandy
Your pet passport will be checked at the French port and you must organise a tapeworm injection between 24 and 120 hours (1 - 5 days) before you arrive at the French port. You will need to visit a vet in France and ensure the treatment is correctly recorded in the passport. I organised the appointment for Kaya and it was easy and quick to do. If you travel via Eurotunnel, there's a special Pet Reception for checking the treatment has been done and the microchip but it's a very efficient process.
Travelling with a dog to Normandy opens up a whole new world of holidays with different places to explore. You and your pet can relax and enjoy the time away together. So, check your pet insurance covers trips abroad, find a dog-friendly property to stay in, check the top tips for travelling and pack your bags for some new adventures.
All information is correct at the time of publication (February 2018).
Pet insurance https://www.moneysupermarket.com/pet-insurance/
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