One of the main perks of using Le Shuttle as the gateway to an awesome European holiday (beyond the quick travel time to Calais), is you can pack everything you can fit in your vehicle, including the kitchen sink, for your trip to Europe… that also includes the dog! If the family are keen to take the dog on the next holiday, you’ll need to do a few things prior to departure in order to bring your four legged pup with you. Take a look at these steps to follow.
1. Book a Vets Appointment
Some things have changed since Brexit, the EU pet passport may no longer be valid, and your pet needs an Animal Health Certificate. What do you need to get one? Essentially what you need to do is contact your local vet to book a ‘travel appointment’, 10 days prior to travel. For more information here is a handy link
This appointment is for your vet to essentially check your dog is up to date with all their vaccinations, most importantly rabies and that your pooch has been microchipped, and is in a fit state to join you on holiday. It requires quite a bit of paperwork so it does come at a cost. Vets charge anything from £100-£200 for this service, and unfortunately, it is required each time you head over from the UK into Europe with your fur friend.
2. Get your pet ready to travelling
Whilst this isn’t compulsory, having travelled with our dog on numerous occasions for long journeys, we have found she is most comfortable in her own bed. We set her up on the back seat with her special clip that goes around the seatbelt to keep her safe. If your dog gets fidgety after a while and will try to move around, there are special travel boxes that are fantastic in keeping your pup safe whilst travel. Be sure to take their bowl and a bottle of water for the journey, maybe their fave toy, and some little treats to reward good travel behaviour.
3. Pet Reception Check-in!
Get a folder to pop all your pet paperwork into to get the Animal Health Certificate stamped, and if you do have an old EU pet passport, take it anyway as it does contain a lot of their previously completed information. When you arrive at Le Shuttle, after checking in first, you’ll notice the Victor Hugo Terminal and the ‘Pet Reception’, you must take your dog here prior to travel. Sometimes there can be a queue, so be sure to allow yourself plenty of time before your crossing. If you do get through quite quick and have some time before travel there are places to grab food, and even specific pet exercise area (you can’t miss it there is a large archway with a bone!), whilst you wait to board.
In Pet Reception they will be needing your booking confirmation to locate you on the system, and they will be able to see you have booked your dog to join too. They will then need to see all the paperwork provided by your vet and they will hand you a device to scan your dogs microchip. As mentioned before if you have your old EU Pet Passport, take it as it does speed up the process because all your pups information is in one place.
Please remember, on the British side you pass through check in first and make your way to pet reception in the terminal, on the French side, you go to Pet reception first and check-in your pet, then pass through the main check in gates.
4. All aboard!
You pup is checked in, you’re good to go! You’ll be given a travel information hanger for your car, this will have a paw print symbol on it show you’ve checked your dog in successfully and that you have one in the car! Firstly, be sure to utilise the pet exercise area prior to travel, trust me when I say when your dog is worn out, they travel so much better! Go have fun in the area!
Pop your dog in your car, get them settled into to their safe travel spot and then head to the lanes to be ready to board the shuttle. You’ll be given the green light (literally), to drive onto the shuttle. Once on there will be safety talks, and before you know it you’ll be making your way to France.
A quick tip if your dog is confused about going on, simply reassure them by stroking them and working on positive reinforcements with some treats. We like to give Winnie a new toy to obsess over during the initial part of the journey, because she is completely distracted and oblivious to what is going on!
5. Returning home
Nobody likes talking about the return journey after an exciting holiday, but you do need to follow a few more steps in order to return with your dog. Up to 5 days prior to travelling home your dog needs to be seen by a local vet to be checked out and given a worming tablet.
This might sound a bit daunting visiting a vet in a different country, but I assure you, they are so hospitable and most speak English. Some have online booking systems which allow you to select ‘return to UK’ appointments. Again, you will need the paperwork from the UK vet and if you have that EU pet passport, take that too.
This is a fairly quick procedure, you’ll be given paperwork (keep that with everything else), and you’re good to go. This can cost around 40 Euros. A big tip is to get to where you’re going at the start of your trip, then locate a vet and book an appointment in advance, this will help you to avoid not getting an appointment as they can easily get booked up.
6. Pet Check-in
Time to check le chien in again. Just like the UK system, over in France you’ll see signs for the Pet Reception, and you simply need to provide all the paperwork from UK, France and your booking confirmation. Your dog will have their micro-chip scanned again, and if all is okay you’re good to go. Super easy!
In France you will spot lots of little pet exercise areas to use, perfect to get your pup ready for another journey. Then it’s home we go!
*Post in collaboration with Eurotunnel Le Shuttle