Taking your pet touring overseas
Travelling abroad with your pet
For most people, pets are part of the family, so it’s natural for you to want them to join you on holiday. The good news is it’s possible to take your dog or cat to Europe, provided it has been micro chipped and has a valid pet passport.
Getting a pet passport
Pet passports before Brexit:
A pet passport lists the different treatments your pet has had and can be obtained from your local vet. Your pet will need to meet certain entry requirements, so you’ll need to bring your pet, its identity and vaccination records and, if you have them, any rabies test results along with you.
Pet passports after Brexit:
Pets will still be able to travel with their owners after Britain leaves the EU, however there may be additional documentation and health checks required in a ‘no deal’ scenario as your pet passport may no longer be valid.
The government has advised pet owners planning to travel immediately after 29 March 2019 to contact their vet at least four months in advance of travel to check what they need to do.
If the UK leaves the EU in March 2019 with no deal it would become a `third country` for the purposes of the EU Pet Travel Scheme but we don`t yet know which of the three possible categories of `third country` will be assigned.
In the worst case scenario of the UK being classified as an `unlisted third country` your pet will need an up to date rabies vaccination and a blood test to demonstrate sufficient levels of rabies antibody. The blood test should be carried out a minimum of 30 days after the vaccination and minimum of three months before travel date. For this reason the government is advising to start the process four months prior to your travel date.
Your veterinarian will be able to advise what you need to do depending on previous treatment or blood tests that your pet might have received.
For more information and to stay up to date with the latest government advice please see the www.gov.uk article on European pet travel post-Brexit.
Coming back to the UK
The government has said that there will be no change to the current requirements for pets entering the UK from the EU after 29 March.
- Check your dog’s passport at the end of your visit to the vet for the tapeworm treatment to make sure the details and date have been completed correctly.
Tapeworm treatment should be administered between 24 and 120 hours before your scheduled entry back to the UK if you are travelling from countries that are not free from tapeworm.
Your pet must have one of the following documents when returning to the UK:
- an existing EU pet passport (both for UK and EU citizens)
- the EU health certificate issued in the UK used to travel to the EU
- a UK pet health certificate (issued outside the UK for travel into the UK only)
Out and about with your pets
Pets on ferries
Each operator has its own rules on pet transportation. Please enquire about specific regulations for your chosen ferry operator when booking your pet’s travel through our Contact Centre.
Pets on overseas sites
Before you travel, remember to check whether the sites you are staying on accept pets, and if there are any restrictions in place about the number or type of pet that’s accepted.
Typically dogs are required to be kept on a lead at all times must not be left unattended for long periods of time. Be sure to check with the campsite whether dogs can be walked on-site or if there is a specific area in which they can be exercised.
Items to bring with you
- In some countries you may be asked to muzzle your dog in public places or when using public transport.
- Consider purchasing an identification tag with 00 44 preceding your mobile number if you travel overseas regularly.
- Most countries in Europe have legislation in place which requires dogs to be restrained when they are travelling in vehicles so they are not able to distract the driver.
Restrictions on pets abroad
Some countries impose restrictions on the type of dog that is allowed to be imported under the Pet Passport Scheme. Please find below the restrictions for France, Spain, Ireland and the Netherlands:
France has two types of restrictions when it comes to travelling with dogs:
Category 1 dogs – these are classified as dangerous.
- any dog of the type known as American Staffordshire Terrier without a pedigree (also known as Pitbulls)
- any dog of the type known as Mastiff
- any dog of the type known as a Tosa without a pedigree
Category 2 dogs – all dogs (except Rottweilers) must have a pedigree and be registered with a breed society.
- Staffordshire Terrier
- American Staffordshire Terrier
Category 2 dogs must be kept muzzled and on a lead at all times in public.
For more information on taking your pet to France, visit the French Embassy website.
The following breeds of dog must be kept on a leash and securely muzzled when in public, at all times they must wear a collar bearing the name and address of the owner.
- American Pit Bull Terrier
- Bull Mastiff
- Doberman Pinscher
- English Bull Terrier
- German Shepherd (Alsatian)
- Japanese Akita
- Japanese Tosa
- Rhodesian Ridgeback
- Staffordshire Bull Terrier
Movement of dogs and cats between Great Britain and Ireland is administered by the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries & Food, and current information is available on their website.
The following breeds are not banned from entering Spain, but they must be registered within 3 months of entry:
- Pit Bull Terrier
- Staffordshire Bull Terrier
- American Staffordshire Terrier
- Dogo Argentino,
- Fila Brasiliero
- Tosa Inu
- Akita Inu
The following breeds and/or cross-breeds of dogs cannot be taken into Denmark:
- American Stafforshire Terrier
- Fila Brasielero
- Dogo Argentino
- American Bulldog
(Information supplied by the Voedsel en Waren Autoriteit (VWA)
All breeds can be imported into the Netherlands, unless they show aggressive behaviour.
(Information supplied by the Sécurité de la Chaine alimentaire et Environnement)
There is no national legislation regarding dangerous dogs. However, each individual local authority can impose its own rules, which range from compulsory muzzling to banning certain breeds. You will need to contact the campsite you plan to visit to find out if any local laws apply.
If you are planning to visit other countries please contact the relevant embassy to check if there are any restrictions.
This is my first visit abroad with my caravan/motorhome. How can the Club help?
The Club's first time abroad section explains everything you need to know about going on your first overseas touring holiday.
Are the road laws and driving regulations in Europe the same as the UK?
Clinique Vétérinaire Opalia is offering Caravan and Motorhome Club members a discounted price of €30.00 (plus the cost of the drugs which is dependent on the dog’s weight) for the pet passport tapeworm treatment. Visit website
Please mention you're a Caravan and Motorhome Club member at the time of booking.
The English-speaking staff can be contacted on 0033 321 834 602 or by email.