In recent weeks, the “Voyager” has received many enquiries about Sydney, our 11+ year old Weimaraner and his travels. We like to travel overseas with the motorhome and will not put Sydney in kennels. Consequently, Sydney has his own pet passport. By popular demand, here is the process.
The pet passport scheme covers cats, dogs and ferrets. You will require a different type of passport to transport other animals, for example horses. This article refers only to dogs as this is the only area of the scheme for which the Motorhome Voyager has relevant knowledge.
Here is a step by step guide to the pet passport scheme
- Get a dog!
- Take your dog to the vets and arrange for him to have a microchip.
- Once the chip is in place, ask the vet to double check the chip is easy to read using their scanner. (Note, you might wish to purchase your own microchip reader. Although this is not a requirement, it may bring you peace of mind so that you know the chip is easy to read). There are different rules in place for dogs that have an indentification tattoo, but we are unable to comment on this.
- Arrange for your four legged friend to have a rabies vaccine. The vet must complete numerous details on the passport, such as the vaccine batch number and date.
- Using a UK issued passport, you can travel from the UK 21 days afterwards the initial vaccine. There are different rules for pets travelling on other countries passports – so for example a French dog arriving at the UK.
- Enjoy your holiday. If you are travelling on one of the longer sea crossings, some ferry operators have kennels available, whilst others have a very limited number of cabins for the use of two and four legged ones. Book very early for one of these cabins. On most short ferry crossings, the dog must remain in the vehicle on the car decks or in kennels/pet area as mentioned. Only certain ferry operators offer the cabin facility. Noteworthy of a mention is Eurotunnel. The sea crossing is only 35 minutes and you and your dog stay together in the car, whilst the train whisks you under the water! We prefer this option although our most recent crossing was on a ferry. Sydney is an experienced traveller and is no problem at all in the motorhome on his own for the 90 minute Dover – Calais crossing. Don’t forget – you can use can use your Tesco Clubcard tokens to pay for the tunnel crossing – see here
- Before you arrive in the UK, you must ensure your dog receives treatment for “worms”. This treatment must be administered by a vet and done at least 24 hours before you arrive back in the UK and less than 120 hours before your arrival in the UK. Sydney receives – and enjoys – (yes he does, he gulps it down, like all things edible) a Milbamax tablet. The overseas vet will stamp and date his passport – and also the time – to confirm the medication has been administered. At the same time, the vet will complete another section of the passport to confirm that “the animal shows no signs of diseases and is fit to the transported for the intended journey”.
- The timeframe of 24-120 hours gives you good time to get to the channel ports.
- At the channel port – (ensure you comply with the timescales above) –
- Eurotunnel check in at the dedicated pet check in desks. At Eurotunnel Calais, staff will scan your dog and read his microchip. They will then ensure that the chip number matches the passport. Staff also check for the information provided by the overseas vet. Pet boardingpass/sticker for the window issued.
- P&O Calais to Dover – check in at any lane. Advise staff that you have a dog on board. Staff member will pass you a scanner to scan your dog. Return the scanner to the check in staff. Boarding pass and window sticker issued.
- Not all ferry operators are allowed to carry animals – check here for a list
- If continental travelling is going to be a regular event, ensure you have the rabies booster!
The pet passport – the costs
The cost is the initial microchip and rabies vaccine and this will vary from vet to vet. The costs to transport a dog with Eurotunnel is £15 one way, likewise the same cost with P&O Dover/Calais. The vet check up and worms treatment overseas costs anything between 20 – 70 euro. Perhaps you have friends who have travelled with a dog? Forums and Facebook groups may help you find a local vet.
This information on the GOV website is an essential read.