It is now relatively easy to take your pet on your boat into France, but it takes time to complete the formalities.

However it is not possible to come back into Britain with a pet on your own boat – you must travel on an approved route with ferry operators to Dover or to Portsmouth. Pets can also travel on the Eurotunnel Shuttle in a car, but not on the Eurostar. Therefore one of your crew will need to travel as a ferry foot passenger with your pet.

It takes at least seven months to obtain a Pet Passport, although some of the qualifying period can be spent in France if you are there for a while.

Detailed information can be obtained from the DEFRA website.

  • Have your pet fitted with a microchip.
  • Have your pet vaccinated against rabies (which may be done at the same time).
  • Your vet will then take a blood sample to ensure the rabies vaccination has been successful. It is recommended that you wait one month before testing.
  • If your pet has already had this vaccination in the past then a booster injection will follow the blood test a few days later. It could take up to a month to get the results of the blood test.
  • Prices vary so shop around.
  • You will then be issued with a Pet Passport, however your pet will not be allowed to re-enter the UK until six months after the date of the blood test.
  • Before returning to Britain your pet must be treated by a vet against ticks and tapeworm no less than 24 hours and not more than 48 hours before re-entry.

The French vet must issue an official certificate of treatment that will be checked by customs on arrival in Britain.

Allow plenty of time for this process and be meticulous with paperwork to ensure that your pet does not end up in quarantine for six months.

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