As a loyal reader knows( and if your not why not start here) in Paloma, our motorhome there’s not just me and Michele, but also Bentley, better known as Fred Dog, so as a family we like to travel together, which is a lot simpler than you can imagine.
The Pet Passport
If you’re thinking of traveling outside the UK, then you’ll need an EU Pet Passport for each dog you plan to travel with.
It’s only with these that you can get back into the UK, after having travelled anywhere in the world, without placing your beloved companions in quarantine.
You need the passports before you leave the UK, and your local vet will be able to issue them for you. Ours took a few minutes to sort but we weren’t allowed to travel for a couple of weeks whilst his rabies vaccine took hold.
The Pet Passport scheme lets you travel throughout the EU with your dog without going into quarantine, but there are some additional things to be aware of:
Some countries have additional entry requirements. The UK and parts of Scandinavia require a worming treatment to be carried out by a vet prior to each re-entry into the country.
Some countries may not allow certain breeds. We’ve never had this problem, but it might be worth looking into it if your breed might be considered (by the authorities) as ‘dangerous’.
The terms of the Pet Passport scheme changes from time to time, and it’s worth staying up to speed by consulting the government’s website, which is currently here.
On top of the passport we like to have a few things to make Fred feel at home.
Here’s a list of the things we take with us when we leave the UK
His pet passport
The documentation showing his history of vaccinations
His lead and collar
A supply of dog poo bags ( for the first few days)
His soft cage and blanket
Some old towels for cleaning or drying him, or for wetting him down when he’s hot.
Tick twisters – we’ve got the O’Tom ones and the two sizes have always been enough for the smallest and largest ticks
His dog coat, for walks in the wet or cold or dark
His in-van water and food bowl
A fold up water bottle come drinker thing – handy for taking out and about
toys – can’t go anywhere without j-raft !
What You Can Fairly Easily Get While on the Road
Here’s a list of the things we don’t worry too much about before we set off, as we know we can get them on the road with no hassle or worry about breaking the bank.
Dog food – this is available everywhere, although you’re unlikely to find UK brands so if you have a picky eater then best to stock up for the whole trip, thankfully for us Bentley is a Labrador and will eat anything and everything.
Collars or Spot on treatments which protect against ticks, fleas and sand flies (which carry Leishmaniasis). Were huge fans of and regularly used Scalibor collars which provide up to 6 months proctection
Dog poo bags – in many towns the authorities provide these for free in dispensers on the street.
Most things really – leads, harnesses, toys, weird bits of treats , name tags, coats, you name it like home you can buy the lot !
Public Transport and Pets Abroad
Different countries have different rules around taking pets on public transport. Some won’t allow it. Some will, but only if the dog has a muzzle.
Some say you need a muzzle, but in practice only seem to enforce it for certain dogs.
The good news is, in amongst all this red tape, the fact that motorhomes in Europe can frequently get close enough to wherever you want to be, you can walk to your destination with your pet.
Big cities are the notable exception, where you may need to leave your pet in the motorhome somewhere cool and secure, well it’s probably wouldn’t be that fair taking Fred into a massive city.
Using Vets Abroad
This was a source of trepidation for us the first time around,but it’s always been a good experience.
The quality of the vets has always looked top-notch, the same level if not better of cleanliness as the UK.
We’ve never had a major issue, so we can’t comment on surgery ability, but for basic procedures like stamping your passport for Return we’ve found the vets to be great.
It’s easy enough to find vets using Google and we’ve always found that someone can speak a few words of English but we do have Google Translate on my phone as a last resort.
Note that if you need medication for your dog, pharmacies in some countries may sell it and although you might feel a bit odd asking for it, they can be more convenient than seeking out a vets
Finding a Vet for Re-Entry to the UK
The Pet Passport scheme’s been in place for some years now, and vets across Europe and well aware of it and the requirements for re-entry to the UK.
We do try and book for the worming treatment when returning to the UK. We do this a few days beforehand, and try to use email. As the few we’ve phoned ‘ the language is a little more difficult than when face to face.
Bear in mind that the vet needs to give a worming treatment between 5 days and 24 hours (make sure it’s 24 hours, not just the day before) before you touch down in the UK.
My guess is almost any vets will know the scheme, as it must be a pretty good money earner , and they seem to charge between €36 and €50 a dog, depending on the weight of the dog. Read about our last visit in Loudeac Here.
We came across this handy Google map of vets for the pet passport scheme, probably a little out of date, but a great point of reference.
Driving With a Dog
Bentley (aka Fred Dog) is Amazingly easy going when we’re driving.
He sleeps much of the time while we drive, and has learned that his cage is a safe spot.
In some countries such as Spain the dog should be restrained while in the vehicle so it doesn’t distract the driver.