Monday, 14 July 2014

Pet Passports

So let me tell you about taking your dog to France. It all starts with having your dog microchipped. Tim was done when he was still with the breeder, and on his first visit to my vet that number was recorded against his  name. Then in March or thereabouts this year, we spoke to the vet about him going to France. Tim was required to have an injection against rabies and certain other jabs were required - and had already been given as part of the normal routine of caring for our pet. We were advised to use something against fleas and ticks as ticks are pretty nasty in southern France, and the Dordogne is just on the borderline of where the nasties live. Frontline is the standard preparation, but Activyl, we were told, is a more recent and more effective substance.  The vet then issues a Pet Passport with Tim's basic details - breed, sex, age, etc and there is space for a photograph. since the spots of a Dalmatian are very recognisable, I did a "passport picture" and stuck it in! The vet records the necessary medical data, signs it and we were ready to go.

Leaving the UK via the Channel Tunnel was no problem.  Tim had five happy weeks romping around the French countryside, and we made an appointment to see the French vet in Vergt on 8th July. This examination has to be done within a strict time band before you leave France. The practice nurse gave Tim a whopping big Worming tablet and Dr Pennant Olivier checked Tim over and pronounced him "Bonne, bonne." He signed the pet passport and  a certificate to say that Tim was fit to travel back into England, charged us 52.80 euros and we were done.

Next day we drove to Abbeville, and the day after that (10th July)  we arrived at Calais, where we had to visit the Pet Travel Agency within the Tunnel complex. French staff checked Tim's micro chip, his passport and the vet's certificate, and decided everything was in order. So we travelled back into England. On the English
side of the Channel, in Folkstone, we drove straight through and on home.

If you go by overnight  ferry Portsmouth to St Malo or Caen, I'm told you are asked to put the dog in kennels on the same deck as the cars are parked. Some people insist the dog stays in the car, which is better if it is big Range Rover or similar. At least it is familiar with the car, but that deck is so noisy and dark and horrible I don't want to put Tim through that. At least going through the Tunnel he is in the car with us the entire trip.


Ursula Thompson said...

Interesting. I always wondered about this. So you have no fleas or ticks in England? And dogs usually don't get rabies shots?

Jen Black said...

Yes, we have fleas and ticks in England, but they are a less virulent variety than in the southern regions of France. We don't have and certainly have not had rabies in the UK in my lifetime, so no they don't get rabies injections unless they're going out of the UK. There's all sorts of thing like harvest mites but they don't figure in passport controls.