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Dog friendly holidays in France: how to be prepared ?

When preparing for your dog friendly holiday in France take the time to do some preliminary research for important information you will need. Here are a few suggestions to help you get started, so that everyone including, your furry friend will have a safe and happy time.

When planning your dog friendly holiday there are a few important things to be aware of. Regulations regarding entering France with animals are something that shouldn’t be left until the last minute.  Also, you will need to consider his comfort while travelling and once you have arrived at your destination. A doggy holiday friendly list might just be the trick! Here are a few tips !

Reception conditions for dogs on French territory (BREXIT measures)

Planning is essential when you decide to bring pets on holiday. Certain regulations need to be respected and various documents are compulsory.

The following elements are important:  

  • Your pet must be micro-chipped.
  • Pets must be at least 12 weeks old before they can be vaccinated.
  • As well as the normal vaccines, your pet must be vaccinated against rabies.
  • All vaccines and boosters need to be up to date.
  • In addition, you will need to obtain an animal health certificate (AHC) for your pet. An Animal Health Certificate can be issued by any vet in the country from which you are travelling. This must be issued within 10 days of travelling and is valid for four months from the issue date. Each AHC is valid for one trip to the EU, however a single AHC is valid for onward travel within the EU and for your return trip to the UK (as long as it is remains within the designated four months).
  • It is best to have the animal’s passport (fully up to date) with you too, just in case. It is advisable to get your vet to give your dog a health check before travelling to ensure that your pet is fit to travel.
  • For visitor’s travelling from other EU or non-EU countries the same rules apply. There are bans on certain attack dogs considered, Category 1 or 2. If in doubt, it’s best to check with the relevant authorities.

Tapeworm treatment before your return trip to the UK

Before returning home to the UK your dog needs to be treated for tapeworm. This needs to be recorded in the dog’s pet passport or official veterinary certificate.

The treatment must take place no less than 24 hours and no more than 120 hours (5 days) before you re-enter the UK. Your dog can be refused entry or can be put into quarantine if you do not comply.

Once your dog has been treated, make sure that the vet has noted the following details in the ‘Echinococcus treatment’ section of your dog’s pet passport or certificate:

  • The name and manufacturer of the product.
  • The date and time the treatment took place.
  • The vet’s stamp and signature.

A little reminder: always check the date and the signature on your pet's passport before you leave the vet's surgery.

Keeping your pets cool while on his dog friendly holiday

As the summer approaches, we all look forward to lovely warm weather especially, during our holidays. But just like humans, dogs often struggle to keep cool in the heat. Here are a few tips to help to keep your faithful friend safe and happy as temperatures rise.

  • Never leave your dog in hot cars. (This ought to go with saying). We all know that hot cars can kill. Never underestimate how hot it can get. If you need to leave them in the car, try and park in a shaded area and don’t leave them for a long time.
  • Avoid the midday sun. Avoid going for walks between 11am and 3pm, when the sun will be at its hottest. It would be like walking on hot pavements in your bare feet! To check the ground’s temperature, place the back of your hand on the pavement. This should give you a rough indication.
  • Keep them hydrated. Dogs do not sweat like humans. To cool themselves, they pant a much less effective method. By panting it force air over their tongues to cool their blood. It is therefore important to always have a supply of cool water for them. This will help them to cool down and stay hydrated. Don’t forget a non-spill water bowl.
  • Recognise Heatstroke signs. Heatstroke can be very serious for dogs. It is important to know the signs, especially if they are not used to hot weather.
  • Have a tag on the dog’s collar with your telephone number and the international dialling code.

Things to know while having a dog friendly holiday

During your dog friendly holiday certain attractions or restaurants that are dog friendly are thoughtful for our four-legged friends.

Where to leave your Dog while you visit the Puy du Fou

The Puy du Fou’s boarding kennels are just a short distance from the Grand Parc. A perfect option if you are travelling with your pet. Advanced booking is required as places are limited. When booking the boarding kennels at the Puy du Fou® you will need to provide various details and documents regarding your dog. Only dogs are accepted. They must be micro-chipped or tattooed, have all their vaccines and boosters up to date otherwise they will be refused access.

Details required are Breed of dog, age (minimum 3 months old), dog’s name.

The compulsory vaccines are:

  • Rabies (Rage)
  • Distemper (Maladie de Carré) ...less than 2 years
  • Canine Hepatitis (L'hepatite de Rubarth) ...les than 2 years
  • Parvovirus (parvovirose)….less than 2 years
  • Leptospirosis (leptospirose) ... less than 1 years
  • Kennel Cough (toux de chenil) – less than 3 years

For further details contact the Puy du Fou’s Reservations team.

How to plan your dog friendly trip to your accommodation?

When booking dog friendly accommodation, it’s always a good idea to be well informed regarding your destination. Don’t forget that even if the accommodation accepts dogs, it is someone else’s property. Talking to the owners will be an ideal way to find out their position on pets, and about particular things you may need to be aware of. For example, is the garden fenced in, or near a main road…. Here are a few other elements that may be useful.  

Is Pets insurance necessary during your dog friendly holiday?

Pet Insurance is not an obligation when travelling with your pet, but it could be worth looking into, just in case. If, for example your dog becomes ill or injured, or causes damage to the property where you are staying it could be useful. After all, you would not go on your dog friendly holiday without insuring your car!

For a dog friendly holiday - what you need to bring with you?

It is a good idea to pack a few doggie essentials for the holidays. When renting dog friendly accommodation a few cosy blankets or a bed is perfect. This is not only for your dog comfort but also will help to protect seating or bedding from dog hairs. Packing some of their favourite treats, a few toys and a non-spill water bowl provides all their familiar home comforts. And don’t forget any medication along with all the necessary paperwork.

How to find a vet during your pet friendly holiday in France?

Many vets in France are closed on Sunday and Monday. This is worth considering, when it comes to complying with the "between 24 and 120 hours" rule for tapeworm treatment for dogs. It is also advisable to check if it is a bank holiday before your return journey as this will affect the surgery opening times. Details for local vets can be obtained from local directories listed under ‘vétérinaires practiciens’, at the Mairie (town hall) or from tourist offices. Vet surgeries are indicated by a white cross with the word “vétérinaire” in blue. 

It is always a good idea to do some preliminary research about vets before you go, especially if your French is not up to technical terms. The “Ordre des Vétérinaires” (in French) provides an online directory where you can search for vet members

In a veterinary emergency during your holidays

If you require a vet urgently there are "vet on-call" (vétérinaire de garde) in case of an emergency. These numbers can be found in different ways-

  • 3115 Urgences Vétérinaires (free phone) from landlines and mobiles which puts you in touch with the veterinary service on-call near you. After entering your postcode, you will be transferred directly to the surgery in question.
  • On the internet.
  • Veterinary on-call services are clearly identified under the search "Vétérinaire Urgences" or "Vétérinaire de Garde", to which you add the town name.
  • The Local vet surgery - if he is not on duty himself, he can provide contact details of the veterinary service on-call.

Good behaviour rules while on a dog friendly holiday

  • Clear up the little messages left by your furry friend and put them into the bin.
  • Check in advance where dogs are allowed.
  • During walks, keep your dog under control when meeting joggers, cyclists, or other walkers.
  • In busy places dogs need to be kept on a lead.
  • Do not leave your dog tied up and unattended outside shops or other premises etc.
  • Do not leave your dog in a car during hot weather.