How to Travel with a Dog Between the UK and Europe

One of the best things about travelling in Europe with a dog is that it’s usually so easy! Generally you don’t require any paperwork for travelling from country to country and most transport options allow dogs. However, this isn’t the case if you’re departing the UK to travel to Europe with a dog, or on the other hand you’re trying to travel to the UK with a dog.

For starters, dogs aren’t allowed on the otherwise-so-convenient Eurostar from London, almost the only train service in Europe that doesn’t allow any size pet dogs. Additionally, pet dogs are also not allowed to fly into the UK in plane cabins, only as cargo, and there are limited flight options when leaving the UK. So, how do you take your dog from the UK to continental Europe, or vice versa?

Taking a dog to Europe from UK

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Can You Take a Dog on the Eurostar?

It would be wonderful if you could quickly and easily head from England to France, Belgium or the Netherlands with your pet dog on the Eurostar! Unfortunately though, no pet dogs are allowed on the Eurostar. The only dogs that are allowed on the Eurostar are assistance dogs, and even then they need to be booked in advance.

Dogs on Eurostar
Pet dogs aren’t allowed on the Eurostar

It would be terrific if this changed to allow pets on the Eurostar, but there are currently no plans for this to change. It’s especially perplexing given that dogs are allowed on trains in both the UK (for free!) and in France.

Taking a Dog on the Ferry as a Foot Passenger

Generally, most of the ferries that travel between the UK and continental Europe only allow passengers with a vehicle to bring along dogs. This is because most of the time pets must stay in the vehicle, or they do not have facilities for the boarding of foot passengers with pets.

There are only a handful of exceptions, with the following four ferries allowing foot passengers to take a dog. Best of all, most of these ferries now have pet-friendly cabins available.

Stena Line Ferry from Harwich to Hook of Holland with a dog
Only selected ferries allow foot passengers to bring pets

Ferry from Newhaven to Dieppe (DFDS Seaways)

This is the only ferry between England and France that allows foot passengers to bring their dog. A charge applies, which was recently £22. The journey is about 4 hours (longer than the shorter Dover to Dunkirk or Calais routes) and dogs are kept in kennels on the car deck for the entire journey. Pets must be carried on board in a pet carrier.

Read my review of taking this ferry (plus multiple trains) to travel with my dog between Paris and London without a car or read more about the rules for pets travelling on DFDS Seaways Ferries. (Note: I previously booked online as a foot passenger with a pet, but you now need to call up to book to travel with a pet, if you do not have a vehicle.)

Click here to book this ferry (if you are travelling with a vehicle)

can i take my dog on a ferry as a foot passenger
The DFDS ferry between Newhaven and Dieppe allows foot passengers to take dogs

Ferry from Harwich to Hook of Holland (Stena Line w/ Pet-Friendly Cabins)

This longer crossing takes up to 9 1/2 hours (with shorter crossings during the day), but is quite popular with dog owners as it is more pet-friendly.

Recently, pet-friendly cabins were introduced on the ferries. Choose between two-berth inside or outside cabins, or larger five-berth cabins with a window. Up to three small pets under 15kg are permitted in each cabin, or two medium-sized dogs under 30kg, or one large dog over 30kg.

Stena Line Dog-Friendly Cabin
A dog-friendly cabin on a Stena Line ferry @ Stena Line

Additionally, there is also the option of booking a kennel, with two kennel rooms that remain accessible during the voyage, plus a TV channel showing CCTV footage from the kennels. Outside on the deck is a pet exercise area, although be warned it is just bare deck.

Stena Line kennel
The kennels on the Stena Line ferry to Hook of Holland

There is no additional fee for pets staying in a pet-friendly cabin, although the cabins themselves are more expensive. The charge for pets to stay in a kennel is £21. (Car passengers also have the option of leaving dogs in their car, with a fee of £18 applying.)

Read my review of travelling between London and Amsterdam with my dog on this ferry, on the overnight sailing. It is possible to book online; simply select a pet-friendly cabin if desired at the cabin step, then add your pet to your booking at the next step.

Recently, a limit of three pets per foot passenger has been imposed (or five pets per vehicle).

Click here to book this ferry

Pet-friendly cruises
Our cabin on the Stena Line ferry

Ferry from Newcastle to Amsterdam (DFDS Seaways w/ Pet-Friendly Cabins)

This ferry service to Amsterdam also offers dog-friendly cabins as well as kennels, with both available to foot passengers as well as car passengers. The pet-friendly cabins are four-berth sea-view cabins that can accomodate up to two medium-sized dogs.

This crossing is a more convenient option for dog owners travelling to or from northern England or Scotland. Note though that the journey time is much longer – nearly 16 hours.

There is a charge of £30 per pet in either a cabin or kennel. Foot passengers travelling with a pet need to book by calling the contact centre

Read this review by someone else taking the ferry or find out more about the DFDS pet-friendly cabins and travelling with a pet on DFDS ferries in general.

Ferry from Hull to Rotterdam (P&O w/ Pet-Friendly Cabins)

This ferry service also connects northern England with the Netherlands, but this time the ports of Hull and Rotterdam. The journey time is about 11 hours, with the service generally operating overnight.

Recently, three pet-friendly cabins have been added on each ferry. Each cabin is a two-berth ensuite cabin with a window, although with a restricted view. Each cabin can accommodate two small or one medium/large dog. Naturally, they should be booked well in advance, plus they cost more than standard cabins.

The pet-friendly cabins are located on deck 7 close to the kennels and exercise area. It’s also possible to book one of the air-conditioned kennels, with three sizes available. While the kennels cannot be visited during the crossing, they are regularly checked by staff members overnight.

There is a set fee of £22 per pet, charged regardless of whether your pet travels in a kennel or cabin. It’s easy to add a pet to an online booking, for those travelling with or without a car, plus select a pet-friendly cabin if available.

Another way that P&O has made their crossings more pet-friendly is by setting up a pet exercise area at both the Hull and Rotterdam Ferry Terminals, for some last minute exercise before boarding the ferry.

Find out more about taking your pets on P&O.

Taking a Ferry with a Car and a Dog

It’s a lot easier to travel in between England and continental Europe with a pet if you also have a car! The majority of ferries travelling between England and continental Europe allow passengers travelling with a car to also transport pets. Click here for the full list of approved ferries.

On most ferries, your dog (or other pets) will stay in your car for the voyage, although some ferries do offer kennel options or even pet-friendly cabins (including Brittany Ferries to Caen, Cherbourg, Roscoff, Bilbao and Santander, DFDS Seaways between Newcastle and Amsterdam, Stena Line between Harwich and Hook of Holland, and P&O between Hull to Rotterdam).

Check out my full guide to pet-friendly cabins on ferries to Europe

Another recently development in 2023 has been the introduction of pet lounges on the P&O ferries between Dover and Calais. Instead of leaving your dog in your car, you can travel together in the lounge, with access to an outside exercise deck. A fee applies for access, with only dogs allowed. Additionally, only those with a vehicle can travel with pets, not foot passengers.

If your dog is staying in your car, it’s best to choose one of the quicker ferry options, such as between Dover and Calais, particularly if travelling in the warmer months.

Bringing dog to UK
Consider the short ferry trips between Dover and Calais

Most ferries charge a fee per pet, usually around £22 except on the longer voyages to and from Spain, although the exact fee varies between the different companies. Check out the websites of the individual ferry companies for more information.

I’ve also put together detailed guides on taking the ferry to France with a dog and taking the ferry to Spain with a dog, with a list of all options and their pet facilities.

Taking the Eurotunnel with a Dog

The second option available if you have a car, and probably the more convenient one, is to take the Eurotunnel car shuttle train. Your dog stays in your car along with you, and the actual crossing only takes 35 minutes. There is an additional charge of £22 per pet, in each direction.

At both Calais (France) and Folkestone (UK) you will need to report to the Pet Reception Centre, prior to checking in. Make sure you allow additional time for this step. Here your dog’s paperwork will be checked.

See further details on the Eurotunnel website about transporting dogs via the Eurotunnel.

Note that the Eurotunnel doesn’t take foot passengers, with or without a dog.

Flying to the UK with a Dog

If you’re wanting to fly to the UK with a dog, the only option available is for your pet to fly as cargo. No dogs are allowed to travel to the UK in the plane cabin, except for assistance dogs, or as checked luggage. 

Click here for the list of approved airlines, including the approved destination airports, or alternatively check the pet policy of the airline you intend to use, as many airlines that fly pets elsewhere in Europe don’t offer the option of flying pets as cargo to the UK.

Dropping off Schnitzel at a freight terminal for his flight
Dogs can only fly into the UK as cargo

Depending on the airline, you may be required to use an animal transport company, meaning it can be quite expensive. Additionally, there is a large fee payable when you collect your pet from the quarantine office. On top of that, the process is reportedly quite time consuming and you need to make an advance booking – Heathrow in particular is often booked out in advance.

Is it any wonder that most people avoid flying to the UK with their pet?

Flying out of the UK with a Dog

While pets flying into the UK must travel as cargo, the rules are more relaxed for flying with pets out of the UK. Dogs are allowed to travel in the cabin or as checked luggage. However, there are only a limited number of airlines that offer this.

Check out my guide to the latest airlines that fly dogs out of the UK, whether in the cabin or as excess baggage. Two of the European airlines that clearly specify they allow this are Air Malta and TAP Air Portugal. Additionally, I’ve heard reports from fellow travellers of Air France, KLM and Lufthansa allowing this.

can i take my dog to europe from uk
Flying with our dog on Air Malta, one of the airlines that allows dogs in the cabin out of the UK

I recommend phoning up the airline you are considering using to find out if this is an option, plus noting down the details of who you spoke to and when if you do get the okay. Note that none of the UK airlines allow pets to fly in the cabin at all.

Taxi Services Across the English Channel

The other alternative if you’re travelling between the UK and continental Europe without a car, and are struggling with the limited transport options available, is to utilise a taxi service. There are multiple providers that will basically take you on a taxi ride, along with your dog in the vehicle, but a slightly different taxi ride as you’ll be taking the Eurotunnel with the taxi.

Generally you just take the taxi between Folkestone Central station and either Calais Ville or Calais Fréthun station, utilising trains on either end. Expect to be charged at least £100-200 in addition to the Eurotunnel cost.

There may also be the option to travel a further distance on each end, such as all the way from London, for a higher cost. A typical fee from Paris to central London is £700, including the Eurotunnel cost.

For further details on taking a dog taxi from the UK to France, contact:

Prefer to not pay the expense of a private taxi? Another more recent option is Le Pet Express, which has regular scheduled mini-bus crossings, between Ashford and Calais Frethun rail stations. The shared mini buses can transport up to five pets and six people, with you travelling beside your pet. At the moment there are crossings on Saturdays and Sundays.

Additionally, there are some companies that are specifically set up to transport dogs longer distances between European countries and the UK, not just across the channel. These companies can collect your pet from an airport or city in Europe, then transport your pet to your door in the UK.

One such company is Happy Saluki Pet Transport, which is DEFRA certified. Another alternative is Pet Courier, a Spanish company that specifically transports pets between the UK and Spain, and vice versa.

What Paperwork is Required for my Dog?

To travel with a pet from the UK to the EU, your dog or cat needs to be microchipped, vaccinated for rabies at least 21 days before your day of travel and either have an EU animal health certificate or a pet passport issued in the EU or Northern Ireland.

Additionally, if you are travelling to the Finland, Ireland or Malta (plus Norway), your dog now needs to receive a worming treatment from your vet. For full details, see the UK government website.

Note that following Brexit, Great Britain issued pet passports are no longer valid, and you will need to visit a vet before each trip for an animal health certificate. However, if you have an EU or Northern Ireland-issued pet passport (Northern Ireland is technically part of the EU for pet travel purposes), these are still valid.

If you require an animal health certificate, I’ve heard recommendations for Abbeywell Vets located in Folkestone, close to the Eurotunnel terminal and the Dover ferry port. You can request an EU animal health certificate online for collection when you arrive in Folkestone for a reasonable price.

Prior to Brexit, when heading from the UK across to continental Europe, generally no paperwork for pets was checked. However, this is no longer the case, so allow additional time.

For more tips on everything to organise and other parasite treatments to consider when travelling to Europe with your dog, check out the pet travel guide put together by The Daycare Vet.

When returning to the UK, similar requirements apply. The animal health certificate used to leave Great Britain can be used to return to Great Britain, with a validity period of four months. Alternatively, a pet passport, including a pet passport issued in Great Britain prior to 2021, can be presented. Otherwise visit the vet to get a Great Britain pet health certificate.

France EU Pet Passport
There are multiple options for paperwork to return to Great Britain

Note that all dogs (except for those entering directly from Finland, Ireland, Malta, Northern Ireland or Norway) will need to be administered a worming treatment by a vet between 24 hours and 5 days of entry into the UK, with this recorded in your dog’s health certificate or pet passport.

Be prepared for your pet’s paperwork to be carefully checked when returning to the UK. The UK is is very strict about dogs entering the country, so make sure everything is in order. The timing of the worming treatment is checked down to the hour, plus the rabies vaccine is carefully checked.

For more details on the paperwork required, see the UK government website.

About the Author

Photo of Shandos & Schnitzel

Shandos Cleaver is the founder of Travelnuity: Dog-Friendly Travel. She has travelled extensively with her Miniature Dachshund, Schnitzel, including to 33 countries across Europe, every state and territory of Australia except Tasmania, and 10 of the United States. She’s passionate about providing inspiration and information to others wanting to travel with their dogs, whether close to home or internationally.

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Taking a dog to Europe from UK

81 thoughts on “How to Travel with a Dog Between the UK and Europe”

  1. How about taxis, most of the taxi drivers in London they refuse the journey when they see the pet, how about your experience. thanks for sharing

    • I’ve had both experiences with catching taxis in London – being refused or accepted (although I guess it helped that my dog is small and was in a carrier bag). It’s helpful if you can advise in advance that you have a dog.

      With crossing the channel in a taxi, it’s a specific service offered by these companies that you book in advance, advising that you have a dog. I’m sure they wouldn’t refuse if it’s all been properly booked!

  2. This is a great series but I’m really surprised that you haven’t once mentioned the banned dog breeds in Europe! As owners of the soppiest, softest, daftest, most laid back (breed indicative!) Bullmastiff, we were shocked to discover that we are unable to drive through France with her. We are however looking at options to take the ferry straight to Spain instead! The Caravan and Motorhome Club has some info, but we’ve found that this is not a widely publicised subject which could catch out unsuspecting owners.

    • This is a concern of mine as well! I plan to tour Europe with my dog on an extremely extended trek, but she is a pit-hound mix. I think I am going to mostly rely on the fact she looks more like a hound dog and hope that saves us! If I could get her to howl on command, that would convince everyone. You can’t mistake the distinct hound baying xD

      My final hope is that the muzzle that is required in many areas doesn’t ruin the illusion. Covering her very hound-y snout might draw more attention to her very pit-y ears. : {

      As for crossing from France to England, I have half a mind to hitch hike, LOL!

    • It sure is tricky returning pets to the UK, unless you’re happy to have them travel as cargo (and pay the cost)! Probably my favourite recommendation (and that of many people I’ve spoken to) is flying to Amsterdam and then taking the Stenaline ferry to Harwich or the DFDS ferry to Newcastle. Alternatively, if you would prefer to travel by train, I recommend checking out Man in Seat 61 for the options.

      • I recommend flying to either Paris or Amsterdam, then taking the ferry or a pet taxi on the Eurotunnel. Alternatively, there’s companies that can provide end to end land transport from many countries to the UK

  3. Such a great help. Thank you! We are getting the Eurotunnel to France with our dog and then driving up to Belgium. I’ve struggled to find anything about traveling between countries in Europe and can only assume that we don’t have to do anything between France and Belgium? Just the vet stop in France on the way back? If you can offer any advice I’d be ever so grateful. Thank you!

    • Georgia – Great to hear about your plans! For travelling with your dog between EU countries (and other countries like Switzerland), you’re required to have their pet passport and a rabies vaccine at least 21 days old, but this is rarely checked (except for UK and Malta, possibly Finland and Norway, that all requires the worming treatment). Expect to show nothing when travelling from France to Belgium, the same as regular passports are not checked. And yes, stop at the vet between returning to the UK for the worming treatment, at least 24 hours before returning to the UK.

  4. Thanks for the clear and up-to-date information. This is an invaluable help as it can be hard to get clear information about pet-travel in one place, which can be very confusing. I really appreciate it !

  5. Excellent information, thank you.
    I moved to Cyprus 2yrs ago with my dog in cargo and he was severely traumatised to the point that I thought he may die as he stopped eating. Then he got hit by a car and is now paralysed. I am desperately trying to get back to the UK but am struggling to find a way off the island without putting him in hold again. He weighs too much to go as hand luggage and i have to toilet him every 4hrs so cargo is not an option. Any suggestions?
    Thank you

    • Unfortunately I haven’t yet been to Cyprus, so I’m not fully across the transport situation. One option might be taking a ferry, then trains across Europe (see I know the ferries in Greece allowed dogs on the outside decks. But Greece has restrictions on larger dogs on trains, and Turkey may have the same. Not to mention this is a long journey.

      I’d recommend looking into an animal transport company, who may operate vans where they transport dogs. I’ve heard of this before, but haven’t used it in Europe. Additionally, speak to your vet whether they can recommend something to help your dog, if you do end up resorting to cargo again. Sedatives aren’t usually recommended, but are an option if you work out a plan and trial it with your vet.

  6. Hi,

    Can you tell me if you have to pay someone to go through customs at both the CDG airport if flying into France with your dogs, and then at either border, France or UK, when taking the on-foot ferry option or the overnight ferry option from Amsterdam?

    • Kelly – Sorry for taking a while to reply, I haven’t had decent internet access lately. The great news is that no customs fee is payable arriving in CDG or crossing the channel. The only customs fee in Europe I’m aware of is flying into the UK. Hopefully this doesn’t change with Brexit.

  7. Hi!
    I am thinking of taking a small-sized dog, but I live in the UK. I travel to Sicily quite a lot (my home is there) and was thinking if you could suggest the best option to travel there. How expensive could that be?

    • It’ll be easier to travel to Sicily with your dog, as some airlines accept dogs flying out of the UK (perhaps Alitalia, I haven’t heard reports), but flying back into the UK dogs can only travel in cargo. Most people avoid this (and the high cost) by flying to a nearby city and then driving back across (on a ferry or the tunnel) or taking the ferry. I’ve covered these options in this post. I recommend contacting an airline directly for a cargo quote. The cost of driving or taking the ferry is trickier to estimate as it varies depending on your choice and has multiple components.

  8. Hi,
    I am travelling from U.K. to Brazil with my pet in the cabin. However my flight has a connection of 1:30 hour in Amsterdam, where I will change the aircraft but won’t leave the lobby of arrivals and departures.
    I already have all the documents required by Brazilian authorities.
    Do you know if I have to apply for any additional document to present in Amsterdam or the health certificate issued by British authorities is enough?

    • If you’re not leaving the airport in Amsterdam, you don’t require anything. However, if you wish to leave the airport this depends on whether this is this year or next year after the end of the Brexit transition. At the moment, your dog would just need a EU pet passport, showing the valid rabies vaccine. However, this is often not checked.

  9. Thank you so much for this post!!
    I have struggled so much in finding good information to take my pet from the Uk to Switzerland.

    I am moving and I have also lots of luggage, do you recommend anything on this situation?

    I was planning on renting a car but because I’m not 25 yet this is not an option for me unfortunately.

    Once again thank you for taking the time on writing this post.

    • Thanks so much Mariana! There are some services that will deliver luggage for you, but I’m not sure of the costs involved. Alternatively, I’d recommend using a taxi to cross the channel (and loading it up with your luggage), plus investigating using BlaBlaCar (car pooling), specifying you have extra luggage.

      • Does BlaBlaCar work well? I saw this even searching for ways to cross but did not look into it heavily… I’ve been wanting to drive and hook up a dash camera to record to country side of France and England.

    • You can send your luggage before you leave to where you’re going out have someone do it for you after. I’m going to see my mum and I’m going to Oxford flying into France from the USA. I spent £256 to send two bags at 72lbs and 60lbs from Oregon USA to Oxford England.

  10. Hello, thanks for this very useful guide! I want to go from Paris to London with a cat, and I have one question: is there a way of renting a car to go from Paris to London (and drop the car in London) with my cat? I am from the USA, so I am not sure if there are any special restrictions I need to take into account, or if rental companies even let you have a cat in the car. Thanks!

    • Sebastian – I looked into this when I was travelling the same route, and found most car companies either didn’t permit a one-way hire or charged a fortune for it. Most car hire companies don’t have rules against pets in the car in France, although I would ideally keep your cat in a carrier (for their own safety, too) and remove any pet hair before returning it.

        • Sorry, I’m not sure what car rental you’re referring to. We had multiple both in France and UK, but didn’t get a one-way rental

      • Hi, Shandos! I’ve been trying to look everywhere for the answer but I’m traveling from the USA to France where I’ll spend a few days. I’m traveling (likely flying) to the UK soon after and was wondering if I need two separate health certificates (one from France) even if I’d be traveling with a USA-endorsed certificate within the 10 days it’s valid.

        If I need only one, do I need to have the health certificate for France or for the UK? Is either accepted by either country? Thank you so much for your help!

        • Unfortunately, you’ll need a 2nd health certificate – the GB pet health certificate. France only accepts the EU one, while England/Scotland/Wales only accept the GB one. It will be best if you have both completed in the USA, or else have the GB pet health certificate completed in France. For the UK, pets also need to be wormed within 5 days of arrival, but at least 24 hours in advance, which sounds like it’ll be easier done in France if you spend a few days there.

    • Have you gone yet?
      I’m doing the taking my cat to France CDG this month trying to book my tickets for the ferry or taxi across to England

  11. In case you are not aware the rules post Brexit have changed at Eurotunnel. Generally for any pet there is a new requirement for travel from the UK to France to have a health declaration which is obtained at a vet and costs around £160 per pet. This is because France now does not recognise the UK Pet Passport. And at Eurotunnel there is a new Pet reception centre you have to visit to board the train with your dog.

    • Thanks for the information on the new pet reception centre! As I’ve mentioned elsewhere on my blog, yes a health certificate is now required to travel from the UK to France. This article is due to be updated soon.

  12. Hi there,

    Great website! Has anyone had experience travelling from Amsterdam to Newcastle by ferry as a foot passenger? The website gives conflicting info 🙁 Are you allowed to take a small dog with you on this route?

    Many thanks!!

    • You should be able to take a small dog in the pet-friendly cabins, I know people who have done this. However, this may be impacted by Covid, so I recommend calling to confirm.

  13. Hi,
    I was looking at taking my dog on the plane from Uk to Kosovo which is possible but the return cost for the dog is very high. More than I paid for my family tickets. I would like to know if I can travel with my car from Uk to Kosovo with the dog. I have done this journey many times before without the dog but not sure what is required re: travel with dog in the car. Thanks

    • It’s quite easy to drive through Europe with a dog in your car. To travel from the UK to France, you’ll need to visit your vet to get an EU pet health certificate, within 10 days of your arrival in France. The price for this varies quite a bit. This can also be used to re-enter the UK, if your trip is under 4 months, plus you need to get a worming treatment recorded between 24 hours and 5 days before returning to the UK.

      Once you are in France, keep the EU pet health certificate. You need this to cross borders within the EU (and Switzerland), but it is unlikely anyone will ask to view it. However, I’m not sure what is required to enter the non-EU countries, like Bosnia and Kosovo. I recommend checking the government websites in advance.

      Actually, I just realised one other thing. If you travel to the EU after travelling to a few countries in Europe outside of the EU, including Montenegro, Serbia and Kosovo, you pet will need a rabies titre test also. The list of exempt countries and territories is here: More information is here:

      If you have this done before leaving the EU, there is no waiting period (normally there is a 3 month waiting period), but I am not sure what happens if you have this done in the UK, see such the UK is no longer part of the EU. I recommend speaking to your vet for advice.

  14. Hi, my mum is moving to the UK with her dog from Malta. Planning to fly to France/Belgium then drive or ferry to UK. If paperwork and worming treatment is done in Malta (up to 5 days prior) is that enough or will she need to see a vet in France?

  15. Hi Shandos! Thanks for the blog post, very helpful. I just wanted to share for people that will need to travel between EU and UK regularly: every time you travel from the UK you will need a health certificate, as those expire, but if you actually register your pet with a Vet in an EU country (I did it in Barcelona, Spain) you can then get a Pet Passport recognised by the EU. This will allow you to travel back without needing to spend every time in a health certificate, which can cost £150+. The requirements to get the passport in Spain were pretty simple: they didn’t asked for min period of time (but this could be different depending on the practice apparently), show the vaccine records and the cost for my dog was around €50. I don’t know how this can be done in other countries or even regions of Spain, but worth checking. Hope it helps someone else!

    • Thanks for sharing Julio, including how easy it was in Spain. Unfortunately France has been making it more difficult to get an Eu pet passport there unless you live in France, but with the high cost of pet certificates it’s worth trying.

      • Hi Shandos,
        Thank you very much for your great website! 🙏
        Can you please help me, as far as I’ve read (e.g., UK vets can no longer stamp raibies vaccines into EU pet passports. Which means, that if you are going to get an EU pet passport, you will have to take your dog back to EU *every year* for the vaccination. Did I get that right? Because if yes, it doesn’t seem cost effective to have a EU pet passport 🤔

        • Yes, that’s now the case, since the UK left the EU. Some rabies vaccinations are valid for 3 years, but it only makes sense to go down this route if you are planning on regularly visiting the EU with your dog, such as spending a few months each year there.

  16. United allowed flying out of Edinburgh in cabin. Also note Stena Line Hook to Harwich now has pet cabins you can book for the night trip, and their day crossing at 14:15-19:45 looks to be shorter (our doggie is very old and I don’t think we could leave her in one overnight). We have done the DFDS to Newcastle several times. They looked at her EU passport when departing AMS but not when arriving in Newcastle both times. After finding it just as difficult to get to their bus in Amsterdam last time however we took a train to the closest point and then called and Uber. We also took an Uber on the Newcastle end the last time.

  17. Hi Shandos! Do you have any experience/suggestions for travelling to the UK from Portugal with a 20kg friend? It looked for a moment like British Airways might be a possiblility through the cargo handlers IAG but it seems they don’t list Portugal as an option…

    • Portugal to UK is a tricky one at the moment! Lufthansa might be able to do it on a flight via Frankfurt, but I heard a few weeks back that they temporarily were stopping transit flights for pets due to low staffing levels from Covid.

      Alternatively, there’s multiple pet transport companies that will transport pets in vans from throughout Europe across to the UK. Perhaps ask in a Portuguese expat group on Facebook for recommendations, or else a Google search turns up multiple options.

  18. Hi, thank you for sharing all this information. I actually took your advice at Christmas and went from London to Malaga with my cat: Newhaven -> Dieppe -> by ferry then caught the trains (nightmare so long) then flew Paris -> Malaga.

    However, we are going again in a few weeks and we were accepted in March to fly in the cabin with Iberia Express from Heathrow to Madrid then doing the fast train to Malaga. However, I just noticed that you have said Iberia no longer accept animals in the cabin? I have phoned them up a few times and they have confirmed that my cat is on the ticket. I am a little nervous now that we may be refused at the airport?

    • The latest I had heard is that they weren’t accepting pets, but maybe they have changed this again? If you have the ticket and you have confirmed this with them, all should be fine.

  19. Hello,

    Thank you for the information, apologies if I have missed this but what is the protocol for arriving to CDG with dog in cabin? Do I need approval from the airport before I fly, if so who do I contact?

  20. Hi ans thanks so much. for all this info. I am dual nationality, British/Irish and my dog is a rescue from Romania and has a European Passport.
    My plan is to take Le Pet Shuttle, (Eurotunnel) to Calais and then a train to CDG and stay in a Pet Friendly Hotel at airport. Then next day fly her in cabin with me from Paris to Faro, Portugal. I’m gonna have a stroller for her and an airline approved cabin carrier. My question is, what pitfalls should I look out for? Im a bit nervous about the paperwork.

    • The main requirement is that your dog still has a valid rabies vaccine in the passport. (Future vaccines will need to be done in the EU to be entered in the passport.) The paperwork will be checked before leaving the Uk, then perhaps at flight check in, but it’s fairly straight forward. Enjoy your trip!

  21. Great & informative blog! The comments have helped me work out that Eurotunnel is best option in returning to the UK.

    I would just like to double check I’m up to date with info tho.

    I would like to fly from london to Faro, Portugal with my 5 months old chihuahua for a couple weeks holiday. (I used to live there before getting my puppy & still have friends over there, I am a British (born here) citizen.) I have found that I can fly out of london fine but it’s returning I’m unsure on. Preferably flying with TAP.

    My question is:
    Will I be able to fly back with my pup if I have flown out with him or shall I try the Portugal to Calais flight then get the Eurotunnel over to the uk?

    I won’t have my car tho for the Eurotunnel part, what would be the best way to get on there OR if you know a better alternative in returning to the uk from Faro, Portugal I’m happy to hear all ideas.

    (Apologies for the story ha, I just want to make sure all details are in)

    • Yes, it’s possible to fly out of the UK with a dog in the cabin, with a few airlines, but it’s not possible to fly back in, even if you flew out, except if the pet flies in cargo. As you won’t have a car, there’s a few taxi companies I have listed that will transport you and your dog.

  22. Lufthansa no longer allow pets in cargo to the uk. They say you need to book space on a cargo plane in order to transport your pet to the uk. British airways and Austrian airlines have said the same thing. It’s become even harder now to bring my cat to the uk.

  23. Hi! Super useful information as it’s so tricky to travel to/from the UK! I just wanted to add that dogs can travel in the cabin UK to Spain with Iberia Express (not normal Iberia). As far as I know, you have to phone several times until you get someone who knows their own rules… but it’s possible!

    • I thought Iberia Express had recently stopped allowing pets in the cabin leaving the UK, but maybe it is still sometimes possible? Thanks for the info!

  24. Hi,

    Thanks so much for this article! The information was very helpful but I have a couple more questions that are specific to buying a puppy from a certified breeder in the UK and bringing them back home into EU.

    We have put down a deposit for a puppy from a UK breeder but we live in Slovakia. We have a car so there is an option of basically taking a road trip from Bratislava to the UK (15+ hours) and back for the pup but in the end we want to choose a way to bring them home that’s least stressful for them. Do you have any suggestions on what the process is like with a 8 week old puppy and what the best options are for transport?

    Thanks a lot,

    • Anna – I’m not fully across the rules for transporting puppies. Make sure you double check the rules for puppies for EU pet health certificates – there is a slightly different process as they are too young for a rabies vaccine. Additionally, many airlines have minimum age restrictions. An alternative option is to find a land transport option. I’ve heard many recommendations for Happy Saluki ( I recommend reaching out to them.

  25. Hi. I want to travel with 4kg dog to Malaga and return. I can’t be separated from a “Velcro” dog as this would cause a great deal of trauma and suffering,

    I have a doctor’s letter stating that she is a therapy dog – but don’t know if this carries any weight with the authorities.

    Can you suggest the simplest way to travel – whilst noting that Uk authorities have stringent rules. Also, am partly disabled myself and would need some buggy or wheelchair assistance at both Uk and Malaga airports, A two week (or less) stay in July or September. Many thanks for your help. Fully realise this is a difficult request.

  26. Hello!

    Thank you very much for this very helpful information source! I could not find any other more informative and clear source than this!

    I will be travelling with my dog (Pincher) from Italy to UK by train and then via Eurotunnel by Le Pet Express minibus as I do not have a car.

    Do you know whether my dog must stay in a pet carrier whilst on train in France or he can sit on my lap or on the floor next to me. If a pet carrier is needed, are there particular size requirements?

    Do I need to book a ticket for my dog as well for a train from Paris to Calais Frethun?

    Calais Frethun train station for trains arriving from Paris and Eurotunnel shuttle terminal are located in one and the same place?

    Thank you in advance for your advise!

    • The rules for whether a pet should be in the carrier on the train and the relevant ticket depends on the size. I summarise the rules for the SNCF trains in my France guide: Advance booking for pet tickets is not always possible – it’s fine to buy at the station. I haven’t been to Calais myself, but I’ve heard from other travellers that Calais Frethun is the station you want to alight at. Double check with Let Pet Express for their pick-up point. All the best with your trip!

  27. I have just done the crossing above and here are my two cents: I have had the pet passport done in Germany already so I did not have to get the health certificate. But if you do need it, schedule enough time for this as some vets need to pre gather information and put together everything which can take a while. Secondly the cages are now fixed on the ferry, there were four cages in total. Besides my JRT there was another person with a dog on the ferry. They did not make us put him into the carrier at all we and a crew member just walked our dogs on leashes to the cages. The cages are large but quite disgusting I have to say. They smell like dog urine and the pads underneath are soaked with dog urine and water. I did not like leaving my dog there but had no choice. I would suggest to bring some pee pads and portable water bowls and cover the floor so your dog does not have to sit on top of the soaked pads. I visited him once as he got motion sick during the trip (sees are rough in the winter time so if your dog is motion sick take that into account) he was fine though and in general the dogs are located in a small enclave near the cars so it’s fairly sheltered. Once it was time to disembark they told us to deboard first before all foot passengers. We went down to get our dogs and went to the lowest levels where some crew were already waiting to leave the ship. A bus was waiting to drive us to the terminal where you go through passport control (just your passport). There are no taxis or busses to Dieppe train station so you might need to walk (25min). I took trains to Paris with my dog which were quite smooth. I think the journey is ok so you can do it but personally I will get a car and travel through thr eurotunnel next time.


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