23 August 2016 by Jessica Boston
Taking your Dog on Holiday to France – What You Need to Know!
If you want to take your canine pal on holiday, France is a great destination, it’s not too hot, not too far and the culture is canine-friendly so you can relax and enjoy your break.
Where to stay with your dog?
Self-catering holiday rentals are the best choice for dog-friendly accommodation. Not only can you rest assured that your dog is welcome but you can also make sure your holiday routines mirror home activities. You can spend lots of time relaxing with your dog to make sure they are happy and confident – in fact you and your pet can treat your holiday cottage as a home-from-home! We have around six hundred pet-friendly properties all over France so whether you want to visit Brittany or Normandy, or go further south to the Loire or Poitou Charentes, we’ve got plenty of cottages, gites and villas for you to choose from!
How to get there?
Brittany Ferries are approved carriers for dogs, cats and ferrets! As long as you have a pet passport and meet all the legal requirements, sailing to France with your dog is easy and stress-free. Brittany Ferries have a great guide to all the nitty-gritty legal details so you can make sure you get it right.
For the crossing you can choose a pet-friendly cabin on the Etretat, Cap Finistere or Baie de Seine. Your dog will stay with you in the cabin and you’ll have access to a special area on deck where you can exercise your dog and get some fresh air. The Pont-Aven, Cap Finistere and Bretagne ferries have onboard kennels where your dog can stay during the voyage. Again you can take your dog for a walk in the designated area – dogs are not allowed in any other public areas on the ferries.
What to bring?
To make sure your pet is comfortable travelling and staying somewhere new it’s a good idea to bring some familiar bedding and toys from home. You’ll need to bring a muzzle if you plan to exercise your dog onboard the ferry. A portable non-spill water bowl is essential, especially if you’re going to be taking a long car journey to your destination. French supermarkets stock many types of dog food but if your dog has specific dietary requirements it’s probably best to bring enough food to last them for the duration of your trip.
What if I need a vet?
Your holiday home owner should be able to advise you of a local vet to use in the event of any problems while you are away. The vet can also do the tapeworm treatment that is legally required before you return to the UK with your dog. It’s a good idea to check your pet insurance to make sure you are covered in the event that you need to use vet services in France.
Are there any rules or restrictions I need to be aware of?
It’s worth checking local rules about where your dog is allowed to go and whether they need to be kept on a lead. Some beaches have a ‘no dogs’ rule in the summer months and there are also restrictions in some areas of the National Parks. The rules on picking up after your dog are not necessarily as rigorously upheld as in the UK but obviously you should go prepared with a good supply of poo bags and leave France as you found it!
In France dogs are welcome in most bars, restaurants and shops so you can pretty much fit them in with your standard holiday activities! Book your holiday with us to get 20% off your Brittany Ferries crossings and enjoy sniffing out a French adventure with your dog this year!