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Travelling with pets. Where the law applies and does not apply…

Travelling with pets

Travelling with pets

It doesn’t seem like it at the moment, but summer is coming. Sunny Saturday – the day most of the population book their holidays has been and gone. If you have pets you should be researching and booking kennels and catteries now. The good ones may already be full for the holiday season – always visit before your pets go in.

What do you do if you plan to take them with you? Do you know how to travel safely with your pets? Travelling abroad has got easier with pets as the pet passport scheme now means you can get a rabies vaccine and travel 22 days later, if the country is in the scheme:


If you are considering travel during hot weather there a few issues to prepare for:-

As I own Hollie I am all too aware of the heat problems pets can suffer from. She is small, black and has no nose. Noses filter air and cool it down or heat it up as needed. Not having one can mean they overheat more easily. Pugs, Shih tzus, French Bulldogs are all popular breeds with no nose.

Most people know that leaving a dog in a car is bad news. When travelling by car I only buy fuel at “pay at pump”. There’s no stopping for the odd bottle of wine on the way home – if only pay at pump covered more than petrol!

For hot times we have a cool coat:-


Its amazing, especially during the time it takes a car to cool down at the start of a journey. We’ve also used it for her at night when it’s been humid.

However venturing further afield seems limited with Hollie. Dogs are not allowed on Eurostar trains. It would be my preferred option as train travel is something she copes well with. But as it’s not an option if I wanted to travel in Europe using a ferry is a potential route – but is it safe?

I was shocked to learn dogs must stay in cars during some ferry journeys. It seems that different companies have different rules. Some allow dogs out of the car to a dog friendly area of the deck. However others insist they remain in the car, on their own. You can ask to go and check on the dog. But this requires you are accompanied by a member of staff – which may not always be possible.

This sad story from 2014 highlighted the issue of dogs travelling in cars:


It made me question, is a law only actionable when people can see its being broken? If I did this in my local Simply Food car park people would be bricking my car window before I got through the queue. So why is it acceptable on a ferry?

For helpful advice on travelling with your pet please contact your vet.

About Richard Harper (25 Articles)
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