Travelling to France with dogs

dog friendly holidays france

We understand that your pet is one of the family and you want them to enjoy everything about your holidays. On your dog-friendly holiday in France you may find the following information when travelling useful.

Channel crossings with dogs

If you are travelling with your dog to France the cross channel ferry and train companies have made it pretty easy and straightforward to take your pet across the channel.

All companies allow you to take your dog across the Channel in your own car under the PETS scheme, which allows microchipped animals with the right paperwork and immunisations to pass into continental Europe without a period of quarantine. Find out more about how to prepare you pet for travel to France here.

We have personally used P&O Ferries and Eurotunnel Dover to Calais and return services when travelling with our dog and it’s been very easy and straightforward.

Eurotunnel has a nice dog exercise area in Dover where your pet can have a run round and do its ‘business’ before crossing and you have the added benefit of staying in the car with your pet during the crossing.

P&O Ferries rules are that your dog remains in your vehicle during the crossing, which seems a bit scary the first time you do it, but all our experiences have been fine.

Where to stop with your pet

The main motorways feature frequent rest areas (aires) so that when you are travelling in France with your dog and your pooch needs a break, look for the ‘aires de repos’.  These are the aires that don’t have the petrol stations, the ones that are the basic toilet stops, the ‘aires de repos’.  These aires tend to have larger countryside or wooded areas where you can allow your dog to stretch his legs and have a run round.

The full on service stations tend not to have very much room for walks and there is a lot of traffic to contend with.   With the aires de repos, more often than not there is enough space to let our dog off its lead for a good run round.

Travel accessories for dogs

A couple of good accessories that we have found really useful to have when travelling in France with your dog include a travel water / food bowl, a spare lead and a selection of dog toys and balls.

We use a heavy duty plastic water and food bowl kit, which includes a water bottle like this one from the RAC. (No commission being taken!). You can fill with water and food and have enough for a trip, very useful.

If you do a lot of mountain biking with the dog, invest in a foldable water bowl, made out of material.  This can be easily packed in your bag without taking too much space but opened out to fill with water

Find out more about our dog-friendly holidays in France:

> Dog friendly accommodation in France

> Taking your dog to France – what you need to know

> Travelling in France with dogs

> Dog friendly beaches in France