Our dogs are more than just pets, they are more part of the family. That means they will very likely want to come with you when you’re working on your gite or while you’re preparing it for guests. But how easy is it to travel to France with your dog?
France is a dog-friendly country with many areas outside of Paris welcoming dogs just as much as humans.
You do have to be aware of certain conditions though.
Travelling to France with your dog
Since Brexit, the pet passport is no longer valid if it was issued in the UK.
Your dog will need:
- A microchip
- A valid rabies vaccination
- An animal health certificate unless you have a pet passport issued in an EU country or Northern Ireland
You will certainly need an animal health certificate. This replaces the pet passport and can be obtained through your vet no more than 10 days before you come to France.
If you plan on making multiple trips to your French gite, you can obtain an EU pet passport in France by making an appointment with a French vet and going through the same process as you would over in the UK.
The passport is valid for 10 years as long as you keep up the rabies vaccination.
For gite owners who travel to France regularly, we recommend getting the EU pet passport. It saves a lot of hassle and extra paperwork and makes the customs process much smoother.
Dogs in France
Even though Brits consider themselves dog lovers, we have nothing on France.
Most restaurants, bistros and cafes outside the cities welcome dogs. Well-behaved dogs are welcome in bars and most of the places we hang out and eat and most shops also allow dogs.
Some eateries will even serve water or food in a dog bowl at your table!
The French seems to take their dogs with them whenever they run errands so you’ll see them in post offices, the bank, grocery stores and local stores. Technically they aren’t allowed into supermarkets and grocery stores, you’ll still see them there quite often.
Oddly, many parks don’t allow dogs and certainly don’t allow them to run off lead. It seems strange that you can take your dog almost anywhere in France but the one place they feel most at home, in a park, are often off limits.
There are still dog friendly parks though.
By the way, cleaning up after your dog is mandatory in France. That doesn’t mean everyone does it but there are large fines for anyone caught not clearing up after their dog!
If you run gites and travel with your dog or allow dogs in your gite, knowing the rules is essential. Fortunately, as long as you get your pet paperwork in order, it’s a simple thing to take your dog with you.