Jump to content
Complete France Forum

bringing a new puppy into France - real life experience


Recommended Posts


I've just brought a 12 week old puppy into France from the UK and would like to relate the experience to the forum. I will let you draw your own conclusions.

Puppy was 12 weeks old on the Wednesday and was booked in for his rabies jab and micro chip on the same day. Issued with his passport which stated that the vaccination date and the valid from date are the same date as the vaccine was given.

Travelled from Newhaven to Dieppe on the Thursday night ferry where the passport checks were carried out however no check made of the puppy's micro-chip, in fact I don't think the young lady even looked at the dog! Boarded ferry and left a confused looking puppy in the car for the next 4 hours.

On arrival at Dieppe our passports ( the humans not the dogs) were given a cursory glance and we were waved on our way. Job Done.

A few weeks of worry by the other half for what!!!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Well I am pretty sure the authorities would have identified that the animal was being illegally moved between EU countries for one.

Despite what the OP has been told or what might even have been written in the passport, the rabies vaccine becomes valid only after 21 days after it has been administered. I read the OPs post that they travelled immediately after the vaccine was administered.

Edit: Jerrycan beat me to it.

I did wonder if there were special rules for puppies, but research suggests no.



certificate is not valid for entry into France.

Please note: Since 20 May 2005, pets under three months old and not vaccinated against rabies are not allowed to enter into France.

The animal is allowed to enter into France 21 days after its first full anti-rabies vaccination.


The pdf link further emphasises that the vaccination only becomes valid 21 days after being administered.

The lax attitude of EU border controls in continental Europe means the OP got away with it.
Link to comment
Share on other sites

As you have now discovered, though, the French are quite relaxed about the whole Pet Passport thing. Bringing a pet from France or elsewhere to the UK, however, involves much stricter controls. On quite a few occasions I've seen people turned away from Eurotunnel because of a mistake in their pet passport, and I've had friends who were held up on their journey home and had to spend another 48 hours in France because their dogs worm and tic treatment had lapsed.

Yes, they're supposed to check at least a percentage of pets entering France but I guess it's very rare and I know of nobody who has been stopped.

ETA Andy ,you replied as I was struggling to get my post to publish. I'm not saying that what happens is right, just that it happens
Link to comment
Share on other sites

You can call me Betty

Not just France, which is why I said continental EU countries. I regularly crossed the German French border with between 3 and 8 cats in the back of the car. Never stopped once in 6 years of crossing the border about 12 - 16 times per year.

I have however been stopped crossing into Germany twice and once from Luxembourg when I did not have the cats with me. What they would have done if the cats had been with me is an open question, because on each occasion they were looking for something or someone specific and I must have fit the profile.
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I really hope that you are not recommending that others break these rules.

And as you knew the  rules, why on earth did you break them? Because you could have been stopped.


Contrôles et sanctions

Les services des douanes peuvent vérifier que l'animal de compagnie

répond aux conditions sanitaires obligatoires, à l'occasion d'un

contrôle de la circulation par exemple.

Les compagnies aériennes (et autres transporteurs) peuvent également

vous demander des justificatifs sur ces conditions sanitaires.

En cas d'infraction à la réglementation, les agents chargés des contrôles peuvent vous obliger à vos frais :

  • à la réexpédition de votre animal vers le pays d'origine,

  • à sa mise en quarantaine,

  • ou à son euthanasie.

So you could have ended up with a dead dog!!!!! And had to pay for that to happen.

AND, on the UK side, they may have checked the dog's papers, it has happened to us when returning to France, no idea why, as they are not there to enforce french rules anyway. Maybe they wanted to have a closer look at our dog? I don't know.

On the french side we were never checked, but we knew we could have been and always had our papers handy.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

[quote user="idun"]I really hope that you are not recommending that others break these rules.

And as you knew the  rules, why on earth did you break them? Because you could have been stopped.


Hmm, that could help my situation, as the cat in this case doesn't have rabies and will be injected tomorrow I could travel before 21 days because by the time I return to the UK more than 21 days will have elapsed.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Very risky Theiere.

The chances of being stopped are small, the results if you are severe for the cat. As Idun quotes (as does the pdf link in my post) the sanctions are:

You get sent back from whence you came

You have enforced quarantine

The animal is euthanized.

What they don't say is that THEY decide what will happen, not you.

Getting sent back is a no-no. When you get back to the UK you cannot enter because your animal does not have the requisite 21 day rabies injection. (I guess you could sail back and forth at your expense until the 21 days comes into force!!)

Quarantine facilities have reduced dramatically after the opening of borders for pet transportation, there may well be nothing available, and I for one would not want to put any of my animals through quarantine.

So that leaves the authorities with just one option.
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I've never been checked with the dog going into France with Eurotunnel, even when he has been snarling at the attendants and growling at the customs people. However I have been checked bringing the cat into France on the Newhaven Dieppe ferry. Always checked going into the UK. My brother has occasionally forgotten to get the dogs tapeworm treatment done on time before going into the UK and had to postpone the journey until, the paperwork is up to date. Worst case scenario I would say is you would be unable to embark. It is not illegal to have a cat or dog in the UK or France who is not vaccinated. What is illegal is to cross the border.

As to borders within Europe.. well I've never seen any although I guess you could be stopped anywhere and anytime.
Link to comment
Share on other sites

When all these rules came out, we crossed from the Hook of Holland and quite a few doggy owners had got it wrong and we saw all the emotions..........angry, shouting, crying, because they were not allowed to cross. We were able to cross, fortunately we had  done everything just right, and I cannot tell you what a feeling of relief it was, being told we could continue our journey.

On the way back to France, via Dover, we had the paperwork looked over.

We we were leaving France for good, had planned on leaving in 2006, but I took ill and so that move was put on hold. In the mean time we ended up herberging our son's cat, as he had gone off travelling and it was not vaccinated and the cat became 'ours'. So we had him vaccinated, waited, then had the blood test done and he failed it. So he had a futher anti rabies jab, then the wait and this time he passed. None of that was planned, actually not convenient, but 'us', we waited and did everything properly.

Simply I would never risk travelling with animals and not getting it right. Not fair on our furry companions.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

[quote user="idun"]I really hope that you are not recommending that others break these rules.

And as you knew the  rules, why on earth did you break them? [/quote]

Hmmm did I say I was recommending anything?

I had made my travel arrangements based on what our vet (French) had told us " as long as it has a rabies vaccination you can enter France with your new puppy". It was only after this that my wife, decided to investigate further and found the 21 days after rule.

Unfortunately the plans were in place so I took the calculated risk and travelled! Simples
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 months later...

I have come through the ports with the dogs many times and only occasionally been checked on the UK to France route. However I flew with a puppy from Sweden to CDG and the onward to Bordeaux. The papers and the pup were given full checks for both flights (Air France) the pup was a little Affenpinscher who was travelling in a carry case on my knee in the cabin.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The last time we travelled back to the U.K. with our dog was 8 or so years back. At Caen we were talking to a guy who lived in the very south of Spain. He had got his dog tick and wormed and the vet knew that he couldn't get to the port within the 48 hour time limit so he just post dated the certificates by 24 hours. The guy said that it was common practice there..

Link to comment
Share on other sites


This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

  • Create New...