There are so many benefits to taking your dog on holiday with you. By doing so you’re enriching their life, creating new memories for you both to cherish and often it’s cheaper to take them with you compared to hiring a dog sitter or putting them in kennels. However, now the UK has officially left the EU, there are some additional requirements for travelling abroad with your dog in Europe. If you’re thinking of going abroad with you pets this year, here are some of our tips, plus the necessary paperwork and requirements you’ll need before you travel!

This blogpost refers to travelling abroad with your dog to the EU with up to five animals. If you’re planning to travel abroad with other animals, you’ll need to double check what documentation you require.

Travelling Abroad with Your Dog
Travelling Abroad with Your Dog

New EU Requirements when Travelling Abroad with Your Dog

When planning to travel abroad with pets, preparation is key. Some of the new pet paperwork takes a couple of months to obtain and there are certain vaccinations you need to ensure are up to date before you set off on your journey.

If you’re travelling abroad with your dog from Great Britain (England, Wales or Scotland) to an EU Country or Northern Ireland, your pet will need an up to date microchip, a valid rabies vaccine, an animal health certificate and tapeworm treatment if you and your dog are visiting Finland, Ireland, Northern Ireland, Norway or Malta directly. Animal health certificates are obtained via your vet a maximum of 10 days before entering the EU, so long as your dog already has an up to date rabies vaccine and only needs booster shots.

If your dog needs a rabies vaccination course, you must wait 21 days after the vaccine to obtain your animal health certificate. Your pet will need a new animal health certificate for each trip to the EU from Great Britain.

If you’re travelling outside of the EU with your pet, you’ll need an export health certificate and export application form.


Once you’ve got your required paperwork, it’s time to decide your method of transport to the EU. A popular mode of transport to the continent is via the Euro Tunnel in Folkestone, Kent. The crossing takes approximately 35minutes and you remain inside your vehicle with your pets for the duration. There is a designated exercise area at both the Folkestone and Calais terminals too.

Remember, when travelling with your dog in the car they need to be adequately restrained to prevent causing a distraction while you’re driving. Properly securing your dogs should also come in handy were you to experience a road traffic incident during your trip. We have a wide range of Henry Wag products to help ensure you’re travelling legally with your dog in the car, including our Travel Harness, Air Kennel and Travel Crates that can be attached securely inside your vehicle. If you’re planning a long drive across Europe, you may want to consider our wide range of seat covers and boot liners too, to keep any mud or sand at bay while you’re away!

Travelling Abroad with Your Dog

By Train

It’s quite common for dogs to travel with their owners by train in the UK. The same goes for continental Europe too. Unfortunately pets aren’t allowed on Eurostar trains themselves though, unless they’re an assistance dog. However, once you’ve made the crossing as a foot passenger by ferry or by plane with your pet, there are plenty of trains within Europe that allow dogs.

You may need to pay extra (either a full fare or half fare) if your dog is over a certain weight limit, which varies depending on which country and train company you’re using. You may also need to muzzle your dog as a requirement to travel by train. This is so that other passengers feel safe and is a blanket rule for most dogs, unless they are light enough to be carried in a designated pet carrier. You’ll need to research your specific train company in advance to find out their requirements when travelling abroad with your dog.


By Ferry

When travelling abroad with your dog by ferry, it’s common for them to remain in your vehicle as a requirement. Although your dog will remain in a familiar environment for the duration of your trip (inside your car) it’s important to remember they may feel travel sick during the journey, just like we humans do at sea! Therefore, be sure to feed your dog well ahead of your ferry crossing.

It might also be worth exercising them beforehand so they feel more relaxed and likely to snooze while you’re on the ferry. If your dog is prone to separation anxiety, travelling by ferry to Europe might not be the right fit for you. Sometimes you can purchase additional fares so your dog can sit with you in designated pet areas while you cross. It’s worth double checking with your ferry provider to see if this is a possibility or not.

Flying with Your Dog

UK airlines do not allow pets to travel in cabins. This is to government regulations. Therefore your pets must travel as cargo instead. There are some European airlines that will allow small pets to travel with you in the cabin, however when you’re coming back to the UK they’ll have to go in cargo.

If you’re looking to take your pet on an aeroplane when you travel abroad, you’ll need to make sure you’re travelling abroad with your dog using a suitable sized crate. The Henry Wag Air Kennel meets the International Air Transport Association (IATA) requirements for air travel and also includes live animal travel labels and bowls for your dog to use before and after flying.

It’s important to note that travelling abroad with your dog by aeroplane can be incredibly stressful for them, especially for longer flights. Not only this but also for you, as you’re unable to access your pet during the flight to reassure them and check they’re alright. Of course, there are a host of shorter domestic flights that you might need to travel on with your dog, such as to the Isles of Scilly. If you’re travelling by air, your dog will be with you in the cabin but still needs to be secured in an appropriate crate, such as our Air Kennel.

Have you travelled abroad with your dog before? Where did you go?