In this entry I will tell you about our experience in getting the documentation and preparing our dogs for travel. Overall it was a very quick and simple process. We would highly recommend the DEFRA and the Gov.uk website for the latest information and rules for the pet travel scheme, as its subject to change. As long as you follow the rules you can take your dog / pets to Europe and return to the UK without the need of quarantine. At the time of our holiday the following was needed to ensure smooth passage:-
to be identfied with a microchip
have received a rabies vaccination followed by a 21 day wait
issued with a EU pet passport
be treated against tapeworm (DOGS ONLY, NOT LESS THAN 24 HOURS AND NOT MORE THAN 120 HOURS BEFORE ITS SCHEDULED ARRIVAL TIME IN THE UK.
Thus requiring us to visit a veterinary practice in Menorca prior to our departure!
Luckily both Dinky and Toy had been microchipped prior to our decision to take them on holiday. After a quick phone call to our local vets they were booked in for their rabbies vaccination, followed by the passports ready to be collected the following day, it was as simple as that! I would highly recommend shopping around for prices, as the price we paid was less than what the average price stated on the above websites. We also opted for an upgrade to the annual booster injection, instead of the usual Lepto 2 vaccination we upgraded to the Lepto 4 to cover additional proctection, reduction of infection with serogroup Australis and the spread of serogroup Grippotyphosa. However this is not compulsory but at least it gives us extra peace of mind.
Overall booking the dogs onto the ferries and into the hotels was an easy proccess. DFDS seaways charged us £30 per dog return, this ended up being the most expensive sector for the dogs! Considering that they have to stay in the car for the entire crossing. Balladin's Hotels are very pet friendly as are most budget hotels in France. Dogs allowed in the rooms for an extra £7 approx. Trasmediterranea Ferries charged us £20 return per dog and again are very pet friendly. If your pet can fit in a cage, a maximum of 50 x 40 x 25cm then they can accompany you thoughout the entire journey by your side. Unfortunately our two are a little too large to fit these cages so they are booked into specially fitted out cages, ensuring the greatest comfort during the crossing. We have been assured that they are subject to meticulous cleaning and disinfection before every journey and we can even visit them during the 8 - 9 hour crossing and take them for a short walk on the deck. They also state that their ships have first aid kits for pets and a 24 hour animal hotline to deal with any unforeseen events. It is company policy that dogs are leased, collared and muzzeled whilst being transported from the car to the fitted out cages.
Prior to our return we need to visit a Spanish Vet in Menorca in order to keep to the rules of the Pet Travel Scheme. This is to have the dogs treated againt tapeworm Echinococcus multilocularis, rules apply to dogs only (1-5 days) before returning back into the UK. The treatment has to be recorded in the EU pet passport. A qualified vet must administer the treatment and not yourself with a medicine whose active ingredient is Praziquantel, or an equivalent product. Before leaving the veterinary practice you are advised to check the following details have been recorded accurately in the EU Pet Passport:-
Manufacturer and name of product
Date & Time
Stamp and signature
If any of the above details are not clearly and precisely recorded, you will be refused entry into the UK! We strongly advise you checking out the Travel Pet Scheme for the latest information as there is so much extra information online. I'd be here all night if I was to cover every single detail, but I've covered the basics. Overall it works out cheaper taking the dogs than putting them into kennels during our holiday. But is it worth it? We will find out during the next couple of weeks!