All about the Channel Tunnel

Taking your dog to Europe via the Chunnel

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Travelling with your dog via the Channel Tunnel offers a comfortable ride in your own car, and you'll be in France in just 35 minutes! However, it's essential to comply with the regulations, as failing to do so will mean your furry friend cannot join you.

Want to take your dog to France or another European country via the Channel Tunnel? It's possible! But make sure you're well-informed about and adhere to all the rules and requirements. Failure to comply means your dog cannot accompany you. On this page, you'll find all the necessary information, rules to follow, how the process works, and we'll also provide some handy tips.

Arrange Vaccinations and Documents Before Departure

At the terminals in Folkestone and Calais, you must register your pet at the special pet reception. Here, they'll check if all your pet's paperwork is in order. Without the correct documents, your pet cannot come along. Ensure your pet has a valid passport, a microchip, a rabies vaccination, and, for dogs, a tapeworm treatment.

A Animal Health Certificate (AHC)

Since 1 January 2021, Great Britain has a new status within the EU Pet Travel Scheme. For trips to Great Britain, you can use a European Pet Passport issued in the EU or in Great Britain before 1 January 2021.

However, for travel from Great Britain to the EU, you'll need an Animal Health Certificate (AHC) instead of a British-issued European Pet Passport.

Microchip Requirement

Identification of your pet (cat, dog, or ferret) requires a microchip, placed before the first rabies vaccination. The chip number must match the number in the pet's travel document. A tattoo is only valid as identification if it was done before 3 July 2011.

Rabies Vaccination

To take your pet to Europe, it must be vaccinated against rabies, which is only possible when the animal is at least 12 weeks old. This vaccination must be clearly stated in the pet's travel document, including the vaccine's name and manufacturer, start and end date of validity, and the name, signature, and stamp of the vet.

After the first vaccination, you must wait 21 days before travelling to Europe with the pet. For subsequent visits, no waiting period is required as long as booster vaccinations are administered on time and correctly recorded by the vet. If the vaccine is administered in two parts, the 21-day waiting period begins after the second dose.

You can only travel to Europe within the validity period of the last vaccination.

Tapeworm Treatment Mandatory for Dogs

Before travelling to Europe, dogs must be treated for tapeworms. This treatment must be carried out by a vet between 24 hours and 120 hours (5 days) before arrival in France. The exact date and time of the treatment must be recorded in the dog's travel document.

The tapeworm treatment must:

  • Be administered by a vet.
  • Contain praziquantel, specifically targeting the Echinococcus tapeworm.

Products like Stronghold, Advocate, Frontline, Frontline Combo, Nexgard, and Nexgard Spectra are not valid. Dogs treated only with these products will not be admitted to Great Britain.

Travelling through the Channel Tunnel with a Dog or Pet

Travelling with your dog via the Channel Tunnel is convenient and quick; the journey only takes 35 minutes. During this time, your dog remains comfortably in your own car. Here's how the process works:

  1. Have your pet checked at the special pet reception at the British terminal in Folkestone. This can be done at least 1 hour and up to 4 hours before departure.
  2. At the pet reception, you'll receive a sticker and a special tag for your dog. Attach the sticker to your car's windshield.
  3. Then proceed to check-in where your ticket will be scanned.
  4. Next, drive to customs, where all documents, including your valid passport, will be checked.
  5. Follow the signs to the train.
  6. A staff member at the train will indicate where to drive into the train.
  7. Drive until another staff member indicates where to stop.
  8. The train departs once full, and the journey lasts 35 minutes.
  9. Upon arrival, the gates open, and you can drive out of the train.

The terminal has special grassy areas and free waste bags for your dog.

Booking and Additional Costs

When booking your ticket, you must indicate that you're travelling with a pet. First, select your desired travel date and time. Then, choose your vehicle type and specify the pet type you're bringing and how many. Below is how the booking process works.

book a ticket for the chunnel with a dog

Be aware there are extra costs for bringing a pet. It costs £22 per one-way trip for a pet.

Arrival in France

After arriving in Calais, you can immediately leave the train and join the A16 motorway. Here, you can also let your dog out at the designated yellow dog walking areas. These areas are located behind the petrol station, just after leaving the train.

Return journey: From France to England

For the return journey from France to England, no tapeworm treatment is required. However, it's crucial to have the necessary documents, such as your passport and other required papers, on hand. Upon arrival in Folkestone, you must report to the pet reception. Before checking in, you must visit the Pet Reception, which is clearly marked with paw prints.

Ensure you register at least 1 hour before departure, and don't forget to show the special tag you received at check-in. You can register up to 4 hours before departure.

In Calais, there are also ample dog walking areas, marked with yellow signs.

Handy tips to consider

Many find travelling via the Channel Tunnel with their pet to be very relaxing. Your pet can stay in the familiar environment of the car, and within 35 minutes, you're across. To make your journey even smoother, here are some tips:

  • Special dog walking areas are available for letting your dog stretch its legs before departure. Note that waiting times can increase on busy days.
  • Upon arrival in Calais, there's also an opportunity to let your dog out.
  • The terminal in Calais has a drive-thru pet reception. If open, you can use this, and your dog can stay in the car. Note that your dog's microchip must be scanned.
  • Have your reservation number and tickets ready at the pet reception for smooth check-in.
  • Strictly adhere to the rules, including the timing for tapeworm treatment (at least 24 hours and no more than 120 hours before arrival), otherwise, your dog will not be admitted.

Content is your comprehensive guide for traveling to England by train through the Channel Tunnel. Whether you're traveling by car, on foot, or simply seeking current information, we provide all the essential details for a smooth crossing via the Channel Tunnel. Learn more about Eurostar train services, the Shuttle for vehicles, current prices, and alternatives such as ferries.

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