Since the rules changed at the beginning of January 2012 it is now even easier coming back into the UK from Europe.
- You now have 1-5 days to see a vet before entering the UK and they only need worm treatment.
Here is what we did this time.
1. Seeing the vet
As we were driving up through France we stopped at a vet in a small town en route.
Our Eurotunnel crossing was on Thursday so we did this on Tuesday, a comfortable 48 hours in advance of travel
We had camped overnight in a municipal campsite in St Martin D’Auxigny so the next morning we went into town and after breakfast, asked in the bakers for the address of a vet. They directed us to the Clinique Veterinaire (Tel 02 48 64 63 67) which was handily close to a supermarket where we filled up with wine and cheese!
The vet spoke English and saw us within 30 minutes. Vets in France are very clued up about the pet passport so although we were checking each step we were also confident that he knew what he was doing. He checked the microchips and gave each dog two tasty worm pills which they gobbled up like treats. Paperwork was completed – stamped and dated with the time of treatment and a clean bill of health for travelling
The whole thing cost about 32euros and we were able to drive on to Calais without worrying about having to get there at a special time.
2. Passing through passport control
Our train to Folkstone was at 11.30am. We arrived early as you can usually advance your booking if there is space on an earlier train. You drive straight to the parking by the pet passport control. There were many dogs and owners coming and going out of the small office block where you get checked. The woman used a hand held microchip detector to make sure the dogs weren’t trying to sneak by with a forged passport and then quickly checked the documents and then we left. All over in five minutes.
3. The Tunnel
As planned we were able to catch an earlier train and drove onto the train almost immediately. Unfortunately this meant missing the ‘last French coffee and cake’ so beware of doing this if, like me, you like going to the departure lounge. Both dogs slept all the way through the tunnel – it takes about 40 minutes and as it is so comfortable for them it was worth all the miles we drove across France.
Travelling with these ‘not so good’ friends
We are so lucky that both Bonnie and Duna are good travellers. Bonnie sleeps on the back seat of the van and Duna curls up at the feet of whoever is travelling as passenger in the front. They are both patient and forgiving of all the boring hours of travel and strangely our life in the camper van is easier than at home – the dogs are happy to be always with us and there were no possibilities for fighting. Duna always is in the front and Bonnie always in the back so everyone is together but separate.
Sleeping all together in a small space at night meant we felt like a pack, safe and secure together. Duna likes having the front seats to herself and never has tried to jump over into the back compartment where we are with Bonnie. But just in case, she is tied by her lead to the door!