Question: Dear Rachel,
I have a pretty complicated question but you seem like the perfect person to answer. My wife and I have been given the opportunity to adopt an English bulldog puppy while we are living in France for the summer. So here's the plan, we live in France until the end of July and then in August we will be traveling to England until the 10th and then to Italy until the 20th after which we will return all the way back to Paris France and catch our plane back to mainland USA. So what I would like to know is if it's possible to travel with our pet? What paper work needs to be filled out (I've heard about the PETS Passport)? I know that it is kinda of complicated and some of the information is hard to find or understand. Thank you so very much for your help! I found the other answers and articles that you have written very helpful!
Answer: Hi B.,
Thanks for the kind words! I'm glad you've been doing your research. :)
It is possible to travel around the EU with an EU Pet Passport, but I am going to advise you to keep your dog at home while you do your summer traveling and send him to the States in the fall when you come back. There are two very important reasons for this.
First and foremost, the UK is rabies free. Your dog would have to undergo 6 months of quarantine prior to going to England or upon arriving in England. Unless you plan on frequenting England while you have the dog, it would take a prohibitive amount of time to get him approved to travel freely to and from England on his pet passport.
More importantly is the fact that your dog is an English bulldog. English bulldogs (like all snub-nosed breeds) have incredibly delicate respiratory systems that are prone to causing breathing problems. High-stress situations (like traveling) combined with certain conditions (like hot summer weather and being contained in a small space) can put your dog at serious risk. During the summer months, bulldogs are embargoed on nearly every airline. Bulldogs should travel only when absolutely necessary.
When it is time for you and your wife to return to the US, I would recommend you keep the following in mind:
- Only use "pet-friendly" airlines that promise to keep your dog in climate-control the entire time.
- Purchase a crate one size bigger than necessary for your dog, with ventilation on all four sides, to provide the most possible air flow.
- Condition your dog to staying in his crate prior to departure by crate training him.
- Try to book your dog on early morning/late night flights (like "redeyes") to provide cooler temperatures.
Please let me know if you have any other questions!
Happy Travels & Wagging Tails!