When we got Lucky and Tinca, one thing we knew we wanted to do was go abroad with our dogs in our Motorhome. So when the opportunity arose for us to visit family and friends in France at the start of December, we jumped at it.
Both dogs already have their passport, Lucky came with hers, and Tinca had a visit to the vet for her rabies vaccination and they filled out a passport for her. Job done. You have to wait for 21 days after the vaccination before they can travel. We had Tinca vaccinated earlier so it wasn’t a problem to just book and go. We also got two new ID discs with our details on and my sister-in-law’s french telephone number – just in case!
We chose to drive in the car rather than take the Motorhome, for cost reasons. We opted to go by Eurotunnel as we could have the dogs with us all the time. So, on the morning of departure we set off earlier than we thought, and had just one break in the 3 hour journey to get the dogs out of their crate. They were sound asleep and not really impressed at being woken up to go to the toilet and they didn’t want a drink either!
The crate we use for travel is a fabric one, they have bedding inside it and it seems really comfortable, they certainly go in willingly and settle quickly. It is more than big enough for the two of them, and fits nicely inside the boot of the car, although we actually had it on the back seat as the boot was full of stuff for Nigel’s sister in France!
I was very impressed by the facilities once we reached the Tunnel, Eurotunnel have definitely thought about the facilities needed. The exercise area is large, with poo bags available if needed, water in a bowl which can be topped up with the tap. Shelter for humans and dogs, places to sit, and obstacles for the dogs to use if they are up for it. Plus a separate area (again, fenced) for bitches in season to use. It was later that we spotted the designated parking spaces for dog owners (coloured paw prints opposite the facility).
We didn’t need to show the pet passports on the way out, or on arrival in France.
As we had an 8 hour journey ahead of us, we had already decided to stop lots of times on the way, however, the dogs had other ideas and they slept a lot more than we expected them to. We ended up stopping about 3 times in the end for them to stretch their legs.
We had a fabulous time with Nigel’s sister and her family, and their dogs. They have got a veg plot which was fenced off and became a puppy playpen. Lucky and Tinca met ferrets and chickens, and got on well with them. They liked the rabbits too! Lucky discovered a passion for digging out mole hills. Messy! We took them for walks along rivers and enjoyed good weather.
A week went by pretty quickly and we moved on to friends in Normandy. They have a French Bulldog and they have all met before so no issues at all. Lucky and Tinca had a visit to a beach for the first time where they could be let off, and they absolutely loved that. Walks in the French countryside and we had some happy muddy puppies.
Before we came home we had to visit a vet in France for the dogs to be checked over and for them to be given a worming tablet (required for re-entry to the UK). We registered at our friend’s vet who spoke English and she checked them over. Lucky was fine in the waiting room, but closed down completely when the vet tried to give her a tablet, it took a little while for her to forgive us and regain her equilibrium. Tinca just ate hers quite happily!
At the tunnel to come home, we followed the paw prints to the check in centre. Again as soon as we stepped into the building Lucky closed down, began to shake and I had to pick her up to comfort her (luckily she is small!! can’t imagine picking up a big dog!) it took a bit of time for her to get her curiosity back. We decided to let the two dogs sit on my lap during the trip to and on the train, but back in the crate for the main journey back home!
Once again I was impressed by the facilities for dogs, a closed in exercise area by the check in centre and another where the queues are.
Although we had to pay extra for the dogs, we have decided we would definitley use Eurotunnel for our next trip to Europe with the dogs. An easy way to travel.