Recently we took the Eurotunnel from Folkestone to Calais to start our first 3 month trip travelling around Europe. We couldn’t believe how straight forward and quick the whole process was from start to finish. We wanted to write this blog post to tell you all about travelling on the Eurotunnel from Folkestone to Calais, with a dog.
Eurotunnel Pet Check-in Folkestone
The Eurotunnel at Folkestone seems like they’ve really considered everything to make sure you and your pet can travel as comfortably as possible. We found them to be so accommodating and friendly in the pet check-in reception.
The lady who checked all of our documentation even gave us lots of advice regarding animal health certificates and pet passports. She suggested it would be better for us, who are going to be travelling quite a lot with Lottie, to get a pet passport which will work out cheaper for us than to keep paying for animal health certificates which only last 4 months, so this is something we are going to look into.
There is a dog walking area outside of the pet reception with lots of cool agility style activities for your dog to do whilst you wait to board the tunnel! There is even a separate dog area to this for female dogs in season which we thought was a really great idea.
The Eurotunnel really did seem to us like the perfect way to travel to Europe with a dog, especially with the short journey from Folkestone to Calais being only 35 minutes, and all being able to stay together in our motorhome saving worry for us and our dog.
At only £22 per pet each way also, it is not too expensive.
What is an Animal Health Certificate?
From January 2021 (post Brexit) an Animal Health Certificate is a document that is required for a pet to travel to Europe from the UK if they do not have an EU pet passport. An Animal Health Certificate must be completed and certified by an Official Veterinarian (OV) approved by the APHA (Animal and Plant Health Agency).
An AHC is valid for entry to the EU for up to ten days from its date of issue, and for up to four months for onward travel within the EU and/or for re-entry to the UK.
We had heard SO many horror stories about things that could go wrong with the animal health certificate. We were so worried about our paperwork not being correct. This is a common problem because this is new paperwork that not many vets are actually trained to officially complete and it seems that vets would prefer to spend their time doing more hands on work looking after animals than completing this paperwork, which is completely understandable. But still, it is law to have this paperwork, so it needs to be done by somebody!
Our Animal Health Certificate cost £175 from a local Vets 4 Pets branch in Leicestershire. It seems that the cost for this paperwork can vary massively across the UK though. We even had a quote from another Vets 4 Pets branch close to us and they were going to charge £230, and that’s the same branch of vets which we thought was really odd!
Either way, the price for this paperwork is extortionate considering what it is.
We checked our paperwork over and over before we went to the Eurotunnel using their guidance What your vet needs to know about your pet’s official travel documents – Eurotunnel Le Shuttle Support but there was still that little thing in our minds saying what if something had been missed! We would recommend checking your Animal Health Certificate against the Eurotunnel guidance once you receive it to ensure it is correct.
After a lot of unnecessary worry about the paperwork, we were so relieved when we got to the Pet Check In area at the Eurotunnel and our paperwork was absolutely fine. It finally felt like we could finally get excited to get to France!
You can take a look at some of our other van life posts which include lots and lots of hints and tips on all things van life here – Van Life – Travel Information, Hints, Tips and Advice (threeasabird.com)
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