Dogs Across the Channel?

Dockhead

Active member
Joined
16 Apr 2009
Messages
1,739
I have a dog on board and will soon return to the UK. The dog has all proper documents, passport (more documents and certificates than any of the people on board) and has just had the tapeworm treatment required to obtain the privilege of entering the UK from filthy, tapeworm-infested (apparently, judging by the rules) France.

However, it is apparently categorically forbidden to bring even the most perfectly documented and well-behaved dog on your own boat.

So what the hell do you do? P&O will not carry an unaccompanied animal. Why not I can't imagine, since you aren't allowed to have the dog with you on the passenger deck in any case. Do any of the ferry companies take unaccompanied dogs? Or are there any services which will arrange this? What do people do?
 

maby

Well-known member
Joined
12 Jun 2009
Messages
12,783
This has been done to death here! I think the only option is to moor up in Calais, bring your dog through the tunnel, drop him off at home (or with a friend) and go back for the boat - real pain!

BTW - I was under the impression that the tapeworm treatment was only valid for a few days - I think you'll need to get it repeated just before you travel with him.
 

Dockhead

Active member
Joined
16 Apr 2009
Messages
1,739
This has been done to death here! I think the only option is to moor up in Calais, bring your dog through the tunnel, drop him off at home (or with a friend) and go back for the boat - real pain!

BTW - I was under the impression that the tapeworm treatment was only valid for a few days - I think you'll need to get it repeated just before you travel with him.

The tunnel sounds great, not at all a "real pain"! But as far as I know, you may not bring a dog unless you're in a car! :banghead:
 

maby

Well-known member
Joined
12 Jun 2009
Messages
12,783
The tunnel sounds great, not at all a "real pain"! But as far as I know, you may not bring a dog unless you're in a car! :banghead:

You could try putting him in a fluorescent yellow lifejacket and wearing dark glasses yourself!
 

maby

Well-known member
Joined
12 Jun 2009
Messages
12,783
P.S. I have seen it suggested that you can find taxi drivers who will be prepared to take you plus your dog through the tunnel provided you are prepared to pay for their return journey.
 

LandM

Member
Joined
12 Mar 2008
Messages
58
Location
Brighton Marina
how long have you been away from the UK and do you have a home marina? I do know of people who have done a few days away with their dog and just slipped back into their marina no questions asked. We have three cats on our boat and have never taken them overseas, but when we arrived in Brighton we could have come from anywhere and nobody even batted an eyelid - having said that of course it's not very legal and if you do get caught there goes the dog for 6 months!
 

maby

Well-known member
Joined
12 Jun 2009
Messages
12,783
how long have you been away from the UK and do you have a home marina? I do know of people who have done a few days away with their dog and just slipped back into their marina no questions asked. We have three cats on our boat and have never taken them overseas, but when we arrived in Brighton we could have come from anywhere and nobody even batted an eyelid - having said that of course it's not very legal and if you do get caught there goes the dog for 6 months!

I would be very tempted to bluff it out - especially these days when the penalty for getting caught is not the destruction of the animal. The worst that you are going to get hit with is paying for a few weeks in quarantine until the blood tests show that the rabies jab has taken. The chances of getting caught are very small if you are intelligent about it.
 

Dockhead

Active member
Joined
16 Apr 2009
Messages
1,739
P.S. I have seen it suggested that you can find taxi drivers who will be prepared to take you plus your dog through the tunnel provided you are prepared to pay for their return journey.

I suppose that would cost 1000's!

I did find one company (pets2go2.co.uk) willing to do the job -- take the sweet pet from us in Calais, take through the tunnel and hand over to us in Dover -- for 600 quid! At least that's one solution -- so some kind of progress.
 

Dockhead

Active member
Joined
16 Apr 2009
Messages
1,739
I would be very tempted to bluff it out - especially these days when the penalty for getting caught is not the destruction of the animal. The worst that you are going to get hit with is paying for a few weeks in quarantine until the blood tests show that the rabies jab has taken. The chances of getting caught are very small if you are intelligent about it.

I would never, ever violate the law.

But speaking purely hypothetically -- I think the penalty is some kind of huge fine, as well as quarantine, not so?
 

prv

Well-known member
Joined
29 Nov 2009
Messages
37,363
Location
Southampton
The standard technique for a couple with dog was to sail to a ferry port, one person crosses by ferry as a foot passenger with the dog, their partner takes the boat across single-handed, and they meet up at the other side.

Then the ferry companies scuppered that by refusing to allow foot passengers to bring dogs.

Pete
 

maby

Well-known member
Joined
12 Jun 2009
Messages
12,783
I would never, ever violate the law.

But speaking purely hypothetically -- I think the penalty is some kind of huge fine, as well as quarantine, not so?

I suspect that the fine is probably not that much greater than the cost of doing it legally - a return journey across on ferry or train - actually two return journeys if you first have to go across to collect a car - plus the return onward journey to your house to deposit the dog, then go back for the boat. Looking at the government web site, it's not actually clear if the animal would have to go into quarantine at all - it says that it needs to go into quarantine until it has met all the entry requirements - but the OP is already meeting them.
 

maby

Well-known member
Joined
12 Jun 2009
Messages
12,783
How about not taking the dog with you? :)

If you read the original post, you'll see that it is already there.

The OP does not make clear where exactly he is - if a stop in Eire is feasible, he can simply come back with no questions asked. The current rules are effectively unenforceable and there are loopholes - the government needs to revise them to permit inward travel on private boats with controls.
 

Dockhead

Active member
Joined
16 Apr 2009
Messages
1,739
If you read the original post, you'll see that it is already there.

The OP does not make clear where exactly he is - if a stop in Eire is feasible, he can simply come back with no questions asked. The current rules are effectively unenforceable and there are loopholes - the government needs to revise them to permit inward travel on private boats with controls.

Eire is pretty far -- we're in the North Sea, planning to come through the Dover Strait. We would have to do a mini-Fastnet :)

This is an amazing PITA. If you could just carry the dog on the Eurostar, I would send one of my crew across from Calais and pick him up in Dover -- stupid, but not fatally twisted or ridiculously expensive. But you can't. Nor can you do it on any ferry I have been able to find which puts the crewman in a place where I could pick him up. It's seems just about impossible to do it, unless you're willing to pay 600 pounds, or have someone willing to come across in a car and take the mutt.

The dog is absolutely fully compliant with passport, all certificates, all vaccinations, and even the tapeworm thing (good for three more days). Cute bugger, too.
 

Stork_III

Well-known member
Joined
6 Aug 2002
Messages
18,404
Location
Here and There
Eire is pretty far -- we're in the North Sea, planning to come through the Dover Strait. We would have to do a mini-Fastnet :)

This is an amazing PITA. If you could just carry the dog on the Eurostar, I would send one of my crew across from Calais and pick him up in Dover -- stupid, but not fatally twisted or ridiculously expensive. But you can't. Nor can you do it on any ferry I have been able to find which puts the crewman in a place where I could pick him up. It's seems just about impossible to do it, unless you're willing to pay 600 pounds, or have someone willing to come across in a car and take the mutt.

The dog is absolutely fully compliant with passport, all certificates, all vaccinations, and even the tapeworm thing (good for three more days). Cute bugger, too.

Stena LIne from Hook of Holland to Harwich allow dogs with foot passengers.
 

maby

Well-known member
Joined
12 Jun 2009
Messages
12,783
Eire is pretty far -- we're in the North Sea, planning to come through the Dover Strait. We would have to do a mini-Fastnet :)

This is an amazing PITA. If you could just carry the dog on the Eurostar, I would send one of my crew across from Calais and pick him up in Dover -- stupid, but not fatally twisted or ridiculously expensive. But you can't. Nor can you do it on any ferry I have been able to find which puts the crewman in a place where I could pick him up. It's seems just about impossible to do it, unless you're willing to pay 600 pounds, or have someone willing to come across in a car and take the mutt.

The dog is absolutely fully compliant with passport, all certificates, all vaccinations, and even the tapeworm thing (good for three more days). Cute bugger, too.

I would imagine that it should be possible to find a French taxi driver who would take your crew member plus dog across provided you pay all the bills.
 

Dockhead

Active member
Joined
16 Apr 2009
Messages
1,739
I would imagine that it should be possible to find a French taxi driver who would take your crew member plus dog across provided you pay all the bills.

I shudder to think what that would cost.
 

Dockhead

Active member
Joined
16 Apr 2009
Messages
1,739
Stena LIne from Hook of Holland to Harwich allow dogs with foot passengers.

Harwich is a pretty long sail from Hook of Holland, and the wrong direction.

So far the only legal variant which is even slightly realistic which I've found is the commercial company for 600 pounds one way (!). :banghead:
 

maby

Well-known member
Joined
12 Jun 2009
Messages
12,783
I shudder to think what that would cost.

Less than the £600 you've mentioned, I would think. Go for a minicab rather than a taxi that charges by the minute. Alternatively, rent a car for the day, take dog plus one adult across and deposit in Dover with plenty of money for food and drink, then take car back and sail boat across?
 
Top