With the new rules introduced in January 2012 it has made it much easier to travel with your UK dog abroad. We have two dogs, two Jack Russell crosses, both sisters Poppet and Gimble, now nearly 7 years old. They have done thousands of miles at sea.

Poppet and Gimble have this superb plastic laundry tub which fits snugly in the cockpit, never moves and keeps them snug, dry and warm. They feel very safe in there day and night. They always wear life jackets (as so do we) and if its really cold (like ice on deck!) they have fleece high vis jackets under their life jackets. They are always clipped on so they cannot get out of the cockpit, especially for when the dolphins come by!

The base of their bed is a deep foam base with snug layers of fleece and if its raining they have a waterproof hood which covers them, sometimes you don't see them at all as they burrow down under the covers.

We can go for days without land, as the two girls are great at going to the loo on the boat. If its pretty rough, we hove too, they do their business, deck washed off and off we go again.

They get 2 meals a day normally, both with added water in to their complete food, but at sea they get a third, mostly of a tasty water with a couple of bits of dried food in to tempt them, so they don't get dehydrated or kidney problems. Thankfully when at anchor they've never jumped off into the water, although Gimble loves jumping into the dinghy when the rubbish bag is in there waiting to go ashore!

Find a vet that is an Official Vet (OV). Your local vets will advise on where you can get this done.

1. Get your dog chipped - You need to use a recognised vets and must have the Chip done before the Rabies vaccination.
2. Rabies Vaccination - After the vaccination you need to wait 21 days before you can leave or re-enter the UK. We've just given our dogs a rabies booster, check booster dates for rabies. NB THis can change depending upion which countries you plan to visit.
3. Passport - will be issued after, chip and rabies are complete.
4. Check all vaccinations are up to date - We always add all other boosters to the passport.
NB: If you are visiting non EU countries you will need a blood test and document, 30 days after the rabies vaccination for your documents.

NB: You cant bring your pet direct back into the UK on-board your boat, you must use a recognised pet passport ferry. We find a marinas close to the ferry, invite friends or family over with a car, who understand the pet passport procedure and then they will take the dogs back after having a nice few days with us visiting France. The dogs are happier because they in a car for the crossing and not in strange kennels. When you are booking the vets bear in mind that you can travel between 1-5 days after taking your dog to the vets, so we usually get our dogs done a couple of days away from the ferry booking.

1. Book vets appointment to take into account your return trip to be between 1 and 5 days before your arrival time back into the UK.
2. The vets will check your dogs
i/. Health
ii/.Fitness for travel
iii/. Tapeworm treatment - You can bring your own tapeworm treatment to the French vets. They or you can administer, but they must witness that the treatment being successfully given and it must be an approved treatment
3. The vets will record in your pet's passport
i/. name and manufacturer of the tape worm product (it must be an approved one)
ii/. Date and time
iii/. The vets will stamp and sign the passport

When you go through customs you need to declare the dogs, a chip reader will be passed to you to record the chip in view and their passports will be checked.

Pet Travel Scheme helpline
0870 241 1710
Monday to Friday, 8am to 6pm (closed on bank holidays)
Bringing dogs into the UK after 2012
Pet Passport new rules here
Taking UK pets abroad

Pet Travel Scheme helpline
0870 241 1710
Monday to Friday, 8am to 6pm (closed on bank holidays)