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How To Move To France With A Pet

How To Move To France With A Pet

Do you want to travel with your pet to Paris, France? 

Almost everyone would like to take their best friend to the City of Light with them, but there are certain rules and tips to follow to make the process easy and smooth.

Pets are very hard to leave behind at home. 

Fortunately, you don’t need to leave your pet behind when moving to Paris.

France allows a properly vaccinated animal in the country because it is of no threat to public health. 

The first thing you need to know is that France does not allow more than 5 pets per owner into the country, only one owner per family is allowed. 

However, if you need to move to Paris with more than 5 pets, you need to get the authorization of the Ministry of Agriculture (France). Your pets has to be 3 months old minimum or traveling with its mom, and it must be vaccinated against rabies 21 days before your journey into Paris. You must stick to this rule in any given circumstance(s).

The next thing to do is to get a certificate or letter of good health from your local Veterinary inspector. This certificate indicates that your pet has no signs of sickness or disease, be it contagious or not. The best time to get this certificate is between 1-5 days before your journey into Paris. 

You won’t need to take plenty pet food into Paris, only 1-2 kilos is allowed- Don’t worry, you can get plenty of it when you get to Paris. Rabbits, snakes, and rodents can also be brought into Paris provided you have their veterinarian's “GOOD HEALTH” certificate.


Due to bird flu alerts in recent years, regulations differ when taking birds to Paris. You can choose to pre-export quarantine your bird for 30 days or 30 day quarantine after the birds have been imported. 

If you want to vaccinate the bird to protect it from avian flu, ensure you do this at least 60 days before importation or alternatively the bird can be isolated for 10 days before departure and go through a test for avian flu after at least three days of isolation. 

Make sure a licensed vet verifies that these tests have been carried out. You need to have an export license and that must present it to the Transportation Company or airline. 

You can also take advantage of the European Pet Passports system; the passport is designed for domestic pets. You will be given a Pet Passport, a booklet that provides all of the important information on your pet; this includes an identification number and proof of all important vaccinations. This passport is valid for the entire life of your pet. Only a licensed Vet can issue the EU pet passport. The Vet also needs to ensure that all vaccinations are kept current and the pet is microchipped (standard ISO 11784/11785) or a tattoo.


Please ensure you plan the logistics of transporting your pet very carefully, you’d want your pet to be comfortable wouldn’t you? Choose a good pet-friendly company with affordable fees and ask for the requirements for cages.  Some of the requirements according to IATA are: 

  ● The cage or carrier must be big enough for your pet to stand, turn around, and lie down.

  ● The kennel should be made of a sturdy plastic.

  ● The cage or carrier must have a secure, all around locking system.

  ● The cage or carrier should have water and food bowls and must be attached to the inside of the front door and be refillable from the outside of the container without opening the door.

  ● The cage or carrier must be properly ventilated.

  ● The cage or carrier should have LIVE ANIMAL stickers on all its sides.

  ● The cage or carrier should not have wheels so it won’t roll over.

  ● The cage or carrier should be identified with your pet's name and your contact information. You can do this by attaching your pet's information on the outside of the crate.

  ● Ensure you attach an extra copy of your pet's health certificate to the cage or carrier.


The fees differ and are mostly calculated according to size of your pet. 

Contrary to popular belief, you don’t need to tranquilize your pet, tranquilizing might even be harmful to dogs, especially if they sit in a hot place for hours. Ensure your vet gives you specific recommendations regarding your pet's temperament and medical history.

If your flight into Paris is less than ten hours, some airlines will allow you to carry with you your small cats or dog in the cabin. 

Mostly, the airline will only allow one pet per passenger and a maximum of two pets per cabin. The carrier (container) for the pet must fit under the seat in your front and must be waterproof at the bottom and with sufficient ventilation. 

Your pet carriers are all airline compliant as long as it is the correct size for your pet.

Another thing you need to consider is getting a pet insurance. A good pet insurance can cover most of the expense of unforeseen vet bills in the event of an injury or sickness, so there are several things to consider when picking pet insurance:

  ● Will the policy cover all chronic, natural and hereditary conditions?

  ● Will there be a time limit on treatment per illness?

  ● Is there a limit financially on treatment per illness?

  ● Do they have flexible coverage choices that fit your budget and needs?

  ● Is the company well established?


When you finally arrive in Paris, here a few facts and tips that might be helpful:

  ● Traveling with your Dogs and cats are permitted on all trains throughout Paris. However, small dogs and cats should be in a travel bag or case.

  ● Unfortunately, Paris has not bought into the concept of the “dog park”. Most of the parks do not allow dogs, even if it’s on leash, to enter. 

  ● In Paris, not cleaning up after your pet has done his/her business is prohibited and you can be fined if caught.

You may be shocked to see Parisian pets escorting their owners almost everywhere in the city. Pets are allowed into many more shops and businesses than you might be used to, but make sure you know where they are allowed and what errands should be sans Rover.

  ● Small dogs are allowed in most clothing shops and department stores as well as pharmacies, banks and most restaurants. 

  ● Dogs are not allowed in food shops such as grocery stores

  ● Do not tie up your dog outside on the street in Paris, particularly if it is a purebred or an expensive breed. More than 60,000 dogs are stolen every year in France and are most recurrently stolen after they have been tied up on the street while their owner went inside to do something.

  ● Make do with the services of private pet sitters to watch your pet while you are away. Most of them have bilingual team of pet care professionals that take your dog out for long walks, etc.

Let's finish this post by reminding ourselves that the French Customs are in charge of protecting the territory via, among other tasks, a verification and control of health documents of any animal brought into the country. 

More on what the French Customs do related to animal issues can be found here.

Image Sources: Pixabay


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Last modified onMonday, 30 January 2017 11:30
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