How to Fly Your Dog to France

pets are welcome in many restaurants in dog-friendly France

France is one of the dog-friendliest countries in Europe. Dogs are part of the fiber of French life, particularly in Paris. You see nos amis les chiens out and about with their owners in chic boutiques, cafes, and even markets. It’s no big deal, and I love that.

If you live in Canada or the United States and are considering flying your dog to France, there are a few basic requirements:

  • ISO 11784 or annex A ISO standard 11785 microchip, given before the rabies vaccination
  • a rabies shot or booster given at least 21 days before travel
  • an international health certificate endorsed by the USDA or CFIA within 10 days of travel

Your dog’s microchip

Your dog will need a microchip to fly to Europe. The chip used should be 15 digits and comply with ISO Standard 11784 or 11785, otherwise the pet will need to be sent with its own scanner attached to the top of the crate.

The microchip implantation MUST BE DONE BEFORE the rabies vaccination. This is important. Make sure your veterinarian scans the chip prior to implant so we know it works. Your vet must scan the chip and record the number before administering the rabies vaccination.

The microchip number and implantation date must be recorded on the rabies certificate.

Rabies vaccination

There is no exception to this requirement, even for puppies under three months old.

All pets must have an original Rabies Certificate and this certificate must state the microchip number, microchip implantation date, rabies manufacturer’s name, product name, vaccine batch number, the date of inoculation, and the validity of the particular vaccination you obtain. The vaccination must have been given at least 21 days prior to travel and less than 1 year from the date of departure.

EU Health certificate

This is the standard Health or Veterinary Certificate to be filled out by your USDA-accredited veterinarian. It must be filled out in blue ink and endorsed by the USDA or (for Canadian dogs) by the CFIA within 10 days of travel. The certificate will be valid for a total of four months from the date of issue or until the date of expiry of the rabies vaccination, whichever is earlier. Make sure there are no mistakes because EVEN A SMALL MISTAKE WILL KEEP YOUR DOG OFF THE PLANE.

When it’s time to get the certificate endorsed, bring or mail the completed certificate and all supporting documentation (listed below) to your local USDA or CIFA office. You’ll need to bring:

  • microchip implantation record
  • rabies certificate
  • any supporting documentation
  • the EU Veterinary Health Certificate, completed by your vet in blue ink

Dogs are accepted just about everywhere in France so you should not have a problem finding a hotel or villa to stay with your favorite pooch. Plan ahead and keep your dog’s paperwork in order, and before you know it you and your chien will be enjoying the beautiful vineyards, medieval towns, chic cafes and everything else that this beautiful country has to offer.

Amuses toi bien en France!|

Fly Your Dog to France

If you’re planning to take your dog to France, download a copy of our comprehensive guide, How to Fly Your Dog to Europe.

It includes everything you need, including:

• links to current French pet-import regulations
• a downloadable link to the official French Veterinary Certificate
• links to pet-program information for all airlines that fly to France
• vaccination requirements and critical timelines
• tips on booking your flight, preparing your dog and his crate, and keeping your dog safe

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