Travel Guide for a Service Dog in France
France is a place where most people would love to visit at least once in their lifetime. From the gourmet food and pastries to the outstanding architecture, France offers a vacation like no other.
If you need a Service Dog to help you navigate your way, or use one for other medical reasons, you can still enjoy all France has to offer; you just need to plan ahead.
In this post, we will provide you with a complete travel guide for a Service Dog in France. Don’t book your flight until you have all the facts.
Traveling to France With a Service Dog With an EU Passport
Before you can travel to France with your Service Dog, he or she must have a series of requirements completed. This can be in the form of an EU Pet Passport.
What is an EU Pet Passport?
The EU (European Union) Pet Passport is a document issued by an official veterinarian in a European Union Member State (a country within the EU) or other designated country that contains official health information related to a specific pet. The purpose of this document is to make it easier to travel between the EU Member States and for animals returning from the EU to other countries.
Note: an EU Pet Passport cannot be obtained in the U.S.
Who Can Fill Out an EU Pet Passport?
There are several sections that need to be completed on the EU Pet Passport. These sections are labeled as;
- Authorized Veterinarian – referring to an EU veterinarian
- A Veterinarian – any licensed vet including those from the U.S
It is very important that each veterinarian fills out there own sections. Failure to do so could have the Pet Passport denied.
Service Dog Requirements Without an EU Pet Passport
If you do not have an EU Pet Passport, you will have to complete a checklist of requirements before you can bring your Service Dog into France.
1. An ISO Compliant Microchip – these are 15 digits long (11784 and 11785). If your Service Dog does not have this type of microchip, you can either bring a compatible microchip reader with you or contact the EU Veterinarian at your destination point to see if he/she has the appropriate reader. You can also have a USDA accredited vet implant the EU microchip.
Remember, the number and implantation dates of both microchips must be documented on the EU Health Certificate.
2. Rabies Vaccination – Must occur AFTER the microchip was implanted or on the same day. However, any rabies vaccination administered before the microchip is considered invalid.
If your pet had a non-ISO compatible chip implanted at the same time as or before your pet’s most recent vaccination, your pet would not have to be re-vaccinated even if it had to be re-microchipped with an ISO compliant chip to travel to the EU.
Vaccinations that are valid from one to three years are acceptable as long as they are current and given according to the manufacturer’s requirements.
The vaccinations also cannot expire before entering France.
3. 21 Day Vaccination Waiting Period
Your Service Dog must wait 21 days after the primary rabies vaccination before traveling to France.
Vaccination is considered “primary” when it’s given at the same time or after a microchip implantation, or it is given after the previous rabies vaccination has expired.
4. The EU Health Certificate
Service Dogs must have an accredited veterinarian issue, complete, and sign the EU Health Certificate. This certificate must be issued within ten days of entering into France.
5. APHIS Endorsement
After your veterinarian has issued the EU Health Certificate, have your completed paperwork endorsed by your local APHIS Veterinary Services office.
APHIS (Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service) will be able to provide specific information about the process and fees associated with the endorsement of the EU Health Certificate.
Click here to download a non-commercial Health Certificate for your Service Dog.
Please Note: According to their website;
“The EU health certificate is valid for travel within the EU for up to 4 months from the date it is issued by the USDA Accredited Veterinarian as long as the rabies vaccine documented on it does not expire.
After entering the EU, dogs who are subsequently traveling to the United Kingdom, Ireland, Finland, Malta, or Norway will need to be treated for tapeworms by an EU veterinarian within 1-5 days before entering those countries.
The EU veterinarian will add the tapeworm treatment information to the EU health certificate issued in the United States. It is your responsibility to ensure your pet meets the import requirements of each country you visit.”
Traveling in Paris With Your Dog
The public transportation rules in Paris are very dog-friendly. You may travel with your dog in subways and trains as long as you purchase a ticket for your dog and they are leashed. Unfortunately, buses do not allow dogs in Paris.
Traveling to France With Your Service Dog
Before you book your flight from the U.S. or Canada to France, be sure to start the lengthy process of getting your Service Dog ready to travel.
As we covered, your Assistance Dog will need to have an ISO compatible microchip, and up-to-date rabies vaccination. You will also need to have an EU Pet Passport in place or the five-step alternative process taken care of before your Service Dog will be admitted into France.
Following this process will ensure your Service Dog is ready and able to travel abroad.