RAPHA + RIPPERS EUROPEAN ROAD TRIP
In Part 2 of Debbie + Alex’s European Road Trip we ask about taking the EuroTunnel with their dogs Rapha + Ripper and all aspects of arranging their travel documents.
Taking two dogs on the EuroTunnel may sound quite daunting to a lot of our readers, can you tell us how you found it?
– It was a bit stressful at first trying to get all their paperwork organized thanks to Brexit, it’s now much more difficult and expensive to take your dogs to Europe but we persevered and insured we were as organized as possible well in advance. The whole process when we got there was fantastic and couldn’t have gone more smoothly on the way over from Folkstone.
What sort of things do you have to ensure your dog has in place before arranging the paperwork?
-First of all, your dog needs to be microchipped and they need to have a rabies vaccination (1 jab) at least 21 days before you are due to depart. It’s really important the vaccination is recorded in their vaccination card and is all accurate. We had a problem with Rapha’s as it had been filled out incorrectly and luckily another vet picked this up.
Watch this Video
No more than ten days before you depart the UK they must visit the vet again and have all their paperwork filled out. Once again I cannot stress that this need to be filled out correctly otherwise they won’t let you travel. Our vet also photocopied everything so if we lost any paperwork they would be able to provide a copy. We also took photos so we had copies on our phones.
The paperwork must be in the language of the country you are arriving in, so for us it was in French. The Rabies vaccination lasts for two years and the paperwork is only valid for 4 months.
Rabies jab x 2 £160
When budgeting it is worth remembering that there is a £22 per dog charge each way on the Eurotunnel
On the return journey the dogs must see an authorised vet and be given a worming tablet- no less than 24hours before returning and no more than 120 hours. When the worming tablet has been given the vet will then sign all the paperwork to allow you back into the UK. We visited a vet in Austria and we just called up a few days before. Most vets are clued up on the process especially as you get closer to Calais.
Can you talk us through how to arrange to get a doggy passport? How simple or difficult was the process? Any hot tips?
We thought we had done all our homework by starting the process 6 months ahead of our planned departure and on the whole, it went very smoothly. We did get caught out on the way home though – the worming tablet you need to get back into the UK needs to be administered at least 24 hours before your planned train or ferry. We weren’t aware of this and arrived at Calais only 12 hours after the tablets were given and had to wait another 12 hours before we were allowed to travel.
Talk us through the check in process on the tunnel and where they had to stay during the crossing? What were the dog friendly facilities like and did you feel the staff made you feel welcome?
I have to say the Eurotunnel is a slick operation. When you arrive you have to report to the pet reception. It’s all really well signposted and this is where they check all your pet passport paperwork. Once your paperwork has been checked, you can then join the queue for the tunnel. The staff were really friendly, even when Ripper tried to jump over the counter after getting spooked by a vacuum cleaner. At the pet reception there’s also an outside dog exercise area so you can let them have a good run around before you board.
Check and double-check that all the paperwork is in order, and have a photocopy along with the originals. Also if traveling on the Eurotunnel, always choose a Flexiplus ticket as it gave us a lot of flexibility if we wanted to change our dates of travel to fit in with our travel needs.
Get all your dogs on the same paperwork rather than separate it’s easier and cheaper.
Were there any other vaccinations or tablets that were needed or advised the dogs had before travelling?
Both had to have rabies vaccination and our vet suggested a specific worming tablet that was good for travel to Spain so we also gave them that. It’s definitely worth sitting down and discussing your travel plans with your vet. Our vet was brilliant and explained the full process in detail. For peace of mind, we booked all appointments needed well in advance and set reminders in our phones.
How did the dogs travel in the van? Did you have a back up plan or bring extra cleaning products with you incase they were ill along the way? Did they ever get sick?
The boys were excellent in the van. They just cuddled up in the same bed and slept with the occasional request for a cuddle. We brought lots of antibacterial wipes and spray but despite driving over 7000km there were never car sick.
How did Rapha and Ripper cope with the tunnel crossing? Were they apprehensive? Did Rapha or Ripper cope differently to each other?
The good thing about the tunnel is that its only 30mins from boarding to arrival. Also, you just get to stay in the van so you are with them all the time. You honestly wouldn’t have known you were even on a train it was so smooth and quiet.
Once you arrived in France, do you think they noticed they were in a different country? Different smells?
Not really, apart from the different language!!!!
How did they cope with the difference in temperature – I imagine Spain would have been fairly warm even in winter?
Ainsa was normal temperatures but when we arrived in the south of Spain it was 25 degrees. Unfortunately, no Christmas jumpers were able to be worn and we didn’t take them biking there as it was just too warm. Rapha managed to keep cool by jumping in grandad’s swimming pool!
- You can check out more of Rapha and Rippers Adventiure on their Facebook page here https://www.facebook.com/reel/751052033248876
We will continue with Debbie and Alex’s European Road Trip in our next Blog Part 3 – where we discuss how the dogs got on in France and Spain, in depth details about kit for both the cold and hot days and what camping with two dogs in Europe is like and the locals reactions!
TOP KIT LIST DETAILS
- B & R Harris Sleeping Bag x 2- essential for the mountains
- B & R Trail Towel x 2
- B & R Chillbreaker Coat x 5 (we were going to the mountains so we took all the chillbreakers we could)
- B & R Paw Wax– this was super important for biking but especially for keeping their paws free of snowballs
- B & R Bungee lead x 2
- B & R Wuff Buff x 3
- B & R dog treats x 4
- Poo bags (8 rolls) – badly underestimated how many of these we would need!!
- Doggo First Aid Kit
- Dog Food (1 x 20kg bag and 5 x 2.5kg bags)
- Yumove joint supplement
- Fleece Blanket x 4
- Dog Bowl x 1
- Rapha and Ripper Christmas Presents
- Dog Christmas jumpers x 2
- Froggy the van cuddly toy (very important!)