We should first point out that all pets travelling with you should be microchipped, vaccinated for diseases such as rabies, treated for tapeworm and must have the necessary documentation. For details see the DEFRA website. Travel insurance for your dog is also essential to cover expenses should he or she get ill while you are away.
For the most part, dogs travelling in Europe are absolutely fine, so long as recommendations for their health and safety are followed, but occasionally things don’t quite go to plan and you find yourself with a poorly pet. Here’s what to do should such an unfortunate event arise:
- The campsite may be able to recommend an English speaking vet. If not, Tourist Information Centres can often point you in the right direction. Make an appointment and get the right treatment as soon as possible.
- Contact your pet insurance company as soon as possible and give them the details of the claim. They will advise you of what further action needs to be taken. If your pet needs ongoing treatment, be sure to let them know.
- Keep receipts, invoices and any other evidence of your expenses. This will help to support your claim.
- Inform your tour operator if transport arrangements need to be changed. Good operators will organise a new ferry or Eurotunnel crossing, saving you the hassle of doing it yourself.
- Make your dog as comfortable as possible for the remainder of the holiday or until he or she has recovered. Ensure the animal is kept well hydrated and cool, especially in warmer climates, and continue to check for ticks.
Regardless of whether or not your dog falls sick while you’re abroad, you must follow certain procedures before returning to the UK. The animal must be treated for certain parasites and ticks by an official veterinary surgeon between 24 and 48 hours before your return to the UK, and you must obtain a certificate that shows the treatment has been carried out.