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A Ruff Guide to Travelling with DFDS Seaways 

Date published: 20th August 2012

  • Free pet travel offer*
  • Dogmatic approach to holidays in France

According to recent statistics**, 43% of UK households contain at least one furry, feathery or scaly family friend, with a total of 27 million pets in the UK. Dogs and cats top the list of our favourite animals.

And with recent legislation making it even easier to travel abroad with your favourite furry friends, DFDS Seaways has compiled its top pet friendly holiday locations to help inspire those looking for a holiday for the whole family, along with a ferry special offer!

Take a Paws in your travels East…
Your dog will need regular breaks if you’re traveling through France and we recommend Troyes as an ideal pet stop on your journey southeast, where your dog will get a warmer welcome than you will! The tourism office greets all dogs with a personal gift pack, which includes a city map marking attractions that welcome dogs, a discount voucher for dog treats, a dog waste bag and a pet magazine. Your dog won’t want to leave! Visit the tourist office at www.tourisme-troyes.com for more information.

Go West - life’s a beach
An ideal town to soak up the Gallic atmosphere, Le Touquet is less than an hour from Calais and was one of France’s chicest resorts in the 1920s and has been known as Paris-on-Sea since 1912. The vast sandy beach provides plenty of space for your family to relax and play with your dog, however, if the heat gets too much for your pooch, the small pine forest by the dunes is the perfect place to roam in the shade. As is the norm in France, dogs must be leashed and restrictions may be in place in peak season. Visit the tourist office at www.letouquet.com for futher details.

Capital Attraction
Just like at home, your dog will be eager to stretch its legs and the gardens in Paris will send your dog into orbit. The Jardin de Luxembourg has a dedicated dog path that leads towards Blvd. Saint Michel and there is even a dog fountain on the path. For dogs that prefer a faster pace of life, the Tuileries Gardens has two allees (elevated flanks) overlooking the Rue de Rivoli and the Seine River where your dog can run free. The tourist office can be found at en.parisinfo.com/

While you’re out and about in Paris why not also treat your dog to a stylish self-portrait to commemorate your doggie holiday? Dog of Paris creates stylish illustrations of your dog, giving them a ‘human’ dimension. Visit http://szukits.blogspot.co.uk/

Doggie bag?
Most restaurants in France welcome dogs, allowing them to sit under the table as you eat, although well-behaved mutts are a must! In fact, most waiters will ask if your dog would like a bowl of water before taking your order – you’ll soon wonder who’s the paying customer.

If you fancy a refreshing ice cream after a long walk in Paris then Berthillon is a must, serving ice cream and sorbets, and dogs are allowed to dine with you at the outdoor romantic tables. For something a little more substantial, dining at café de l’industrie with its pet friendly tables means eating out with your dog couldn’t be simpler. Visit www.bringfido.com/restaurant/city/paris_fr/

Chris Newey, passenger director for the English Channel at DFDS Seaways, said: “Travelling with your extended family can be easier than you think, when it comes to taking your pets across the Channel. Ferry travel is not only a relaxing and affordable way to travel for humans, it is also the most stress-free way to travel for pets.
“Historically, it has been difficult to take your pet abroad. However, the recent relaxed requirements in European regulations for travelling with animals abroad and the introduction of the ‘pet passport’, as well as an increase in pet friendly accommodation, has meant that it has never been easier to plan your family holiday in France.”

Here’s what passengers need in order to take their little best friend on holiday with them:

  • A valid Pet Passport, which can be obtained at your local veterinary surgeon.
  • Your dog must be micro-chipped with up-to-date contact details.
  • As your dog will be kept in the car during the crossings, it is advisable to have an area in the car where your dog can lay comfortably with a non-spill water bowl. Remember to leave windows open a crack for ventilation!
  • Your dog will need to have a tapeworm treatment between 120 and 24 hours before your scheduled arrival time back in the UK, so it’s advisable to find details of a local vet while in France.

France is extremely dog-friendly and most types of accommodation, from hotels and b&bs to self catering chalets and cottages, are happy to have dogs stay as part of your family group. Some accept dogs for free and others make a small charge, however, one thing that is certain is that your dog will receive a warm and friendly welcome!

DFDS Seaways, which operates up to 44 daily crossings, welcomes dogs on its ferries, is offering free pet travel for all bookings made between 10th – 23rd September 2012, for travel until the end of 2013.

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*Free pet travel offer is for bookings made 10-23rd September for travel until end of 2013.
** Pet Food Manufacturers Association (PFMA) carried out the research on behalf of National Pet Month 2011