Travelling to the UK with pets via Paris

Travelling with dogs to the UK via France. Why is this route a good option for travelling with pets?

Summer holidays for the doggies!

Last summer I wanted my dogs to spend some time with me in the green fields of the UK, and out of the searing UAE heat. I was also taking a rescue dog to her new home, so with 4 medium size dogs to fly I wanted the most cost effective option for our trip. I opted to fly into Paris with the dogs as accompanied baggage.

All in all it was a great journey. Would I do it again? Four dogs was ambitious, I really could have done with an extra pair of hands, but with the three it would definitely be more manageable and it saved me a decent chunk of money.

Things to note about my trip:

  • As a single traveller Emirates was the best option as there were no restrictions on the number of animals per passenger
  • Pets come out close to the carousels but in areas specific to the airline, you have to do a bit of wandering to find the Emirates desk
  • There are limited places for dogs to have a loo break at CDG airport, so get picked up as soon as you can to go on to a more suitable pit stop
  • I was picked up by a UK based Pet Taxi company who organised the trip from Paris through the Eurotunnel into the UK, it was well worth the money to have the Eurotunnel booked and paid for plus be with someone who knew how to expertly navigate the pet inspection points

The journey

Check in at terminal 3 in Dubai was easy; we had pre-booked and paid for the dogs in advance and I had hand luggage only. I had plenty of helpers and following check-in at the desk we went down to the security area to hand the pets over to be loaded onto the flight.

As I was boarding I could see the dogs being loaded onto the plane. The crates were super secure on a pallet but it didn't stop me worrying about them the whole way! I had made sure they have plenty of water for the trip plus bedding that they were familiar with to relieve stress.

Once we got to Paris I was in the baggage hall well before the dogs were, but the Emirates staff were expecting me and knew that pets were en route. The dogs were all beside themselves to see me and once I was through the "something to declare" area I got them out of their crates. I dismantled the crates to make it easier to pack them into the pet taxi, probably not necessary but it lessened the volume and made it easier to work our way through the airport

The cheap option?

For cats or small dogs the saving is minimal, if at all.

I travelled with 4 medium sized dogs so I did save a considerable amount of money. If I had only one dog, would I have opted for this route? Honestly probably not. The saving would not have justified the extra time spent in the car nor the overall stress of crossing land borders. It's worth checking the cost of direct routes using cargo because often people opt for going through Europe without realising that the former isn't much of a price difference and is an awful lot less stressful.

Tips for the journey

  1. Crate training - I cannot stress enough the importance of getting crates ahead of time. The dogs had got used to the crates being "bed" and this definitely minimised the stress they felt during the journey.
  2. Take the crate wheels in your hand luggage (they normally clip on/off very easily)- trying to wrestle with trollies is no fun!
  3. Have someone meet you in the arrivals hall. It's busy, noisy and you want to get through as quickly as possible.
  4. Get water for the drive and encourage your pets to drink.
  5. Pack light - limit your non-pet luggage if you can.
  6. Take it slowly, this is not a quick route to get back to the UK so make the most of drive, take breaks so the dogs can stretch their legs

Want to know more about taking your pets away for the summer? Contact Relocate Your Pet to find out more!