Taking Your Pet Overseas

Taking your pet on the ferry

Most ferry companies welcome pets, and the cost of taking a pet onto a ferry varies from free to approximately just £35. Different ferry companies have different requirements so please check when you book. In most cases animals must remain inside the vehicle at all times during the crossing or in a special on-board kennel. Foot passengers may be able to carry pets in containers which are lockable, although this can be at the discretion of the ferry personnel.

EU Pet Passports

You now require a Pet Passport to take your pet to Ireland and France, however the UK government department, DEFRA, have made it easier than ever to take your pet on holiday to France from January 2012.

You will still need to have your pet micro-chipped and vaccinated against rabies to ensure you receive your pet passport but the waiting time to re-enter the UK has been reduced from 6 months to 21 days following vaccination. Your pet no longer needs tick treatment and tapeworm treatment is currently under consideration. Most ferry companies offer pet cabins to ensure animals are completely comfortable on their travels overseas.

We recommend DEFRA's website for all the further information you need, as it is your responsibility to ensure that you familiarise yourself with the relevant information about Pet Passports and that you make all necessary arrangements through your vet well before your departure.

Useful links:

Pets Stay Free Offer Details

Many cottages featured on this website welcome pets and in most cottages they can stay FREE of charge. The search results pages on this website indicate which cottages welcome pets. Some cottages welcome more than one pet (also indicated on the search results pages). Please note certain dog breeds are subject to the cottage owner’s approval.

If you are taking your pet on holiday, you must respect these few, simple, common sense requests:

  • Please keep your pets off the furniture.
  • Please exercise your pets outside the garden.
  • Please remove pet hairs from carpets before you leave.
  • Please don’t leave your pets unattended in the property or garden.
  • Please do not allow pets upstairs or in the bedrooms.

Where pets are not permitted at a cottage, this is clearly stated in the cottage description. However, registered guide and support dogs belonging to those with visual and hearing impairments are allowed in all cottages featured on this website, even where the cottage description states that pets are not allowed. Customers with allergies should be aware that we cannot guarantee that a registered guide and/or support dog has not stayed in their chosen cottage recently, nor can we accept liability for any suffering which may occur as a result of such animals having been present. Subject to availability. Our Booking Conditions apply.

Pets stay free
A perfect pet holiday...

Choosing the perfect pet holiday, by Sarah Whitehead from the Clever Dog Company and author of 'Clever Dog – The Secrets Your Dog Wants You to Know'.

Sarah Whitehead from the Clever Dog Company with her dog

A perfect holiday is one that all the family enjoy together - so as the owner of three dogs that I consider to be part of my family, nothing gives me more pleasure than seeing my dogs having just as much fun as the rest of us.

For many dogs, a holiday with their owners offers a rare opportunity for quality time with the family. Leaving the usual routine behind, a cottage offers all the home comforts, without the daily grind that we live with at home. We know that dogs are a mirror for human behaviour – meaning that a relaxed owner equals a relaxed hound.

Dogs are unique individuals, just as we are. Some like peace and quiet, others like to be right in the midst of energetic activity. Owners know their dogs best and understand their needs, wants, likes and quirks. So, if your dog could choose, what would be on his holiday wish-list?

And they should enjoy a break too! So forget kennel fees because with Welcome Cottages there is no need to leave your pet at home when many properties accept pets for free!

Find out more
about bringing
your pet abroad...

Our top tips...
  1. Make a list of things for you and things for your pet.
  2. Check the property description so you know what your surroundings will be like and what amenities are close by.
  3. Don't forget lots and lots of toys - make the most of the new surroundings by giving your dog some playtime.
  4. Take a good supply of chews and treats - we all like to indulge a little on holiday!
  5. Remember to pack plenty of rugs and towels - perfect for picnics, covering furniture and drying off after a spontaneous swimming session!
Dog lazing in the pool
Dos and don'ts...
  • Please keep pets off the furniture
  • Please exercise your pets outside the garden
  • Please remove pet hairs from carpets before you leave
  • Please don't leave your pets unattended in the property or garden
  • Please do not allow pets upstairs or in the bedrooms
Pubs for pooches...

Once you have booked your pet-friendly Welcome Cottage, you might want to check out some local places to eat and drink. The website Doggie Pubs helps you find great places across the UK where you and your best friend would be welcome. With almost 4,000 listed you should be able to find somewhere within a stone’s throw of your holiday home. Here are a few favourites from Millie the dog (who runs the site):

• If you’re planning a trip to Kent, make a stop in Sandwich at The George and Dragon. The pub dates back to 1446 and is ideally situated for some lovely wild walks on nearby Sandwich Bay. (24 Fisher Street, Sandwich, CT13 9EJ)

• If you’re staying in Sussex, Danehill’s Coach & Horses comes highly recommended (Haywards Heath, Danehill, RH17 7JH). Set in an idyllic little valley overlooking fields of lambs, admire the pretty garden and prepare to step over pub dog Harvey as you enter the busy bar. A deservedly popular pub, so best to book a table.

• In the historic village of Sawley, on the border of the Yorkshire Dales and Lancashire, The Spread Eagle pub is beautifully decorated, has an excellent menu and is situated right next to the River Ribble with plenty of good walks on its doorstep. (Sawley, Nr. Clitheroe, Lancs, BB7 4NH)

Doggie Pubs