Taking a dog from Spain to the UK

Taking a dog from Spain to the UK

Need help taking a dog from Spain to the UK?

Taking a dog from Spain to the UK can be pretty stressful, but don’t worry, you have options, you CAN take a dog from Spain to the UK. I got lost in a world of fear that my dog would be taken and killed by firing squad for not having the right papers as soon as we drove off the ferry. Luckily we snuck through and have been on the run for two months now. Of course not, the whole process couldn’t have been easier, apart from 5 a.m. urination alarms, for him, not me. He’s not a sociable boy, and the exercise/toilet area on the ferry can get pretty cramped during normal hours.

Maybe this post should be called – Taking a dog from Spain to the UK by ferry…

…as that´s the path we took. I’m sorry if you´ve landed here and plan to go by train, I can’t give you a detailed guide on that. I can tell you why I didn’t go by train though.

Firstly the drive and the tolls through France. Unless you get blessed with a yellow vest protest takeover like we did back in 2018 where the tolls were hijacked, you´re going to spend a fortune riding those French highways. Add two nights in hotels along the way, and you’ve already got reason enough to choose the ferry.

The main reason for us though was covid. Adding a border crossing to the plan was adding much more risk so we made it as simple as possible. One country to another. We travelled in June 2021. Writing this four months later nothing’s really changed. And as we head toward another troublesome winter who knows what policies will be in place? I hope that the ferries will keep sailing and you can follow us back to the UK.

But on that point, are you sure you want to????

I beg you just to think one more time……why are you leaving Spain for the UK??

Even with our justifiable reason of having a lunatic for a dog that couldn’t deal with apartment living, the huge dog population in Valencia and the heat, we still hold back the tears at the smallest mention of fresh orange juice, olives or a glimpse of the sun.

Warning over. I guess you need to leave. I´m sorry for the loss.

Taking a dog from Spain to the UK

So here is the checklist you need:

A pet passport or a health certificate. Chances are if you´re dog is already in Spain you have an EU pet passport from the glorious pre-Brexit days. THIS IS STILL VALID. Otherwise, any vet can issue you with the pet health certificate with little problem or advanced warning.

Get tapeworm treatment. Do I need to clarify this is for your dog? You need to do this within 5 days of departure, however, the treatment is a pill, not a jab, and our vet was happy to date it for whenever we wanted. This was handy because we were living in the middle of Valencia surrounded by vets-a-plenty, but we had plans to take a few leisurely days to travel up to Santander. So we went to the vet 10 days before and she dated it 4 days before departure.

Finally, of course, your dog needs to be microchipped. Seems to be pretty common practice nowadays. So unless you recently met a stray in the Sierra Nevada and felt compelled to show it the dull lights of the UK this should be an easy step

That’s pretty much it.

Brittany Ferries has an option of a pet-friendly cabin or some cages. So check them out, as they’re pretty much your only option to get back by boat. Here’s a link to their most up-to-date info.  

If the borders are open with no virus control then I’d probably recommend taking the Eurotunnel. Yes the drive to get there is long, but the actual crossing is about 25 minutes. 24 – 30 hours on a ferry is enough to raise your lunacy level by at least a notch or two.

You might be reading this while shouting at me about how great it is, but pointless if you don’t have a car. That’s fair enough, most Brits in Spain don’t have one, city living doesn’t require one, but if you do have a license here’s my advice……buy one! Not a Spanish one, that’s nigh on impossible and would cost you a couple of major organs to buy and a decade to process the paperwork. There are plenty of dealers in popular areas that sell UK reg cars, and then you can either easily sell it when you get back or, cherish your new family member until it crumbles and dies. I chose the latter. I used NP Autos and recommend him highly, and he’ll come to you pretty much wherever you are.

There are 2 more options to take your dog back to the UK

1 – Rent a van. Most of them let you take a dog with you. We didn’t have enough stuff to fill a quarter of the van and it would’ve cost twice as much as the car we bought just to rent the van for a few days. If you have collected a few local pianos and couldn’t bear to part with them the van might be for you. Way2GoHire are a good place to get a quote from.

2 – The VIP option. Why not just sit back and let someone else do the hard work? There are a few companies that will collect you, drive you and deal with all of your paperwork too. The chauffeur service costs about the same as four old Ford Focuses, but if you’ve got the dough and want to take it easy then have a little look here.

So there you are, your options. Like I said I made the journey in June 2021, the rules of the virus will likely be different but the core info will probably remain the same. Good luck to you!

Pssst……while you’re still in Spain why not check out my blogs about Valencia……..you know it’s the coolest city there.

the sketchy traveller
About the author – The Sketchy Traveller

I’m not really a stickman, but it seems that I like portraying myself as one.

I’m an English guy who’s been travelling since 2017. I was never good at taking photos, sketching just seems to work better for me, and in my opinion, why do you want to see other people’s 4K videos and pictures of the world? Surely it’s better to see it for yourself. You can get in touch through the contact page or Instagram.

I look forward to hearing from you.

Happy travelling.

The Sketchy Traveller