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All you need to know about international pet transport to France

France has the reputation of being one of the most pet-friendly countries in the world. You can bring your pet to many restaurants and cafés, markets and tourist sites. Holidaying in France with a pet is very popular, and you have plenty of accommodation options from cottages, hotels, campsites and apartments to choose from.

International travel with a pet is not complicated when you partner with an experienced pet travel agency who will remove all the guesswork from the move and help you relocate your pet safely with zero stress. If you are planning to move your pet dog or cat to France, here’s what you should know about international pet travel to the country.


A microchip is a small electronic transponder that is implanted in your pet, usually between the shoulder blades. The microchip has a unique identification number which is connected to all information about your pet, including vaccination records and your contact details. Most countries insist on a microchip before international pet travel because it is an invaluable resource to find your pet if they are lost or stolen.

Visit your vet for an ISO-compliant 15-digit microchip for your pet dog or cat. The microchip is the size of a rice grain, and the process of implanting it is painless for your pet.

Know your country category

When you transport your pet to France, the pet import regulations are different based on the rabies category of the country of origin. France has categorised countries into the following groups:

  • EU member countries: Pets travelling from EU member countries into France need a valid and updated pet passport. The pet passport must contain details of your pet’s rabies vaccination.
  • Third countries: European countries and other countries where rabies is absent or controlled fall under this category. They are Andorra, Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Aruba, Ascension Island, Australia, Bahrain, Barbados, Belarus, Bermuda, BES Islands, Bosnia-Herzegovina, British Virgin Islands, Canada, Cayman Islands, Chile, Curaçao, Faroe Islands, Falkland Islands, Fiji, French Polynesia, Gibraltar, Greenland, Hong Kong, Iceland, Jamaica, Japan, Liechtenstein, Macedonia, Malaysia, Mauritius, Mexico, Monaco, Montserrat, New Caledonia, New Zealand, Norway, Russia, Saint Helena, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Pierre et Miquelon, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, San Marino, Singapore, Sint Maarten, Switzerland, Taiwan, Trinidad and Tobago, United Arab Emirates, United States of America, Vanuatu, Vatican City State, and Wallis and Futuna.
  • Non-listed countries: All countries that do not fall into the categories mentioned above are considered non-listed countries. 


All cats and dogs travelling to France must be vaccinated against rabies. The rabies vaccination must be current, and a record of the immunisation must accompany the pet. The vaccination must be given after the microchip has been implanted.

If your pet is travelling from a third country, your dog or cat must wait at least 21 days after the rabies vaccination to be able to fly to France.

Pets travelling from non-listed countries need a rabies titre test (RNATT) to confirm that they are adequately immunised against rabies to be able to enter France. The blood for the test must be drawn at least 30 days after your dog or cat has received their primary vaccination. The sample must be sent to an EU-authorised lab for analysis. The level of antibodies in the blood must meet the EU standard of higher than or equal to 0.5 IU/ml. Your pet dog or cat can then travel to France after three months from the date of drawing the blood for the test.

Health certificate

Dogs and cats travelling to France from a third country or a non-listed country must have a valid health certificate authorised by an official vet. The document must contain the following information:

  • Identification of the pet
  • Details of the anti-rabies vaccination
  • Details of the rabies titre test, if applicable
  • Pet owner’s contact information

Flying to France with a pet dog or cat is considered a non-commercial import if you fly with less than five pets. You will have to fly into the country within five days of your pet’s travel and give an undertaking that you are travelling with your pet and not selling or transferring the ownership of your pet in France.  

Pet parents flying to France with more than five pets have to follow commercial import regulations for their pets.

Banned breeds in France

France bans the entry of dangerous and aggressive dog breeds into the country. Prohibited dog breeds are:

  • Staffordshire Terriers
  • American Staffordshire Terrier
  • Japanese Tosa
  • Mastiff (Boerbull)

If your pet is one of these breeds, you will need a certificate of birth or pedigree issued by the veterinary authority in the dog’s country of origin. The certificate must attest that the International Canine Federation recognises the dog’s pedigree.

These dogs must be leashed and muzzled at all times in public in France.

Pet quarantine in France

Your pet dog or cat will not be quarantined upon arrival in France if all the pet import regulations are met. However, if all the import criteria are not met, your pet may be detained for further tests and examination at your expense.

A licensed official will examine all pets upon entry in France for signs of illness and any infectious disease. If your cat or dog is not in good health, they will be examined further before they can enter the country.  

Pet transport of puppies and kittens to France

Puppies and kittens less than three months of age and not vaccinated against rabies are not allowed to enter France. Puppies and kittens from non-listed countries can travel to France only after they are seven months old after their rabies vaccination and rabies titre test.

Call international pet transport experts

Planning an international pet relocation to France can be complicated especially when you are not aware of the pet import rules and regulations of the country. The easiest way to travel with your pet dog or cat to France is to take assistance from an accredited pet travel agency that specialises in zero-harm travel. Pet transport specialists will be able to help you travel with your pet without any stress or anxiety that comes with a big move.

If you are planning to relocate to France or travel with your pet for a holiday, reach out to Petraveller for a comprehensive pet travel plan.