Holidaying with your dog in France: experiences, rules, tips
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France is the ideal country for a holiday with a dog: It is easy to reach by car, has varied, beautiful nature and is also extremely dog-friendly. We have already spent numerous holidays with dogs in France and in this article we explain everything you need to know before traveling to France with a dog. Starting with the entry regulations for dogs in France, to the most beautiful places for a holiday with a dog in France, to the travel diseases that you should know about.
- How dog friendly is France?
- dogs on the beach
- Leash compulsory in France
- Entry regulations for dogs in France
- Dangerous travel diseases: sandflies and leishmaniasis in France
- Camping with dogs in France
- New Year's Eve with a dog in France
- The most beautiful regions in France for holidays with dogs
- France road trip with dog
How dog friendly is France?
Let's start with the most important question: How dog-friendly are the French actually? Even if individual experiences can strongly influence the picture here, after many, many visits with dogs, we see France as an extremely dog-friendly country. Sometimes people are even friendlier to you with a dog than without a dog. Incidentally, in relation to the number of inhabitants, significantly more dogs are kept in France than in Germany.
Are dogs allowed in restaurants in France?
Even if you are on holiday with your dog, you want to eat out now and then. And that's really easy in France - both in big cities like Paris, as well as in villages and small towns. Frieda was almost always a welcome guest. Incidentally, restaurants that do not want dogs inside often have a corresponding sign on the door, so that unpleasant situations cannot arise in the first place. Nevertheless, we have gotten into the habit of asking (at least when eating indoors) whether it is ok for the dog to come in with us.
Are dogs allowed on the beaches in France?
In France, various criteria decide whether your dog is allowed on the beach. Namely the location (wild or city/promenade), the time and the season. So there are beaches with a general ban on dogs, but these are almost all in the city or on the large promenades. In some cases, the ban is even relaxed and then only applies between 10 a.m. and 7 p.m. or only in summer. In addition, you will find wild beaches in almost every region of France where your dog can romp all year round. And designated dog beaches are also common in France. By the way, dog bans are always clearly marked.
Does my dog have to be on a leash in France?
France does not have a general leash requirement (with exceptions for listed dogs). However, regions may impose location-specific leash requirements, for example in nature reserves, city centers or on beaches. Just pay attention to the relevant signs. There is no muzzle requirement in France, as there is in public transport in some countries.
Entry requirements for dogs in France
Let's get to the entry regulations and first of all: it is extremely uncomplicated to travel to France with a dog. Your dog must be identifiable (with a chip, tattoos are also valid for older dogs), require an EU pet passport and must be vaccinated against rabies. Exactly like in Germany. To be on the safe side, however, you should take a look at your ID card before you travel so that you can refresh your vaccinations if necessary. By the way: Due to the rabies vaccination, dogs in the entire EU must be older than 15 weeks in order to travel abroad, because only then is the vaccination protection fully developed. In addition, no more than five dogs may be imported. If you have more than five dogs, you have to register as an importer as part of a commercial activity.
What breeds of dogs are banned in France?
France maintains a list of dogs classified as potentially dangerous, which may not be brought into France* (not even in transit). American Staffordshire Terriers, Mastiffs, Tosa inu and Rottweilers are affected. Keeping and importing these breeds is considered a criminal offense in France. Attention: this also applies to crossbreeds whose appearance and physique correspond to those of these breeds.
*there are exceptions, but they are so complicated that an import is practically impossible. You can find more information in this leaflet. If in doubt, ask the embassy.
Entry requirements for dogs in France at a glance:
- Dog must be identifiable (chip)
- Pet ID must be present
- Current rabies vaccination
- Minimum age 15 weeks
- No more than 5 dogs
- Dogs of the following breeds are not allowed to enter France: American Staffordshire Terrier, Mastiff, Tosa inu, Rottweiler
France: Which travel diseases (dog) are there and where are leishmaniasis areas in France?
You have probably already heard of the so-called Mediterranean diseases or travel sicknesses, which your dog can contract while on holiday. And indeed, France is one of the countries with an increased risk. Leishmaniasis in particular is widespread in France, but your dog in France can also become infected with heartworm, babesiosis and Ehrlichiosis.
How high the risk is depends on the region in which you are vacationing. And even if the borders are fluid, the region from the Ardèche and Drôme in the north to the entire Mediterranean coast can be classified as the area with the highest risk of leishmanosis for your dog. The same applies to the other Mediterranean diseases.
And just like in Germany, ticks can transmit Lyme disease, anaplasmosis, babesiosis and Ehrlichiosis in all regions of France.
Where is the best place to go on holiday with a dog in France?
Perhaps the question should be: Where not? Because there are countless regions in France that are perfect for holidays with dogs. It doesn't matter if you want to relax on the beach, go hiking with your dog in France or if you want a little bit of everything. That's why I'm introducing you to my favorite regions for holidays with dogs in France.
Holiday with your dog in Normandy and Brittany
Normandy and Brittany have a decisive advantage when it comes to holidays with dogs in France: it is not too hot even in summer and it is also significantly less crowded than the south of France. In addition, endless beaches await you, as well as cute fishing villages. We have vacationed in Normandy several times and recorded our impressions and experiences in this post.
Holidays with your dog on the Côte d'Azur - With your dog on the Mediterranean Sea in French riviera
Whether Nice, Cannes or Menton - the Côte d'Azur exudes a lot of charm. But not all places are equally suitable for holidays with dogs, especially in summer when it is hot and some beaches are closed to dogs. Saint Tropez is particularly dog-friendly, where you will find a dog-friendly dream beach: the Plage de Pampelonne. Miles long, with numerous beach bars, it is the perfect place for a relaxing holiday in the sun of the Côte d'Azur. There are also hidden bays with wild beaches all over the peninsula. Incidentally, there are recommended (dog-friendly) campsites directly on the Plage de Pampelonne. And around Hyères you can also go on holiday with your dog. If possible, avoid July and August if you want to avoid both the heat and tourist crowds.
A unique place in the Mediterranean that I heartily recommend you to visit with your dog is the Calanques National Park, which you can find between Cassis and Marseille at the French riviera. In the fjords of France you will find a unique landscape and some of the most beautiful (and dog-friendly) beaches in the Mediterranean.
Holiday with your dog in Provence
It is my favorite region for a vacation with dogs in France: Provence. Everything fits here. The pretty mountain villages, the vastness, the tranquility. We have explored Provence extensively. So we were in Haute-Provence, which is best known for the breathtaking Verdon Gorge and also explored the most beautiful villages in the Luberon. Both holidays will remain in our memories for a long time. I'll link the travel reports here.
Holiday with your dog in Alsace
Alsace is also popular, which is due to its proximity to Germany but also to the pretty villages and beautiful nature. Here you can stroll through picturesque villages and enjoy tarte flambée or hike through the hilly landscape. Your dog will love this holiday. Note that in Alsace there is no ban on firecrackers on New Year's Eve, like in the rest of France.
Holiday with your dog on the Atlantic coast of France
Endless pine forests, wild beaches - the French Atlantic coast exudes its very own charm, which is why it is a great place for a vacation with dogs. It's relaxed and although it can get very hot in summer, the Atlantic provides wind and cooling. You will also find peace and action here in equal measure.
With dog to Paris
Wondering if Paris is dog friendly and how to plan a trip to France's capital with a dog? We spent three days in Paris with Frieda and learned a lot about traveling with dogs in Paris. In this post I share our experiences with you and give you tips on getting around, dog-friendly sights and restaurants along the way.
Road trip France with dog
You don't just want to see a region, but want to go on a road trip through France with your dog? Then I recommend a road trip through southern France, which takes you from the Ardèche to the Camargue and via the Côte d'Azur to Provence. You hike through wild gorges and fantastically beautiful national parks, stroll through the prettiest villages in Provence and relax on dog-friendly beaches. Sounds good? The whole route and all information can be found in the post that I link to you here.