Q. I really want to take my dog to France this summer but he doesn’t have a passport – is there any way I can get a passport organised in time?
A. No – at the moment the 6 month rule is very strict and there is no way your dog would be allowed back into this country until 6 months after the blood test for rabies is taken. Your only option if you wanted to go to France earlier than that would be to enjoy a very long holiday and wait until the 6 months are up before coming home! However this does look set to change from 2012 with the interval between vaccination and re-entry to the UK dropping to 3 weeks which will make things much easier.
Q. How often do I need to vaccinate my dog against rabies to keep his passport up to date?
A. The usual interval is 2 years but 3 years is acceptable in some cases depending on the vaccine brand used. Your vet will be able to advise you on this.
Q. How can I find holiday accommodation that accepts pets?
A. There are several good online guides available including www.petfriendlyhotels.com and www.dogfriendlybritain.co.uk and these are the best places to find hotels and B&B’s that welcome 4 legged members of the family.
Q. I’m thinking of taking my cat away on a caravanning holiday as he really misses us when we go – is this sensible?
A. My advice would be not to risk it as however well-behaved and home-loving you cat may be, there’s always the chance that they will take fright and run off, or simply get lost and you’ll spend your holiday desperately searching for them. I speak from bitter experience on this one, having spent a miserable 48 hours in Devon hunting for a girlfriend’s cat after agreeing to let it come on our camping trip! We did find it in the end but it ruined the holiday – and ultimately the relationship as well!