Monday, August 14, 2023

13.5 Month Europe & UK Tour With My Dog - Flight From Singapore to Paris With Dog in Cabin

flying singapore airlines suites dog in cabin

singapore airlines emotional support animal sq suites 

Hello everyone! So my pup, Snuffles, and I left Singapore on 15 June 2022 and we travelled around Europe and the UK for 13.5 months. We just flew home on Singapore Airlines on 2 August 2023 and I thought I would do up this post since I know how everyone wants to travel with their pups! Here’s everything you would potentially need to know, I think, and if you have any questions, you can DM me on Instagram @kimberleyyeo or drop me an email at kimberleyyeo@gmail.com 

INFORMATION ABOUT SNUFFLES :
Breed : Maltese 
Age on 15 June 2022 when we left Singapore : 3.5 years old
Weight : 4.8kg 
Age on 1 August 2023 when we left London : 4.5 years old
Weight : 5.2kg
Medical conditions : None
Flight preparation : none (Snuffs has been flying since he was 8 weeks old, so he does really well on the plane). We have pee pads with us in case he needs to relieve himself. 
Behaviour in general, and on plane : Snuffs is a very friendly and happy boy who travels really quietly, and he doesn't bark at all. On the plane, he sits with me quietly as I eat or watch movies (he doesn't try to snatch my food or anything like that) and he goes to sleep the moment he's done looking out the window or playing with his toys. Most passengers didn't even know there's a dog onboard until they walked past us and Snuffs wanted to say hi. He obviously loves the attention that he gets from the crew and the other passengers onboard. He's really the best travel buddy! He eats and drinks well onboard as well — everything is basically like it is when he's at home.
 
AIRLINE USED FROM SINGAPORE TO PARIS/LONDON TO SINGAPORE
Singapore Airlines
Snuffles is my emotional support animal so he could sit with me in the cabin at no extra charge. We flew with Singapore Airlines thrice (twice in business, and once in suites). Singapore Airlines has since scrapped the ESA policy — we could still fly with them because our flight was booked before 1 April 2023.
 
DOG-FRIENDLY AIRLINES YOU CAN CONSIDER:
Dog and carrier combined typically have to weigh below 8kg
Air France
KLM
Lufthansa 
Turkish Airlines  
Etihad Airways
Swiss Air
Note : check if the business class seats allow dogs because you will definitely need the space. Most airlines do not allow dogs in business class due to seat configuration (passengers can't place carriers with dogs under seat). From my understanding, Lufthansa and Swiss Air allow passengers with dogs in carriers in business class, and Air France allows the same in their first class cabin) 

Please only bring your dog on a flight, especially a long-haul one, if he or she is calm, well-trained, and can stay in the carrier for an extended period of time comfortably and quietly.

IATA APPROVED BACKPACK WE USED :
This post contains Amazon affiliate links, I might earn from qualifying purchases
 
IMG_4401  

-super sturdy, foldable/collapsible/easy to keep, very breathable, expandable
-very comfortable for Snuffles - he can take naps on his back, or just lie down and watch through the clear portion, sit up and pop his head out
-Not too heavy
-good and adequate support for my back — I can carry him for hours 
-fits under seat of airplane
 
switzerland mountains dog friendly
 
flying from singapore to paris with dog


FLYING TO PARIS FROM SINGAPORE WITH A SMALL DOG IN CABIN :
PROCEDURE/DOCUMENTS REQUIRED- website
1) Pup must have microchip before rabies vaccination (which has to be taken at least 21 days before export)
2) apply for export permit($50) with AVS (within 30 days of export)
3) Get EU Health Certificate (here) filled up by licensed veterinarian, and obtain an animal health certificate stating pet has been checked on a specific date - we went to Doctor Elaine at Pets Avenue Upper Thomson
4) Get EU Health Certificate + Health Certificate Submission Checklist endorsed by Official Vet/AVS - Make an online application via the GoBusiness Licensing Portal and note your application number as it is needed during the submission of the completed health certificate template and subsequent collection of the endorsed certificate. Drop off original completed VHC, original vaccination records, your application number, health certificate submission checklist at AVS Drop-off box (Level 1, JEM Office Tower (next to security counter)). We picked up the documents in 2 working days.
5) a written declaration completed by the owner or an authorised person regarding the non-commercial nature of the movement (here)
6) all original vaccination records + microchip record
 
dog friendly michelin starred restaurant paris 
 
ROUTE WE TOOK
Singapore - Paris - UK - Europe - UK - Singapore 
 
QUARANTINE  
No quarantine going from Singapore to Paris
No quarantine coming back from the UK as we spent 6 months in the UK. 
 
flight from singapore to europe with dog

LEAVING SINGAPORE + ENTERING PARIS
At Singapore customs, we had to present the export permit. While going through the security/baggage checks, I went through the scanner first, before returning to carry Snuffles through the scanner, and his carrier is then sent through the xray machine. When we arrived at the airport in Paris, there were no checks even though the staff knew I had a dog in my bag so we just walked straight through. 

northern light tour tromso with dog
 
ENTERING THE UK WITH DOG WITHOUT FLYING 
You can’t fly with your dogs in the cabin INTO the UK but you can fly OUT of.

So the best way to avoid putting Snuffles in the hold is to enter the UK via France (ferry/LeShuttle at the eurotunnel) 

Possible routes :
  • Ferry from Dieppe to Newhaven(the only route that doesn’t require passengers to have a car)
  • Ferry from Calais to Dover(15 pounds for pup) - we tried this
  • LeShuttle / Eurotunnel from Calais to Folkestone(22 pounds for pup) - we tried this
  • Ferry from Rotterdam to Hull
All routes apart from the ferry from Dieppe require passengers and dogs to travel in a car. The ferry route between Dieppe and Newhaven is the only one that allows foot passengers onboard with their dogs. Foot passengers have to leave their dogs in the kennel onboard (only 3 available) so make sure you make a booking prior(18 euros). The crossing is about 4.5 hours long. Once you get to Newhaven, you can take a train straight into London. We did Newhaven -> Dieppe and it was quite smooth. I was allowed to see Snuffles at a specified timing. My only gripe is that the ferry timings are really few so it might be hard to make them. We left London at 6am in the morning and took the 10am ferry from Newhaven. Once we got to Dieppe, we realised that there was barely any taxi or public transport options available to take us into  town, so we asked if a group of ladies could give us a ride into town and they kindly did!

kimberley snuffles hallstatt 

ENTERING THE UK FROM FRANCE + MISHAPS WE MET 
1) Animal Health Certificate from vet in Brussels not accepted at DFDS French customs

We touched down in Paris, spent a week there before going to Belgium for 5 days, and then we booked a bla bla car (like grabhitch/people who happen to be making the same route and don't mind taking additional passengers for a small fee) which would pick us from Calais train station onto a ferry from Calais terminal across into the UK. Since the animal health certificate from Singapore is only valid for 10 days, we needed to get an AHC in Belgium, and also a mandatory deworming pill.

When we were at the customs at DFDS Ferry in Calais to exit France into the UK, our AHC was not accepted because it’s handwritten (?!?!). We ended up being stranded in Calais for the night (our driver was nice enough to send us to a nearby hotel (20 minutes drive at no extra charge, and all passengers missed the ferry). The hotel was in the middle of nowhere with no public transport links at all and the staff at the hotel were not fluent in English but they tried their best to help me with making calls to our vet in Belgium. We sent over an official UK document to the vet to fill up (which also came back handwritten..) and it was readily accepted along with all our other papers at P&O Ferry customs. We finally managed to get onto the ferry which allowed dogs, out of the vehicles, in the pet lounge on the top floor. We were dropped off in Leatherhead in the UK and took an Uber into London. 


defra dog document

2) European pet passport did not have rabies vaccine on it
We managed to get a EU pet passport in Stockholm. Note that not all vets will issue a pet passport to you because they require proof of residence/citizenship etc. The pet passport was very useful and we used it whenever we had to fly in Europe. The second time we tried to enter the UK, we also booked a bla bla car to take us across (this time via LeShuttle at the Eurotunnel instead of a ferry). The bla bla car picked us up in Paris, and drove to LeShuttle in Calais. At the pet reception at LeShuttle, Snuffles' EU pet passport was rejected because his rabies vaccine sticker was not on his EU passport (despite the original vaccination certificate). There's no way that we could transfer the sticker from the original certificate to the pet passport (it's illegal to doctor the documents by the way). The staff at the reception told me to go to a specific vet to get it sorted. It was 9am then, and the earliest appointment available was at 3pm. The vet simply tore off the rabies vaccine sticker from the original health certificate, stuck it onto the passport, signed and stamped it, and charged me 60 euros.

We then had to go back to LeShuttle to beg strangers to drive us across the tunnel. We begged more than 30 strangers. Some were really nice and really tried to help but they didn’t have space in their cars. We finally met this nice angel, Carla, who took us across to Wimbledon and we took an Uber into London.

There are pet taxis that make this particular trip via the LeShuttle but the cost is pretty hefty. You will be looking at at least 500 pounds I believe. Some bla bla car drivers are used to making this trip, and will charge you 200 pounds for the entire trip. 

holiday in europe with dog from singapore

dog friendly airline singapore to paris europe

LEAVING LONDON TO FRANCE
We actually weren't sure if we needed to get an Animal Health Certificate for this route. We called up a few vets and they told us that it's about 180 - 210 pounds to get the AHC and the process requires 3 weeks because it's a whole 10 page document to fill up. And Snuffs and I were only in London for a week, so Snuffs and I took a chance at the DFDS ferry customs in Newhaven, and just used the AHC that our vet in Belgium gave us. We went through smoothly without any issues. This was the Newhaven -> Dieppe foot passenger route
 
travelling to europe from singapore with dog
 
 
EUROPEAN COUNTRIES/CITIES/TOWNS WE VISITED
FRANCE - Paris, Dieppe, Rouen, Saint malo, Mont St Michel, La Rochelle, Ile de Re, Bordeaux, Carcassonne, Avignon, Gordes, Rousillion, Aix-en-Provence, Moustiers Saint Marie, Marseilles, Cassis
Cannes, St Tropez, Eze, Menton, Nice, Dijon, Beaune, Lyon, Annecy, Colmar, Strausbourg 
 
MONACO

BASQUE COUNTRY - San Sebastian, Bilbao 

PORTUGAL - Porto, Lisbon, Lagos

SPAIN - Sevilla, Granada, Madrid, Valencia, Tarragona, Barcelona 

SWITZERLAND - Zurich, Interlaken, Lucerne, Iseltwald, Zermatt, Bern

GERMANY - Munich, Mittenwald, Neuwanstein, Nuremberg, Heidelberg, Koln, Berlin, Hamburg

NETHERLANDS - Maastricht, Utrecht, Amsterdam, Rotterdam, The Hague, Delft, Zaanse Schans, Hoorn, Haarlem

BELGIUM - Brussels, Ghent, Antwerp, Bruges 

SWEDEN - Stockholm, Vaxholm Island

DENMARK - Copenhagen

NORWAY - Tromso 

GREECE - Chania, Heraklion, Santorini, Paros, Naxos, Mykonos, Tinos, Syros, Athens 

SOUTH ITALY - Naples, Sorrento, Capri, Amalfi, Positano, Pompeii, Bari, Matera, Polignano a Mare, Alberobello, SICILY - Milazzo, taormina, Palermo, Catania

MALTA

AUSTRIA - Salzburg, Hallstatt, Innsbruck 

VERY DOG FRIENDLY EUROPEAN COUNTRIES 
All European countries are dog friendly if you consider how you can take them on public transport with you or dine alfresco with them almost all of the time. 

But the truly dog friendly countries in my opinion where dogs can travel without a carrier on public transport, and dine indoors almost always are :

France
Germany
Switzerland
Netherlands
South Italy/Sicily 
Malta
Austria
Belgium
Greece (bus on Santorini requires your pup to be in an enclosed carrier, but pups are allowed on all ferries)
 
EUROPEAN COUNTRIES THAT ARE NOT SO DOG FRIENDLY 
(dogs are not allowed indoors in restaurants and they have to be in enclosed carriers on public transport) 
Spain
Portugal 
Scandi countries - Norway, Denmark, Sweden

flying from singapore to europe with dog in cabin
 
TRAVELLING AROUND IN EUROPE 
We took trains most of the time(SNCF requires a pet fee, but most other train services did not), a couple of flights and loads of ferries in Greece and from South Italy to Malta. Long distance buses or coaches typically don't take dogs and the only long distance buses we took were from Naples -> Bari (Marino Bus) and Bari -> Milazzo (SAIS Autolinee Spa). We used bla bla car a lot because it can be cheaper and it's more comfortable since we were moving around with bulky luggage. 
 
DOCUMENTS NEEDED :
We were always in the Schengen area(France, Portugal, Spain, Switzerland, Germany, Belgium, Netherlands, Denmark, Norway, Greece, South Italy, Malta) and didn't need an additional AHC while travelling within Europe

AIRLINES WE FLEW WITH IN EUROPE 
Pet fee required on all flights, and pets have to be housed in an IATA approved container under the seat in front of you.

Stockholm - Tromso : Norwegian
Tromso - Helsinki - Chania(Greece) : Finnair
Athens - Naples : Aegean
Malta - Paris : Vueling 

DEWORMING PILL REQUIRED FOR
UK, Norway, Malta  

road trip in europe with dog from singapore

FLYING FROM LONDON TO SINGAPORE WITH A SMALL DOG IN CABIN

PROCEDURE/DOCUMENTS REQUIRED
1) Apply for an import permit($50) with AVS
2) Apply for a dog license(starts from $15) with AVS (ours was a 3 years license so we didn't need to get a new one)
3) Book inspection($80) for dog at Changi Animal & Plant Quarantine Station (CAPQ)
4) Create an account with DEFRA and have the Export Health Certificate sent to your official vet in the UK
Official Vet we used : Medivet Southwark - Doctor Giuseppe (we paid about 350 pounds for the EHC and the AVS Veterinary Certificate)
5) Bring dog to official vet for checks, endorsement of EHC, internal and external parasite treatment 
6) Have vet fill up AVS veterinary certificate (which is basically the same thing as the document that DEFRA sent to your vet), vet will charge you extra for the filling of the form (click here)
7) Have aircraft captain/staff sign declaration - snuffs wasn't in a tamper proof bag as he sat with me on the seat, and the captain wasn't comfortable with saying that snuffs did not have contact with other animals on the flight. So the captain struck out certain parts of the form, and signed it, without a stamp. Form was accepted by AVS at CAPQ

LEAVING LONDON + ENTERING SINGAPORE

1) Present all papers at airline check in.
2) Security/baggage check - Your pup will be handed over to the staff in his carrier and he would be brought to a separate room for his checks with you once you've made it past the scanner
Note : Make sure you have documents / airline boarding pass stating you have a dog with you
3) When you arrive in Singapore, drop your pup off in an IATA approved carrier at the Lost and Found counter, and make your way to CAPQ (around 25-30 minutes drive from the airport) to pick up your pup. All papers have to be presented at CAPQ.

dog friendly european countries 
 
Check out the best dog-friendly hotels in Paris here
Check out the best dog-friendly hotels in Europe here 

28 comments:

  1. It's quite sad how people feel like they have to brag for validation on social media. Even more unfortunate is that there are people with genuine conditions that need to fly with service or emotional support dogs (but can't, because of people who abuse the system and brag about it). In case we forget, SQ took away the ESA provision because of a lame bragger with his corgis. I wonder how many questions equate to "received a lot of questions" hahaha. Want to brag, at least be honest about it. Next thing we know maybe AVS will be more strict and impose more regulations. Also, while we humans may find it fun these travels can tiring for the poor doggies.

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    1. Aww hello there sourpuss, who damaged you? Hahaha in case you’ve completely missed the point of this entire blog post, it’s to help dog owners plan their own travels without engaging a pet transport company, and to provide information for people who truly want to go on a vacation with their doggos. You would think I’m bragging or trying to get validation only because that’s the kind of person you are, not me. Don’t project your feelings onto others, mate. And are you a doctor or licensed healthcare professional who knows how to diagnose a condition? Pretty sure you aren’t because then, you would know that not all disabilities are visible. You sound like quite a sad person.. and I wish that you find happiness and joy in life, and if you so desperately wanna shit on someone’s content, at least "use some brains" and dare to reveal your identity instead of hiding behind anonymity. Be proud of your work, no?

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  2. Also, soooo obvious you bought bot followers on instagram. At least use some brains.

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    Replies
    1. Hahaha I've had 10k followers on instagram since 2017. Maybe you wanna do some research before accusing someone? How did you get this miserable, you poor thing.. Anyway, thanks for the views and for visiting my instagram! Cheers, mate!

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  3. What a well summaries article for future reference! Super helpful, appreciate this Kim! 💋

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    Replies
    1. It's my pleasure! Really glad that it's helpful! Feel free to drop me a message if you have any questions, Kym!

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  4. How abt corgi weighing 17kg? Possible for cabin?

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    1. Hello! I don't think any airlines flying Singapore - Europe allow dogs heavier than 8kg in the cabin at the moment

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  5. Thank you so much for your blog. It is really helpful as I am planning to bring one of my dog to uk n stay there for 3-6 months

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    Replies
    1. You're very welcome! Enjoy your time in the UK!!!

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    2. Hi Kim, thanks for this post, very helpful! A question: we're considering flying our dog in cabin from the Uk to Singapore. In order for our dog to avoid quarantine on arrival, we have to fly London - Frankfurt, and then Frankfurt - Singapore. I am wondering if having a layover in Frankfurt would present issues e.g. may make it seem as if the dog hasn't been just in the UK for the past 6 months. What was your experience in this regard? Thank you!

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    3. Hello! We flew direct from London - Singapore so I'm not completely sure. But if I'm not wrong, as long as you didn't leave the airport, it's fine! And you don't require any additional paperwork (: You might want to write in to AVS to check as well, they're pretty responsive!

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  6. Hi Kimberly, thanks for your detailed blog post, it is super helpful. I am considering bringing my chihuahua baby to UK and it seems so tedious, so much paperwork etc to complete. Now that SQ has stopped accepting ESA in the cabin, I am not sure about letting her travel as cargo, it may be too traumatic for her. I am thinking of visiting my relatives in UK for a month, any advise or shortcuts you can suggest?

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  7. Hi Kelly, there are other airlines that take small dogs in the cabin. You can refer to the list in my blog post. There is absolutely no way you can fly with a dog in the cabin into the UK unless it's a guide dog or medical assistance dog. You will have to fly to a European country and take a ferry into the UK.

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  8. Really great article thanks so much x

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  9. Hello Kimberly, thanks for the fab writeup. Can I ask how did you manage to fit this bag under the seat? I checked swissair and the height limit was 23cm! This is extremely low given that most pet carrier (says airline approved) are at least 28cm. Swissair replies are not the most helpful in this 😐

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    Replies
    1. Hello! You just have to turn the carrier and it will fit. We had no issues on any of the 4 flights that we took within Europe.

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  10. Hi Kimberly, may I know how you managed to fit that carrier under the seat? Most airlines only allows up to 23cm in height for thw bag. I check with alot of European Airlines and they don't seem to accept business class with dogs. It looks like I can only do economy class thou. Appreciate your insights!

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    Replies
    1. Hello! You just have to turn the carrier and it will fit. We had no issues on any of the 4 flights that we took within Europe.

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  11. Hello I noticed u did not include some countries in this list (https://www.travelnuity.com/most-dog-friendly-countries-europe/) as dog friendly. May I know if it is because you have differing views or you did not visit the country? Was there a reason why you chose not to go to certain countries? Thank you so much for your informative post and sharing! Looking to plan a trip w my furbies eventually too :-)

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    1. Hello! I realised I didn't include Austria and Belgium, which were pretty dog-friendly as well! I remember bringing my pup on the inter-city trains in Belgium and while he wasn't in a carrier most of the time, there was one ride where we were told that he actually needs to be in a carrier. Apart from that, I think he went with me everywhere. We didn't visit Czech Republic or Slovenia on our previous trip! We only had 6 months so didn't cover alot of ground. We are planning to do the Balkans/Eastern Europe next year but some of the countries don't seem to be very dog-friendly!

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  12. Hi! Which IATA pet carrier did you use? 😊 planning an sg-france-zurich-sg route with my furbaby too.

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    Replies
    1. Hello! >> https://www.amazon.sg/COVONO-Expandable-Backpack-Ventilated-Traveling/dp/B08NYRZD8Q?_encoding=UTF8&tag=b08nyrzd8q-20&linkCode=ur2&linkId=62182239717ddb35acdc2a439f900cd6&camp=1789&creative=9325&th=1&_encoding=UTF8&tag=kimberleyyeo-22&linkCode=ur2&linkId=e89fe1619dbe8c71f053b68b56868efe&camp=247&creative=1211

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  13. hi kim,

    i'll have to travel to UK for 2months for an exchange and i want to bring my bunnies along as I don't think its ideal for fragile pets like them to be left in boarding for 2months+, and also, i don't want my bunnies to forget me.

    as per vhs rules, would pets have to be quarantined again upon arrival in sg if we stayed for less than 3months overseas?

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    Replies
    1. Hello! Sorry for the late reply. I'm not sure if it's a good idea to bring bunnies onboard. I have never had bunnies, so not sure if it would be too stressful for them etc. Also, the quarantine rules depend on the country that you're coming back from. I really am not well-versed about the rules pertaining to small animals. You can write to AVS, they're pretty responsive.

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  14. hi kim! thanks for this detailed write-up! could I ask, how early in advance did you plan the vaccinations/paper work. I'm thinking of bringing my dogs to the uk to visit family in mid July 2024 & i'm not sure if its too late now!

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    Replies
    1. Hello! You have plenty of time! Just get your pup in for a rabies jab asap, I'll recommend two months before your departure date(just in case, but typically a month is sufficient). The rest of the papers can be completed within 1 month of departure date.

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