Thinking of spending some time relaxing at the beautiful 7km sandy beach at Le Touquet this summer? Or perhaps immersing yourself in the famous cafe culture of Calais’ Rue Royale? Why not take your beloved four-legged friend with you? As the number of Brits searching for dog-friendly holidays rises – with recent reports suggesting a 665% year on year increase – Le Pet Express is offering travel between the UK and France for just £150, for you, and your pet.
Pet-friendly travel between the UK and France has long been more complex than it needs to be. Eurostar prohibits animals entirely, and most alternative methods fail to address the needs of pets and their owners. Pet couriers, for example, often transport pets only, without their owners. Many ferry services require animals to be placed into kennels for the crossing. And taxis have earned a reputation for failing to be transparent about their total costs.
Owners have had little choice but to resort to air travel, which can be highly stressful for pets, or self-driving, leaving them focused on the road, rather than on their cat or dog. Until now, that is. Le Pet Express provides a comfortable minibus, with scheduled departures from Ashford to Calais Frethun through the Eurotunnel. The service enables owners to sit right next to their pets for the trip, reducing anxiety and working to strengthen the crucial human-animal bond.
Brenda Stowers, Owner of Le Pet Express, says, “After the last couple of years, most of us are well overdue for a holiday, but it’s hard to leave our loyal companions behind. Fortunately, many hotels, campsites, restaurants, and attractions – around the world – are becoming dog-friendly venues… the only difficulty is getting our pets there! At Le Pet Express, we believe in making affordable, stress-free pet travel a reality. We’re thrilled to offer a regular route between the UK and France that allows pets and owners to travel together”.
Le Pet Express was launched following Stowers’ own struggles in relocating from the United States to the UK with her pets, having to take an extended air route via France – followed by a taxi and a ferry – to enable them to travel together. Taking months of planning and intense organisation to schedule the trip and identify trusted providers, Stowers set out to create a simpler, easier, more cost-effective way to travel abroad with cats and dogs.
It’s reported that 14% of dogs experience separation anxiety, with many more suffering from fear-related anxiety. In total, it’s estimated that 70% of all dogs experience some form of anxiety, which can be exacerbated through unusual situations where they don’t have their owner to provide comfort.
Research suggests that canine heart rates are lowest when they can see their owner, which highlights just how important it is for pets and owners to travel together. Travelling together could help to combat some of the most common symptoms of travel-related stress in animals, which include whining, panting, barking, aggression, pacing, restlessness, yawning, and drooling.
The Le Pet Express service departs Ashford International Station in Kent at 10:00, arriving into Calais Frethun Station in France at 14:30. Return services depart Calais Frethun at 16:00, arriving back into Ashford at 18:30. One way tickets cost a fixed £150, which includes Eurotunnel travel for both you and your pet.
All you need is your valid passport, your pet’s valid EU passport and any immigration documents for border control. And don’t forget your pet!
Book Le Pet Express online at www.lepetexpress.com