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Travelling to/from Morocco with dogs

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6 reviews
4 helpful votes
Travelling to/from Morocco with dogs

We have recently completed a road trip to Morocco with our dogs. We have 4 dogs (2 x German Shorthaired Pointers & 2 x Smooth Fox Terriers). We travel regularly throughout Europe and Russia but this was a first time with dogs to Morocco. I scoured lots of forums and the advice was sketchy and often based on 'thoughts' as opposed to true experiences. Such posts made gross assumptions and were often based on dated information. The idea of this post is to assist others and provide genuine first hand information.

So firstly, as stated, we do travel a lot, mostly as I compete with the pointers in sleddog sports but also because it is often easier and cheaper to take dogs with us rather than leave them behind and the trip to Morocco notched up their 29th country with our older dogs now being on their third passports having previously filled their others.

We set off from our base in Estonia (though we are British) and drove across Europe to Algeciras. Algeciras was chosen as FRS offer a short ferry route and are the only company sailing to Morocco that allow dogs to stay in vehicles. As our van contains heated/airconditioned fully ventilated dog crating, the dogs will always be happier in the van than in onboard kennels. Prior to setting off we did get the dogs health checked and wormed with passports updated to show the same; this is not necessary for entry to Morocco but was a way of "dotting the i's and crossing the t's" and in my view a responsible step so as to ensure no parasites from Northern Europe were transferred south via our dogs. We also use seresto collars on the dogs to protect against fleas, ticks and sandflies. We travelled in November/December so felt that the Leishmania vaccination would be an unnecessary step as we would be outside of the sand fly season besides which, Leishmania vaccines are not available in Estonia.

FRS contrary to some of the posts were on time and offered basic but acceptable onboard comfort. Immigration is conducted onboard so join the passport queue as soon as you are on and take a pen with you in order to complete the form.

Driving on and off in this direction, no one checked the dogs or passports though we did have to remove the dogs from the van in Tangier Med so that the van could be x-rayed by customs.

Our dogs sleep in the van at night but we always booked pet friendly accommodation in case we needed to take a dog in for any reason. Booking.com was great for this and we had no issue finding pet friendly accommodation. Leaving the dogs in the van overnight was also not an issue as Booking.com allowed us to select riads with private off-road parking, the van was locked and is fitted with a Mercedes Benz immobiliser and Clifford alarm and all the dogs crates are securely padlocked. I did however take the additional measure of fitting a steering security lock. Throughout the trip, no one touched our van.

Driving in Morocco was no different to driving in Europe with drivers in Marrakech being on a par with drivers in Naples or St Petersburg. Rural roads were generally quiet and whilst I had read that the mountain passes were a challenge, we had no issue and felt that most posts about driving in Morocco had been written by drama students! We had no accidents, damage, breakdowns or any other mishaps and Euro 6 compliant diesel was available everywhere. AdBlue was a rarity though so advisable to take a 5 litre container with you if you are on an AdBlue system.

How did people react to the dogs? Wherever we went, we felt welcome with children and adults wanting to talk to the dogs, stroke them and ask questions about them. In fact we even had people stop their cars just to say 'nice dogs' and 'welcome to Morocco'. A handful of older women avoided the dogs but these were an exception and the avoidance was conducted without drama, the ladies simply crossed the street or waiting for us to pass before stepping into our path. Stray dogs kept their distance but we did struggle with one of the pointers who is a constant hunter and fancied eating every stray cat she saw though as they were not released to free run, no stray cats were harmed during this trip!

Returning from Morocco to Spain was again a simple affair from Tangier Med to Algeciras with FRS. Again the van was emptied of dogs prior to x-ray in Tangier Med but Moroccan authorities paid no attention to the pet passports. On the Spanish side, we were again just waived through. The customs guys had a cursory look in the van but paid no attention to the dogs. However, we did have pet passports in our hands and rabies titer certificates at the ready.

With regard to dogs, you will need to ensure that rabies vaccinations were given no more than 12 months prior to entry to Morocco and you will need a valid titer certificate from an EU approved lab to show that the rabies vaccination has taken. On this point UK vets are a bit of a rip-off, stating taht the vaccine must be given 30 days before the titer test blood is taken and will re-vaccinate if the vaccine was given more than 30 days prior then ask you back in 30 days; this is not true, the correct regulation is that at least 30 days must have passed between rabies vaccination (initial or booster) before blood is taken, so if the vaccination was given 30 days, 300 days or 900 days prior to blood being taken, if the vaccine was accepted by the body, the titer test will come back showing an acceptable antibody level but please note that Morocco do not honour the 3 year vaccine rule so you will need to ensure that the vaccine was given no more than 12 months prior to entry. Again UK vets are a rip-off (sorry), charging £100+ for a titer test, for us, 4 titer tests in Estonia cost us €140. The titer test is valid for life providing you maintain the rabies vaccination schedule and never allow this to lapse.

Having disembarked in Spain, we then drove up to Seville and got the dogs passports validated for entry to the UK and continued to Caen to get the Brittany Ferry to Portsmouth; €26 covered the four dogs passports though we did use our own worm tablets.

If anyone has any specific questions regarding our trip, I would be more than happy to answer.

31 replies to this topic
Paphos, Cyprus
Destination Expert
for Paphos
Level Contributor
6,818 posts
109 reviews
86 helpful votes
1. Re: Travelling to/from Morocco with dogs

Whilst I have no intention of travelling to Morocco with my dog (a challenge too far!), your post was an interesting read and great information to add to the forum.

Trisha

2 posts
2. Re: Travelling to/from Morocco with dogs

Excellent and informative - on eof the best I have read. Well done and appreciated.

2 posts
3. Re: Travelling to/from Morocco with dogs

Excellent and Informative overview. One of the best I have read and thank you for taking the time to post something worthwhile. Well done.....Steve

Isle of Wight...
Level Contributor
8,263 posts
6 reviews
10 helpful votes
4. Re: Travelling to/from Morocco with dogs

Thank you, my dog isn’t yet three and has chalked up eleven countries, and doing a similar trip to yours to Morocco is on my wish list. I’ll have to see how things pan out after the end of the Brexit transition period; I am expecting at the least that the current pet passports will become invalid.

2 posts
1 review
1 helpful vote
5. Re: Travelling to/from Morocco with dogs

hi there, thanks for your informative description. we are planning to take our van and dog over to morocco (from spain) then back to france from morocco. we are sort of on a tight schedule and was wondering how long it would take to do this test and get the results back ? was it fairly quick or does it have a long delay ?

thanks

Level Contributor
7 posts
6 reviews
4 helpful votes
6. Re: Travelling to/from Morocco with dogs

If you’re talking of the rabies titer test, it was a one week turnaround using Laboklin Germany.

Winchester, United...
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2 posts
29 reviews
33 helpful votes
7. Re: Travelling to/from Morocco with dogs

Hello GSP666 and all.

I’m trying to work out how I get my hungarian Vizsla to lanzarote with me…and can’t seem to find a return sailing to huelva or Cadiz. I wonder if anyone has any info about these routes ceasing to run?

Level Contributor
7 posts
6 reviews
4 helpful votes
8. Re: Travelling to/from Morocco with dogs

I would suggest you try Fred Olsen www.fredolsen.ee. Their timetable will be online and they are dog friendly.

Barcelona, Spain
Level Contributor
2 posts
1 review
1 helpful vote
9. Re: Travelling to/from Morocco with dogs

Did you take your dogs to Morocco? Was it easy enough?

Stockton-on-Tees...
Level Contributor
1 post
15 reviews
36 helpful votes
10. Re: Travelling to/from Morocco with dogs

Thank you for taking the time to write such an informative post! It is invaluable to me as I'm planning to travel to Morocco by ferry from Spain in January

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