With summer coming up, many dog owners struggle to get away on holiday. But, what if you could take your beloved furry friend with you? These days, many tourists are ‘staycationing’ in the UK or taking trips to Europe and they’re taking their pooch too!
It sounded like a dream to Raised By Humans so they teamed up with some doggy experts and decided to create a guide on to travelling with your dog this summer. What are you waiting for?
First things first: the rules
According to the Gov.uk site, if you’re travelling from the UK to an EU country or Northern Ireland your dog will always need the following. These requirements also apply to assistance dogs:
- a microchip
- a valid rabies vaccination
- an animal health certificate, or a valid pet passport that’s accepted in the country you’re travelling to
- tapeworm treatment for dogs if you’re travelling directly to Finland, Ireland, Northern Ireland, Norway or Malta
The Pet Passport
You can only use a pet passport if the country you’re travelling to accepts passports for pets coming from Great Britain. If your passport is not accepted you’ll need to grab an animal health certificate instead.
Many dogs need to be kept in your car on a ferry or maybe even in a kennel on the ferry. Whilst most ferries want your dog to be enclosed in some way, few have designated places for them to walk around or even a dog-friendly lounge for you to spend time with your best friend. UK-wise, dogs can travel on a train and for free at that! They are not yet able to travel on the Euro-star, so that is one to remember.
Another thing to remember is that you can’t take more than 5 pets to an EU country or Northern Ireland (we doubt you would want to anyway!) unless you are attending or training for a competition, show or sporting event.
Top holiday destinations for dog-friendly hotels
We ranked the top ten European holiday destinations and the UK’s major cities in terms of how dog friendly they are*. Are any of these on your travel list this year?
European Holiday Destinations
- Rome, Italy
- Paris, France
- Athens, Greece
- Prague, Czech Republic
- London, UK
- Mykonos, Greece
- Barcelona, Spain
- Dubrovnik, Croatia
- Mostar, Bosnia & Herzegovina
- Amsterdam, The Netherlands
*Based on how many dog-friendly hotels are situated in this area
With a whopping amount of dog-friendly hotels in the city centre (1,418 to be exact!), Rome is the perfect place for pups. Historically, dogs have meant a lot to Romans and this has obviously continued to modern-day. Dogs are allowed in many of the cafes and restaurants in Rome as well as some of the tourist attractions like Capitoline Hill and the outside areas of the Roman Forum and the Colosseum. You can also travel with your dog on the train, but check the rules beforehand!
London is an incredible capital city for you and your furry friends. It has 625 dog-friendly hotels and many places for you to explore. Why not wander along the Thames, or travel through some of London’s beautiful and iconic neighbourhoods? There are also many wonderful parks you can visit, such as Greenwich Park and Hyde Park. It’s always good to remember that well-behaved dogs on a lead or in a carrier are welcomed by Tfl (Travel for London).
Our top tips for travelling with your dog
- Always check the rules for the specific country.
- Plan far in advance, you don’t want to get caught without something last minute!
- Pet passports – you must take your dog to the vet no more than 10 days before you travel.
- Bring weather-specific items for them if you are travelling by car. Maybe you might want to get some ice cubes to cool them down or snacks with lots of water for dehydration. Windscreen shades are a particularly good idea for hot weather.
- Dog travel sickness – it can be common in dogs, make sure they can have fresh water and keep an eye out for vomiting and panting.
- Make sure that your dog is used to the car and maybe start with smaller trips so they become comfortable before the big trip.
- Keep them in a comfortable, happy state. Pay them attention and pack items that remind them of home, like pillows or toys.
- Make sure that you are making regular stops for wees and walks so you can both stretch your legs.
- Always use some kind of harness to strap them in – legally, dogs must be kept from distracting drivers in a moving car.
- Always check ahead for dog-friendly areas and hotels, you don’t want to be stuck without anywhere to stay on your trip!
What are good travel dogs?
While many dogs will be happy travelling as long as you keep them comfortable and healthy, some dogs have attributes that can make them the perfect travel pal. For example, it can obviously be helpful if they are smaller dogs as they’ll be easier to transport.
It’s also best if the dog that you travel with has a good temperament and is sociable. You may meet a lot of people on the way and you’ll need calmness when you drive, so an obedient dog is always best! If you’re travelling to somewhere sunny with lots of, you should take a dog that loves water so that they get to enjoy the lakes and beaches as much as you do.
Is it bad for dogs to travel a lot?
It should not be bad for your pet to travel a lot, as long as you are making sure that they are comfortable and kept happy. No one wants an unhappy pup, you want them to enjoy themselves as much as possible! Here are some great dog and cat travel Instagram influencers that do it every day: @vancatmeow , @mrbentley_thedog and @django_and_chloe .
What to give my dog for travelling
Like we talked about earlier in the piece, you want anything that will bring them comfort. Stuff from home, toys and treats are all important alongside the obvious parts – stuff to cool them, water and food.
Is anything different with cats?
The rules are pretty much the same for cats too! You still need a microchip, a valid rabies vaccination and an animal health certificate, or a valid pet passport that’s accepted in the country you’re travelling to. You might want to consider the fact that they may want more freedom, especially if you have an outdoor cat that is used to being able to freely leave the house by themselves via a cat flap.