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Travelling with your Dog: Essential Tips for a Stress-Free Trip

Planning a vacation with your furry friend? Our guide provides essential tips and a checklist for a stress-free trip. Ensure a safe and enjoyable journey for both you and your dog.

Holidays with dogs-tips and information for enjoyable outings with your four-legged friend

Travelling with your dog can be an enriching experience, allowing you to create lasting memories and share new adventures with your furry companion. However, ensuring a smooth and stress-free travel experience with a dog requires careful planning and preparation.

This guide provides essential tips and a comprehensive checklist for navigating every aspect of your journey, from travelling with a dog by car to ensuring their safety and comfort during air travel.

Many hotels and flat holiday providers already cater for holidaymakers with dogs. It is often permissible to bring dogs, but it must be clarified in individual cases. 

When travelling to destinations with extreme weather conditions or a strenuous journey, it is best to leave your four-legged friend at home with care. However, with our tips for travelling with a dog, you can best prepare for your well-deserved holiday.

Book a dog-friendly holiday.

Before booking your trip with your dog, you must have written confirmation that you can bring dogs to your chosen holiday home (hotel, pension, flat, campsite, etc.).

Tip: When searching for accommodation on the travel portal booking.com, you can select whether pets are allowed. This method simplifies your research online booking for dog owners. Also, there are often excellent and inexpensive bargains if you are quick. 

When travelling abroad, learn about the veterinary entry requirements of the countries you visit so that you can update your four-legged friend’s international vaccination card and obtain the necessary certificates.

Which accessories should go in your travel bag for your four-legged friends?

When packing, the dog should have its suitcase, which should store a spare collar with its home and holiday address, leash, comb, brush and other dog accessories, food and water bowl and a food supply (preferably ready-made food).

We also recommend a first-aid kit prepared by a vet, which should contain a remedy for diarrhoea. Finally, a small water tank completes the equipment for dog travel.

Luggage checklist for holidays with dogs:

  • Pet passport with information on recent vaccinations
  • Liability insurance phone number
  • Address of a local veterinarian
  • When travelling to other European countries, identification with a transponder is mandatory for dogs, cats and ferrets.
  • Dog bed
  • Muzzle if necessary
  • Rope
  • Cushion or basket for dogs
  • Ceiling
  • Toy
  • Food bowl
  • Dog poo bags
  • Towel
  • Comb and brush
  • Food and treats
  • First-aid kit with the medication your dog needs
    Travel sickness and diarrhoea remedy
    Spray for wounds and disinfectant
    Wipes for cleaning eyes and paws
    Pincers to tick
    Clothing material

Holidays with dogs. Travelling by car with a dog

Many holiday trips with dogs are made by car. This is because, in general, all dogs like to drive. But, of course, it can happen that they also have traffic problems and therefore cannot tolerate travelling in a cramped car or are not in a safe condition. Puppies and young dogs are particularly affected when transported in a vehicle for the first time. However, with regular driving, they quickly get used to the rocking, braking, and starting.

The driver plays a large part in the animal’s behaviour during the car journey. Stressed and calm driving without wild overtaking manoeuvres and quick turns calms the four-legged passenger’s circulation.

It can also help the dog with tablets, but it is best to prepare the animal for the journey through preventive measures, especially training and habituation.

  • Even an otherwise car-loving four-legged friend is not immune to all challenges if he has just eaten a considerable portion of food. So, only let the dog in on an empty stomach.
  • The dog’s place is always behind, never in front of the driver, and certainly not on his lap! But unfortunately, even the smallest dog can quickly become the cause of an accident.
  • The routes are gradually extended. As a practical test, we then make a long car journey. We allow your four-legged friend to familiarise himself with every eventuality when driving a car. In this way, you get a pleasant passenger over time.

Seat belts and partition grids ensure safety in the car.

It is best to fasten your dog in the car on holiday to avoid becoming a danger when braking sharply. The trade offers a wide range of options, including dog safety belts. It is also essential to keep the window closed. Draughts damage every dog; they can easily contract eye infections.

After all, travellers take breaks at regular intervals. So, a little endurance running is not bad for our dog or us; it is suitable for us.

Separation grills have proven effective in station wagons, allowing separate accommodation close to the owner. However, according to a practical test by a car club, they offer the best possible safety for dogs and humans in metal dog boxes. Find a comparison of the different safety systems for the safe transportation of the dog in the car.

When travelling with a dog, every driver must never forget that the car interior heats up quickly if left standing for a long time, especially in high summer temperatures. So, if you have to leave your dog in the car for a few minutes, park it in the shade and open the windows.

Train journey with a dog

Train journey with a dog
The train journey is enjoyable for dogs with a reserved seat on the train, if possible, not in the open carriage.

If you travel by train at night and want to use a sleeping car, your four-legged friend may only enter the compartment if you have purchased a ticket and sleeping places for the entire area. Giant dogs are better housed in a transport box in the train’s baggage car than in the hustle and bustle of the compartment or aisle, especially during the primary travel season.

It is vital to choose a continuous train to avoid the hassle of changing trains. The dog is invited and invited by the owner.

Tickets for dogs on train journeys

If the dog travels in the train compartment, it needs a ticket; only guide dogs for blind people can travel free of charge. The ticket only entitles you to take your dog with you; the dog is not entitled to a seat.

If your travelling companions have no objections to an empty compartment, you can leave your dog on a seat. It is best to put a blanket underneath. You can find more information on this topic in our guide on travelling by train with a dog.

Ship travel – Dogs on a cruise

If you are planning an all-ship holiday, check the entry requirements for all the countries you visit; you may have serious problems when disembarking. As with air travel, the rules for sea travel vary from company to company, so it is always advisable to have the promised animal transport confirmed in writing. In general, dogs are only allowed on ships by some cruise lines.

On the AIDA, animals are not allowed on board for hygienic reasons. Similarly, no passengers may bring animals onto MSC cruise ships’ boats. Animals brought on board illegally may be taken into custody by the crew and brought ashore at the next port of call at the passenger’s expense.

Recognised assistance dogs are allowed at MSC. In addition, Cunard’s shipping company will enable guests to bring guide dogs with them if necessary. Depending on the country and port of call, legal or customs regulations may mean that animals cannot disembark. However, guide dogs may travel in the owner’s cabin/suite.

Dogs and cats are pets only on transatlantic passages. During the cruise journey, dogs are housed in special kennels and are not allowed in the guest area of the ship. It is essential to know that veterinary care is not offered onboard Cunard ships.

Holidays with dogs. Travel insurance for people and animals

While it is common when booking a holiday or travelling with a dog in a travel agency that you are immediately offered travel insurance, awareness of the benefits of travel protection insurance is not widespread among self-drivers. It would be necessary for our animals and us to be well looked after in a sudden illness or accident.

We should note that the insurance coverage of many insurance companies only applies in Europe. Therefore, when comparing insurance, you should also consider the local validity of the insurance for a trip with a dog!

Travelling by plane with a dog

Air travel must only be made with healthy young dogs, and the vaccination and entry requirements of the destination country must be observed. Flights for holidays with a dog are recommended, but only nonstop in a country with a temperate climate. A flight box for the cabin or cargo hold should be procured in good time so the dog can get used to it for an extended time. Tip: Prepare a piece of paper with your dog’s data.

The dog does not have to be fed on the day of the flight, but offering water during the journey is essential. Before checking in, make sure you can empty it. The International Air Transport Association’s IATA regulations, the ‘Live Animal Regulations’, and the species protection regulations apply. Also, please find out the special carriage conditions of the respective airline.

As with air travel, the rules for travelling by ship vary from company to company when travelling with a dog, so it is always advisable to have the promised transport of the animal confirmed in writing. Holidays with dogs are not the order of the day. Changes in location and climate are stressful enough for your dog. Therefore, we should not add a change of feed. Instead, it is best to take the food you are used to to your destination.

Travel nutrition checklist:

  • One day before the start of the journey, give the dog just a little food.
  • Bring a large bowl of fresh water before taking off the aeroplane.
  • Even while driving, the dog only receives water.
  • No change of food.
  • More important than at home: dogs are not given raw meat in the South because it can increase the risk of infection.
  • Take your usual bowls and toys (also your snacks) with you.

Q&A:

What are some essential considerations for travelling with a dog?

1. Ensure accommodation permits dogs.
2. Understand veterinary requirements for international travel.
3. Pack necessary accessories and ensure your dog’s comfort.
4. Research transportation options, including car, train, ship, or plane.

What are some safety measures for travelling by car with a dog?

• Use seat belts or partition grids for safety.
• Avoid letting the dog sit in the front or on the driver’s lap.
• Ensure breaks for exercise and bathroom breaks.
• Be mindful of the temperature inside the car, especially in hot weather.

What preparations are necessary for train travel with a dog?

• Reserve a seat for the dog, if possible.
• If travelling at night, ensure appropriate arrangements for the dog’s accommodation.
• Purchase a ticket for the dog if it travels in the compartment.

What should be considered for air travel with a dog?

1. Ensure the dog is healthy and meets vaccination requirements.
2. Acquaint the dog with the flight box beforehand.
3. Follow airline-specific regulations and IATA guidelines.
4. Avoid feeding the dog on the day of the flight.

What are some tips for maintaining a dog’s nutrition during travel?

• Offer limited food before the journey.
• Provide ample fresh water.
• Stick to the dog’s regular food to avoid digestive issues.
• Be cautious with raw meat, especially in warmer climates.

Takeaways:

  • Travelling with a dog requires careful planning, considering accommodation, transportation, and the dog’s well-being.
  • Pack essential accessories, including a pet passport, first-aid kit, food, water, and familiar items for comfort.
  • Different modes of transportation have specific requirements and safety measures for dogs.
  • Research destinations for dog-friendly facilities and activities.
  • Plan, book accommodations in advance, and consider pet insurance for unexpected expenses.

Comparison Table:

AspectCar TravelTrain TravelAir TravelShip Travel
Seat SafetySeat belts or partition gridsReserved seat, if possibleFlight box, according to regulationsKennels or specified area
Preventive MeasuresEnsure breaks for exercise and bathroomProvide breaks for exercise and bathroomAcquaint with flight box beforehandResearch destination rules
Safety RegulationsKeep windows closed to avoid draftsOffer limited food before the journeyFollow airline and IATA guidelinesFollow ship company regulations
Feeding GuidelinesAvoid feeding on a full stomachPlace behind the driver, avoid front or lapAvoid feeding on the day of the flightStick to regular food, avoid raw meat
Accommodation NeedsAvoid feeding on a day of flightProvide appropriate accommodationProvide flight box or crateKennels or specified area
Additional ConsiderationsRegular driving helps acclimateContinuous train preferredHealth and vaccination requirementsCheck entry requirements for countries visited

Conclusion

In conclusion, meticulous planning and thorough preparation are paramount for a successful and enjoyable journey when travelling with a dog. By following the comprehensive tips in this guide and utilizing the detailed checklist, you can ensure a stress-free adventure for you and your beloved canine companion.

From understanding accommodation policies to adhering to transportation regulations, every aspect of your journey should be carefully considered to guarantee your furry friend’s safety, comfort, and happiness. With proper preparation, you can embark on unforgettable journeys together, strengthening the bond between you and your canine companion. “Travel with dog” experiences can be enriching and fulfilling, creating cherished memories that will last a lifetime.

Thank you for reading the article to the end. Your reading contribution was significant to us.

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The "Frenchie Breed" website is a blog aimed at dog owners. We regularly publish articles about our four-legged furry friends. Among the contents of our blog, you will find ample space on the latest news in the sector, with information and in-depth analysis dedicated to the world of dogs in all its forms, the latest trends and news of the moment, curious facts, events devoted to dogs, product reviews, as well as an intense activity of information regarding the health and well-being of pets.

Please Note: The articles in the 'Frenchie Breed Blog' are for information purposes only; nothing published can or should be construed as an attempt to offer professional advice or consultation with a physician, veterinary surgeon or another health professional.

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Written by Frenchie Breed

The "Frenchie Breed" website is a blog aimed at dog owners. We regularly publish articles about our four-legged furry friends. Among the contents of our blog, you will find ample space on the latest news in the sector, with information and in-depth analysis dedicated to the world of dogs in all its forms, the latest trends and news of the moment, curious facts, events devoted to dogs, product reviews, as well as an intense activity of information regarding the health and well-being of pets.

Please Note: The articles in the 'Frenchie Breed Blog' are for information purposes only; nothing published can or should be construed as an attempt to offer professional advice or consultation with a physician, veterinary surgeon or another health professional.

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