Well prepared: Taking a dog on vacation

Leonie Metzger  -  2019-07-11

For many dog owners, it is utterly inconceivable to travel without their four-legged friend. To make sure the holiday will be a pleasure for both your dog as well as yourself, you should take note of a couple of things.

1. The destination

Hotel or apartment?

Finding a suitable location is not always easy. Top priority is to check whether dogs are welcome. Here you should not underestimate the importance of the wording: While at some hotels dogs are only permitted – that is tolerated – in others they are actually welcome. As a dog owner, it is no longer a question where you’d rather spend your vacation. The decisive factor is whether you’d like to stay at a hotel or in a holiday home. Whilst you have to accept certain restrictions in most hotels, you and your dog can move around much more freely and relaxed in a holiday home.

Heat is a great discomfort for dogs

Even if you love the sun, you cannot assume that your dog will do too. Dogs don’t usually share your enthusiasm, as they generally tolerate less heat and their only way to cool down is by panting. You should always look for a shady spot for your dog and also consider this when choosing your holiday destination.

Fields for dog-walking

However charming a one-week city break can be, unfortunately it is less suited for dogs. Right now, masses of people are crowding the streets in many cities – utter stress for dogs. This should be considered when planning a trip. You should also check if there are reasonably sized fields for dog-walking, where your four-legged friend can roam around and meet new friends.

2. Means of transportation

In addition to the choice of destination, the means of transport plays an important role.

Going by plane:

The rules regulating flights with dogs differ from airline to airline. It is a forgone conclusion, that the size of your dog determines whether he can travel in the cabin or in the cargo area. Only small sized dogs can go in the cabin but must be placed and remain in a designated transport box for the protection of other passengers for the duration of the flight. All dogs bigger than the given standard dimensions must also travel in a transport box, but in the uncomfortable cargo hold.

Going by train:

Train journeys with the Deutsche Bahn:

  • Dogs no bigger than a domestic cat are transported in a transport box at no extra cost.
  • For larger dogs, owners pay an additional 50% of the ticket price and must ensure that the dog is on a leash and muzzled.

Many dog owners consider it difficult not to be able to go for a short walk. When going by train, this requires some planning ahead. You can make the most out of longer stops in between by taking your dog for a short walk. You should find out in advance when and where these stops are.

Going by car:

Going by car is clearly the most comfortable option for dog owners. The temperature can be individually adjusted, and windows can be darkened, so that your four-legged friends are protected from unwanted solar radiation. Last minute stops are no problem; the dog can do his business and also stretch his legs. Yet it is also important to ensure your dog’s safety in the car.

Regardless of the means of transport you should remember that even dogs can suffer from travel sicknesses. To remedy or even better prevent this, appropriate medication should not be missing in your first-aid kit and you should always keep an eye on the condition of the animal.

3. Entry requirements

In addition to an implanted chip, a pet passport is an absolute must. Information about vaccines and also the latest rabies vaccinations can be taken from this, which is important for getting into certain countries. As regulations differ – even within the EU – you should definitely inform yourself about the entry requirements of the destination country.

4. Packing list for your four-legged friend

These things should not be missing when travelling with your dog:

  • Animal first-aid kit (tick tongs, insect spray, etc.)
  • Water and food bowl
  • Food, treats and bones
  • Water bottle and bowl for on the way
  • Muzzle
  • Toys
  • Doggybags
  • Care products: shampoo, brush, comb, coconut oil, paw care products, etc.
  • Transportbox
  • Dog bed
  • Leash and collar or harness
  • Name tag with contact details
  • Towels
  • Find out where the nearest vet is

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