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Nathalie Sari - Tiertraining & Verhaltensberatung

This article was written by TOBALIE in cooperation with Nathalie Sari - Tiertraining & Verhaltensberatung

Do you also want to travel again but not without your best furry friend? Are you planning a vacation with your dog and don’t know exactly what to look out for? Here you can find the most important points for you.

How to prepare the vacation with dog?

Whether you are travelling by car, plane or public transport, there are a few important things to consider before travelling with a dog. Apart from the fact that your dog should be in best health condition (physically as well as mentally), this should be confirmed in advance by a veterinarian, the following points are to be considered:

  • When travelling abroad, you should definitely check the respective entry regulations. Information about this should be obtained from the foreign offices. For example, your dog must carry an identification number (microchip). A rabies vaccination or possible further treatments (e.g. worming) may also be mandatory. Attention: A pure vaccination passport is not sufficient in most cases, get an EU passport (health certificate, identification number) issued by a veterinarian. You should do this 3, better 4 months in advance. Because some countries want a rabies titer determination, for which blood must be taken and if necessary re-vaccinated. This is valid for a lifetime, as long as you always vaccinate in time. In some countries a dog license permit is also required.  
  • Think about possible health problems and put together a travel pharmacy for your pet. The respective climate should also be taken into account.  
  • Your dog has personal things, which he doesn’t want to go without on holiday, like his favourite toy.

These things should not be missing on journeys either

Checklist Vacation with Dog

  • Always pay attention to the national rules concerning the obligation to use lines and muzzles.  
    The chest harness should always be worn by the dog, it is also advisable to label it with holiday address and telephone number.  
  • Always carry Dog excrement bags with you and always clear away the excrement.
  • Think about insurance coverage for your dog.   
  • Is the dog allowed and registered in the holiday accommodation?
  • Is the weather at the holiday resort reasonable for my dog?
  • What precautions do I have to take so that he can arrange himself? (too hot: shade, water, cooling ceiling, enough breaks. Too cold: jacket, sweeping in between, warm water/tea) If the dog does not cope well, it may be better to leave him in his quarters or plan activities that make him feel comfortable.
  • Do I need on-site support? (Are there activities planned where my dog can’t come?)
  • If you are not travelling to EU countries, the re-entry regulations should also be checked.
  • Find out if there are any diseases in the country that can be dangerous for your dog and what pre- and aftercare needs to be taken. (e.g. heartworm, leishmaniasis in the Mediterranean or ehrlichiosis in North and South America, Asia, Africa)
  • In case of an emergency, find a vet nearby.
Dog Harness Configurator

Car journeys

Most holiday trips with dogs are made by car. The motto here is, safety first! In most cases, safety belts, separation grids or transport boxes are not only obligatory, these precautionary measures also protect humans and animals. TÜV-tested transport boxes are the safest. Get your dog used to it slowly weeks before and do not let him ride unsecured. If your dog is not used to long car rides, train in advance by always combining the car ride for him with positives and always planning the rides a bit longer.  
Also note the following:

  • No large meals before departure.
  • Regular drinking and exercise breaks.
  • Ensure a comfortable temperature in the car and avoid draughts.
  • The dog should always be kept safely in the back of the car.  
  • Especially for young dogs it often helps when they don’t look outside.
  • Attaching sun protection to windows

Air travel

If you are planning a flight with your dog, you should ask yourself in advance whether you can expect your pet to do this at all? Is he in good health? Is he used to a transport box and to being alone, does he know the closeness to (possible) foreign animals and can he also relax in a noisy environment? The fact is, an air journey is a burden for your dog, but if you decide to do so, you should consider the following points:

  • If your dog is not used to a transport box, confront him with it weeks before. Attention: Do not simply lock up, here the requirement of positive conditioning applies!
  • Find out in advance whether the airline you want to fly with, transports animals at all and under what conditions (fees, cabin vs. cargo compartment, size/weight/age, breed, dimensions and condition of the transport box, pregnancy, etc.).
  • Depending on the airline, smaller dogs (max. 8kg) can be carried in the cabin. But your dog must be kept in a transport box, the dimensions of which are usually prescribed, during the whole flight safely. The box is on the floor.  
  • Even if you think you’re doing your dog something good, don’t sedate him. Veterinarians warn of possible dangers! The animal is not monitored in the cargo hold, so no one can help it with side effects.  
  • Before the check-in your darling should be able to do his business physically and mentally.  
  • On the day before it should get only little to eat, on the day of the flight it should be left sober. He should get something to drink before the check-in. In general, licking and chewing has a positive effect on the pressure balance and contributes to calming.

Public transportation

  • Dogs are allowed on the train, but must pay extra.
  • By bus: you have to enquire at the respective bus line
  • Everywhere is leash and bite basket obligation

Arrival at the vacation destination

Your darling has bravely mastered the journey! Now the following things are on the agenda:

  • stroll
  • In the hotel room, clear away anything that could destroy your dog and give him his usual toy. Make yourselves at home.
  • Eat and drink
  • Resting (long journeys are exhausting, don’t overtax your dog and let him arrive comfortably and rest)
  • Explore the surroundings
  • Enjoy vacation


Many dog owners do not want to do without their best friend even during the holiday season. Before starting your holiday, however, you should make some preparations and gather some information so that the holiday with your dog can also be carefree fun for people and animals. First and foremost, the health and safety of your pet as well as your obligation to take care of it and keep it there is nothing to stop you from enjoying a relaxing and exciting holiday with your four-legged darling. Have fun!