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Taking your pet on holiday

23/06/2023 Products & assortment Small animal Dog Cat

Tips for a carefree holiday with your pet

Are you taking your four-legged friend with you on holiday this year? Then make sure your furry friend has a valid EU passport and everything else he needs when abroad.


European pet passport


Since 2014, it’s compulsory to have a pet passport for your dog, cat or ferret when travelling to a European country. This passport can only be issued by a licensed veterinarian. In order to get this passport, your furry friend must meet certain requirements. For example, your beloved four-legged friend will need a microchip. Without a chip, your pet can’t be registered. It’s therefore important that the first owner (often the breeder) has registered the animal. So if you have a litter of pups or kittens at home and you want to sell them, make sure to apply for a VAT identification number.

It's also compulsory to have your loyal friend vaccinated against rabies before it can travel. For various countries it’s important that your dog is treated against worms and that your vet records it in the European pet passport. The cost of such a passport is on average between 2,5 and 6 euros.


When traveling with other pets such as: 


  • Rabbits/small animals
  • Birds
  • Reptiles
  • Fish and amphibians

  • It’s sufficient to have a health certificate from the veterinarian.

    Vaccination


    As mentioned earlier, the rabies vaccination is compulsory to meet the requirements for the European passport of your dog, cat or ferret. Your pet’s deworming treatment is also needed for this passport.
    If your pet has the above mentioned vaccinations, you have a good chance of travelling safely to many European countries. However, it’s important to check the rules of the country you’re travelling to as some countries require an extra test or vaccine.
    Also consult your vet in time, as he or she knows which vaccinations are useful to fully protect your pet during your trip.

    Well-being and safety


    When you travel, it’s as important for your pet as it’s for you to make the long journey or flight as comfortable as possible.

    Here are some useful tips:


    Tips

    Car


    There is a good chance that your pet has already travelled with you in the car. To the vet or for a walk. If your pet has never been in the car before, or if it's been a long time, you can take your pet for a few short rides so it gets to know the car better.

    When travelling by car, you should take the following into account:

    • Feed your four-legged friend three hours before departure to prevent your pet from being affected by travel sickness. 
    • Make sure your car doesn’t get too hot and always provide fresh air.
    • Make sure you secure your pet properly in the car. When travelling with a cat or small animal, always put it in a traveling basket and fasten the basket securely with a car seat belt. You have several options for your dog. For example, you can transport your pet pal in a transport cage, with a special harness and with a car safety net or grid. In some countries, this is even compulsory. 
    • Stop about every two hours so that your pet (especially dogs) can do its business, stretch its legs and drink. The portable drinking bowl is very useful for this!
    • If your pet gets a bit stressed out by travelling, be sure to bring along its favourite toy, blanket or snack so it has something to do during the long drive.

    Plane


    Are you planning to travel by plane this year and would you like to take your furry friend along with you? That's possible, you have three different possibilities to let your dog or cat travel with you on the plane:

    As cargo, which means you have no guarantee that your beloved four-legged friend will be on the same plane as you. However, the costs are relatively low and for large dogs (>75 kg) this is almost the only way to take them with you.

    As excess baggage in the hold: your dog is always on the same plane as you, except that you can't see him because he travels in the hold in a temperature-controlled environment.

    As cabin hand luggage: This way you fly together with your dog, cat or small animal, but your pet must fit into a travel bag or small cage. The maximum weight of the pet depends on the airline you fly with.

    Please note: the transport box you take with you on the plane must be IATA-certified. This means that the transport box or travelling bag is approved by almost all airlines. You can recognise this by the following label:


    Check out transport boxes
    Here are a few useful tips to transport your faithful friend safely and comfortably by plane:
    • Feed your pet two to three hours before departure to prevent him/her from being affected by travel sickness. Drinking still remains very important!
    • Start practising on time: If you are taking your pet with you in a traveling bag or cage, make sure you make this a familiar place for your pet, this will only make the journey more comfortable.
    • Limit the travel time: animal welfare organisations recommend limiting the flight to eight to nine hours. If the flight takes longer, try to fit in a connecting flight.

    Train/Bus


    If you want to take your pet with you on a train or bus, there are some rules you should take into account. If your dog or small animal fits on your lap or in a travelling bag, you can take it on the train or bus for free. If your dog is too big to sit on your lap, you have to buy an adapted ticket and leash him. In some cases it’s also compulsory to muzzle your furry friend. So make sure that you always have a muzzle with you. This is because the conductor or driver may ask you to muzzle your dog and then it’s compulsory.

    Stay


    If you’re planning to take your pet with you on holiday, it’s important to find a place where pets are allowed. There are many websites that help you find hotels, cottages, flats or chalets where pets are more than welcome.



    Packing list


    If you are taking your pet on holiday, it’s of course extremely important that you don’t forget anything your dog can’t do without. For this reason, you’ll find a practical checklist for each pet here. This way you can be sure you have everything with you.

    Dog:


      European pet passport
      Drinking bowl
      Water
      Feeding bowl
      Food
      Snacks
      Tick tweezers
      First-aid kit
      Collar/ harness and leash
      Dog basket
      Favourite toys
      Towel
      Muzzle (compulsory on public transport in some countries)
      Poop bags
      Ground spike
      Dog belt, crate or car safety grid
      Sun cream
      Medication (if required)
      Protection against parasites, deworming medication
      Emergency number of the local vet

    Cat:


      European pet passport
      Drinking bowl
      Water
      Feeding bowl
      Food
      Snacks
      Tick tweezers
      First-aid kit
      Cat basket
      Favourite toys
      Cat litter tray
      Medication (if required)
      Protection against parasites, deworming medication
      Emergency number of the local vet


    Ferret:


      European pet passport for ferrets
      Drinking bowl
      Water
      Feeding bowl
      Food
      Snacks
      Tick tweezers
      First-aid kit
      Cage
      Enclosed running area
      Favourite toys
      A harness and leash
      Ferret litter box and litter
      Cloths and hammocks
      Cleaning material
      Medication (if necessary)
      Protection against parasites, deworming medication
      Emergency number of the local vet

    Other small animals:


      Transport box
      Spacious small animal house
      Feeding bowl
      Food
      Snacks
      Drinking bottle
      Water
      Hay
      Ground cover
      Toys
      Pet passport (if necessary)
      Rabbit harness
      Cleaning material
      Medication (if necessary)
      Protection against parasites, deworming medication
      Emergency number of the local vet

    In a nutshell

    Your pet is eligible for an EU pet passport if he/she has been microchipped, vaccinated against rabies and your furry friend has been dewormed regularly. It’s also important that your vet records this in the passport.
    Yes, there’s a chance that your pet gets affected by travel sickness. To prevent this, you can feed your faithful friend two to three hours in advance and let him/her drink enough during the ride or flight.
    Yes, but not everywhere. That’s why it’s important that you check this carefully beforehand. There are also many websites that can help you with this, so you can go on holiday with your furry friend without any stress.