Weißer Hund steht auf einer Sitzbank und blickt auf einen wunderschönen blauen See mit einem Berg im Hintergrund

Traveling with the dog - tips and tricks

It's time - the holiday is just around the corner and the anticipation is rising. Everything is planned, booked and the suitcases are packed. Of course, man's best friend should not be missing on vacation. In order for the dog to feel completely comfortable on the journey, a few points should be observed. The preparations differ depending on the destination and whether you are arriving by car, train, ship or even by plane.

In this article we will give you some tips and tricks for each type of travel and recommend a packing list so that your holiday with your four-legged friend is a complete success.

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Holiday at last! Should we take the dog?

Before each holiday, you must first consider whether or not to bring your dog with you. This is a difficult decision, as every dog ​​owner only wants the best for their dog. Whether you take your dog with you on holiday or whether it is better to accommodate it elsewhere is a matter of individual consideration.

If your dog is older, easily stressed or anxious, you should ask yourself whether the dog would be in better hands with relatives or in a kennel. Stress can manifest itself through physical symptoms. Many dogs suffer from diarrhea when they are stressed. Refusal of food can also be a sign of overload. If you've already had these experiences with your dog while traveling, it's probably better off at home.

On the other hand, there are also dogs who like to drive and for whom a changed daily routine and foreign places are not a problem. Such dogs can benefit from travel and shared experiences. A holiday can strengthen the dog-human relationship and weld it closer together.

Destination - what to consider?

The destination has a significant impact on travel plans. Are you staying in Germany or are you going abroad?

Depending on the country, different entry requirements apply to dogs. Bavaria, for example, is a very dog-friendly country within Germany. At Lake Constance you can relax with your darling on various dog beaches and there is no leash requirement either.

In Spain and Italy, dogs are officially not allowed in restaurants and dogs must be kept on a leash. In Denmark and Portugal, the four-legged friends also have to stay on a leash. In addition, you are not allowed to take your dog on the train or bus in Portugal. Although not many dog ​​owners comply, in Portugal your dog must wear a muzzle when leaving the accommodation. If a biting incident occurs without a muzzle, you face hefty fines.

In many Mediterranean holiday destinations, dogs are not allowed on the beach during the high season. Therefore, find out before you arrive whether there are dog beaches in your area so that your four-legged friend can cool off when the temperatures are higher. For more tips on keeping your dog cool click here.

The entry requirements must also be observed. Many countries have special entry requirements for dogs. You can easily travel within the EU with an EU pet passport. In addition to clear information about the animal and its owner, it contains proof of a valid rabies vaccination. Furthermore, since July 2011, tattoos are no longer accepted as a clear identification of the dog. From this point on, every dog ​​must have a microchip for clear identification. In addition, the dog must be at least 15 weeks old.In any case, it is advisable to have an individually made dog tag made. You can find it here!

If you are traveling to an area with many stray dogs, e.g. Spain, you should find out about common diseases there. If necessary, your dog can be vaccinated against these diseases in advance. Stricter antiparasitic treatments apply in Finland, Malta and Ireland, for example. In addition, dog owners should not only inform themselves about the determination of entry, but also about the regulations for re-entry into the EU from abroad.

The accommodation

Do you have your accommodation with you on four wheels, are you in a hotel or are you moving into a holiday home? Not only the destination is decisive for the planning, but also what kind of temporary accommodation you and your dog move into.


If you have your own mobile home or caravan, your dog is probably already familiar with traveling on four wheels. Your darling is used to the environment in the mobile home and does not have to adapt to new four walls. It offers a place of retreat and can thus contribute to relaxed travel. If you want to be on a campsite, you have to ask in advance whether dogs are allowed there. Most campsites allow dogs on a leash. Internet reviews can provide information about how strictly such regulations are applied.


The same as with a mobile home or caravan also applies to a hotel. Find out in advance whether dogs are allowed in the hotel. There are many hotels that are specially designed for traveling with dogs and are therefore very dog-friendly. This not only makes the journey easier for your dog, but also for you. Because when your four-legged friend is happy, so are you.

Holiday home

Several factors may be important when choosing a vacation home. Does your dog like to stray? Then a holiday home with a fenced yard would be perfect. If your dog loves the water, look out for a holiday home by the sea or a lake. Before you arrive, find out about the additional costs that may arise if you have one or more dogs with you. For some holiday homes, an additional cleaning fee applies on departure if you take your dog with you.

Packing list for the dog

The most important travel essentials can be found in this list:

Vaccination pass/border papers (did you register your dog with customs when you entered the country?)

  • Dog Food

  • Dog bowls

  • Enough to drink + drinking bottle for on the go

  • Sleeping place (basket, transport box)

  • Leash + possibly harness

  • poop bag

  • treats

  • possibly muzzle

  • Brush

  • toy

  • towel

  • Address tag: Here is the individual dog tag

  • First Aid Kit

Travelling by car

First of all, the regulations for transporting a dog in Germany must be observed. A dog is considered cargo and must be secured accordingly. If you transport your dog on the back seat, it must be secured with a special belt. You can find such a belt, for example, *HERE.

If your pet takes a seat in the trunk, it must be separated from the rear seat by a grille, unless you have a box that is the size of the dog. You should find out about the regulations abroad for transporting a dog before you travel.In the event of an accident, the regulations prevent the dog from being thrown around in most cases, which is why it makes sense to implement these regulations abroad

It would be best to have a car with air conditioning so that you and your dog do not get too warm during the journey, especially to southern countries. Even if your four-legged friend likes to stick his snout through the open window into the wind, the draft quickly causes conjunctivitis. If you don't have air conditioning in the car, there are alternatives to cool the dog down. This can be, for example, cooling mats (see below), a wet shirt and enough to drink. Also read our article “10 tips for your dog against the summer heat“.

It is recommended to take a break every two to four hours so that your four-legged friend can relieve himself and get some exercise. Of course, your darling must drink something regularly so that he does not become dehydrated. If you have a long journey ahead, it is better not to feed your dog before driving. Many dogs get sick while driving and throw up their food. This is not only unpleasant for the dog, but also for the owner.

Travel by train

If you plan to travel by train, it is best to reserve a seat on the train. So your four-legged friend is guaranteed to have a place right next to you. In the main travel season, the places are rare. Very large dogs tend to attract negative attention. In such a case, your dog is better off in a transport box in the luggage compartment. If you want your dog to be with you all the time, avoid traveling in peak season to avoid a lot of stress. Smaller dogs that fit in a pet carrier or carry-on bag travel free but may not be seated in a seat. For larger dogs you have to take a separate ticket. Only guide dogs are allowed to travel free of charge. Dogs outside of a carrier must be leashed and muzzled.

Travel by ship

Travelling with a dog on a ship is a complicated thing. If you want to go on a cruise, you need to find out about the entry requirements of each country you are visiting. Sometimes it is not possible for you to leave the ship with the dog for a shore leave. Very few cruise ships take dogs on board. There is also no veterinary care. So if you want to book a cruise trip, it's better for your dog to arrange suitable accommodation.

Travel by plane

In the case of a flight, the entry requirements of the destination country must also be checked. If possible, fly non-stop to avoid stress when reloading the dog. As with the train, smaller dogs (no bigger than a house cat) are allowed to fly in the guest room as hand luggage. They must remain in a transport box for the entire flight. If you have a far away flight destination and are flying longer than five hours, this means that your dog cannot relieve itself during the entire flight time. The same applies to larger dogs that fly in a suitable transport box in the luggage compartment of the plane. Getting used to the carrier early can reduce stress during air travel.

Sedatives from the veterinarian are not recommended, as the dogs can perceive the noise and the unfamiliar environment, but are no longer physically able to react to it. This puts a particularly heavy strain on your dog's psyche and body. A circulatory collapse due to the unusual circumstances goes unnoticed in the luggage compartment and can lead to serious damage.

For a pleasant trip and a relaxed holiday with the dog, it is best to choose a mobile home, a caravan or a suitable holiday home. There you are in your "own four walls", the dog has time to get used to the foreign environment and depending on the parking space or environment, larger hustle and bustle can be avoided. A train or plane trip requires some planning, especially if you want to go abroad. In any case, an EU pet passport is required, with the corresponding vaccinations and microchip number.

Your dog will really appreciate this cooling mat on his journey!

One of the best ways to cool your dog down indoors or on long car rides is with a cooling mat. It has a self-cooling effect and is particularly useful when a long summer trip is imminent. More on this here*

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