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with the dog on vacation

Travel for dogs, cats and mice

Take your own dog for a walk along the beach and cuddle with the cat in the holiday home in the evening. Many people do not want to do without it even in the most beautiful time of the year and take their four-legged friend with them on vacation. However, when traveling with pets, it is important to prepare well. You can read here what you should pay attention to and why the choice of means of transport plays an important role.

For many animals, travel means stress first of all

Depending on the species, you should think twice about whether you should take the animal with you at all. While many dogs usually only care about being near the owner, other animals like cats and small pets don't like moving around that much. But here, too, every animal is different: there are dogs who don't like to travel that much and there are also cats who like to travel. Either because they have an intense bond with the owner or because they are used to traveling from an early age, for example. If you are unsure, you can discuss your vacation planning with the trusted veterinarian.

If the pet stays at home and nobody can be found who can look after the animal in your absence, then it is necessary to find a suitable boarding house or a private pet sitter. The member associations of the Animal Welfare Association organize the campaign "Will you take my animal - I'll take your animal", where animal lovers get in touch and look after each other's animals. On the advice line of the German Animal Welfare Association you can find out where the closest member association is located.

Good travel preparation is essential

If you decide to take the animal with you, you should prepare well. You should find out in advance which entry regulations apply in the respective travel destination. For several years now, largely uniform regulations have been in force for travel within Europe. For example, pets must be labeled with a microchip or a legible tattoo. It is also mandatory to have your pet passport with you. This will be issued to you at the vet. In this it should be noted that your animal has been vaccinated against rabies. You can find an overview of the entry requirements for dogs and cats in the individual countries here .

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You should also think about the type of accommodation. Not every accommodation allows you to bring animals. You will find an overview of sustainable and beautiful accommodations where pets are allowed here .

Traveller's check and choice of transport box

An early visit to the vet, who will prepare your four-legged friend for travel, is recommended. Not only do you get your pet ID card here, but you can also have your loved one examined in detail and put together a first-aid kit. If possible, avoid strong sedatives and prefer alternative home remedies. A relaxing massage with lavender oil or homeopathic tablets can be enough to calm your animal down for the journey. Vaccinations and products that protect against fleas and ticks in the travel destination, on the other hand, are advisable and essential.

Before leaving, you should get your four-legged friend used to the respective transport box. Depending on how you arrive, there are provisions for the type of transport box. You can find information and requirements about this from the respective providers. Make the box interesting for your animal by putting in the favorite toy and reward it with treats whenever your four-legged friend visits the transport box. With a blanket that smells like home, your pet will feel particularly comfortable during the journey.

Choosing the right means of transport for your four-legged friend

If possible, should not just for the sake of the environment but also to avoid air travel for the sake of the animal. Because a flight is associated with a lot of stress and can sometimes even be dangerous. It is more relaxed Arrival by train, Bus or car. If a flight is unavoidable, prefer to book direct flights and avoid trips to extremely hot or cold temperatures.

You should also find out whether your pet can go into the cabin with you. Most of the time, animals weighing less than eight kilos can be taken on the plane. To be on the safe side, check the airline in question again. Book your flight early, as only a limited number of animals can be taken into the cabin. If your darling cannot go into the cabin, but should travel in the loading or cargo hold, it is better to forego taking your pet with you altogether. The risk of your animal being injured or worse happening should not be underestimated.

Arrive stress-free by bus and train

Getting there by train or bus is better and more relaxed for your animal. Most of the time, you can take them with you for free on bus and train rides, only larger dogs need to buy a ticket, usually at half the price. When traveling by bus or train, remember to bring a leash and a muzzle with you.

On holiday by car

If you are going on vacation by car, it is advisable to leave in the early morning or evening hours. This is how you avoid traffic jams and heat. It is advisable not to give any more food about 12 hours before departure. While cats and smaller animals can be accommodated in a transport box in the car, larger dogs are better placed behind dividers in the trunk or with a dog belt on the back seat.

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If your pet is sitting close to the window, it is better to keep the windows closed while driving, otherwise conjunctivitis can easily develop. In return, take enough breaks so that everyone can get some fresh air. Never leave your pet alone in the car.

Whichever mode of transport you choose, it is important to ensure that you have enough water while driving and that you only feed small amounts. Romp your pet one last time before leaving. So your darling can sleep well during the journey and arrive well rested on vacation.

In a nutshell: Tips for traveling with your pet

Before departure

  • See the vet early
  • Think about the journey, if possible avoid air travel
  • Book one pet friendly accommodation
  • Get your pet used to the transport box in advance
  • Take your favorite toys, food and pet ID with you

When arriving by bus or train

  • Animals are usually allowed with you free of charge, a ticket is only required for larger dogs
  • Make sure you have enough water while driving and only feed small amounts
  • For dogs you have to bring a muzzle and a leash

When arriving by car

  • Drive in the morning or evening to avoid heat and traffic jams
  • Dogs belong behind dividers in the trunk or on the back seat with dog goods, cats and smaller animals can be accommodated in a transport box
  • Do not feed your pet about 12 hours before the trip
  • Make sure you have enough water while driving and only feed small amounts
  • Keep the windows closed while driving to avoid the risk of conjunctivitis
  • Take regular breaks, never leave your pet alone in the car

If flying is necessary

  • Book direct flights early and avoid arriving and departing in extreme temperatures
  • Find out whether your animal is allowed into the cabin as "hand luggage"
  • It is better to do without it if your animal is to be transported in the cargo hold or hold


Lisa helped set up the Good Travel Blog and will write for us as a freelance author in the future. She is passionate about traveling and dancing around the world with a small ecological footprint.


  • Christine

    I want to travel with my dog. I also thought for a long time whether I should take him with me at all. But in the end we decided on a pension where we were both very happy.


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