On vacation with dog, cat and co.

Dog, cat, golden hamster – in principle it is no problem to take your furry family member with you on vacation. However, good preparation and early information about entry regulations of the home or destination country are essential. In addition, you should always ask yourself whether the animal would not be more comfortable in a boarding kennel or with a pet sitter. The welfare of the animal should always your first priority.

Vacation and pet – is that possible?

Yes, in principle it is possible. Traveling with a pet is not an obstacle in most EU countries, and one can certainly be reconciled with the other. However, spontaneous trips are not advisable. Early planning and preparation is indispensable. How much preparation is actually needed depends on the desired travel destination. If one can reach its vacation country with the own vehicle, it requires less preparation, than if one would like to transport its domestic animal by airplane or with a ferry.

Cats and dogs travel quite easily in the EU if they are in possession of a “Pet Passport”. The animal passport is issued by the veterinarian after rabies vaccination has been completed. However, young animals up to the twelfth week of life cannot be vaccinated yet and the vaccination protection must be older than 21 days when leaving Switzerland. In addition to rabies vaccination protection, other country-specific requirements may apply. Great Britain, Ireland, Malta and Finland, for example, also require treatment against tapeworms. This must also have taken place within a specified period before departure and must be entered in the “Pet Passports” by the veterinarian.

Another mandatory requirement is the microchip or a readable tattoo with a code, which is also noted in the “Pet Passports”.

If you want to take your canary or rabbit with you on vacation, you will be confronted with other official hurdles. With these animals it depends on the respective country-specific regulations of the vacation destination. Outside the EU, these also apply to dogs and cats.

Both the owner and his furry friend can also expect a quarantine of several weeks if he wants to enter Australia, Canada or Asia, for example. At the latest now, an alternative solution as mentioned at the beginning is worth considering again.

Which means of transport?

Traveling by plane means stress for the pet. The longer the flight, the longer the pet is in a stressful situation. This is probably also the reason why animal welfare organizations advise against air travel with animals unless it involves a stay abroad of several months or even emigration. According to the animal welfare organization PETA, there are two other problems in addition to the great potential for stress.

In the cargo holds of airplanes – in which our pets also fly – only limited oxygen is available and temperature regulation is not possible.

The far less stressful means of transport is therefore by car or train. Here, pet owners can at least influence the oxygen supply and temperature themselves.

Always inform yourself in advance about the currently valid regulations.