Travelling With Pets

The rules for dogs and cats travelling within the European Union have been harmonised since 1 October 2004. Since 29 December 2014, a new regulation applies to travelling with dogs and cats (Regulation (EU) No. 576/2013). Who wants to travel with his dog/cat from Germany to a holiday country within the European Union, needs:

Valid rabies vaccination (vaccination at least 21 days old, the validity period of the vaccination protection depends on the manufacturer’s information, it must be noted in the EU pet passport; most vaccines are now valid for three years, some even four years) mandatory marking with microchip or easily legible tattoo (permissible if this was done before 03.07.2011)

Pet passport: veterinary surgeon registers vaccination, identification and description of the animal; since the legal innovation 2014 a new pet passport exists. This must be signed by the pet owner, unlike the previous identity card. The document also contains the contact details and signature of the issuing veterinarian. EU pet passports issued before 29.12.2014 remain valid; official document to be carried.

Since 1 January 2012, the former exceptional countries Great Britain, Malta, Sweden and Ireland have also relaxed their entry requirements: dogs, cats and ferrets no longer have to undergo a blood test for rabies and tick treatment is no longer required. Animal owners who want to travel to Finland, Malta, Great Britain and Ireland must still have their animals treated against tapeworms and be able to confirm this on entry.

If you want to take a list dog (e.g. Pitbull, Bullterrier) or similar dogs (e.g. Rottweiler, Dobermann) with you on your travels, we strongly recommend that you enquire about the current regulations at the embassy/consulate of the respective country before entering the country.

Dog – cat – mouse – which animal likes to travel with you and which stays at home?

Dogs – prefer to be always and everywhere and usually uncomplicated travel companions. However, not every breed feels comfortable in every climate. Above all, there are diseases in southern countries that pose a health risk. Let your veterinarian advise you and inquire in good time whether your pet is also welcome in your holiday home.

Cats – feel most at home in their familiar territory. Ideal is a friendly cat sitter who can provide the animal with food and pet during your absence. If cat and person are inseparable, you can of course take your pet with you on holiday. A holiday apartment is more ideal than a hotel.

Small animals – are also best kept at home or in expert hands. Many small animals tolerate heat and extreme temperature changes very badly, because they are cave dwellers. For them, a holiday can quickly become a health risk.

Birds – should not travel if possible, since they can react to heat and changed environment with diarrhea or circulation complaints. It is best to keep the bird with a friend who is familiar with birds. Free flight is taboo in a foreign environment.

How do I find a suitable caregiver for my animal?

If you do not want or cannot take your animal with you on holiday and you do not have a neighbour or friend who will take care of it during your absence, look for a place to take care of it in good time: private animal sitter – animal boarding house or the local animal shelter.

Checklist for the trip

Chipping and registering. Have your pet marked with a microchip by your vet, register it with the German House Register so that you can be informed quickly if your pet has escaped.

On the day before the trip, you should give your dog and cat little to eat.
Give fresh water on the day of travel before the start – do not eat at all.
This belongs in your luggage:

  • Stocks of ready food
  • Food and drink bowl
  • water bottle
  • Brush, comb
  • blanket, towel
  • toy
  • First aid kit from the veterinarian

Pet passport (The pet passport documents the valid rabies vaccination, the additionally valid combination vaccination and the microchip or tattoo number of the animal.) If your destination is not in the EU, please contact the embassy of your country. Info also available at:
In countries south of the Alps, there are country-specific diseases that are transmitted by insects and, in the worst case, can be fatal. It is important to consult your veterinarian before travelling in order to assess the health risk.

For the dog additional leash, collar with name, holiday and home address.

  • Muzzle if necessary (mandatory in some countries)
  • Liability insurance and insurance number
  • Gassi/Set, plastic bags, paper etc.
  • Chewing bone
  • anti-fleas and anti-ticks agent
  • Tweezers and tick tweezers

For the cat additionally Sufficient cat litter

  • cat toilet
  • cat basket
  • cat board

The right pet transport for your holiday

The dog – transport

Your dog’s place should always be in the back, with stable dividers in the boot of a station wagon, or with special dog harness on the back seat – or transport box.

If the dog is sitting at the window, it should be locked during the ride.
When getting on and off the dog always takes the passenger or tailgate.
When getting in, first the dog, then the driver. When getting out, first the driver, then the dog.

Do not park your car in the sun – be careful: oven temperatures. Dogs cannot withstand high temperatures because they cannot sweat over their skin. Please note: Sun wanders.

Even a partially opened window does not provide sufficient air circulation in midsummer.

Dogs in the car should not be kept on a leash

The cats – transport on journeys

Cats that are not used to travelling from an early age are best left at home.
When travelling cats belong in a closed transport box, which they were allowed to inspect at home.

An additional securing of the box is recommended.

Air travel

Small dogs and cats up to a weight of 5 kg (including waterproof transport box) are usually counted as hand luggage. The maximum number of pets allowed during the flight must not be exceeded. Therefore book in good time.

Larger dogs travel in a transport box in the air-conditioned cargo hold.

  • The transport box must be brought along by the pet owner.
  • Some airlines offer very different conditions of carriage: As a rule – the following applies
  • For domestic and international flights, the fare is based on the weight of the animal incl. transport box.
  • Therefore inquire in good time
  • train journeys
  • Small animals that fit in a transport bag can travel free of charge by train in Germany.
  • For larger dogs and on all international journeys a ticket must be purchased. The fare is 50% of the normal price (information at the train station).
  • Always carry leash and muzzle with you
  • Travelling with a dog in a sleeping car is only possible if the complete compartment is booked.
  • The destination
  • Holiday in hotel, holiday flat, camping site

Before booking, ask if you can bring your dog or cat with you.

  • Have your booking confirmed in writing. In most hotels dogs are not allowed in the restaurant.
  • Inform the hotel staff that your pet is in the room. Cat can escape, dog can bite in case of disturbance. Not every insurance will cover damages in the hotel room. Get information.
  • Bring familiar objects of your pet from home – blankets, baskets, cat litter tray
  • Before you start your journey, ask in good time on which campsites dogs are allowed.

By the way:

Hotels, apartments and farms where animals are welcome,
there’s more than you think.

Now nothing stands in the way of a relaxing holiday with your four-legged friend.