Dogs like to travel with their owners. But there are a few things to consider when you arrive, when you choose your accommodation and how you behave on site. With these tips, nothing stands in the way of a holiday with your dog!
For most pets such as rodents, cats or reptiles, staying in a strange place means a lot of stress. In most cases, it is therefore better if these pets do not go on holiday with you, but instead are cared for at home by friends or neighbors. Dogs, however, can, may and would like to travel with their people. Only in certain cases should they not be taken on vacation:
- young puppies who need to get used to them (in this case you as the owner should also stay at home until your dog has become accustomed to you and his new home)
- old and frail dogs for whom traveling would cause unnecessary stress
- dogs that have just been or are sick
The advantages of traveling together with the dog
Traveling together makes for exciting experiences and thus strengthens the relationship between humans and dogs. The biggest advantage is that you don’t have to let someone else look after the dog when you’re out and about. As a rule, the dog misses its human very much and it is difficult for them to relax in this knowledge.
If you are out and about with your dog, you will inevitably have more contact with your surroundings, because the dog has to go outside. This gives you new impressions that you might otherwise miss.
Are there also disadvantages of vacationing with a dog?
Traveling with a dog also has restrictions:
- limited choice of travel destinations
- not all accommodations accept dogs
- dog cannot be left alone in the hotel room
Relaxing briefly in the wellness area in the evening or going to the restaurant without a dog is therefore flat. In addition, you have to plan the time that is essential for the walks. This can mean additional stress, especially on a business trip.
Traveling with your dog: car, train, or plane?
Traveling with a dog must be well thought out. In principle, we recommend traveling by car or train:
- When arriving by car, you are flexible and can take any breaks you like. These are important for the dog, because he needs exercise in between and the opportunity to do his business.
- When traveling by train, you have to adapt to the travel times of the train for the breaks. Dogs should also be used to many people and noisy environments when traveling by train.
Air travel is associated with considerable stress for dogs and should be avoided if possible. But sometimes it has to be the plane, because otherwise you can’t get to the desired place. Then you can also desensitize the dog by getting used to the background noise (there are corresponding videos on YouTube). However, the most relaxed way is to arrive in your own car.
Make sure that your dog gets fresh water regularly, no matter how you arrive!
Find the right accommodation with your dog
Of course, a dog feels most comfortable in the mountains, at the Baltic Sea or North Sea and in a beautiful forest area. At these holiday destinations there are usually many accommodations that not only tolerate dogs, but where dogs are also welcome. There are many booking sites on the Internet that specifically offer dog-friendly accommodation.
But sometimes the journey also leads into the city. In this case, the dog is also happy to be there, but the search for accommodation is sometimes more difficult here. However, there are usually numerous options. In the “a&o hostels”, for example, dogs and other pets are welcome everywhere, as long as they are not too big or exotic. Therefore, you should definitely have your dog registered and approved in advance, regardless of the accommodation.
Tips for vacationing with a dog
Most accommodations have a code of conduct for dogs that you should follow. Find out in advance which specific rules apply in your accommodation. You can use the following tips as a guide:
- Even if your dog is allowed to sleep in the bed at home, you should better refrain from doing so on holiday. Hair sticks up in bed, which can be very annoying for guests after you, especially if you have an allergy. Take the familiar dog basket from home and your dog will feel right at home. If you have no other choice, be sure to bring your own bed linen!
- Take your dog’s usual food and favorite toys with you so that he quickly feels comfortable.
- Dogs are usually not allowed to enter the beach, pool and wellness areas for hygienic reasons. There are often extra dog beaches in the area. The hotel staff will surely be able to provide you with information.
- Do not leave your dog alone in the room. If he gets nervous in the unfamiliar environment, something may well break or he may pee in the room. Loud whimpering and barking can also disturb other guests.
- Keep your dog on a leash in the property’s public areas, even if they are well behaved.
- Keep your dog away from the buffet!
- There are often restrictions on the number of dogs per room. Mostly one or two dogs are allowed per room. Find out about it in advance!
Traveling abroad with your dog
In general, no matter where you travel with your dog, you should have all the necessary papers with you. This primarily includes the European pet passport, but also a health certificate or vaccination card. Depending on which city or country you travel to, you also have to be prepared for different local conditions:
- Leashes are compulsory in many German cities.
- Dogs are often only allowed on certain beaches. Often there are extra dog beaches.
- If you travel to other EU countries, you cannot avoid a fresh rabies vaccination and sometimes a treatment against worms.
- A chip is actually always mandatory.
- Some countries do not allow certain breeds to be imported. Denmark, for example, has a long list of types classified as dangerous.
- In Italy, every dog must have a muzzle.
- Dogs entering Sweden must be declared at customs.
A detailed list of entry requirements for dogs can be found here. Those traveling outside the EU often have to comply with even more detailed regulations.
Hotel, holiday home, or camping?
There are different types of accommodation, each with their own advantages and disadvantages:
One advantage of a holiday apartment or holiday home is that you are undisturbed and have more space than in a hotel room. Especially with a holiday home there is often a garden, which your dog will definitely be happy about. Nevertheless, dogs are not generally allowed in holiday homes! Inquire thoroughly in advance and ask the provider!
A hotel has the advantage that the staff knows the area well and can give you valuable tips for trips with the dog. With a holiday home you are on your own. Clear disadvantages of the large hotel are the many other guests and the relatively small rooms. If you choose a hotel, it should definitely have an outdoor area for dogs, for example a dog park.
As an alternative, there are also many smaller guesthouses, especially in natural surroundings, which only accept a few guests, but have large garden areas where the dog can let off steam.
The campsite offers a good opportunity to holiday with the dog, because it is usually very close to nature and therefore well suited for dogs. However, there are also rules on campsites that dog owners have to follow!
Conclusion: Should the dog go on holiday with you? Yes absolutely. Unless the dog is very young, very old, or ill, the trip strengthens the human-dog bond and creates beautiful and fun memories.