Traveling With A Dog: What To Consider On Buses, Trains, Etc.

Traveling with your dog can be a wonderful experience for both humans and animals if the vacation is well planned. Therefore, Pet Reader considers various transport options and gives owners who love to travel a checklist.

Traveling with the Dog in the Car

If done correctly, you can easily travel with your dog in the car – especially over short distances or with enough breaks. It is best if your dog gets used to driving before a long trip. To keep your four-legged friend safe while driving, he must be secured in a transport box or using a seat belt.

The human rights organization “Peta” recommends giving the dog longer breaks in which it can stand on its paws. A four-legged friend should always be fastened with a leash and a well-fitted harness. Instead of often noisy and dangerous motorway rest areas, dog owners may prefer quiet country streets or other locations away from the motorways.

The dog needs enough water during the trip. In addition, to avoid nausea, he should not be given too much food in advance. And: never leave your dog alone in the car! Especially in the sun and at temperatures above 20 degrees. You should also protect your darling from bright sunlight while driving.

Ride the Train with Dogs

Should you start your journey with a dog on the train? The first thing to do is to check if the dog is allowed to ride on the train and under what conditions. You may also need to buy a train ticket for your dog.

Small dogs that are harmless and kept in closed containers such as transport crates can travel free of charge on intercity transport subject to the conditions of carriage. But if the dog is bigger than the domestic cat, you have to buy him a ticket. The dog must still sit or lie in front of, under, or next to the seat while driving. You cannot reserve a seat for your four-legged friend.

However, it is helpful to reserve a spot for yourself so that you don’t have to look for a spot with your dog for a long time. Otherwise, you can ask the guide on the platform for help and ask which part of the train still has room for you and your dog.

Additional tips for traveling by train with your dog:

  • Go to the train station before your trip to learn about the surroundings and sounds
  • Take a long walk before your trip
  • Make sure the dog can drive as calmly and relaxed as possible
  • Take a blanket or familiar item with you
  • Be careful about other passengers
  • Take enough water
  • Bring poop bags with you in case of an emergency

Dog on the Plane

Traveling with your dog on vacation is generally not a good idea: flying your four-legged friends is often stressful. Therefore, during the planning stage, the dog’s parents should make sure that they do not choose too distant destinations. And if the flight is unavoidable, then your four-legged friend will probably be better off with family, friends, or in the nursery.

Especially if the dog weighs more than eight kilograms, including the transport bag. Because in most airlines, it has to fly in the hold of an airplane. For dogs, this can be very stressful and scary.

If you still want to fly with your dog, you should speak with your veterinarian ahead of time to see if your pet is suitable for the flight. You can also inquire about the rules for transporting dogs of the respective airline. In some cases, the use of certain breeds is prohibited.

It is then important to check in the pet transport in advance with the airline – ideally at the time of booking. Before the flight, you should take the dog for a long walk. And of course, comply with the relevant requirements for shipping crates, etc.

Can I Travel with My Dog on a Long-Distance Bus?

Dogs are actually taboo for most long-distance bus companies. However, exceptions may apply, for example for guide dogs. It is advisable to contact customer support in advance.

Boat Trips with the Dog

If you want to go on a ferry vacation to, for example, Denmark, Finland, Norway, or Greece, you usually do not need to do without a dog – four-legged friends are allowed on many ferries, for example, in cabins, kennels, etc. in the car, in public areas or on the car deck. However, since the rules differ depending on the carrier, you should check the conditions for bringing dogs with you in advance.

For example, dogs often need to be on a leash in public, while larger dogs may need a muzzle. By the way, dogs – with the exception of guide dogs or other service dogs – are prohibited on most cruise ships.

Accommodation on Vacation with a Dog

Fortunately, there are now many rooms that welcome guests with a dog. Therefore, it is recommended to immediately look for accommodation where pets are allowed. And you must inform them prior to arrival that you are taking your pet with you.

In this case, your dog may need a flat daily rate and/or higher end-cleaning costs. Keep this in mind when planning your vacation budget.

Dogs Can Also Get Sick

To make sure your dog gets through the trip well and you are well prepared for animal emergencies, you should consider a first aid kit for your dog. It is best to check your four-legged friend again with the veterinarian before the trip. If your dog is prone to motion sickness, you can also get a prescription for medications. Medicines for diarrhea and vomiting, as well as bandages for wound care, are also included in the medicine cabinet for four-legged friends.

General Checklist for Holidays with Dog

  • Learn about destination entry requirements
  • Bring your EU pet passport with you when traveling in the EU
  • Register your dog in advance with the pet registry
  • Discuss potential risks at the destination with your veterinarian and, if necessary, ask your dog to take the necessary prophylaxis.
  • Record the contact details of the veterinarians at the destination and en route in advance to be prepared for emergencies.
  • Bring your dog’s first aid kit

Generally, a maximum of five pets (dogs, cats, and ferrets) are allowed per person.

Mary Allen

Written by Mary Allen

Hello, I'm Mary! I've cared for many pet species including dogs, cats, guinea pigs, fish, and bearded dragons. I also have ten pets of my own currently. I've written many topics in this space including how-tos, informational articles, care guides, breed guides, and more.

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