Travelling with pets requires a great deal of preparation. Vaccinations, licences or other documents may be needed. And the animal's welfare needs to be ensured during the jourey too.
Animal owners need to familiarise themselves with the travel regulations before they travel with pets. They also need to ensure that the animal's needs can be met during the journey and at the holiday destination.
Preparing for travel
Veterinary and species conservation regulations
Since dogs, cats, ferrets and birds can introduce diseases from other countries, travel with these animals is subject to strict veterinary regulations. Other animals that are members of protected species, such as parrots, also need (additional) special documents to ensure that they can leave and enter the country without difficulty. People travelling with this kind of animal must ensure that these conditions are met before they travel. The specific regulations and the related documents can be found on the following pages:
- Travelling with dogs, cats and ferrets
- Travelling with birds
- Travelling with animals of a protected species
In addition to rabies, animals can bring home a large number of other diseases from a holiday, particularly parasitic diseases such as piroplasmosis (also known as babesiosis) or leishmaniasis (transmitted by ticks or mosquitoes). Your vet can tell you whether your pet requires vaccines and, if so, which ones.
After the holiday it is a good idea to worm the animal. Particularly if you have travelled to a distant destination, you should pay attention to any change in the animal's behaviour (abnormal tiredness, loss of appetite, fever or digestive problems, discoloured urine). If in doubt, it is a good idea to have the animal examined by your vet.
Look into the situation at your holiday destination
You should look into the following questions before you travel:
- Are pets allowed at your holiday destination?
- Is your holiday suitable for the animal (active vs. passive holidays)?
- Are pets allowed in your holiday accommodation/on the beach?
- Are dogs required to wear a lead and/or muzzle?
- Does the destination or one of the countries you will be passing through ban the entry of dangerous dogs?
Animal welfare while travelling
If you really want to take your pet on holiday with you, you must remember that animals react very differently to a change of environment. The journey, an unfamiliar place and many other factors always stress an animal to a certain extent. You need to take precautions and clarify various points to ensure your animal's wellbeing during the journey.
Last modification 08.06.2017