Have you wondered how to travel with your pet? For pet lovers, there’s nothing more wonderful than taking your beloved pooch holiday with you.
Here I’m focussing on small pets (cats, dogs and ferrets) travelling to continental Europe under the EU Pet Travel Scheme; different rules apply to most other countries.
Comfort and safety
The comfort and safety of your pet is the top priority. Please check with your vet that your furry friend is fit to fly and make sure you have the correct travel equipment such as comfortable carrier with good ventilation and access to water. The carrier must be small enough to slide under the seat in front of you and roomy enough for your pet be able to lie down naturally, stand and turn around completely. We recommend using a durable, soft carrier made of flexible materials when travelling with a pet in the cabin. The container and pet must not exceed 8 kg in total gross weight.
In certain destinations, you may wish to invest in a protective band such as a Scalibor collar to help control ticks, mosquitoes, and flies.
You’ll want your trip to go as smoothly as possible – before you fly, please make sure your cat or dog has all the necessary paperwork for air travel, including vaccination documents. Feed your pet about four hours before take-off and make sure there is fresh water available throughout the flight. It’s a good idea to get in some exercise before entering the airport — and most definitely a potty break.
Not all airlines accept pets in the cabin so check with the airline before making any bookings. Airlines can legally limit the number of animals on any particular flight, so book early and confirm with the airline that dogs are welcome on your chosen flight.
Costs for a pet on board will range from £40 to £100 each way, depending on the airline.
There are more and more pet-friendly hotels around the world, including some 5-star accommodations, however, it’s important to check hotel’s pet policy prior to booking. Most pet-friendly hotels will have special rooms dedicated to guests with pets or may charge an additional fee for your stay. We have always had good experiences when travelling with Annie – you can read more about our dog-friendly hotel ventures here.
TRAVELLING TO THE UK
When travelling to the UK, you must use an authorised transport company and approved route unless you’re travelling between the UK and Ireland. By sea, this includes most of the mainstream ferry companies. For air travel, it is worth checking the Defra listings online. We have tried most of the routes and have found the Hook of Holland to Harwich to be the best option for us.
To meet the entry requirements, you’re pet will need an EU pet passport, a microchip, a rabies vaccination and a blood-test against rabies for the first entry.
Before returning to the UK, a dog must have a tapeworm treatment between 24 hours and 120 hours (one to five days) prior to your scheduled arrival time at home.
Travelling with your pet is the best way to ensure your four-legged friend lives life to the fullest. And most importantly that they don’t miss out on special occasions either.
The process can be just as stressful for your pets as it is for us, so you need to consider carefully whether it is in your animal’s best interests to take them along. Obviously, every pet owner knows what’s best for their pet. Sometimes Annie is better off staying at home with someone we trust. Most of the time she has her staycation with our much loved and trusted Catherine from Fetch Fulham. We all adore her and highly recommend her company.
Happy travels and remember that you can always email me with any questions or tips!