Traveling with your pet: special requirements & practical tips

The holidays are around the corner, and you do not want to leave your four-legged friend? You can easily travel with your pet if you simply plan ahead! Discover our tips on how to prepare for a no-stress departure:

What are the “health requirements” to be fulfilled for your pet before going on vacation?

Depending on your destination, the requirements may differ. Think about checking them before departure.

If you are traveling to a European Union country, your pet will need to:
-    be a minimum of three years old
-    get a EU pet passport from your vet
-    be up to date on their vaccinations
-    be identifiable by a microchip (or for pets born before 07/03/2011, by a tattoo).

Note: The United Kingdom, Finland, Malta and Ireland have additional requirements. Certain breeds of dogs are forbidden in the United Kingdom.

What is the most suitable mode of transportation for your pet?

Depending on your destination, whether you have a cat or a dog, and depending on its personality, some means of transportation may be preferable to others.

Traveling by car with your four-legged friend

If the size of your pet allows for it, you can use a travel crate. Place him/her at the back of your vehicle where he/she will be more comfortable. Ideally, avoid having your pet eat before leaving, and remember to take regular breaks (every two hours) so he/she can run around and have a drink. If your cat or dog is prone to motion sickness, ask your veterinarian for advice on proper treatment.

Traveling by train with your cat or dog

Just as for yourself, you will need to have a ticket for your pet before boarding the train. There is an exception for service dogs who can travel for free. Depending on your pet’s size, he/she must be kept on a leash or be placed in an approved bag or carrier. This mean of transportation is suitable for calm animals who will not bother other passengers which can ask the inspector to relocate you at any time!

Traveling by air with your pet

This mean of transportation is strictly regulated, and can be a significant source of stress for your pet. Each airline has their own policies, so carefully check the requirements of the airline you are flying with. When making your reservation, be sure to indicate immediately that you are traveling with your pet, as well as his/her breed. Depending on pet’s size, he/she will either travel with you in the cabin or be put in the cargo hold.

How can you manage the stress of traveling, as well as minor injuries on vacation?

If preparing for vacation makes you anxious, your pet will feel it. First of all, relax! Everything will be fine. To best prepare your companion for travel, show him/her the bag or crate he/she will be traveling in. Encourage him/her to discover this new place by putting his/her favorite toy or cushion inside. The day before departure, plan ahead for mealtimes, so he/she doesn’t have to travel on a full stomach, and let your pet go potty just before leaving. Treatments based on essential oils with soothing properties or pheromones will also help your pet relax.

More information can be found here.

It is also a good idea to pack a “pharmacy kit” in your suitcase, containing products for the treatment of minor injuries which can occur on the spot. Parasite or insect bites, irritations, sunburn, abrasions…even on vacation, our four-legged friends can get injured, so plan ahead with first-aid products for any situation!

More information can be found on our article: "Warning on “minor ailments” for our dogs and cats in summer".



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