You’re planning on a trip to Paris, but you don’t want to leave your pet in a kennel while you’re snapping photos from the Eiffel Tower. You’re the type of person who uses pet insurance, buys the healthiest dog food and consider your pets members of your family as if they were your own children. You’d love to bring Fido along, but how do you get him there and back without putting him in danger or increasing your stress?
Thankfully, with a little research and planning, traveling with your pet in Europe – or anywhere at all, for that matter – is very doable. Here is our guide to doing it the right way.
1. Getting To and From Your Destination
By far, the biggest thing to consider is your airline. With the cost of a pet ticket sometimes almost as much as that of a human one, be sure to shop around for the best price, as well as doing a little research into the airline’s track record. While only a few animals out of the thousands who fly each year are injured or die during travel, but some airlines have worse stats than others.
Next, it’s important to check the airline’s website or speak to a representative about type or breed restrictions, as well as any health requirements. Airlines with good pet policies won’t accept any who are in poor health, and they’ll even turn away healthy pets the day of if it’s too hot or cold to have them down in the cargo bay.
2. How to Handle Border Crossings
Once you land in your destination, be ready with the right documentation. Browse the country’s website ahead of time to determine further restrictions and vaccine requirements, including but not limited to rabies. Under the PETS travel scheme, you can bring your pet into the UK and EU hassle-free, as long as it has been microchipped and you have proof of recent vaccination and an EU Pet Passport or Official Veterinary Health Certificate. It’s best to start thinking about this several months ahead of time, as some countries will require a certain number of days to have elapsed between vaccines and travel.
3. Finding Pet Friendly Hotels
Every hotel will have its own pet policy. Make sure to contact your chosen hotel for theirs before booking, or try searching the internet for “pet friendly hotels.” You’ll find several websites to guide you towards hotels that will accept both you and your furry (or slimy) friend.
4. Keeping Your Pet Happy
All pets, big or small, reptile or canine, thrive on routine, so new locations and experiences can be upsetting. Mitigate their anxiety with a little training ahead of time. Make sure they get a vet checkup utilizing dog insurance to make sure they are healthy enough for the trip. Try spraying a non-toxic scent like rose petals near your pet while at home and associating the smell with a reward. Spray that same scent in your pet’s cage or carrying case the day of travel. They’ll breathe in deep, remember good times, and calm on down!
Along those lines, bring along your pet’s favorite toys, bed, or blankets for a little sniff of home. There should be plenty of room for these goodies and a bowl of water in your pet’s carrying case, as well as room to move around.
Whatever strategies you take, do not give your pet tranquilizers, especially not during air travel. These medications can have adverse effects at high altitudes, even if they work well on the ground.
With these tips, you can realize your dream of traveling to Europe with your favorite pet right by your side. How could vacation get any better?
Category: Travel Tips