Traveling with Pets in Europe: Tips and Regulations - PetLovers


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Traveling with Pets in Europe: Tips and Regulations


Traveling with pets can be a rewarding experience, offering the joy of having your furry companion by your side. But it comes with its own set of challenges and responsibilities. Why do we embark on these adventures with our pets? Simple – they are family, and leaving them behind can feel like leaving a part of our heart. Plus, pets can make our travels more fun and fulfilling.

Importance of Understanding Regulations

Understanding the regulations for traveling with pets in Europe is crucial. Each country may have different rules, and failing to comply can result in delays, fines, or even quarantine for your pet. Knowing the ins and outs of pet travel rules helps ensure a smooth journey.

Preparing for the Trip

Researching Pet-Friendly Destinations


Before you set off, it’s essential to research and choose pet-friendly destinations. Europe is filled with places that welcome pets, from hotels and parks to restaurants and beaches. Find out which locations are best suited for your pet’s needs.

Choosing the Right Pet Carrier

Selecting the appropriate pet carrier is vital for your pet’s comfort and safety. Ensure it is well-ventilated, secure, and meets airline or train company standards. Your pet should be able to stand, turn around, and lie down comfortably.

Scheduling a Vet Visit


A vet visit is mandatory before your trip. Your vet will ensure your pet is healthy enough to travel and provide necessary vaccinations and health certificates. Discuss any potential travel-related health issues and get advice on how to keep your pet calm during the journey.

Understanding Pet Travel Regulations

European Union Pet Travel Scheme (PETS)

The European Union has a standardized pet travel scheme known as PETS. This system allows for easier movement of pets between EU countries. Make sure your pet meets the PETS requirements, including microchipping and vaccinations.

Required Documentation

Traveling with pets in Europe requires specific documentation. A pet passport or an official veterinary certificate is necessary. This document should detail your pet’s identification and vaccination records.


Vaccinations and Health Certificates

Your pet must be vaccinated against rabies at least 21 days before travel. Additionally, some countries may require treatments for ticks and tapeworms. A health certificate from your vet will certify that your pet is fit to travel.

Traveling by Air

Airline Pet Policies

Different airlines have different policies regarding pet travel. Some allow pets in the cabin, while others require them to travel in the cargo hold. Research and choose an airline that best fits your pet’s needs.

Booking a Pet-Friendly Flight

When booking your flight, inform the airline that you will be traveling with a pet. Pet-friendly flights often have limited space for animals, so book early. Ensure the flight duration is manageable for your pet.

In-Cabin vs. Cargo Travel

Decide whether your pet will travel in the cabin or as cargo. Small pets can often travel in the cabin, but larger animals may need to be transported in the cargo hold. Both options have specific requirements for carriers and preparation.

Traveling by Train

European Train Companies’ Pet Policies

Many European train companies allow pets, but policies vary. Some require pets to be in carriers, while others permit leashed pets. Check the rules of the train companies you plan to use.

Buying Pet Tickets

Pets may need their own tickets. Purchase these in advance and be aware of any restrictions or additional costs. Some trains only allow a certain number of pets per journey.

Onboard Pet Etiquette

Maintain good pet etiquette while onboard. Keep your pet calm and quiet to avoid disturbing other passengers. Have a plan for bathroom breaks and bring necessary supplies.

Traveling by Car

Preparing Your Car for Pet Travel

Make your car comfortable and safe for your pet. Use a pet seatbelt or a secured carrier to keep them safe. Ensure good ventilation and have sunshades to protect them from direct sunlight.

Safety Measures

Never leave your pet alone in the car, especially in hot weather. It can become dangerously hot quickly. Plan for regular stops to allow your pet to stretch, hydrate, and relieve themselves.

Comfort Breaks and Hydration

Schedule regular breaks during your drive. These stops are essential for your pet’s comfort and well-being. Provide water and a small amount of food to keep them nourished.

Accommodation Options

Pet-Friendly Hotels

Many hotels across Europe are pet-friendly. Look for accommodations that welcome pets and offer amenities like pet beds, bowls, and designated pet areas.

Vacation Rentals

Vacation rentals can provide a home-like environment for your pet. They often offer more space and privacy than hotels. Ensure the rental property is pet-friendly before booking.

Pet Policies at Accommodations

Always check the pet policies of your chosen accommodation. Some places may have restrictions on the size, number, or breed of pets allowed. Be respectful of the rules to ensure a pleasant stay for everyone.

While Traveling

Managing Pet Anxiety

Travel can be stressful for pets. Bring their favorite toys, blankets, and treats to help them feel more at home. Consider using calming products or consulting your vet for anxiety management tips.

Feeding and Hydration

Keep your pet well-fed and hydrated. Carry enough food and water for the trip and avoid feeding them right before travel to prevent motion sickness.

Exercise and Bathroom Breaks

Regular exercise and bathroom breaks are crucial. Plan stops at pet-friendly locations where your pet can run and play. This helps reduce anxiety and keeps them healthy.

Returning Home

Re-Entry Regulations

Check the re-entry regulations for your home country. Some countries require additional health checks or quarantine periods. Ensure all paperwork is in order to avoid complications.

Post-Travel Vet Visit

A vet visit after your trip can help identify any health issues that may have arisen during travel. It’s also a good time to update any vaccinations or treatments.


Traveling with pets can strengthen your bond and create unforgettable memories. It’s an enriching experience for both you and your pet, offering new adventures and shared moments.