Traveling With Dogs: 4 Things to Pay Attention To!

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Traveling with your dog, with your four-legged friend, has become a widespread need in recent years. It also definitely makes a travel experience more enjoyable.

It would not be enough to have 10 articles to be able to adequately talk about the topic, so many things would need to be discussed in depth. Traveling with dogs is a wonderful experience, but one must pay attention to all their needs. Not only that, to them must be added all the various provisions and regulations that must be complied with.

Traveling with a dog: 4 things not to be underestimated

I have two little dogs. This year they will turn one 8 years old and the other 9. Although they are still basically young, they have done quite a few trips with me and my partner. I’ve never blogged about them much, but they, too, know much of northern Italy and even a few beaches in Liguria, Veneto and the Romagna Riviera.

My two little dogs Birby on the left and Pesca and right.

In short, I’d say they can’t complain. Traveling with them is wonderful, but traveling with dogs requires a few caveats.

1 – Proper hotel accommodations or accommodations

How many times have you been looking for accommodation or a hotel that could accommodate you and your dog without feeling like you are “in the way.” To me personally, many. Many facilities call themselves dog friendly, but in all honesty I feel that they are not very dog friendly.

When it comes to taking a vacation with your dogs and therefore not a strenuous roadtrip itinerary, it is necessary to find a place where they are also appreciated and can be serene. The best way is to look for and book accommodation where you can find independent solutions such as small villas/bungalows (you can really find many of them on the site) with a nice piece of greenery where you can let your dog rest.

As an alternative to the cottage, you could also choose hotels that allow dogs. In that case, given my experiences in recent years, I recommend that you inquire in advance about all the associated costs. Some hotels allow you to stay with dogs free of charge, while others require a daily fee starting from 5/10 € per dog.

2 – Transportation and miscellaneous travel

By train, by plane, by ship…traveling with your dog on these means of transportation has different restrictions and often each company treats the issue differently. It is always a good idea to inquire on the various official websites to find out what rules need to be followed, even according to the size of the dog.

Regardless of each company’s conditions, it is necessary to pay attention to its needs. For a dog, travel can be a stressful time, especially if traveling by air. Even a car trip with a dog requires caution, including avoiding giving him food in the hours before the trip and, of course, taking proper breaks along the way, possibly at designated rest stops.

3 – What to pack when traveling with your dog

We could distinguish the access you need for a trip with your dog into three categories: health, safety and miscellaneous accessories.

As for the health of our dogs, it is good to bring with you:

  • Possible  anti parasites.
  • Probiotics: I use classic milk ferments that are also valid for humans. Sometimes it happens that for various factors such as heat, stress or change of habits, my dogs have tummy grumbles and in that case the ferments help a lot.
  • Dog Fingertips Cream: very useful both at the beach but also in the mountains. Even in winter in the snow it is appropriate. It does not work miracles, but it allows you to limit any injuries to the paws.
  • Water: it seems trite to say, but traveling with a dog means having the fixed thought for fresh water always available. Especially in summer it is most important.
  • Wet Wipes to refresh and perfume them.

For your dog’s safety while traveling:

  • Possible carrier.
  • Collar or harness, preferably with reflective bands.
  • Your cell phone engraved on a holder tied to the harness.
  • Car belts to attach to the harness.
  • Muzzle, necessary in some situations, such as on ferries.
  • Kit for any droppings.

Finally, for miscellaneous accessories:

  • A kennel, again if you have room in the car.
  • A blanket, some toys and bowls.

Obviously, all these recommendations are in the case of vacations lasting a few days or weeks. For trips with the dog in day-trip mode depends on what you are doing and where you are going.

4 – Traveling with a dog: Documents and regulations

This is a key aspect. When traveling with your dog you need to be in compliance. Firstly for the respect of your dog, secondly for a compliance with regulations which, mind you, can still vary depending on whether the trip is within or outside national borders.

Traveling with a dog in Italy (or in tour Country)

When we travel with Birby and Pesca, my two little dogs, we always have the health booklet and registration withthe canine registry on hand. They are also, as required by law, microchipped. This is essential should they get lost and be found.

Although it is not part of the required documents, I would add a suggestion: arrange for small metal charms to be attached to the harness engraved with your phone number. This way they will be able to contact you as soon as possible.

Traveling with your dog abroad in Europe

If you want to take your dog with you on a trip abroad you can safely do so. However, you must apply for a European passport for your dog (you also need a rabies vaccination). Yes, that’s right, a “dog passport” that will allow you to cross national borders.

Warning: should you cross the border without a passport, your dog could be quarantined or worse (I avoid telling you the worst).

The concept is: travel with your dog responsibly.

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