Dogs & Travelling Abroad

Dogs & Travelling Abroad

If you're thinking of travelling to an EU country or Northern Ireland this summer and taking your dog; there are a number of things you need to know

Before you travel your dog needs:

  • a microchip (ensure your details are updated)
  • a valid rabies vaccination (at least 21 days prior to travel)
  • an animal health certificate (no more than 10 days before travel) valid for 4 months so your return date should be within this period
  • tape worm treatment for dogs if you’re travelling directly to Finland, Ireland, Northern Ireland, Norway or Malta
  • up to date flea and worm treatments
  • collar and tag with up to date details

Check that your insurance is valid abroad and what it covers and make sure you know where the nearest vet is to where you are staying


Officially you are not allowed to bring meat or dairy-based dog food (including treats) with you unless your vet has given you written confirmation that your dog requires a certain dog food for medical reasons (and even then the limit is only 2kg)

If you are travelling to Europe by ferry or tunnel and are landing in France there are a few brands that you can buy from the pet supermarkets that are familiar in the UK such as Hills, Orijen and Royal Canin. If you need to swap from your usual brand, ensure you make the change at least 4 weeks in advance to allow a smooth transition 


Whichever mode of travel you choose, its important to keep to your dogs normal routine as much as possible

Prior to any periods of travel where your dog is unable to move about, ensure your dog is well exercised prior to being contained

What should you pack for your trip?

  • A crate for the car or a safe car harness for your dog 
  • Plan regular rest and exercise breaks
  • Make sure your dog has enough water to last the entire journey 
  • Travel water bowl
  • Keep them cool as its unlikely they will be used to higher temperatures
  • Comfy bedding
  • Familiar toys to keep them reassured and occupied
  • Poo bags
  • A collar with a tag including your mobile phone number and lead
  • A muzzle (if needed)

Other things to consider:

If you are travelling to a hot country you should monitor your dogs paws to prevent blisters appearing

Check the laws in each country as requirements vary for example Italy requires all dogs to be muzzled when out in public

Check for other hazards such as poisonous plants or animals to keep your dog safe and away from danger

Finally, it sounds like a lot of effort but travelling abroad can be simple when you are prepared


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