Do You Need a Dog Muzzle when Travelling in Europe?

So you’re heading to Europe, and someone’s mentioned that you’ll need a muzzle for your dog. It’s great that you know in advance and can prepare, but if you’re from somewhere that dog muzzles are not commonly used, such as my home country of Australia, the thought of muzzling your beloved dog may be worrying.

Based on my experience as travelling to nearly every country in Europe, I go over when (and where) you’ll need a muzzle, how often the rules are enforced, and recommendations for the best dog muzzles for travel (just in case).

Best dog muzzles for travel

Note: This post contains affiliate links, which means I may receive commission if you make a purchase using the links. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. See my full disclaimer.

When Do Dogs Require a Muzzle in Europe?

The most common occasion where dogs require a muzzle in Europe is on public transport, whether that’s local metros and trams, or inter-city trains. So, if you’re going to be driving everywhere after moving abroad with pets, it’s unlikely that your dog will require a muzzle.

Additionally, if your dog is small and will be travelling in a carrier, it will not require a muzzle. Muzzles are only ever required by unrestrained dogs outside of a carrier, generally larger dogs.

The following countries stipulate that dogs on public transport, generally only larger dogs, require a muzzle:

  • Austria: Required for larger dogs on trains and any dogs not in a carrier on public transport, at least in Vienna.
  • Bulgaria: Required for larger dogs on both trains and other forms of public transport.
  • Czech Republic: Dogs not in a carrier bag (and in the case of Prague, dogs in a not entirely closed carrier), need to wear a muzzle. It was quite common to see dogs on public transport in Czech Republic wearing muzzles.
  • Estonia: Required for dogs not in a carrier on public transport in at least Tallinn.
  • France: Required for larger dogs on trains and on public transport at least in Paris.
  • Germany: Required for larger dogs on DB trains. Also required for public transport in Berlin, but not enforced.
  • Greece: Larger dogs are not generally allowed on public transport, but required for larger dogs not in a carrier on many ferries.
  • Hungary: Required for dogs not in a carrier on trains, public transport in Budapest and Budapest River Cruises.
Budapest Public Transport
On public transport in Budapest, dogs not in a carrier need to wear a muzzle
  • Ireland: Larger dogs are not generally allowed on public transport, but when they are allowed in the guard van on Irish Rail trains, they require a muzzle.
  • Italy: Required for larger dogs on trains and on most public transport, at least in Rome, Milan and the vaporettos in Venice.
  • Latvia: Required for larger dogs on trains, unclear whether required on public transport within Riga.
  • Lithuania: Required for dogs not in a carrier on public transport in Vilnius, if possible, although on trains only required for dogs that are not well socialised.
  • Poland: Required for larger dogs on trains run by PolRegio (plus also probably PKP, although not mentioned), plus on public transport in at least Warsaw.
  • Portugal: Required for larger dogs on trains and on most public transport, at least the metro in Lisbon where larger dogs are allowed.
  • Romania: Required for larger dogs on trains and on public transport at least in Bucharest.
  • Slovakia: Required for larger dogs on trains and on public transport.
  • Spain: Larger dogs are not generally allowed on public transport, but when they are allowed on the selected train routes and the metro in Madrid, they require a muzzle. Also required on Brittany Ferries when being transferred from your car to their cabin or kennel.
Dog muzzle in Europe
Larger dogs on the metro in Madrid require a muzzle

For countries that I haven’t listed (and haven’t also listed below as not generally requiring a muzzle), I would expect that a muzzle is required. They are required more often than not. Check the signs at the door or inside the carriage for a symbol of a dog wearing a muzzle. Or just make sure you carry one in case.

Additionally, muzzles may occasionally be required outside of public transport. If you’re visiting a dog-friendly tourist attraction, such as a park or castle grounds, a muzzle may be required. If you’re visiting a mall that allows dogs, a muzzle may be required in addition to a leash.

Plus in some cities, such as Vienna in Austria, dogs are generally expected to be muzzled when out in public, although I haven’t come across anywhere that requires this of all dogs.

In Which European Countries are Dog Muzzles Not Required?

However, not every European country requires dogs on public transport to wear a muzzle. Looking at the rules for trains in these countries, there is no mention of a muzzle most of the time or it is not mandatory:

  • Belgium: On trains in Belgium, muzzles are recommend but not mandatory, although there is a chance that a conductor may insist on your dog being muzzled. Muzzles are not required on public transport in Antwerp and Ghent, although they are required for larger dogs in Brussels.
  • Denmark: No mention of muzzles being required.
  • Finland: No mention of muzzles being required.
  • Luxembourg: Muzzles are only required for dogs that might bother or pose a danger to other passengers.
  • Netherlands: Muzzles are only required on international trains for larger dogs.
  • Norway: No mention of muzzles being required for trains.
  • Sweden: No mention of muzzles being required.
  • Switzerland: No mention of muzzles being required.
  • UK: No mention of muzzles being required.
No muzzle Europe
Schnitzel on a ferry in Copenhagen without a muzzle

Always double check the latest rules, as these kinds of rules can change. For this reason, I always recommend carrying a muzzle with you, just in case.

What About Dangerous Dog Breeds?

If your dog breed is classified as a dangerous breed by the country (or region) that you are visiting, there may be more onerous obligations for wearing a muzzle. Your dog may be required to wear a muzzle on public transport even if other dogs are not required. Plus often these dog breeds are obligated to always wear a muzzle in public.

To find out if your dog’s breed is classified as dangerous, check out the rules for the country you are visiting. This applies in many countries including France and Spain.

Examples of breeds of dogs that may be classified as dangerous include American Bull Terrier, Mastiffs and Rottweilers. Some breeds may also be restricted from entry to the country, so always investigate if these rules might apply to your dog in advance.

Read more about travelling with a dog breed classified as dangerous

Enforcement of Dog Muzzle Rules

The level of enforcement of muzzle rules varies from country to country. There are some countries or cities where the rules are rarely enforced (such as Italy). There are also some countries where it is very common for all dogs to wear their required muzzles (such as the Czech Republic), probably due to frequent enforcement.

But I would say that the likelihood of enforcement also unfortunately comes down to the size and breed of your dog. Small dogs are less likely to be required to wear a muzzle, whereas large dogs, in particular ones who look more threatening, are more likely to be required to comply.

Taking a Dog to France
Smaller dogs are more likely to get away without wearing a muzzle

This probably also extends to the likelihood of conductors of trains in Belgium requesting dogs to wear a muzzle (where muzzles are only recommended unless requested).

As my dog is quite small (a Miniature Dachshund), he frequently travelled in a carrier and didn’t require a muzzle. However, on occasions where he didn’t travel in a carrier bag, we were never requested to muzzle him, even by the ticket inspectors checking our tickets.

I only put his muzzle on a couple of times (including in Czech Republic) where I saw other dogs nearby wearing muzzles and thought it might be enforced. However, I always carried his small muzzle in my handbag, just in case.

Dog wearing a muzzle on a train in Europe
Schnitzel not impressed with wearing his muzzle in the Czech Republic

If your dog is meant to be wearing a muzzle and is not currently wearing one, I haven’t ever heard reports of fines being issued. Instead, you will most likely be requested to put it on (assuming you have one of your person). And if you don’t currently have a muzzle, you will likely be asked to disembark.

Best Dog Muzzles for Travel

Before buying a muzzle for my dog, I initially thought that all muzzles were large, strong metal cage-type devices. However, this is far from the case these days.

The majority of muzzles are “soft”, particularly those for small and medium sized dogs. They are often constructed of fabric, similar to dog harnesses. There are also basket-type muzzles that are constructed from silicone rather than metal.

These softer muzzles mean that they are less bulky – handy for if you want to carry one in your bag, for when required, rather than expect your dog to continuously wear it. Hopefully they are also more comfortable for your dog, although most dogs will not be a fan of them, unless they have received training or become used to them from a young age.

Here are some of the best dog muzzles, all with plenty of five-star reviews.

Best Simple Muzzle in Multiple Sizes

This simple muzzle is very similar to the one I have for Schnitzel. Made from waterproof oxford cloth, it’s attached by a simple adjustable strap and buckle at the back of the head. You’ll receive 7 sizes, so you don’t need to worry about ordering the wrong size. (Use multiple sizes while your dog grows, or donate the rest to your local rescue.) There’s a 100% money-back and life-time guarantee.

Best Adjustable Nylon Strap Muzzle

This nylon strap muzzle, with a cotton lining, comes in six sizes, from S to XXXL, suitable for even the largest dogs. It has an adjustable strap for your dog’s strap, meaning that you can make sure it perfectly fits. Reviews state that it is sturdy and durable, although many dogs manage to remove it.

Best Muzzle for Escape Artists

This simple strap style muzzle has an additional collar with D ring and connection strap, meaning that dogs who manage to escape from other muzzles by pulling them over their head, will stay secure in this muzzle.

A combination of buckles and velcro allow you to customise the fit, while neoprene padding eliminates chafing. Customers praise the training booklet included. It’s available in both blue and pink.

Best Mesh Muzzle

An alternative style of muzzle are mesh muzzles. Your dog may find this more comfortable, constructed from breathable nylon mesh rather than a strap. Available in sizes XS to XL, this muzzle is suited for a wide range of dogs, except for short-nosed dogs. A guide is provided to choose the right size muzzle for your dog.

Best Silicone Basket Muzzle

This silicone basket muzzle is strong yet comfortable. It’s made from high quality silicone and neoprene-lined straps, and includes an optional forehead strap for extra stability. It is designed to eliminate barking, but still allows panting, drinking and eating treats.

There are six snout sizes available, suitable for a Dachshund to a Great Dane. It’s also available in both black and red.

Best Muzzle for Chihuahuas

If you have a small dog such as a chihuahua, this extra small muzzle is ideal, with many of the past customers saying it perfectly fitted their chihuahua mix. Blue in colour, it comes with an adjustable nylon strap.

Just double check the shipping price and perhaps choose to order off a different seller; the default seller is shown with a very high shipping price for Australia.

Best Muzzle for Frenchies & Bulldogs

Flat faced dogs such as Frenchies are not able to wear regular muzzles, whether strap, mesh or basket muzzles. Instead, buy a muzzle specially designed for short snout dogs.

This muzzle comes in two different styles, with or without eyeholes. (Dogs are able to see through the mesh in the non-eyehole version.) It comes in both grey and orange, and four different sizes.

You May Also Like

About the Author

Photo of Shandos & Schnitzel

Shandos Cleaver is the founder of Travelnuity: Dog-Friendly Travel. She has travelled extensively with her Miniature Dachshund, Schnitzel, including to 33 countries across Europe, every state and territory of Australia except Tasmania, and 10 of the United States. She’s passionate about providing inspiration and information to others wanting to travel with their dogs, whether close to home or internationally.

Inspired? Pin this to your Pinterest board!

Dog Muzzle for Travel

16 thoughts on “Do You Need a Dog Muzzle when Travelling in Europe?”

  1. I’ll be interested to see what is enforced when I travel with my dog. She is a hound-pit mix but most people see only the hound. Very rarely will I meet someone that says they can see the pit in her. I know she likes to pant quite a bit so I think I’ll try one of the basket muzzles and keep it in her backpack, just in case.

    We’re planning a long hiking trip through Europe so your articles have been very helpful!

    • Thanks for your kind words! It will be interesting to see whether it is enforced. I think in some places it may not even be enforced with a full pitbull, but some countries are more strict with rules than others!

  2. All muzzles that are mesh or nylon not basket style are only appropriate for 15 min of wear, give or take. They don’t allow your dog to open its mouth for a full pant and can lead to overheating with continuous wear. Basket muzzles are designed to allow your dog to eat, drink and pant. Dogs of any age can be trained to wear them easily with positive reinforcement.

    • Thanks for the information, I hadn’t heard that before, although I’ve always thought muzzles should only be wore for short periods of time when necessary.

  3. Useful information for my impending interrail trip with a cavalier.

    The whole small/large seems very vague and open to interpretation.

    I think I will carry muzzle but only use if requested.

  4. Ah this is a great article – just what we needed. We are muzzle training Blake as he had a few snaps at other dogs invading his space. Also we would like to travel in Belgium and Spain with him after the pandemic and so I think that this will be helpful. We want him to be comfortable wearing it so when he has to it’s not a shock to him.

  5. In Latvia – only dogs, which breed is qualified as dangerous are required to wear muzzle. Other than that only leash and collar. Unless of course using public transport, then it is required to have muzzle.

  6. In Finland (Helsinki) I see dogs almost every day on public transport, both small and large breeds (I saw a Leonberger for example some time ago in the tram). None ever had a muzzle, only collar and leash. Leash is required when walking in the city (except dog parks) and collecting of dogs poo.
    The majority of Finns have no problems with animals on public transport, in fact often people will start talking to you. Our Ragdoll cat is a usual attraction, he’s in his backpack (with a leash for safety reason in case he’d try to run), but I take him out of it when I sit down so he can look around.
    I think I saw everything on public transport here, from dogs, to cats, rabbits, turtles and rats. 😀
    No extra ticket required.
    Also in shops, shopping centres, you can tie your dog to wait there and no muzzle required.
    Cats however are required to be on the leash too, including in your own yard. You could be fined in theory if it isnt. In practise this is rare and many cats are still wondering around free but not as many as in the past. Also theres a new law coming by which an animal cannot be left for too long outside (even in own yard) without supervision, so that nothing would happen to them.
    Also info for those coming with children. If child is in stroller, no ticket required for the parent pushing the stroller and you dont enter the bus in the front but middle as theres designated space for strollers (so you dont have to fold it when you enter the bus). Theres also designated space on trams, trains, etc.
    In Finland the Nordic hotel chains Sokos and Scandic are especially animal and child friendly. Children still get to stay for free till a relatively older child age (in comparison to other European countries) and you can have both cats and dogs with you, you just need to inform in advance as they have designated rooms.
    Also the EU disability card works here everywhere, and otherwise other countries disability cards too for various discounts.

    • Thanks for all of your information Inka! It’s great to hear a local’s perspective. I found Finland very welcoming towards my dog and would love to return one day.

  7. And yes, a word of warning, Finland is an extremely dog friendly country, so if you choose to put a muzzle on your dog when here, it can happen that you hear some nasty comments or get looks from people, as people are in general very much against muzzles on dogs.

  8. The mouth straps you are showing do NOT count as a muzzle. Technically, dogs are not allowed in public transport while wearing them, as they are not a proper muzzle. Also the silicone basket muzzle is technically against the law (at least in Austria) when worn longer than 5 minutes (e.g. at the vet).
    If the dog is stressed or it is hot outside, it’s dangerous for the dog to wear it for a longer time, as it can easily overheat.
    In a good muzzle, the dog should be able to pant deeply and yawn.


Leave a Comment