If you’re taking a holiday and would love to take your dog along, whether for a shorter vacation or long-term travels, Europe is your ideal destination. Not only is Europe about the most dog-friendly part of the world, it’s easy to travel with your dog in between many of the countries.
In February 2017 I flew from Australia to Spain to travel around Europe with my Miniature Dachshund, Schnitzel. We then spent 20 months travelling all around Europe, visiting 33 countries and having plenty of dog-friendly adventures along the way.
If you’re interested in also travelling in Europe with a dog, I’ve put together this guide to everything dog-related to help you along the way.
Paperwork for Travelling to Europe with a Dog
The paperwork for taking your dog to Europe depends on what country you’re travelling to.
The situation is easiest if you’re initially travelling to a country in the European Union (EU), with the same rules apply for dogs arriving in nearly every country, making it easier to keep on top of what you need to prepare. (I flew into the EU.)
If you’re travelling to the EU, your dog will need to be microchipped, vaccinated for rabies and an EU health certificate completed. Sometimes, a rabies titre test will be required, or your dog may need a worming treatment. For other countries in Europe, generally similar requirements apply, but they can differ.
Want to know whether you will be travelling to an EU country? Currently, there are 27 countries in the EU: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain and Sweden.
Since 2021, when the Brexit transition period ended, Great Britain now has its own rules for pet travel, although they are very similar to those for EU countries, and its own animal health certificate. Northern Ireland though is counted as being part of the EU still for pet travel.
To check out the full details on what’s required, check out my complete guide to the vaccines and paperwork to travel to Europe with your dog.
Paperwork for Travelling Between European Countries with a Dog
Once you’re in Europe, often it’s easy to move between countries, without requiring any extra paperwork. However, this depends on what countries you are moving between.
The greatest ease of movement applies if you’re within the EU. Except for a handful of cases, you don’t need to bother anymore with paperwork or visits to the vet to travel between these countries.
This flexibility also extends to a number of other countries and territories applying rules equivalent to the EU for the transportation of pets, including Andorra, Gibraltar, Liechtenstein, Monaco, Norway, San Marino, Switzerland and Vatican City State.
If you’re travelling within the EU and this list of countries, as long as your rabies vaccine remains valid, the only reason you’ll need to visit a vet before crossing borders is if your dog requires a worming treatment done by a vet. This is required between one and five days before heading to Finland, Ireland, Malta, Northern Ireland and Norway (plus the UK).
However, you should always keep a copy of your dog’s paperwork on hand, either their EU animal health certificate (which is valid for up to four months) or their EU pet passport. (The EU pet passport is essentially a fancy record book for your dog’s rabies vaccination and other treatments and health checks.)
Also note that if your pet’s rabies vaccine lapses and they are re-vaccinated, this should be done at least 21 days before you cross any borders.
For other countries outside of the EU, the requirements vary but are usually similar. The most onerous requirement is that when returning to the EU from some non-EU countries, your dog will require a rabies titre test. It’s best to get this before leaving the EU, so there is no waiting period.
For full details, check out my guide to travelling between European countries with your dog. I also cover the likelihood that your pet’s paperwork will be checked.
Reconsider These European Countries..
While Europe deservedly has a reputation as a great dog-friendly destination to visit with your dog, there’re some parts of Europe that aren’t so dog-friendly, especially compared to the most dog-friendly European countries.
For starters, I recommend not heading to Iceland or the Faroe Islands (part of Denmark) on holiday with your dog. The Faroe Islands only allows pets to be imported if you intend to stay for longer than 3 months, while Iceland has a complicated list of steps to import pets and requires a 14-day quarantine period.
Secondly, some dog breeds are classified as dangerous by some European countries, with many complaints about France in particular. If you are travelling with a dog breed that this may apply to, I recommend reading my information on travelling with a dog breed classified as dangerous, before making any plans.
There are also variations in how dog-friendly different parts of Europe are, depending on whether larger dogs are allowed on public transport or dogs are allowed in restaurants. Read on to find out more…
Long-Distance Transport in Europe with a Dog
When travelling longer distances around Europe, the two main options are catching a train or flying. There are also long-distance buses, although they are not usually dog-friendly. Plus ferries may be an option between some destinations, including when travelling between the UK and continental Europe.
Catching Long-Distance Trains with a Dog in Europe
When travelling around Europe, I generally prefer to take the train, at least for train trips that are no more than six to seven hours. It’s usually cheaper overall and takes you right into the city centre. Luckily then, most trains in Europe allow dogs on board.
The main (and frustrating!) exception is the Eurostar, which runs under the English Channel between London and the continent.
The rules for travelling with a dog on a train varies from train company to company, country to country. For instance, some countries unfortunately do not allow large dogs to travel on trains, only small dogs in a container. This applies to most long-distance trains in Spain (although larger dogs are now allowed on two routes), plus some of the time in Ireland and Greece.
Always check the details for the specific train company before planning your trip. These are the relevant pages for a few countries:
- France – Pet rules for SNCF
- Germany – Dog rules for DB (German only)
- Italy – Pet rules for Trenitalia
- Spain – Animal rules for Renfe
In general, small animals travelling in a container do not require a ticket. The main exception I have found to this so far has been in France, where a set €7 fee is charged.
Larger dogs are generally charged for a ticket, most commonly a half-price ticket, although sometime a specific dog or luggage ticket applies. Your dog will need to be leashed, plus in some countries a muzzle is required. Check out my guide for whether this applies to your destination.
When travelling by train, it’s best to book your ticket in advance, except for set price tickets. Often you can get cheaper tickets if you book in advance, the sooner the better.
For more information, check out my guide to travelling by train in Europe with a dog.
Flying with a Dog in Europe
The other alternative (or sometimes the only option) is to fly. Luckily, if you are travelling with a small dog, many airlines in Europe allow small dogs to fly in the cabin. Check out my guide to the pet policies of all the main European airlines, listing which ones allow pets in the cabin.
The main exception is for flying to the UK (and sometimes Ireland). Except for assistance dogs, no dogs are allowed to fly in the cabin travelling to the UK. Unfortunately, this has also resulted in the UK-based Easyjet not allowing dogs in the cabin at all, even when flying between different regions. The Irish-based Ryanair also doesn’t allow dogs in the cabin at all.
If flying with a larger dog, with an airline that doesn’t allow dogs in the cabin, or in and out of the UK, it’s still usually possible to check in a dog (or transport a dog as cargo to the UK), although some airlines still don’t allow this.
Additionally, airlines usually don’t allow snub-nosed breeds and a list of dangerous breeds to be checked in. Always check the pet policy for the airline (google the name of the airline and “pet policy”).
If flying with a dog, book the ticket for your dog when making an online booking (if possible), or otherwise contact the airline before booking your ticket to confirm availability and then book as soon as possible afterwards.
Also check the airline’s pet policy for the specific dimensions of the carrier or crate your dog requires and any extra rules. For dogs, generally a set fee is charged per flight, and no, they’re never discounted during airline sales!
For tips on what to do at the airport, check out my guide to travelling with a dog in the cabin in Europe, plus my discussion about dog-friendly airports in Europe.
Can You Catch Long-Distance Buses in Europe with a Dog?
Unfortunately, taking long distance coaches is not usually an option in Europe if you are travelling with a dog.
While travelling in Europe, I checked the rules for multiple companies, especially when looking into travelling in the Balkans where there’s not many trains. I discovered most bus companies don’t allow dogs, including Flixbus, one of the most common operators. Although sometimes drivers exercise their discretion…
However, I recently uncovered that the Czech-based RegioJet allow pets on some of their routes. Small dogs in a suitable carrier weighing up to 10kg are allowed on their domestic buses within the Czech Republic and Slovakia, plus selected international routes. Your dog in their carrier should travel either on your lap or under your feet, with no fee charged.
Alternatively, if you get stuck for transport in the Balkans, there are many mini-bus operations, and I’ve come across at least one that allows dogs if you book a private transport (i.e. the whole mini-bus). Just be prepared for it to be expensive, unless you’re travelling as part of a group.
Another exception are the long-distance buses in Portugal. Small dogs in a carrier can travel with you on the buses, including routes to the Algarve region. See my guide to dog-friendly Portugal for more information.
Taking Ferries with a Dog in Europe
One final form of transport to keep in mind are long-distance ferries. These are often the easiest option to get between destinations such as France and Great Britain, Great Britain and Ireland, Helsinki and Talinn, Sicily and Malta, and around the Greek Islands.
Most of the ferries that I’ve investigated allow dogs on board. However, some ferries only allow those travelling with a car to bring along pets, including the quick ferries between Calais and Dover, where dogs are usually expected to stay in your car.
However, an increasing number of ferries in Europe offer pet-friendly cabins. Other ferries have special kennel areas, while some ferries allow pets to travel on the outside deck, or even inside the passenger area, for small dogs in a carrier bag.
It’s best to research the options in advance, including what facilities for pets are available, whether foot passengers are allowed to bring pets (if you are travelling without a car) and the applicable fees.
Check out some of the guides and posts that I have written covering ferries:
- Travelling Across the Channel with a Dog
- Stena Line Ferry from Harwich to Hook of Holland
- DFDS Seaways Ferry from Newhaven to Dieppe
- Most Pet-Friendly Ferry to All of Ireland
- Travelling to Northern Ireland (including ferries)
- Travelling to the Republic of Ireland (including ferries)
- Travelling to Spain from the UK (including ferries)
- Travelling to the Greek Islands (including ferries)
- Dog-Friendly Baltic Ferry Cruise
Local Transport in Europe with a Dog
Generally, most local trains, metros and trams in Europe allow dogs, but don’t assume this is always the case. For instance, there are some cities that only allow small dogs in a carrier to travel on public transport.
This was the case when I visited Lyon and Marseille, both in France, in 2018, and I can’t track down the rules online so see if it has since changed. This also applied in Madrid up until mid-2016, with larger dogs these days still restricted to the rear carriage and not permitted during peak hour.
Buses are not as likely to allow dogs, other than small dogs in a container, but larger dogs are also permitted in many places.
As well as variable rules as to whether dogs are allowed on local transport, they are also variations on whether dogs require a ticket. Most of the time, small dogs in a container ride free. However, for larger dogs, sometimes they ride free, sometimes they require a child’s (half-price) ticket or sometimes there is a special dog ticket.
For instance, in Berlin dogs require a half-price ticket, unless you have purchased a day ticket, in which case you can bring along one dog for free. Keep in mind that rules and ticketing will vary not just from country to country, but from city to city and region to region.
Often the signage about rules and tickets is only in the local language, or not easy to find. Try and Google the local public transport website in advance, although often it will only be in the local language. But it’s easier to translate it if you don’t have a bus arriving any minute!
Alternatively, if I’ve been unsure I’ve usually carried my small dog in a carrier bag (and not bought a ticket) or just bought him a half-price ticket to be covered.
Most of the time on local transport, dogs must be on a leash and wear a muzzle, unless they are travelling in a container. Often there is a sign at the door or inside showing a dog wearing a muzzle. (Next to the signs stating no eating food.)
However, most locals will inform you that wearing of muzzles, at least on smaller dogs, is not always enforced. Always be ready though.
Check out my guide to which countries in Europe do and don’t require a muzzle for dogs on public transport.
Hiring a Car in Europe with a Dog
In many ways the easiest form of transport when travelling in Europe with a dog is to hire your own car. There’s no need to worry about timetables or tickets, your dog will often be more comfortable in its own “territory” and if the weather is mild it’s possible to leave your dog inside for short periods of time, to duck into a shop or have lunch. (Just be very careful, and never leave dogs in a car in warmer or hot weather.)
Another positive benefit is that you can be more flexible with where you are staying, with cheaper Airbnbs in the suburbs or countryside hotels being accessible. On the other hand, many city centres in Europe have limited or expensive parking, and may even restrict access to non-local vehicles.
The majority of hire cars allow dogs inside, although you may want to double check in advance, especially if you are picking up the car with your dog. However, be considerate and always put a bed or blanket underneath your dog on the seat, always clean them off before allowing them inside, and attach them securely with a seat-belt harness or similar.
Read my guide on road tripping with your dog.
One other consideration specific to Europe to keep in mind is not all hire cars can cross borders. If you are wanting to take a car into another country, check with the hire car company first. (Or make a booking that can be cancelled for free, then check.)
The hire car may be allowed to cross into certain countries, but not others. In particular, cars hired in the EU often cannot be taken into non-EU countries.
Additionally, one-way hires where a car is picked up in one country and dropped off in another are usually not allowed. And if they are allowed, a ludicrously expensive one-way fee is always charged, so it is best avoided. One-way hires within the same country are more likely to be allowed and less likely to charge a fee or an unreasonable fee.
Dog-Friendly Accommodation in Europe
Compared to most other parts of the world, there’s generally plenty of dog-friendly accomodation options in most parts of Europe, whether you’re looking to stay in a hotel or an Airbnb. However, the percentage of dog-friendly options does vary between locations and I’ve never yet come across a destination where ticking the “pets allowed” box didn’t eliminate some of the options.
Back in 2018, I researched how many hotels in different European cities allow pets, and found that the percentage ranged from 84% in Helsinki (closely followed by Zurich and Berlin) to a tiny 4% of hotels in Dublin (with Lisbon and London also performing poorly).
If you’re travelling to a destination with not many dog-friendly options, it’s always best to at least research your accommodation options in advance. If the pickings for dog-friendly accommodation are slim, book now rather than risk leaving it to later and having nowhere with vacancies that’ll accept dogs. But if most hotels allow dogs, it’s fine to leave it to later, if you prefer.
Another important consideration is the size of the dog. Just like elsewhere, some hotels and Airbnbs only allow small dogs, which is unfortunate if you’re travelling with a well-behaved larger dog. Always look at the fine print, including whether there’s a restriction on size, number of dogs, rooms available to book and whether a fee is charged.
If in doubt, contact the property. This is especially easy for Airbnbs, although many hotels also have a contact email address on their website. (Additionally, if you’ve got reviews from previous Airbnb stays that mention your dog as being a well-behaved guest, some hosts might be flexible.)
Another accommodation option to consider in Europe is camping. Most campsites in Europe are dog-friendly, just one of the reasons why you should consider camping with your dog in Europe.
Here are my dog-friendly accommodation recommendations for Madrid and Paris
Dining Out in Europe with a Dog
Seen photos of people dining in restaurants in Europe with their dog at their side? While this is certainly the case in some European countries, it is not the case everywhere.
Based on personal experience and reports from other travellers, these are the countries where your dog is most likely to be allowed inside a restaurant or cafe (and where you’re most likely to see other dog owners dining with their pooches at their side):
- Czech Republic
- San Marino
What about other countries? It depends. In some countries there are laws prohibiting dogs inside (although both Ireland and Portugal changed this in late 2017, after I visited). In some countries it’s not common for people to dine out with their dogs, so staff may be unsure of whether to let in your dog. In other countries some restaurants allow it, while others don’t (and this may vary between regions in the same country).
Here’s some quick notes on the remaining countries I’ve visited:
- Andorra – We only briefly visited, so I’m not sure.
- Bulgaria – It’s not the local custom, although it’s worthwhile asking. If dining outside, beware of cats.
- Denmark – It’s not common, but some restaurants allow dogs. As the owner of one restaurant told us, there’s not a law against it.
- Estonia – We found some restaurants that allowed dogs inside. Tallinn is probably the most dog-friendly.
- Finland – It’s not common, but some restaurants allow dogs.
- Greece – It didn’t seem the local custom, but when we asked at one place with no outdoor seating, we were allowed inside, but only at the front. Beware of cats when dining outside.
- Ireland – When we visited, dogs were not allowed inside, but the rules changed in December 2017, so there are now dog-friendly options, although I’m not sure how common it is.
- Latvia – It’s not common, but some restaurants allow dogs.
- Lithuania – It’s not common, but some restaurants allow dogs.
- Norway – We rarely dined out in Norway (as it’s not exactly affordable!), but I believe that dogs are not usually allowed due to hygiene/allergy concerns.
- Poland – It’s not common, but some restaurants allow dogs.
- Portugal – When we visited, dogs were not allowed inside, but the rules changed in October 2017. I still believe it’s not common.
- Romania – It’s not the local custom, but when we asked, our dog was allowed inside a couple of restaurants.
- Slovakia – While some restaurants had no dog signs or turned us away, we found some dog-friendly restaurants, mainly in Bratislava. However, technically dogs aren’t allowed inside restaurants (or even on outside terraces). There was a recent vote to overturn this, but it wasn’t successful.
- Spain – Most restaurants don’t allow dogs inside, but we found plenty of pintxos bars in the Basque region were dog-friendly, plus there’s a scattering of restaurants elsewhere that allow dogs, especially in Barcelona. Alternatively, dine at the plentiful outdoor terraces.
- Sweden – Whenever we asked dogs were not allowed inside, due to allergy concerns, but there may be a few rare restaurants that allow dogs. My Airbnb host in Gothenburg mentioned a cafe that allowed dogs, but due to the sunny, warm day we dined at their outside area and forgot to confirm.
- United Kingdom – Many pubs allow dogs, at least in the less formal areas, plus some cafes and restaurants allow dogs. We found Northern Ireland to be less dog-friendly.
This guide also details how dog-friendly restaurants are in different European countries, with some slight differences to my own experiences, such as in Sweden. (Rules can change, or even vary between different parts of the same country.)
Even if you are dining out in a country that usually allows dogs inside restaurants and cafes, always check whether there is a sticker at the door stating no dogs allowed or asking for dogs to be left outside. (They’re usually easy to recognise even if you can’t speak the local language, as there will usually be an image of a dog.)
Or when you step inside the door, check with the staff. (Asking “Okay?” and pointing at your dog gets the message across.) If you’re making a reservation, always mention if you’re bringing a dog. (They may restrict the total number of dogs, or seat you at a more dog-friendly table.)
As an example, while Germany is generally dog-friendly, dogs are never allowed in their wonderful bakeries, which are often combined with a cafe and the best place to have a quick coffee. The same also applied at many kebab shops and even a couple of burger restaurants we tried to visit in Trier!
If dogs aren’t allowed inside (or you don’t want to bother checking), many restaurants offer outdoor terraces, especially in the summer time, which are usually always dog friendly.
If the weather’s not ideal for outdoor dining and dogs aren’t allowed inside, try to book an Airbnb or hotel room with a kitchen. Otherwise, there’s always takeaway.
Dog-Friendly Sightseeing in Europe
Taking your dog sight-seeing is the trickier part of vacationing in Europe. Yes, dogs are fine to join you in wandering around old cities and are allowed on most hikes in national parks. However, if you’re entering inside churches, museums and palaces, dogs are almost never allowed.
If you really want to visit somewhere that doesn’t allow dogs, there are ways around it. My husband and I have sometimes alternated going outside, the other one staying in a dog-friendly cafe with our dog.
Other times, especially if we’re staying somewhere for awhile, we’ve had suitable accommodation where our dog could be left alone for up to half a day. Another option is to also look for dog sitting services. Check out my guide to options when visiting non-dog-friendly attractions.
However, the best option is to add dog-friendly sightseeing options to your itinerary. I’ve suggested lots of fun things to do with your dog in this post. Here’s some more ideas from different parts of Europe for your travels:
- Dog-Friendly Palaces around Europe
- Dog-Friendly Cruises: A 2-Night Baltic Cruise
- Visiting Christmas Markets with Your Dog
I’ve also got lots of suggestions in my guides to individual countries and destinations!
Dog-Friendly Guides to Countries and Regions
Looking for more details on visiting a specific country or region in Europe with a dog? Along with some awesome guest bloggers, I’ve put together these guides on different countries and regions.
Dog-Friendly UK & Ireland
Planning to visit the United Kingdom or Ireland with your dog? Check out these guides.
- Dog-Friendly Guide to the United Kingdom
- 15 Dog-Friendly Things to Do in England
- 7 Dog-Friendly Things to Do in Scotland
- 6 Dog-Friendly Things to Do in Wales
- 5 Dog-Friendly Day Trips Out of London
- Dog-Friendly Guide to London
- Dog-Friendly Guide to Dorset
- Climbing Snowdon with a Dog
- How to Travel with a Dog Between the UK and Europe
- How to Travel to Northern Ireland with a Dog
- The Most Dog-Friendly Ferry to All of Ireland
Dog-Friendly Western Europe
I’ve spent plenty of time travelling around Western Europe with my dog. Check out these guides:
- Dog-Friendly Guide to France
- Dog-Friendly Guide to Paris
- Pet-Friendly Hotels in Paris
- Dog-Friendly Airbnbs in Paris
- Should I Visit Mont-Saint-Michel with My Dog?
- How to Take a Dog to France
- Dog-Friendly Guide to Italy
- Should I Visit Venice with My Dog?
- Day trips from Sorrento to Pompeii, Amalfi Coast and Capri
- Dog-Friendly Guide to Spain
- The Most Dog-Friendly Region of Spain
- Pet-Friendly Hotels in Madrid
- How to Travel from the UK to Spain with a Dog
Scandinavia is a beautiful part of Europe to visit with your dog. Check out these guides:
Dog-Friendly Central & Eastern Europe
Planning to visit Central or Eastern Europe with your dog? Check out these guides:
- Dog-Friendly Guide to Czech Republic
- Day trip to Lednice Park (also a great idea from Vienna!)
Inspired? Pin this to your Pinterest board!
94 thoughts on “Travelling in Europe with a Dog: The Ultimate Guide”
Very useful thank you. Travelling from Uk to Croatia this May, June and July in our motorhome with our rescue dog Jake, grateful especially for tips on Croatia and Slovenia. We’ll be crossing through Bosnia Herzegovina too so will let you know any good dog places.
Thanks Julie, that’s great to hear. Have a wonderful trip and would love to hear about Bosnia!
Hi How did you find the trip please ? We are looking to do something similar.
You can add the NL to your list of countries where dogs are allowed in restaurants. We’ve been living here 13+ years and while there are increasingly more not allowing them in, the majority still do. Use your judgement…Michelin star, no – more casual, yes.
We’re retiring in a couple of years & hitting the road with our two so will be checking out your site for info on travel/living. We take them on a week long doggy holiday every year (8 countries & 1 principality so far) but know the next phase will be very different.
Enjoy the rest of your trip!
Thanks Sheila, that’s great to know! We visited the Netherlands in the middle of summer and just ate in outside areas, so wasn’t completely sure. That’s great to hear about our upcoming travel plans – have a wonderful time!
Hello from Western Australia Shandos and Schnitzel! Thank you for the great information. My husband hails from Brno, Czech Republic and as I am an Aussie, I was surprised when I first went to CZ to see so many dogs wearing muzzles whilst out and about. Can you tell me what the general European laws are for dogs wearing muzzles in public and which countries enforce this rule? Hubby told me that if a dog is taken on any public tram, they must wear a muzzle, but I have also seen them walking around the streets wearing them. Apparently there are huge fines and possible imprisonment if a dog is allowed to cause injury in CZ.
Thanks for commenting! I’m not aware of any rules for dogs needing to wear muzzles when in public in Europe, except for dangerous breed dogs, with the details of this changing from country to country. Dogs are usually required to be on a leash though within most cities. I’ve definitely seen rules for dogs needing to wear a muzzle on public transport (about 40% of the time), sometimes all dogs or sometimes just larger dogs. Personally, I’ve only once put a muzzle on my small dog on a metro train (in Milan). Generally this rule isn’t enforced, so these days I just always make sure to have the muzzle in my handbag. Many other dog owners in Europe recommend the same. If the rules are harsh about dogs causing injury, I can understand people putting a muzzle on their dog to prevent the possibility, even without a rule. I didn’t notice many dogs with muzzles when I visited the Czech Republic last year, but was only briefly in the country, and will have to look out when I return this July.
– Shandos & Schnitzel
Lovely post, I enjoyed reading it, also loved your pictures. As I have lived in Trier, I am curious to know which burger places did not allowed you to go with the dog.
Also, I am now preparing an article for a newspaper, about what plans can you do with your dog around Europa and and was looking for ideas, so if you don’t mind I will use some of your tips and information you shared. If you wish I can mention your name and blog and if you are interested we can also publish some of your picture.
Doroteya – I’m not 100% sure, but I think it was Burgeramt and Burger House. It wasn’t surprising at the former, as it is quite small. Unfortunately for us, it was a December day with a top temperature of about 1C, so sitting outside was out of the question.
I would be happy for you to share my information and tips in your newspaper article. Of course I would appreciate a mention of my blog, if possible with a link if the article is published online. I would prefer for my photos not to be republished. When it’s live, send me the link to [email protected].
I am from the Czech Republic and I will try to answer your question. The Czech public transport rules generally say that you are allowed to travel with dog only while having him in the transport box (for small breeds) or the dog has to have the muzzle (usually larger breeds). Unfortunately, many people do not follow the rules and it depends on if the ticket inspector caught you (or the driver will not let you in).
The dog should be on a leash in the streets and also in National Parks, protected landscape areas and in the forests (because of the hunting). The muzzle is not obligatory but many people use it anyway, just in case (it is not a shame)… For example, I use muzzle every time my dog (large breed) is not on the leash although he never attack anyone and is not a “dangerous breed”.
We often travel to Austria and the dog has to be on a leash almost all the time (also on the meadows because of the possibility of grazing contamination or frightening the cattle) but again we saw many people with dog unleashed although there were signs to not to do it.
Thanks so much for sharing Jana!
We are looking forward to a 3 month Europe visit this year with our Norwich terrier ‘Todi’. Everything seems to be in order as far as entering Europe – Todi will be traveling on a Dutch passport! The only thing that seems unclear is returning to the US after 3 months. It seems that the only requirement for re-entering the US is proof of Rabies vaccination and that a health certificate from Europe is only required by the Airline. Does this agree with your experience on return to the US?
By the way, one of our destinations will be Todi, Italy so our friends there can meet the little guy named after their town.
That’s so cool that you’re visiting the town he’s named after! And Italy is such a dog-friendly part of Europe. I’m pretty sure the proof of rabies vaccination and health certificate is all you require to return to the US. I’m actually from Australia, but will be flying from Europe to the US for the first time at the end of the year. The USDA has a Pet Travel hotline: 1800 545 USDA, which should be able to confirm.
Hi there! I am from Australia too and have been trying to find out if we can take our dog in cabin from Australia to anywhere in the EU or anywhere else? I know Air France allow dogs in cabin and they fly from Australia. I understand we wouldn’t be able to have the dog in cabin when returning to Australia but what about having the dog in cabin leaving Australia?
Who did you fly with from Australia to Spain? How was your experience and how was your dog once you landed?
Thank you 🙂
Danielle – Unfortunately dogs aren’t allowed in the cabin when leaving Australia, as well as when flying back to Australia. (In fact, in Australia at all, except for guide dogs.) When we travelled to Madrid, we flew with Qantas then Emirates via Dubai. We were very new to travelling with dogs, so we had everything organised through Jetpets. I’ve written about it here: http://www.travelnuity.com/jetpets-review/. Schnitzel was fine at the other end, although very happy to see us and needing to pee!
Any suggestions for finding boarding kennels or pet sitters in Europe?
Jan – I’ve personally pet sat a few times while travelling in Europe. We organised our pet sits through https://www.trustedhousesitters.com/. As the pet (and house) owner, I recommend advertising well in advance and organising a Skype session with potential sitters.
For short term pet sitting, including where you are travelling and need to leave your pet elsewhere, we’ve only done this once, when luckily our Airbnb host also offered pet sitting. While travelling through Germany we thought we’d need a pet sitter and looked into Pawshake (https://en.pawshake.de, with different URLs for multiple countries where it operates). It’s like Airbnb but with pet sitters. However, it seemed like most sitters were expecting to organise ongoing pet sits, with an introductory meet-up beforehand. Not a one-off pet sit, which was all we required. (We ended up finding a workaround.) If you just require a pet sitter for the day, I recommend contacting individual sitters to see if they would be okay with that.
When it comes to boarding kennels, I don’t have any experience. If you Google you should find some options, otherwise look for Facebook expat groups for the city and ask for recommendations.
Hope this helps!
What a wonderful guide – very useful.
We have just entered Romania with our four Cavapoos and can find no information about anything much dog-friendly in Romania! Obviously, we have common sense, however any advice is welcome – particularly regarding walking, bears and wild dogs!
Jackie – We’re actually flying to Romania on Monday, so if you were a few weeks later, I’d have some recommendations! So far we’ve just found it more difficult to find accommodation. I doubt that bears are much of a risk, but I’d be careful with stray dogs.
Hi! What a lovely blog! … finally some real information haha.
Im from Western Australia, and i have been looking into moving internationally with my australian shephard for maybe 2-3 years. Would i be able to ask whether you have looking into how hard it will be to bring your pup back into Aus from the EU?
I think thats what i am most worried about !
Thanks in advance !
Thanks Sera! That’a a great question, that you should definitely consider. I’m currently in the process of organising to fly my dog back to Australia, arriving in early December. In a couple of months I’ll definitely have a better idea!
There are two difficulties with the process: the number of vet visits required (3 in the 1-2 months before flying back, assuming you already have a rabies titre test result) and cost. I’m reducing the cost by organising things myself, without a pet transport company, plus travelling home from the USA, as there’s direct flights from LA and I can book directly with Qantas. However, it’ll still be nearly $5000 AUD, with quarantine being the single biggest cost. Travelling from Europe with a pet transport company, I’ve heard amounts of $8000-$10000. I’ll be sharing all the details in a couple of months.
For now, my big recommendation is to get the rabies titre test before leaving, which is then valid for up to 2 years with the Australian authorities. If you get it overseas, there’s a wait of multiple months before your dog can fly back to Australia. Plus as mine was done in Australia I didn’t need it certified by the export country government vet to apply for the pet import permit. Wishing you all the best and lots of adventures!
First, if all your dog is so cute and that’s very much impressive you aren’t leaving your pets anywhere and taking them with you traveling with the dog, that’s really cute. also blogging how to manage. thanks for the wonderful information.
Thanks Monica! Best wishes with your travel!
What a wonderfully extensive guide! Very thoughtful post. You mentioned some valid points and the way of your writing is excellent. Pets are an important part of the family. I love this complete guide to traveling with a dog on vacation. However, I will certainly dig it and personally suggest to my friends. I’m sure they’ll be benefited from this website. Thanks for your help!
I’m so happy to have found this post and blog! My husband and I are planning to start traveling with our dog but it seems so overwhelming to get everything in order. It’s such a relief to read about someone who is doing it, thank you!
Best of luck with your travels, and glad I could help! We also thought the same heading around the world to Europe with our dog, and weren’t sure if we’d charge our mind and head back home. But once you make the original preparations and get started, it gets so much easier.
I am curious if you could tell me more about your time in Madrid. Did you go out with your pup or would you leave him in the hotel? And for restaurants are there any that you recommend?
Sorry, but I can’t help you much with restaurants as we didn’t spend long in Madrid and mainly cooked in our Airbnb apartment, except for one local restaurant with a terrace. (Most restaurants in Spain don’t allow dogs inside, but the weather is usually good enough to dine on the outdoor terrace.) We left our pup behind one day to head to the Prado gallery – it’s magnificent and we spent most of the day there. But if we’re heading somewhere without our pup we prefer to have an Airbnb apartment, and make sure he is comfortable first. We stayed one night in Madrid in a hotel but had a of noise from people walking past, so would have never left him there.
You are amazing. Thank you for such an inspiring, well organized post!
Thank you so much Christina, your kind words mean so much!
my dog, a Minature Pinscher, just a barked a big thank you. We will be travelling by car from Rome to the UK and back sometime in the late summer. Plenty of time to organise the trip. I was worrying about the Chunnel from Calais and found there is no need.
Peter – Thanks so much and wishing you a wonderful trip!
This blog is amazing. Thank you so much for the great inspiration!!. Actually I am planning on staying at Poland for several months this year and I was really hoping to take my dog along. But I had very limited information how dog friendly it is around there (Airbnb, other accomodation, restaurants. etc). I know you mentioned that eating out with a pet is not common but there are some availabilities. Can you let me know in more details how it is like in Poland with pets? Thank you !
Stephanie – We visited twice and while it isn’t as dog-friendly as say Germany, it’s still doable. We found a comparable amount of dog-friendly accommodation to most other European countries, staying in mainly Airbnbs and guest houses. One frustration was our dog wasn’t allowed even in the grounds of Krakov Castle. But Marlbork Castle allows dogs in the outer grounds. I’ll be writing more in a blog post soon, hopefully.
We are traveling on a Mediterranean cruise in August. I have an Assistance Dog…. 3 years of training and for real certification. We fly from the US to Rome and the ship stops in Gibraltar. We are having trouble knowing if we need the worming medication as in the UK or not. It made her sick when we went to Norway last year. The Vet here says we don’t need it and even if we did the monthly medicine we give her includes worm prevention. I would appreciate anyone’s thoughts
This is a really confusing area! We actually nearly took our dog with us to Gibraltar last year, but decided against it as it was raining on the morning we visited. And I must admit I didn’t consider the need for the worming treatment.
The most authoritative source is this government page http://environmental-agency.gi/index.php/importation-of-pets/, which doesn’t mention the need for worming. But then this press release about the impact of Brexit http://www.gibraltarlawoffices.gov.gi/uploads/files/Pet%20Passports.pdf does mention it. I also found this old discussion on a yachting forum
which mentions there was no need for it, just the passport.
If I wanted to be on the safe side, I’d have it done by a vet in Rome (or at another stop between 1 and 5 days before) and recorded in a pet passport. Maybe mention to the vet that your dog was previously sick from a tablet and they can give a different tablet. Unfortunately, the monthly medication doesn’t count. But, there’s also every likelihood they won’t required it!
I’ve just had a thought – there’s a contact phone number and email on the first page for the government agency (200 70620, [email protected]), try calling or emailing and confirming with them.
When you mention small or large dog, what weight do you consider large? I have a 39 lb vizsla. I’ve had her in Switzerland with few restrictions including ability to take her even in 1st class on the train. I have her now in Hungary with success but she isn’t allowed in 1st class including sleeper cars on the train which I’ve taken from Budapest to Frankfurt. Do you think a 39 lb dog would be allowed in most 1st class train cars and any sleepers? : )
It depends on the situation. For dogs flying in the cabin, the limit is usually 8kg. When travelling by train, sometimes there is a maximum size of the carrier (but this is not usually enforced) but often there is not a limit. However, generally I would not expect a 39lb dog to be classified as small – it wouldn’t fit on a lap and would be difficult to be carried in a carrier.
Many of the railway companies don’t allow any dogs in first class, both small and large dogs, although the rules do vary and some allow dogs. For sleeper trains, I’ve heard recommendations for NightJet, who travel these routes: https://www.nightjet.com/en/dam/jcr:6a8041cb-0131-4ad3-84fd-25154548e5dd/nightjet-streckennetz.pdf. Hope this helps!
Hi, I hope someone can offer some advice to me…
We are planning to drive into Serbia for a few days from Hungary with our Labrador in a couple of weeks, which has a UK Pet Passport (and has had a 3-year rabies vaccination).
I am trying to find clear information on what will we need to enter Serbia, and what is required to re-enter the EU when we leave Serbia (into Croatia).
Will we have to take the dog to a vet in Serbia for worming treatment prior to re-entering the EU?
Thanks in advance for your help!
Paolo – I’ve had to look up this information, as the non-EU countries in the Western Balkans is one area I didn’t get to while travelling last around Europe, but hope to get to next time.
This is the information from the Serbian government: https://www.vet.minpolj.gov.rs/sr/movement-of-pets. Your UK pet passport with rabies vaccination will be fine, assuming the rabies vaccine was at least 21 days ago. Also, this page https://www.pettravel.com/immigration/Serbia.cfm mentions you need to cross at only a certain border crossing (Horgos), but you can probably ignore this at the Serbian government page doesn’t mention this.
However, there may be an issue exiting Serbia. When travelling from some countries, the EU requires a rabies titre test when you re-enter, except for a list of exempt countries. This is noted on the Serbian government page, under Exit. This is the relevant EU page with the exempt countries listed in the 2nd table: https://ec.europa.eu/food/animals/pet-movement/eu-legislation/non-commercial-non-eu/listing_en. Bosnia and Northern Macedonia are exempt, but not Serbia.
The best way to deal with this is to have the rabies titre test done while you are still in the EU. Then there is no waiting period. If you have it done in Serbia, there is a 3 month waiting period.
However, I have heard from people crossing the borders in the region, that this is not always checked. For instance, I now of someone who drove through Serbia to Bulgaria, and nothing was checked. Plus, there is no requirement if you are entering the EU from Bosnia. (And I’m guessing the requirements to enter Bosnia are similar to entering Serbia – i.e. nothing special.)
Sorry that this isn’t all good news, but hope this helps you make a decision. One final thing, no worming treatment, the only countries in Europe requiring this are UK, Ireland, Malta, Finland and Norway.
Hi Shandos, thank you so much for doing some research for me – it is a very comprehensive reply you posted!
I have had a look at the links, and I believe that entering Serbia would not be a problem with the Pet Passport. For exiting the country, the Serbian government website says that a rabies titre test is not necessary “in case of animals which have been regularly re-vaccinated after the last titration in intervals as determined in the instruction of the vaccine manufacturer.” This is applicable for our dog, as she has had continuous booster jab coverage.
However, I have just spoken to the UK government helpline, and they told me that an export certificate is required for exiting the EU.
Also, as you point out, entering the EU does seem to be a problem from Serbia as it is not exempt from a new rabies titre test. The UK government helpline has confirmed though that the titre test can be done in the UK before leaving, and can be recorded in the Pet Passport.
Of course, in reality checks at the border may not be carried out. However, I am not going to risk to being able to bring the dog back home! Considering that we were thinking of going to Belgrade only for a couple days while driving through Hungary to Croatia, it really does not seem worth the effort and cost. We will visit Serbia another time without the dog! It is a disappointment though…
Many thanks again for your help.
Thanks Paolo! Were you provided with any more details of the export certificate? I haven’t come across this previously, except for dogs flying out of the EU from Italy, but that was an Italy-specific certificate. And I agree on your choice to skip visiting, due to the need to have the titre test. I wouldn’t risk not being able to cross the border with my dog, and it’s a big step for just a few days travel.
This is the link the UK government helpline sent me for the export certificate for cats and dogs to Serbia:
Certificates for other countries are also on this website.
Thanks for sharing, I hadn’t seen these before. I believe these certificates apply if you were flying your dog directly from the UK to Serbia. But as you’re firstly travelling through other EU countries, these wouldn’t apply. (I.e. there is no export certificate going form UK to France.)
This was such an amazing blog post!!! Thank you so much for the detail and all the links!!!!! Soooo helpful. Will be interesting to see if you have to update it after Brexit ????
Here’s hoping everything works out and essentially nothing changes. No idea at this stage!
Hi, this is a wonderfully informative post – thank you! I would love to travel to Europe to walk some of the pilgrimage and other trails with my dog, and to visit family, but my really big concern is that I worry about not being able to bring my dog back for some reason. Are you aware of people coming from Australia with their pets not being able to bring the dog home? I understand that there are some very strict requirements regarding vaccinations and health checks, and am fine with all of this. I just don’t want to take the risk of not being able to bring my girl home. Can you give me an idea how great a risk this is, or isn’t? Thanks in advance!
Kerry – I don’t think the risk is that high. There are 3 tests that need to be done, for leishmania, one type of leptospirosis and ehrlichia.
You can get a vaccination for the strain of leptospirosis to reduce the risk (it is usually transmitted by rat urine), but it isn’t available in Australia. (It is a different strain to the one in Sydney at the moment.) I didn’t consider doing this, and don’t know how prevalent it is.
I was most worried about leishmania, which is carried by sand flies in warmer climates including Southern Europe in summer. Read my post about it (search in the menu). Basically use a strong flea/tick product and keep you dog inside from dusk.
With ehrlichia, it is carried by ticks. I came across a lady importing a dog to Australia who had to leave her dog in a kennel for 3 months until it tested free from the disease, but this was probably because the dog was originally a stray from Romania, and hadn’t always been protected. Always use a strong tick product.
The other area that could result in an increased stay in quarantine is if they find fleas/ticks on your dog. But your dog undergoes multiple treatments and checks beforehand, so it’s unlikely any would survive!
I haven’t heard of anyone else who had any issues bringing their dog to Australia, except for not following all the steps on the right days. And all the dogs I know were released right on the 10th day. There is a small chance, but it is quite small!
I recommend taking worming and tick/flea products along with you from Australia for your trip (so you don’t need to buy them overseas, some aren’t as strong) and keeping it up. All the best!
Thank you all for some excellent information.
We would like to take our boy with us to Mallorca (via the UK) for up to 6 months a year and then return to Tasmania.
We are fully aware of the requirements both ends and the Metropolitan Police, dog division, were most helpful in London, where would then get the Pet Passport. Apart from the cost, which we would have to consider, we are more concerned on the affected on our dog of two big flights each year.
Has anyone done or considered a similar exercise.
Kevin – I haven’t done this myself, but one of my inspirations for travelling to Europe with Schnitzel was a French fellow-Dachshund owner who went back to France each year with her dog, taking many Australia-France flights. So it is doable! Naturally if partially depends on the temperament of the dog, some dogs don’t like flying that much, usually if they haven’t been crate trained. I’d give it a go one year and if all is well, keep doing it. My Schnitzel is fine with the long flights, and I would fly with him more often if it wasn’t for the high cost.
Hi. Thank you for all the information. It has been helpful for us :). We are from Colombia 🙂 and we are planning to travel from Germany (Frankfurt) to Paris (France) and Vigo (Spain). Can you tell us how can we go to Paris and Vigo in train with Motoso (our dog)? Thank you :).
Elizabeth – Glad I could help! For information on travelling with a dog in Europe, check out my overall guide: http://www.travelnuity.com/dogs-on-trains-in-europe/. Germany to France is easy – dogs of all sizes are allowed, with the fare depending on size. Large dogs have a half price fare, while small dogs in a carrier are free in Germany and about 7 euro in France – I think it depends on whether your train is French or German, whether it applies. Travelling with a small dog is also easy in Spain, but larger dogs are not generally allowed on long distance trains. See my Spanish article for more discussion in the comments. Vigo is a long way from Paris – you may also want to consider flying, if you’re not stopping along the way.
This is great information, and current!
Liddy and I live near Seattle. She works for me as a hearing service dog. I had pretty much given up on being able to visit Europe, but your site has encouraged me to look at options.
Can you give any advice about restrictions on service animals?
Dave – Service dogs will generally be allowed into even more places in Europe, the same as in the USA. (In particular, they are allowed to travel in the cabin on flights to the UK and on airlines that don’t normally accept dogs, plus inside museums.) I believe different countries have different standards related to the recognition of service dogs, although I’m not currently across this area, except for being aware that emotional support animals are not usually recognised. I would recommend travelling with your dog wearing their identifying jacket/harness and carrying your documentation. Best of luck with your trip!
Hi, this page has been so useful! What would your tips be for buying dog food throughout Europe?
Thanks Hannah! We generally had no issues buying dog food in Europe, as long as we searched out the larger pet stores, which was usually easier to do with a car. We changed our dog to a type of Royal Canin that was available in most countries. If you want a specialised pet product, it might be harder. I’ll be writing more in detail about this soon.
Love this post! I’m considering taking my two middle eastern street dogs to Europe next year for a few months before bringing them home to Australia to start their new life and adventure Down Under. Thanks for all your travel tips!
How did you find your dog handled such a long trip in the plane?
My dog coped surprisingly well with the flight. Speaking to other people who have done the flight to or from Australia, it seems to be us humans who stress more about it. Most dogs are fine on arrival, maybe quiet for a day. Well, at least when flying to Europe, it’s harder to tell when they fly to Australia due to the time in quarantine, but they’re definitely very happy to see you after the separation!
Excellent read. Thank you so much!
We have an 8 month old Welsh border collie and will be looking to tour more of Europe by car once we can get past this Covid lockdown era! I think your blog will be an invaluable source of information
Pretty! This was an extremely wonderful article. Thanks for supplying this info.
Thanks for sharing this blog with us! Wonderful read
Our Rescue dog has a Romanian EU Pet Passport
We live in the UK and want to travel back to our Holiday home in France, will the dog need to go through all the UK rules and paperwork or is she essentially European
Any advice is appreciated
She’ll be able to use the Romanian EU pet passport, as long as the rabies vaccine is still up-to-date. I recommend getting future rabies boosters in the EU, not in the UK, as boosters in the UK can no longer be entered into the EU pet passports. There’s still the same rule for the worming treatment to return to the UK.
Hi, we are from the US, We want to bring our Alaskan Klee Kai with us to Sweden, and since we will live mainly with our father and will travel around in his RV, it doesn’t seem to be a big deal there, according to your guide here. But we are concerned about the trip back. Do you think it would be complicated to bring it back to the US? Thank you for all your elaborate work here and your advice in advance.
It’s quite simple to fly from Europe to the USA with a dog. Check out my post: http://www.travelnuity.com/travel-with-dog-to-usa/. When flying from Europe these days, you don’t need to even show a rabies certificate anymore. But check the requirements for your state and airline. You will likely need a health certificate.
Thank you very much for your advice and for the very clear guidelines in the articles. It looks like not too much of a problem for us to bring our Alaskan Klee Kai with us to Sweden. We already have almost all things needed for the trip. Now we just wait for the pandemic to subside before booking tickets.
Hello. Your information is great. At the end of the year my husband, 80lb 11 year husky mix are moving to Spain from NY. This helps with our travel plans when we get there.
Getting to Europe, I am extremely concerned with putting her in cargo. I’ve found some great companies to help with process. But I’ve also found crowd-sharing flights is an option, granted lots more expensive. I am looking to share a flight with others. Do you have suggestions on how to find others to share a flight? We are open to flying to UK, Portugal, Spain, France or even Italy if needed. Any suggestions? Appreciate your assistance, Gloria (Denali’s mom)
There’s a few Facebook groups devoted to organising pet-friendly flights from the USA to Europe. I recommend joining my Facebook group, https://www.facebook.com/groups/dogfriendlytravelrtw, there was a question about this a few days ago and some links were shared.
Very useful, thank you! We live in Copenhagen with our 2-year old daughter and love travelling. We are about to start a dog adoption process from the Canary Islands because we love dogs, including our daughter who is crazy about them. We dont want to stop travelling, it is one of our passions. So your guide for the EU is very useful.
If you happen to do more travelling outside the EU I would be so happy if you take the time to do another guide. My husband is from New Zealand and I am Mexican, so travelling outside the EU is also regular.
I’ve written more guides covering the USA and Australia, but my travel plans further afield, including to Mexico, have been put on hold due to Covid.
So glad to have found your blog! Needing some inspiration after not leaving the UK for a few years. I recently also bought a miniature dachshund and would love to take her travelling with me! <3
Hope you enjoy some travels this year!
We will be traveling in May from Florida, USA to the EU with our dog for several months. We will be visiting several countries and Sweden will be the first one. We will then go to Austria, Switzerland and Croatia.
Our dog is already microchipped and vaccinated against rabies and distemper. She will have a health certificate for her flight to Sweden.
Do you know if we also need to get a pet passport for our dog in order to travel from Sweden to Austria?
No, it’s not a requirement to get a pet passport. Your dog’s health certificate will be valid for travel within the EU for 4 months after the time of entry. Ideally, have the certificate stamped when you arrive in Sweden, although it shouldn’t be an issue if this doesn’t happen.
Make sure you allow plenty of time when checking in for flights, as the airport staff might be more familiar with seeing a pet passport. Although I generally found that when travelling between countries in the EU, pet documents were not always checked for flights and never checked when crossing land borders.
We travelled from Spain to Portugal and back to Spain in this manner, then flew from Spain to France before we got a pet passport.
Hi Shandos, I plan to fly from Australia to Ireland via milan and athens so I can fly with Aegean airlines. I have booked the flights but the airline says I need a health certificate AND an EU pet passport. I have no idea how to get an EU pet passport. Any advice would be much appreciated? Thanks
An EU animal health certificate is more formal than just a simple health certificate from a vet. It is valid for 4 months after arrival in the EU, for travel between countries, although should be stamped on arrival. For foreigners, it is equivalent to an EU pet passport.
An EU pet passport can only be issued by a vet in the EU. If you have time between flights, you could get one in Athens, although in some parts of Europe vets are reluctant to issue to dogs that aren’t registered locally. Check out this post: https://www.travelnuity.com/eu-pet-passport/
I came to Poland last year with my German shepherd from Mexico. Now we’re going back to Mexico. Originally I booked a flight departing from Poland to Mexico (one stop in Frankfurt), unfortunately I couldn’t find a suitable flight to take the dog in the cargo hold, so I ended up canceling the Poland-Frankfurt part, and we’re driving to Frankfurt to take the plane from there. Some people tell me I need the EU pet passport because I’m crossing the Poland/Germany border and it will be required at Frankfurt airport. Some other people say that with my vet health certificate (with the government stamp) is more than enough. In your experience, what do you think? I’d appreciate any input.
Thanks for your blog and specially this post!
Technically you should have a pet passport to cross the border, but I’ve never heard of anyone having this checked, so you’ll be fine. I recommend checking with your airline whether the health certificate is enough – I expect it will be for a flight leaving Europe.
Makes perfect sense!! Thanks a lot Shandos!
Greatly appreciated! 🙂
Appreciate the good info. You’re very articulate.
My American dog has a Portuguese EU Passport from when we lived there a couple years ago. However, the dog had already been vaccinated against rabies with a 3 yr vaccine. Since the rabies shot was given by a US Vet, the Portuguese Vet wouldn’t attest to it on the Passport. We were told to simply show anyone inquiring the US rabies vaccination papers. With that being said, is my dog’s EU Passport in your opinion good for travel? Can it be used in lieu of the USDA paperwork requirement?
I’d say that was good enough for travelling within the EU, but I wouldn’t use it to fly back into Europe without a valid rabies vaccine in it, instead get a health certificate. Ideally, next time your dog is vaccinated for rabies, have it done in the EU and recorded in the EU pet passport.
Hi! Thank you for the informational post it’s very helpful.
I am from the US currently living in Finland for work, and brought my dog with of course. She has her EU passport and we are planning on traveling to Germany by plane and then Amsterdam by car a week later. Are there certain airports we have to fly into or certain crossing ports by car we need to enter? and do we need to have her passport checked when entering these countries?
There’s no particular crossing points or airports that you need to use, as you’re staying within the EU. You might need to show the passport when checking it, otherwise usually no one looks at it.
Hi! I’m so glad to have found your site! I am hoping to travel from the US to Germany in a few weeks with my yorkie. I have an appointment booked within the 10 day window for a health certificate and am just hoping that all is in order (he is microchipped but only one 3 year rabies vaccination after that and I’m now seeing that the EU only considers it to be worth 1 year…). But aside from that, and assuming he gets the green light, I am curious about the processing of arriving in Germany. For example, when I moved to Hawaii a few years ago, they took him immediately upon arrival to the quarantine area to verify all of his paperwork etc and then I had to go get him out. Will this be something similar or when will I be showing this Health Certificate to someone? (My flight is directly from Boston to Frankfurt.) I appreciate any advice or expectations you can give me on this! Thank you!
The main place you show your health certificate is when you check in for the flight. At the other end, it may be checked by customs, but most of the time (say 80 or 90%) they don’t check it – the expectation is your dog was only allowed in the flight because everything was in order. Technically, you should have the certificate stamped by customs on arrival, if you intend to use it for crossing other borders in the EU, but this isn’t essential.
A fantastic post and the site is full of useful content!
Thanks for sharing, we are taking our little Jack Russell to Italy this winter and feel a lot more confident after reading your post, so thanks again!
Have a fabulous time!
Hello, i’ve been reading about the requirement for dogs going from the UK to the EU and I can’t any information about travelling longer than the 4 months that is allowed on the health certificate. Do you know how to extend it or where to find the information please? We would be in a motorhome so only driving, no flying etc. thank you!
I recommend trying to get an EU pet passport in one of the countries you pass through, this is what we did prior to Brexit. Some countries have restricted the issuing of the passports to dogs registered in the country (many vets in France, probably also the Netherlands), but in other countries it should be okay.
Great and super useful post! I’m bringing my medium-sized dog to Europe (from Ecuador)… and was just discussing this with my partner because he thinks it’s almost impossible to travel around (he’s never owned a dog before so he’s not aware that there are some things to be reconsidered but it doesn’t mean it’s impossible). Thanks again! I’ll save this post to my favorites 🙂
Thanks Daniela, glad you’ve found it useful! I was in a similar position when I travelled to Europe with my dog, as I had not travelled with my dog before, but I found it easier than expected. The hardest part are the flights and certificates; once you arrive you need to be flexible but it’s quite easy.