Check list

From pet passports to what to pack in your hand luggage, this check list will help keep you on track as you prepare for your next trip. You can even print the list to keep on hand while you are packing. For more comprehensive pet travel advice, check out our ‘Know Before You Go’ and ‘Methods of Travel’ articles.

Microchipping

For travel to or within the European Union, your pet must be microchipped before the initial Rabies vaccine. This number is then recorded in your pet passport or official third country health certificate, linking the document to the specific pet.

Pet passport

Airline agents will check your pet’s passport at check-in. If you are travelling within the European Union by air, you may be required to show this document at customs checkpoints. Third country health certificates are also accepted in lieu of pet passports. For a complete list of third country certificates accepted within the European Union, please click here.

Vaccinations and Deworming

A current Rabies vaccination is required for travel to or within the European Union. Check with individual country requirements before you go, as some member states require additional vaccines. Certain member states also require that a deworming pill or liquid be administered within a certain time period before entry. Click here for more information or talk to your local veterinarian.

Animal comfort and security

It is safest for your pet to travel in a sturdy crate, even in the car. If you are flying with your pet, check with the airline before purchasing a travel crate. Soft-sided carriers are often allowed for in-cabin travel for small dogs and cats. Size and structure of the crate may be outlined by airline policy or law. For example, some airlines require specially constructed wire crates for transporting fighting breeds, such as Pit Bulls.

Breed Bans
Before setting off on holiday, check for specific breed bans at your destination. Commonly banned dog breeds include American Staffordshire Terrier, Pit Bull Terrier, Mastiffs, etc.

Supplies
It is a good idea to keep all your pet’s supplies in one place and easily accessible. If you are travelling by car or train, pack your pet’s things in a small bag that will fit within your luggage. If you are flying with your pet, place a few essentials in your hand luggage.

Things to keep with your pet:

Leash and collar with identification tags
Even if your pet does not normally wear a collar, it is a good idea for him or her to wear one while travelling. This allows for control over the pet and identification. Cats do best when fitted with a harness and leash instead of a collar around the neck.

Small plastic bowl
A small food storage bowl is useful for giving your pet water or food during the trip.

Water
Keep a small water bottle with you at all times for your pet. It is necessary to offer water every few hours to ensure that he or she stays well hydrated.

Food
One serving of food is good to have on hand, especially if you are travelling by air. Due to weight and size restrictions for hand luggage, we recommend that you carry the minimum with your pet into the cabin. If your flight is delayed or checked luggage is lost, your pet can at least have one meal while you wait.

Things to put into your ‘pet’s bag’ or checked luggage:

Spare leash
A small ‘slip lead’ is good to have in case the other becomes lost or damaged. This type of lead can easily be put over your pet’s head and serves as both collar and leash.

Food
Pack enough for the trip. It may not be easy or possible to purchase the same brand at your destination, especially if your pet is on a prescription veterinary diet.

Bath Towel
The weather can be unpredictable and muddy paws can be a problem! It is a good idea to have a bath towel on hand for easy paw and hair clean-up.

1 or 2 bowls for water and food
To lighten your load, use only one bowl per pet – when your pet has finished the meal, fill the bowl with water.

Medications
If your pet has a health problem, have your veterinarian examine your pet before travel. Be sure to have enough medication for the duration of the trip.

Grooming supplies, such as hair brush, toothbrush and pet toothpaste
Good hygiene and daily brushing should not take a vacation!

Lodging

Many hotels and B&Bs welcome pets. Do a little research first and if there isn’t a pet policy available online, ask before booking. Click here for pet-friendly lodging tips.

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