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Does Fiffi have to stay at home? No, of course not! Camping is the best way to travel with pets. However, there are a few things to consider: How will your pets survive the trip, what do you need to take with you, and what travel regulations do individual countries have.

Transport box, leash, muzzle: Traveling with dogs

Not every dog loves long hikes or swimming laps - and then there's the long ride in the transport box. A vacation with a dog requires some preliminary consideration as to which activities are suitable for the animal and which are not. Once the decision has been made, you should first get your dog used to car rides and perhaps a few trial trips. This will help you develop a sense of what your dog might have trouble with.

On the trip itself, safety is everything: secured carriers will best protect your dog, but special harnesses are also a good way to prevent dangerous forays in the van. Travel nausea is to be expected, so don't overfeed your pet before heading out. Access to a water bowl during the trip is even more important: there are special bowls for this purpose, in which the liquid does not spill over. Also make sure the climate in the car is comfortable: your dog doesn't want to get a draft or suffer from sauna-like conditions - your dog should never be left alone in the car! Regular breaks with walks, preferably every two to three hours, are absolutely necessary so that your dog can recover.

Be sure to bring a leash and muzzle: in most countries there is a leash requirement. In some countries, for example, dogs must also wear a muzzle on public transport (or at least it must be in the luggage, such as in Italy). Find out in advance what applies in your destination country.

Not all campsites allow dogs, so choose one where you are comfortable with your four-legged friend. Once you have arrived, there are of course a few rules to follow. Most of the time, this means putting on a leash and using dog waste bags. If you find a more secluded spot, you'll have fewer neighbors around who might be bothered by the barking.

Familiarization in advance:

Traveling with cats First of all, not every cat is suitable for traveling. The animals are usually headstrong and freedom-loving. A long journey in the transport box and the change of the familiar environment puts many animals under great stress and should therefore be well considered. However, if you have a particularly open-minded domestic cat, you can dare the adventure.

The same applies to cats as to dogs: In the vehicle they must be secured with a transport box. This should stand on a non-slip surface. The best way to get your pet used to the box is to place it in the apartment a few weeks in advance. This will give your pet the opportunity to become fond of it - and it will be a familiar place to sleep during your vacation. You should also familiarize your cat with the vehicle in advance and give him the opportunity to explore the surroundings.

Before the trip, your cat should not be fed. If the trip lasts longer than five hours, you should offer her food, for shorter trips better not. Because: Your cat can also get sick in the car! But remember to provide a bowl of water. Breaks are important to reduce your pet's stress: Put the box out in the fresh air or let your pussycat roam around the van for a bit. However, you should be careful that she doesn't escape - spending hours looking for Mietzi can make the trip quite a bit longer.

When you arrive at your destination, you can secure your parking space with a fence or cat fence. With a leash - if the cat is used to it - it is easy to explore the new home of the next days together. It is important to put a collar on your cat with your contact details. This will save you and your pet some stress, should your tiger go his own way.

Medical precaution:

Chipped and vaccinated Within the EU, all pets traveling with you must be chipped. An exception applies to animals that were already marked for the first time before July 3, 2011: In this case, a tattoo is also sufficient, provided that it is still legible. A valid rabies vaccination is also particularly important for dogs and cats. That is, animals must receive their rabies vaccination at least 21 days before departure or a booster shot (in this case, the 21-day period does not apply and a short-term shot is also sufficient). For dogs, tapeworm treatment is also mandatory in Finland, Ireland, Northern Ireland and Malta. The medical treatment of the animal is recorded via a corresponding identification document.

The most important information combined: The EU pet passport

Since 2004, it has been compulsory to carry an EU pet passport in EU countries. The passport contains the most important information about the animal, such as name, breed, age, sex, color and microchip number, but also the address of the owner and the responsible veterinary practice. In addition, vaccinations - primarily against rabies - are documented. Every authorized veterinarian is allowed to issue the passport - who exactly is authorized, is regulated differently from federal state to federal state. In Baden-Württemberg and Lower Saxony, all veterinarians are allowed to issue the card, while in other states an official procedure is required. It is therefore important to find out in advance which veterinary practice is allowed to issue the EU pet passport.

Regulations in non-EU countries

In Switzerland, Liechtenstein and Norway, the same requirements apply as within the EU. Otherwise, most non-EU countries have their own regulations governing the entry of animals. But also when leaving and re-entering the EU, some regulations must be observed: After a stay in the countries Albania, Kosovo, Montenegro, Serbia, Turkey, Morocco, Tunisia, Egypt, Thailand or South Africa, an antibody test against rabies must be presented, which in turn may be done no earlier than 30 days after the rabies vaccination. Accordingly, some planning regarding vaccination and finally antibody test is necessary here. 

Checklist

  • Consider in advance whether your animal is suitable for the trip and the planned activities.
  • Inform yourself about forbidden dog breeds in your destination country.
  • For puppies: Find out from which age your dog is allowed to enter your destination country.
  • Find out if animals are welcome at the campsite of your choice.
  • Have your pet chipped
  • Have your pet vaccinated in time
  • Find out if your pet also needs a tapeworm treatment
  • Apply for your EU pet passport in a veterinary practice
  • Inform yourself about the leash and muzzle obligation with dogs
  • Get a suitable transport box or a safety harness
  • Do not feed your pet before the trip
  • Provide water during the trip
  • Make sure you take regular breaks
  • Choose a suitable parking place and secure it if necessary.
  • If necessary, have an antibody test done before departure.