Travelling Abroad with a Dog: How Do I Take My Dog on Holiday?

Travelling Abroad with a Dog | Animed Direct

We all need a holiday every once in a while, and for many of us, a trip abroad is the perfect way to get away from it all. But if you can’t bear the thought of jetting off without your pup by your side, you may well be looking into what the options are for holidays with dogs in tow.

While it’s certainly easier to go on a staycation with your dog and explore the British countryside or take a trip to the seaside, it is possible to take your dog abroad with you.

There’s lots to think about, but perhaps the biggest consideration when travelling abroad with a dog is how to get there. We’ve taken a look at the different modes of transport including car, train, ferry, plane and the Eurotunnel, exploring the pros, cons and preparations required for each to help you choose the right way to travel abroad with your dog.

Can dogs go on the EuroStar?

While it’s very easy to travel with your dog around the UK via train, unfortunately it’s not so simple when going abroad.

The EuroStar does not permit dogs (except guide dogs) on board. So even if you are able to find onward train travel in your destination country that allows dogs, you won’t be able to take the train across the channel.

But don’t worry, there are other dog-friendly modes of transport you can take.

Can you take dogs on Eurotunnel?

The main advantage of travelling via the Eurotunnel with your pet is that you can stay in the car with your dog throughout the journey. This means you can control the temperature, keep your dog calm, and your pup will be in familiar surroundings (as long as they have been introduced to car travel before).

Dogs are required to stay inside the vehicle at all times on the Eurotunnel, so this may pose an issue if your dog needs to go to the toilet. However the journey from Folkestone to Calais is only 35 minutes, and there are dedicated areas of artificial grass either side of the crossing that dogs are encouraged to use too.

Travelling by Eurotunnel will probably also entail a hefty car journey at either end. For more advice on how to get your cat or dog comfortable travelling in the car, take a look at our blog.

Can I bring my dog on a ferry?

Travelling by ferry with your dog is a popular choice among pet owners. Many ferries have special cabins that you and your dog can stay in together so that your dog doesn’t have to be alone for the journey. Some even have dog-friendly areas they can go to get some fresh air.

Often dogs will be required to wear a muzzle, which could pose problems if they have never done so before, so be sure to train them to wear a muzzle in plenty of time before your trip.

Another thing to consider is whether or not your pup is comfortable with the motion of the water. A herbal supplement can help with motion sickness as well as feelings of anxiety. Speak to your vet for alternatives if supplements don’t work for your dog.

Other ferries will require your dog to stay in a kennel, or inside your car. We would not recommend travelling by ferry if you have to leave your dog in the car as temperatures can soar inside very quickly. Car decks are usually locked once the ferry sets sail making it difficult to check on your pet as well.

Can I bring a dog on a plane?

While some airlines do allow pets onboard, it does pose several issues as a method of travel with a dog.

The main benefit of travelling by plane with your pet is that it is much faster, and there’s therefore a wider variety of destinations within reach. Smaller pets may be able to stay with you in the cabin during the journey.

However, air travel exposes pets to lots of stressors including loud noises, crowds, limited ventilation and temperature fluctuations. It can therefore be very stressful for pets, especially if they suffer from health conditions, anxiety or motion sickness.

For brachycephalic breeds such as pugs and bulldogs, the restricted air flow can be particularly dangerous and even fatal.

Travelling Abroad with a Dog: Other Considerations

Other things to consider when taking your dog on holiday abroad include the availability of dog-friendly accommodation, checking if the attractions such as beaches or restaurants will be dog-friendly, and researching any diseases local to the area that your dog might not have been vaccinated against.

It’s also wise to speak to your vet for advice on parasite prevention when travelling abroad. For example sand flies and ticks could be a problem depending on where you’re heading.

You’ll also need specific documentation depending on the country you’re travelling to. For more advice on these considerations, read our blog Taking Your Pet Abroad on Holiday.

Choosing the right mode of transport for your pet is very important to ensure that they have a stress-free journey – and enjoy their holiday too! Always prioritise your pet’s wellbeing and comfort. If you plan ahead, factor in necessary breaks along the journey and consider your dog’s needs throughout, travelling abroad with a dog can be a wonderful adventure!