Travelling with pets
What you need to know when travelling with your animal companions.
Update : Nov 2018
Conditions for entry into the territory of another EU country
Your pet must:
- Be older than three months. This is due to the fact that your pet must be vaccinated against rabies when you travel and this vaccination can only be given to animals once they are three months old.
- Have a European passport certifying that they have received a rabies vaccination administrated more than 21 days and less than one year ago. Most European countries require a rabies vaccination for entry into their territory. The waiting period to enter another territory is 21 days after vaccination against rabies. Treatment against ticks is no longer be necessary. Some other treatments or vaccinations may be required depending on the country, for exemple, the UK requires that pets are treated for worms before entering the country. The European animal passport is still required as proof that your pet has been vaccinated against rabies, and should always be carried with you during your travels as it may also contain important information about your pet’s medical history and other vaccinations.
- Wear an identification microchip. Since the 3rd of July 2011 (end of the transitional period permitting the identification of an animal via a tag or microchip) only microchipped pets are considered identified (for more information about the microchip, ask your vet).This chip contains a unique identification number, stored in a single database. Among other advantages, this number allows officials to prove who the animal belongs to and establishes a link between the animal and the vaccination passport.
- Specific recommendations depend on the countries. Some Member States may impose additional health conditions on the entry of your pet into their territory (see also above). It is therefore recommended to check these requirements in advance. For example, Iceland prohibits the entry of pets unless an exceptional authorization given by Iceland's veterinary services and completed with quarantine in a cage. Depending on the country, certain animal species are not allowed, , for example France prohibits certain dog breeds.
For more information, see European Commission website.
Conditions for traveling by train
The German railway company "Deutsche Bahn" allows dogs to travel for free if they are kept in a specific transport carrier. Otherwise you are required to buy a half-price ticket.
Your dog is considered to be a person/adult if you are traveling with a regional Länder-Ticket or nationwide Schönes-Wochenende-Ticket.
For more information please consult the website of the Deutsche Bahn.
Conditions for traveling by plane
- Visit the company's website with which you are traveling, to ensure that they will accept your pet.
- If your pet weighs between 4 and 6kg, it may travel in the cabin otherwise it will have to travel in the hold. Your pet's weight will be included in the weight of your luggage and if the total exceeds the authorized limit, you will be asked to pay an additional amount.
- Service animals are normally allowed to travel free of charge by all companies. If the animal is required for your autonomy, it will be allowed in the cabin with you, regardless of its weight.
You might want to consider insurance
It is a good idea to check with your insurance company if the liability included in your contract also covers your pet. You might also want to consider arranging insurance in the event of veterinary expenses abroad or repatriation.
- Before booking your accommodation, be sure to ask if they will accept your pet and under what conditions. This also applies to service animals which are not allowed everywhere. The same applies to restaurants.
- If you are lucky enough to go to the beach, pay attention to the local rules as not all beaches permit pets. If you choose to take your pet onto the beach in areas where this is prohibited, you may be fined by the local authorities.