Dog Friendly Holidays – Take Your Dog With You

Dog Friendly Holidays

Dog friendly holidays

These days a dog is not just a mans best friend but also part of the family. More and more people are taking dog friendly holidays at home and abroad. So why would you take your dog on holiday with you?

Why take your pet on holiday?

There are many reasons why you would want to take your dog on holiday with you, after all, why should you leave a valued member of the family at home?

  • You wouldn’t be worrying about your dog, leaving it behind.
  • Taking your dog on holiday can be much cheaper than putting them in kennels.
  • You would prevent the stress of a kennel stay on your dog.
  • A holiday is great for your dog as well as for you.

Things you need before you take your dog abroad

Pet Travel Scheme

Dog wrapped up warm on dog friendly holidays

It used to be the case that if you wanted to take your dog abroad they would have to stay in quarantine for a number of months to ensure that they didn’t bring any diseases into the country.

The Pet Travel Scheme which is used in the European Union and other countries such as the United States, Canada, Australia and New Zealand, allows animals to travel abroad easily now without the need to go into quarantine.

A pet passport is a document that records information related to your pet and to get one, there are certain requirements.

Your dog must have been microchipped and have a tapeworm treatment. It will also need a blood test if you’re travelling from an ‘unlisted country’.

Dogs must have been vaccinated against rabies, which can only be done after the animal is three months old. Depending upon the rabies vaccination used the passport must be renewed every two or three years.

It is a good idea to make sure your mobile number and address abroad is on your dog’s ID tag and always update the microchip registration database where your dog’s microchip number is recorded with your holiday details.

If your dog gets lost, the last thing you want is for someone to ring your home landline when you are not there.

Travelling with your dog

Dog in car


If you are flying abroad, there are some airlines that will allow you to travel with your dog.
British Airways allows pets but they must travel in the hold as cargo if they are not a registered assistance dog.

Virgin Atlantic allows cats and dogs on certain flights.

KLM allows small dogs up to a maximum weight including the carrier of 8kg in the Economy Class cabin on most KLM flights and Business Class cabin on most KLM flights within Europe. Larger dogs up to 75kg can travel as check-in baggage. Dogs that weigh more than 75kg can travel as freight with Air France-KLM Cargo.

Lufthansa allows dogs up to a maximum weight including the carrier of 8kg to be carried in the cabin. Larger dogs are transported in the hold.

The majority of budget airlines don’t take dogs and those that do tend to insist that they travel as cargo in the cargo hold.

The best policy is to check with the airline before you book your travel.
Always make sure your dog has enough water and food for the journey.

Taking the Ferry

Most ferry operators from the UK will accept your dog on board. The following routes and ferry operators have been approved for the PETS passport scheme.

Hull – Zeebrugge (P&O Ferries)
Hull – Rotterdam (P&O Ferries)
Rosyth – Zeebrugge (Superfast Ferries)
Dover – Calais (P&O Ferries) (SeaFrance)
Folkestone – Calais (Eurotunnel)
Dover – Dunkerque (Norfolk Line)
Dover – Boulogne (Speedfast Ferries)
Newhaven – Dieppe (Transmanche Ferries)
Portsmouth – Cherbourg, Caen, St.Malo (Brittany Ferries)
Portsmouth – Le Havre (Louis Dreyfus Lines)
Poole – Cherbourg (Brittany Ferries)
Poole – St.Malo (Condor Ferries)
Plymouth – Roscoff (Brittany Ferries)
Newcastle – Ijmuiden (DFDS Seaways)
Harwich – Hook of Holland (Stena Line)
Plymouth – Santander (Brittany Ferries)

Inform the ferry company officials responsible for loading that there is a live animal in your vehicle, and ensure that your dog will have enough ventilation by leaving at least one of the vehicle’s windows partly open, remembering however that it is important to make sure your dog cant escape.

Make sure your dog has enough water and food for the journey.

Travelling by Car

In the UK you must ensure that your dog is suitably restrained while you are driving so as not to cause a distraction or injury if you need to stop suddenly.

In some European countries, it is illegal for dogs to travel loose in a vehicle and they must travel in a container. Very small dogs should always travel in a container in a car and the container should be placed somewhere where it can’t move when the vehicle is moving.

Never leave your dog in direct strong sunlight or high temperatures in your vehicle and always ensure that your dog has enough water and food for the journey.

Travelling by ferry

Try and get to the port early so that the carrier can give you the most suitable position in the car deck for your dog

Travel overnight if possible, when the temperature may be cooler. Make sure that the ferry company officials responsible for loading know that there is a live animal in your vehicle, and follow their instruction.

Before you leave your vehicle, make sure that your dog will have enough ventilation (normally you will need to leave at least one of the vehicle’s windows partly open, but it is also important to make sure your dog cannot escape)

Where to take your dog on Holiday

So where should you and your dog go on holiday?

I have listed a few places would make great dog friendly holidays


Dog running in stream

Dogs just love running around and in England, there are loads of open spaces and national parks that your dog would love. Parks like the Lake District, New Forest, Peak District as well as Dartmoor are a dogs and dog walkers paradise.

Dog Friendly Hotels In England

The Wordsworth Hotel
Inn On The Lake
Lodore Falls Hotel


In France, dogs are allowed almost anywhere with many restaurants and tourist attractions welcoming dogs. Taking your dog for a run on the beaches of Ile de Re or La Rochelle would make your dog feel like it is in doggy Barbados.

Dog Friendly Hotels In France

Hotel La Santa
Best Western Santa Maria
A Cheda


Although Switzerland isn’t a member state of the EU, it does accept the Pets Passport. Large dogs can even get their own day travel pass to travel on the Swiss public transport network. With its rolling hills and valleys, what’s not to like on your doggy holiday in Switzerland.

Dog Friendly Hotels In Switzerland

Hotel Dell’Angelo
Hotel-Restaurant du Stand
Hotel Garni Muralto


Montenegro with its rugged mountains, medieval villages and beaches along its Adriatic coastline makes for a great place to take your dog. Walking along the beach, swimming in the sea or hiking up mountains would make for great dog friendly holidays.


Dog friendly holiday

It’s not just us humans that love holidays in Spain. Imagine relaxing by the pool, you with a drink or two and your dog with its favourite Pooch and Mutttreat, both of you jumping in for a quick splash to cool off.

Remember however that the height of summer might not be the best time to bring your dog to Spain as very hot weather can be hard on your dog. In all instances, always ensure that your dog has sufficient drinking water.

Dog Friendly Hotels In Spain

Apartamentos Torrelaguna


With its mountainous and green landscape, Wales can make the perfect dog-friendly holiday destination. The cool weather will not overexert your dog and you will find that many holiday cottages tend to be welcoming to dogs.

Going on holiday is normally an experience to enjoy. Why don’t you make it that much more fun by going on dog friendly holidays destination?

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