Travelling with your Dog
There is no reason why you should have to leave your dog behind if you are going out in the car or even if you are going on holiday. Nowadays it's much easier to take him with you as there are plenty of dog friendly hotels, caravan and camping sites and B&Bs around the UK that will welcome you both with open arms. Taking your dog with you can avoid the stress of putting him in boarding kennels or finding a suitable dog sitter. Our help page is full of practical advice so whether you are popping across town in the car, going on holiday or even moving abroad, you will find answers to your questions here. One good piece of advice stands for all travel situations: it's best to have your dog micro-chipped!
How to travel safely with your dog
- Ideally your dog should travel in the rear compartment of an estate or hatchback with the parcel shelf removed. You should never have your dog loose in the car as this is very dangerous – imagine what would happen if you had to break suddenly? To keep him safe and secure you can fit a purpose built travelling cage, a dog guard or a special harness that clips to the seat belt.
Travel tips for your dog's comfort
- Giving your dog a crate mattress or beanbag will make his journey much more comfortable, especially if he is an older arthritic dog. There are also absorbent pads and liners you can buy that soak up any little accidents.
- View our dog travel Products section for crate mattresses, blankets, beanbags and absorbent pads
- Just like his fellow human travelling companions your dog will want to have a drink and possibly a snack if it is a long journey! Petstop has a wide range of non-spill bowls and water bottles with dispensers available . . . and travel sickness remedies. He might also want to stop and stretch his legs and relieve himself so, if you can, plan ahead for pit stops.
- View our dog travel products section for a selection of travel accessories
- Dogs can die in hot cars so never leave him in a parked car in hot weather. Not even for a few minutes. Temperatures will be much higher inside your car than outside, even if all the windows are left open. A dog can even suffer heat stroke while you are driving so fit blinds on the car windows to help shade him if you are travelling in strong sunshine.
Travelling with your dog by rail
- You can take your dog on a train journey as many rail companies accept dogs but do check before paying for tickets. Most rail companies will allow two dogs to travel free but you must keep your dog on a lead unless he is in a travel crate or carrier. If your dog takes up a seat you will be charged for it and he must be well behaved and not annoy other passengers.
Travelling with your dog by bus
- It depends on the bus or coach company as to whether they will allow your dog on-board so check first before you set out. It's best to have your dog on a lead or in a carrier. Some local buses will allow dogs to travel; some charge and others only let guide dogs on board.
- View our dog travel Products section for leads, collars, harnesses and travel crates and carriers
Check your dog is healthy to fly
Please check with your vet to make sure your dog is fit enough to fly. Some dogs are in a high risk category which includes short-nosed breeds like boxers and bulldogs, dogs with heart or lung conditions, young puppies, elderly dogs and nervous dogs.
The PET Travel Scheme
Since the introduction of the PETS passport scheme flying with your dog has become a little easier. The PET Travel Scheme rules are that you must get your dog micro-chipped, immunised against rabies, have blood samples taken and have treatment for ticks and tapeworm. Once this is done it means that you then come home to the UK after your trip without having to put him in quarantine.
There are specialist Pet Travel Agencies available who will arrange everything for you but there are risks involved as while some airlines allow small dogs (weighing 6 – 8 kg) in the cabin, others insist they fly cargo in the pressurised hold. The temperature in cargo holds can be extremely hot or cold depending on the weather and the height the aircraft is flying and you should also bear in mind your dog could be at the mercy of delayed flights sitting on the tarmac, rough baggage handling and poor ventilation.
You will need to have a container for your dog that complies with the International Air Transportation Association specifications. Let your dog 'try out' the container before the trip so he is used to being in it and put a familiar-smelling cushion or rug in the container to help him settle. Attach spill proof water and food bowls and ID tags to the container and only give your dog a light meal a few hours before travelling.
Dogs, cats and ferrets need a Pet Passport to enter any EU country and owners need to be aware of requirements surrounding vaccination boosters to ensure their pets can re-enter the UK.
The Pet Travel Scheme (PETS) is the system that allows pet dogs, cats and ferrets from any country to enter the UK without quarantine as long as they meet the conditions of the scheme. The Pet Passport is the evidence owners need to show that they have complied with these regulations. Without it, their animals cannot come back into the UK.
Owners risk having their pets quarantined for months at a time if their Pet Passport isn't up to date. Owners need to make sure their animals are micro-chipped and that they have been vaccinated against rabies. Pets cannot return to the UK until 21 days after they've received the rabies vaccine, so make sure you are prepared well in advance of travel.
Dogs also need to be treated for tapeworm between 24 and 120 hours before arriving back into the UK – a treatment which has to administered by a vet who is then required to complete the necessary paperwork for the pet passport.
There are extra rules if animals are coming from outside the EU, including requiring pets to have a blood test. But if pets are coming home from holidays in Europe with their owners, as long as the Pet Passports are up to date and contain the correct microchip number and dates of vaccinations, there shouldn't be a problem.
You can get you Pet Passport, plus all the essential vaccines and treatments from the Vet Clinic at Petstop. We can advise you on what is and isn't required by law.