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Pet passport

How to have a happy holiday with your dog

Are you worried about travelling with your pooch? Use our interactive map to read stories and tips from fellow dog owners that may help you to find your spirit of adventure.

Click on the green pointers below to begin.

Travelling with your pet? Refer to your policy documents for information about how your pet is covered abroad.

Did you know?

  • Several European Union countries introduced the Pet Travel Scheme in 2001 – it’s been expanding ever since.
  • One in five people are now taking their dogs on holiday with them.
  • Nearly 80% of dog owners say they would travel with their dog within the UK if the accommodation were dog-friendly.
  • A third of people admit to talking to their dog on the phone or leaving them voicemail messages if they haven’t taken their dog away with them on holiday!
  • 16% of dog owners are willing to spend at least £200 more to take their dog along on holiday.
  • A quarter of Brits have opted to stay at home rather than go on holiday because they were so worried about leaving pets behind.

Read our travel checklist to make sure you have everything you need to keep your canine companion happy and healthy on holiday.

Vassie travelled to the Scilly Isles

Marcus Tettmar and Vassie Dog Vassie
Age 2
Breed Springer Spaniel
Owner Marcus Tettmar
Travelled To the Scilly Isles

‘I’m a mad keen sailor, and every dog I’ve owned has accompanied me on the high seas. Vassie is quite young but he loves sailing: he runs up and down the pontoon in excitement as we head for the boat. As with any passengers, safety is our number one priority, and Vassie has his own life jacket. This means that not only is he safe should he fall into the water, but also that we can hold him easily with one hand if we need to.

Once we’re under way, Vassie adjusts well to the new routine of being on the boat. Whether it’s a day trip or a longer holiday, he’s content to stay put when we’re on the water, and makes the most of the chance to stretch his legs when we reach land. I think that as long as you’re confident and relaxed, your dog will follow suit, no matter what holiday you’ve chosen. I wouldn’t be without my mascot on the boat now!’

Read our travel checklist to make sure you have everything you need to keep your canine companion happy and healthy on holiday.

Oscar travelled around New Zealand

Oscar and Maily Pham

Dog Oscar
Age 5
Breed Bichon Frise
Owner Maily Pham
Travelled Around New Zealand

‘We took a 10-day trip with our dog Oscar in New Zealand, which was a huge adventure. Before we left we hadn’t used a harness in the car but our groomer recommended that if we didn’t have a car guard to keep Oscar safe, then we should use a harness; it works in the same way as a seatbelt for humans and we found it invaluable for him. He loves the car so it was no problem driving long distances.

We took home comforts with us on the trip like blankets and Oscar’s bed and toys, and we stayed in dog-friendly hotels. Towels and shampoo are essential so you don’t take a dirty dog into a hotel. On the first night in a new hotel, Oscar would be a little wary and take a while to settle, but on subsequent nights, and as the trip went on, he became more relaxed.

Making sure that your hotel is dog-friendly is really important, so you end up planning in advance more than you might otherwise. But on the flip side, whenever we stopped, we met lots of people who would come up to say “hi” to the dog, then we’d get chatting and pick up lots of local advice for our trip.’

Read our travel checklist to make sure you have everything you need to keep your canine companion happy and healthy on holiday. For advice on pet travel sickness and other car-related travel concerns, click here. Petplan covers pets travelling for a limited time in EU member states and territories that are included in the Pet Travel Scheme. Check your policy documents for more information about taking your pet abroad.

Moss, Stitch, Ruby and Teal travelled to Jersey

Moss, Stitch, Ruby and Teal, with Sam and Scott Jones

Dogs Moss, Stitch, Ruby, Teal
Ages Three to 10
Breeds Three Springer Spaniels and one Cocker Spaniel
Owners Sam and Scott Jones
Travelled To Jersey

‘The beach laws are different in Jersey, so you can take your dogs onto the beach all year round. The only condition is that, from May to September, they have to be on a lead between 10.30am and 6pm. It’s like the most enormous playground for them, and we had fabulous walks every day out there.

One thing to be careful of, especially if you have enthusiastic dogs like my Springers, is cliff edges. Dogs don’t know if there’s a 2ft or a 20ft drop the other side, and you can’t trust them to stop and look first, so we always keep ours on their leads if we’re anywhere near a cliff edge.

Our dogs go everywhere with us, which is why we bought our campervan. We’ve got an old VW, which fits me and my husband, our two daughters and all four dogs comfortably. My advice would be to keep an eye out for campsites that allow dogs, and be aware that some will charge extra for each dog. We found that most campsites ask you to keep your dogs tied up while you’re on site, so don’t forget a comfortable lead and something to attach it to, just in case.’

Read our travel checklist to make sure you have everything you need to keep your canine companion happy and healthy on holiday.

Bella travelled to Germany

Bella and Wendy Searle

Dog Bella
Age 8
Breed Black Labrador
Owners Wendy and Yan Searle
Travelled To Germany

‘Germany is very dog-friendly and welcomes them in shops and even restaurants. We didn’t know this the first time we visited, and once left Bella tied up outside for just a few minutes while we popped into a store, as we often have to do at home. But when we came out she’d gone! We went straight to the police station in a panic to report her stolen. But there she was behind the desk, getting lots of fuss. A local had taken her there thinking she’d been abandoned – apparently it’s unusual for dogs to be left alone over there, even briefly.

Once we’d moved to live in Germany, we found that Bella loved the snow – we had so much more of it than we do in the UK. We had to take extra care, as she’d play in the snow and get it compacted in her paws, then have to come inside to thaw out.

When we came back to the UK for a visit, we stayed in hotels for a couple of nights. Whereas German hotels were happy for Bella to be in the room with us, we had to search quite hard for a hotel in England that would allow that.

Bella loves the family, especially the children, and as long as we were around she wasn’t distressed when we were on the road or moved house, or even country! It’s always useful to know how different counties view dogs before you go on holiday though – if we’d known how dog-friendly Germany is we could have avoided the trip to the police station. I’d recommend going on blogs and searching the web to research attitudes towards pets in the country you’re travelling to before you travel.’

Read our travel checklist to make sure you have everything you need to keep your canine companion happy and healthy on holiday.

Poppy travelled to Scotland

Poppy and James Hobbes

Dog Poppy
Age 6
Breed Golden Retriever
Owners James and Gemma Hobbes
Travelled To Scotland

‘We’ve always tried to take Poppy with us wherever we go. We’ve taken her camping in Dorset, and to a cottage in the Lake District, but the most memorable time was when we went to a log cabin on the edge of Loch Long in Scotland. It was a great holiday, and having the dog was a good excuse to spend lots of time hiking around the hills.

One evening I let Poppy out of the cabin to relieve herself, and I stupidly didn’t bring a torch. Her hackles went up; she had clearly spotted something, and disappeared into the darkness barking very loudly. I got the torch on my phone working just in time to see that she’d chased a deer to the edge of the loch. Wisely, Poppy had decided to abandon the chase, and the deer ran off. It sounds obvious, but that’s when we learned to keep her on a lead if it’s dark and you’re in an unfamiliar place. That’s my top tip for other people travelling with their dogs!’

Read our travel checklist to make sure you have everything you need to keep your canine companion happy and healthy on holiday.

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