Tips on planning journeys with animals

When your holiday is just around the corner and you begin planning your leave, pet owners should ask themselves the following questions: Should I take my pet with me or should I ask others to look after it while I’m away? What rules do I have to consider if I bring a pet home from my holiday?

You should clarify early on, preferably when planning your holiday, whether your pets can travel with you or who will look after them during your absence.

If you are going to be taking your pets with you, as a pet owner you need to comply with a range of regulations.

When travelling within Europe, your pet needs an EU pet passport. This includes your pet’s registration number and proof of rabies vaccination. The passport can be issued by any authorised veterinarian.

What else do you have to consider?

  • Each individual is allowed to travel with a maximum of 5 pets if the animals are not intended for sale.
  • Before leaving for a non-EU country, find out about the conditions for re-entry into the EU or Germany
  • Find out about the specific provisions before booking your trip. Leash and muzzle requirements and prohibited dog breeds ("fighting dogs") vary from country to country. You can find out more about this at the respective embassies and the tourist information points.
  • Travelling by car: In Germany and other EU countries, pets need to be secured when travelling by car, for example by means of partitions, transport boxes or seat belts (§ 23 StVO).
  • Travelling by plane: Some airlines allow owners to store pets of up to 5 kg in transport bags and have them with them in the cabin. Larger animals are transported in transport boxes in the hold. Further information is provided by the respective airlines.
  • Travelling by train: Depending on the size of the pet, an additional ticket might be necessary.

Some additional tips

  • Find out whether pets are allowed before booking your trip.
  • Clarify whether your travel cancellation and liability insurance also applies to your pet.
  • Attach your holiday and home address to your pet’s collar/tag.
  • You must provide the animal with water during transport.
  • Keep absorbent wipes, waste bags and, if needed, a pet first aid kit.
  • Travel at night to spare your pet the stress of traffic jams and heat.
  • The pet should not be left alone in a parked car, for example because of the risk of a heat stroke.

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