10 Things To Do When Traveling With A Dog

We’ve been so VERY blessed to travel Asia, Europe and North America with our dog, Miesha. Although it wasn’t initially easy, we’ve now mastered international travel with her and I’m here to share with you the Top 10 Things You MUST do to have a seamless trip with your fur baby!

1. Documentation For Your Dog

10 Things To Do When Traveling With A Dog

Documentation is KING when traveling with your pet, as each country requires proof upon entry. If you’re coming from the USA, head to your vet 7-10 days prior to your trip to have a full health exam (but be sure to schedule the appointment months ahead of time-I usually have a back up vet too). Your vet will have the proper paperwork once you let them know which country you’re going to.

After the exam, your vet will give you the paperwork that needs to be overnighted to the USDA for stamp approval. The USDA will send the paperwork back to you, stamped and ready to go. Just bring this with you on the plane and present it to the airline and any other personnel that may ask for it.

Heading to a country that requires quarantine for your pet is NOT advisable. We were required to quarantine Miesha for 10 days when we moved to Singapore for 2 years and I would not advise that anyone do that to their pet (if I could take it back I would). It’s best to steer clear of these countries with your pet or leave your pet at home. Some countries which require quarantine are: the UK, Ireland, Singapore, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, Hawaii, Iceland, Fiji and Guam.

2. Europe: Pet Passport For Your Dog

10 Things To Do When Traveling With A Dog

If you’re planning to bounce around Europe with your pet, stop in to see a local vet to obtain an EU Pet Passport after you arrive in your first European country. We got ours for Miesha in Amsterdam and she was not required to be there nor was an appointment required. We simply walked in, dropped off the paperwork we brought with us and in 20 minutes, the passport was done. The passport was super affordable as well, costing $7USD. Traveling around Europe with the EU Pet Passport makes everything easier.

3. Dog Carrier

10 Things To Do When Traveling With A Dog

10 Things To Do When Traveling With A Dog

Purchasing the right pet carrier is VITAL when traveling overseas. Be SURE to look up the airlines measurement requirements and purchase a LIGHT carrier, as you’ll be carrying it around a lot and weight limits are quite strict on airlines (so why have extra weight from a carrier). Ensure your pet has ample room to stand up and move around, as they’ll spend quite a bit of time in there. We purchased the Petsmart Top Paw Dog Carrier and couldn’t be happier. It is super light weight, durable, and comes in three sizes (we have the Medium size for Miesha).

4. Plan Plan Plan: Planes, Trains & Automobiles

10 Things To Do When Traveling With A Dog

You’ll need to plan ahead when traveling with your pet, as some airlines and buses do not permit dogs. For airlines, you’ll need to call ahead to ensure there is enough room on the flight for your pet, as airlines only permit a certain amount of pets in cabin.

We highly recommend TAP Portugal for flying to Europe with a pet and United Airlines to Asia. In Europe, Vueling and Alitalia are great airlines as well. We’ve never had any trouble bringing Miesha on a train or subway, she is just required to be placed in her travel bag (large dogs need to be muzzled). Unfortunately, bus transport was the most difficult for Miesha to travel on (especially in Spain, Croatia and Montenegro), as many companies do not permit dogs onboard (Flixbus being the biggest disappointment EVER). Be SURE to do your homework prior to buying tickets for anything.

5. Just Pack The Essentials For Your Dog

10 Things To Do When Traveling With A Dog

If you’ve traveled enough, you realize less is more. For Miesha, we just brought the basics: food, leash, poop bags, medications, one sweater, a few pee pads, nail clippers, and her favorite toy. We brought enough food for 7 days, which gave us ample time to find a store to purchase more food. You can find dog food in any grocery store and if your dog requires special food (Miesha eats grain-free kibble), then you can find a vet in every city that carries it. We simply use the bowls provided by our accommodation for food/water.

6. Bathrooms 

10 Things To Do When Traveling With A Dog

People always ask us what we do for Miesha when it comes to going to the bathroom on a plane, train or bus. Luckily, she’s a rock star and can literally hold her pee/poo for hours (she refuses to go anywhere except outside, we even tried on a 25 hours flight to Singapore with no luck).

My best advice is to take your dog on a LONG walk prior to leaving for the airport/train/bus station and don’t feed your pet prior to traveling. Give your dog water, of course, but keep it at a basic level-enough to prevent dehydration and not too much so they have to go. On the transportation, give water only and bring a pee pad. I’ve laid pee pads down in airport bathrooms and even on plane bathroom floors (although Miesha refuses to go). You can practice with your dog prior to leaving for your trip. They make DryFur Pet Carrier Insert Pads to place inside the pet carrier that absorb any moisture if, by chance, your pet has an accident. As soon as we arrive at our destination, we dart immediately outside to let Miesha go prior to grabbing a taxi/train.

7. Sightseeing With Your Dog

10 Things To Do When Traveling With A Dog

Although Europe is SUPER dog friendly and Miesha can go with us to just about every restaurant, cafe, etc., there are certain places in which she cannot enter (museums, grocery stores, gyms), so we’re occasionally forced to leave her at home for a few hours. I suggest planning ahead and hiring a dog sitter if you’re planning a full day trip (I know amazing dog sitters in Amsterdam (Netherlands), Vienna (Austria) and Malaga (Spain) if you need one). Otherwise, break up the sites that you can’t do with your furry friend every day, so you won’t be gone too long. It’s hard enough leaving our dogs at home when we go away, but leaving them in a foreign place is even more traumatizing. Miesha has had terrible separation anxiety ever since being quarantined in Singapore, so turning on the TV or playing music really helps her when we leave.

8. Veterinarians 

10 Things To Do When Traveling With A Dog

Fortunately, dogs and cats are domesticated household pets all over the world, so finding a veterinarian anywhere is super easy. I like to scope out vets prior to landing in a new city, that way I know exactly where one is just in case of an emergency.

9. Other Dogs 

10 Things To Do When Traveling With A Dog

I’ve found that both in the USA and abroad, it’s kind to introduce your dog to another dog passing on the street. Unfortunately, I probably look totally impolite because I NEVER allow other dogs to approach Miesha and sniff her/say hello. One, because she is super shy and usually just runs away and two, because you don’t know that person or their dog or the possible diseases it may carry. I also ALWAYS wash Miesha’s paws after taking her outside because the ground is just so dirty, you don’t know what you’re tracking inside.

10. Have Fun Traveling With Your Dog!! 

10 Things To Do When Traveling With A Dog

To me, there’s nothing better than traveling and to travel with my fur baby makes it even better! Enjoy every single moment!

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Check Out Our First Travel Video With Miesha From Amsterdam! 

Video: Amsterdam, Netherlands

Thank you SOOOO much for stopping by!

XOXO The Traveling Blondie

Peace ✌ Love ❤ Travel ✈

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  1. Thank you so much for stopping by to check it out! Hope you and your pup have a great trip in Europe!

  2. Very informative article with a fun little spin on it !! Keep up the great work!!

  3. Hello, great information. The UK and Ireland do not require quarantine anymore, if you are coming from a low risk rabies country (and if you are, I suggest travel to mainland Europe first, then north). There is a tapeworm requirement as well for these two countries, and also be advised that both the UK and Ireland are not friendly to long-term travelers and/or tourists with dogs. (And check your rules if UK leaves the EU without a deal March 29 – they will be considered a high risk rabies country without one!) Iceland also requires a whole battery of vaccinations, so dog Jack will not be going there….

    Wow, pet passports in Ireland and the UK are a lot more expensive than your NL one!

    In central Europe and the UK, I don’t recall more than one hostile dog *unlike America, where I do always ask if a dog is friendly before saying hello. In the Balkans, people will usually ask if your dog is male or female, due to unfixed male dog aggression with other male dogs. Lots of nice dogs in Croatia, we are heading to Mostar soon and I don’t know what to expect for Jack….

  4. Thank you so much for your comment! Thats absolutely wonderful to hear that the UK and Ireland no longer require quarantine if you’re coming from a low risk rabies country, thank you for sharing! All the best to you on your travels with Jack! We never took Miesha to Bosnia, as we left her in Croatia with a dog sitter when we went. Let me know how it goes! Happy Travels!

  5. Thanks for the great info! I’m wondering if you traveled with your pup anywhere else in Asia? We don’t have a home base but we just adopted a female pug in Mexico. We’re about to begin our journey with her to every place possible. Will they always do quarantine? I’m so nervous 🙁 our friends live in Bali and we lived there last year, but now we wanted to go back to visit, but pets aren’t allowed anymore. I checked Thailand and it’s supposed to be a headache. Thanks in advance for any feedback 🙂

  6. Thank you so much for checking out my Blog, Karla! We only took Miesha to Singapore because we moved there for two years. She was forced into quarantine for 10 days and it was a horrible experience that I wouldn’t recommend anyone do to their dog, in any country. Maybe its best to leave your pup at home for this trip? Wishing you all the best and happy travels! XOXO

  7. Thank you for your post! I am interested in moving to Asia to teach English. Do you recommend any particular countries that are dog friendly? I’m particularly interested in Korea or Japan. I’d also consider in western Asian countries such as Azerbaijan.

  8. Hi Kassie!

    Japan and Korea are both amazing in their own way. I preferred Japan as a tourist, but truly loved them both. They are both dog friendly, but do look into if there is a mandatory quarantine for pets upon entry (I believe Japan has a quarantine). We were forced to quarantine Miesha in Singapore in their facilities and she was never the same dog afterward (not that they did anything to harm her, she just has horrible separation anxiety now, so I wouldn’t recommend quarantine to any pet).

    Wishing you all the best on your move! Thanks for reading my blog 🙂

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