Best Pet Travel Rules, Requirements, Checklist, Tips and Options

Last Updated on 06/03/2024 by Edy Ragnoli

Pet travel opens up a new dimension for a memorable, warm, and satisfactory experience for you, your pets, and your whole family. Are you planning to travel by car, campervan, train or plane? Discover the pet travel rules, requirements, and best tips.

Do you want to know which airlines are allowing pet travel? Let's uncover the most popular airlines' pet policies.

What's your next travel destination? You must ensure the country is pet-friendly, with pet-centred outdoor spaces, venues, transportation, services, restaurants and hotels. In this pet travel guide, you will also discover the top 14 dog-friendly countries and the best-ever accommodation options, from Italy to the US and Australia.

How to Travel With Pets: 10 Must-haves

Pet Travel Basic Essentials

Food and water

Pack enough food and water for your entire pet travel, considering potential delays. Bring airtight containers and collapsible bowls.

Familiar items

Bring a familiar blanket, bed, or toy to provide comfort and reduce stress.

Toys and treats

Offer engaging chew toys and healthy treats to keep your pet busy during travel.

Waste bags and disposal scoop

Always be prepared to clean up after your pet. Choose biodegradable bags for eco-friendly disposal. Also, attach a convenient dispenser to your leash for quick access to waste bags.

Cleaning supplies

Pack paper towels, disinfectant wipes, and odour neutralisers for unexpected accidents.

Pet Travel Safety Essentials

Secure Carrier

Whether you travel by car, plane, or train, choose a secure and comfortable carrier that meets airline/transport guidelines. It must allow your pet to stand, turn around, and lie down comfortably. Train your dog or cat to be familiar with it well before travel (keep reading to know more about pet acclimation).

Secure Harness and Leash

A sturdy leash and a secure harness are essentially for walks and exploring new environments. A harness distributes pressure more evenly than a collar, preventing choking or escape attempts.

Up-to-date ID Tags and Microchip

Accidents happen, especially in unfamiliar places. Ensure your pet's collar boasts updated ID tags with your contact information. Microchipping adds an extra layer of security for permanent identification during pet travel.

First-aid Kit

Be prepared for minor scrapes or accidents: pack a basic pet first-aid kit with essential supplies like gauze, bandages, antiseptic wipes, and a first-aid guide.

Medication, Vaccination, and Vet Info

If your pet requires medication, pack enough for the trip and keep copies of prescriptions readily available. Have your veterinary contact information handy in case of emergencies. Are you travelling outside the US or your State? Most countries also require specific vaccinations like anti-rabies. Therefore, bring the original certificates to ensure you can enjoy your journey together.

How to Travel With Pets in a Car or Campervan

How to Travel With Pets in a Car or Campervan

Hundreds of pets are abandoned every year. As a consequence, shelters get overcrowded, and many pets are euthanised. Reasons vary. Although most pet owners blame the rising cost of living and financial stress, we keep recording abandonment cases over the holiday season.

Cats, dogs, ferrets, and other pets should be treated like children, brothers, and sisters—they are part of the family. Would you leave your baby in the forest? Would you ever throw them in the river? What a disgusting scenario. So, when you go on holiday, bring your fluffy, hairy companion. Many travellers love that, and if you join the club, you are very welcome. Whether you travel by car or campervan, you should reserve a seat for your loyal, sweet friend.

But remember to ensure safety for you and your pet. In fact, according to the Progressive Casualty Insurance Company, people care for their pets but fail to follow best practices, although they know them.

Here are the top pet travel rules you should always respect.

Restrain your dog or cat in a carrier, crate or harness.

Restrain devices must have the appropriate size to let your pets move comfortably but without roaming inside. Choose products tested for pet safety since respecting standards created for humans and children is not always effective for animals. For example, choose a brand that has been crash test certified by the Center for Pet Safety

Acclimate your pet to vehicle restraints. 

Your pet's safety is vital while driving. But easier said than done. Your pets won't accept restraints like magic. They need to get used to them while feeling comfortable. For this purpose, you can acclimate your dog to wearing a harness in the car by following three steps or acclimate your cat in a carrier during a car drive. These eight steps can improve your cat carrier acceptance. 

Refrain from letting your pet roam freely in the vehicle.

When your pets aren't used to car travelling, they may get scared, stressed, and anxious. So, how can you make them stop crying, screaming, or peeing? The first solution we may think of is letting them out and petting them. Please avoid that. It can distract you and cause motor vehicle accidents.

Imagine your cat suddenly jumps under your pedals or in front of the windscreen, blocking your vision. You know the possible consequences. In case you can't avoid that, at least travel with passengers and let them pet your dog or cat, including giving some treats, while you drive safely.

Keep your pet in the back seat.

Having your loyal friend on your side, maybe with his head gently lying on your forearm (or sitting on your lap), might be kind, sweet, and rewarding. But when you travel by car or camper, safety is the priority. Indeed, in a car crash, the airbag can arm your pet rather than save him since it's designed for the human body. And what if the airbag comes out when your pet is on your lap? It will hurt the pet and fail to protect you.

Dog Boxes for Trucks

Pet Travel Safety Equipment

Don't let your pet keep the head out the window.

Although it seems they enjoy it very much, this practice puts your animal at risk. For instance, it may be thrown out of the vehicle during a crash, hit an object or get a bee string in his mouth or face. I once met a dog who was allergic to bee stings, and believe me, it’s a nightmare you don’t want to experience.

Plan rest stops.

In some circumstances, pets are not different from humans. Travelling by car or campervan can get tiring, and the whole ‘crew” need to rest. Therefore, your roadmap should always include regular rest stops for you and your dogs and cats. Stretch your legs, relieve yourself, drink water, and eat a snack.

Pet travel during summer? Never leave your pet alone in the car, as it can quickly become dangerously hot. It is so for us, the owners (parents). And it is so for them, too.

Bring a portable pet washer.

After resting, walking, playing, and running to stretch and relieve yourself, it’s time to get in the car and continue your trip. But wait. What’s that mud all over your seat and around your kitchen and bedroom? Well. If you don’t like nightmares like me, before making this mistake, buy a pet washer like Mud Daddy to wipe your friend after every walk outside.

Understand local laws regarding driving with pets.

States, countries, and municipalities have different driving requirements (or none). So, read and follow the pet travel rules. If caught in violation, you may lose your driving license, aside from putting your life (and your pet's) in danger.

You may also be interested in discovering How to Choose the Best Car Rental Deals – Tips and Tricks.

Popular Countries' Pet Travel Requirements

Pet Travel Rules

Are you travelling with pets to Europe? Would you like to visit Australia with your fluffy buddy? In addition to driving rules, Countries have specific health requirements when you pass the border with animals. Airlines also have detailed pet policies for travelling with dogs and cats.

To make things easier to consult, I summarised the rules in two tables for the most popular destinations and primary airlines that tourists use for pet travel.

Popular Countries' Pet Travel Requirements

Pet Travel to Europe

  • Microchip or clearly-readable tattoo (applied before 3 July 2011).

  • Rabies vaccination.

  • Treatment against the tapeworm Echinococcus multilocularis.

  • European pet passport.

  • EU animal health certificate.

  • Pets must travel with their owners or another person.

  • No more than five pets unless they are participating in a competition or are over six months old.

 
 

Pet Travel to UK

  • Microchip.

  • Pet passport or health certificate.

  • Vaccination against rabies.

  • Approved route (except travelling within the UK or from Ireland).

  • Tapeworm treatment.

  • Avoid banned dog breeds (they will be taken away and destroyed).

  • Declare you are not going to sell your pet or transfer the ownership.

  • Pets can travel with you or someone else holding written authorisation.

 
 

Pet Travel to the USA

  • Ban for dogs coming from high-risk rabies countries.

  • A veterinary certificate stating the dog is free from screwworm (and other details).

  • For dogs coming from countries not declared free of foot and mouth disease: no tapeworm infection; fur and bedding free of excessive dirt, straw, and hay.

  • Specific rules apply when travelling with pets to Hawaii and when pets fly into neighbouring islands.

 
 

Pet Travel to Canada

  • Proof of the dog’s age (from a veterinarian.

  • The dog must appear healthy, without visible signs of illness and injury.

  • Meet humane transportation requirements (to prevent injury and suffering).

  • Rabies vaccination.

  • Notice of arrival to schedule an inspection by the CFIA (applies to some animals).

  • Personal imports of pet food from the US are allowed (prohibited from other countries).

 
 

Pet Travel to Mexico

  • Veterinary printed health certificate (not hand-written) issued within 15 days before departure.

  • The pet must enter Mexico in a container or conveyor, clean, without accessories, bed or implements (necklace and strap allowed).

 
 

Pet Travel to Australia

  • Dogs and cats must have resided in approved countries in the previous 180 days.

  • Microchip numbers and identity verification.

  • Rabies vaccination.

  • Rabies neutralising titre test (RNATT) laboratory report (valid for 12 months).

 
 

Can a Pet Travel on Planes? Airlines Pet Policies

If you are from Europe or plan to fly within the old continent, the most popular and used airlines (primary choices for low-cost flights) are Ryanair, EasyJet, Wizzair, and Vueling. Unfortunately, the first three don't allow animals onboard, except guide/assistance dogs on some routes. However, the latter does welcome your pets. So, I recommend the Spanish airline among the four.

The table below summarises Vueling's and top American and Asian airlines' pet policies.

Pet Travel with Vueling

  • Animals permitted: dogs, cats, turtles/tortoises, birds (excluding those of prey).

  • Pets must stay in approved soft carries (45x39x21 cm, below 8 kg pet included), on the floor or under your front seat.

  • Pets are not accepted as cargo.

  • Up to two pets (cats/dogs) of the same species or litter in the same carrier.

  • Up to two pets (cats/dogs) of the same species or litter in the same carrier.

  • Animals must be healthy, calm (not violent), and clean (no unpleasant smell).

  • Microchip and pet passport with vaccination record (including rabies).

  • Tapeworm treatment (EU/Schengen countries).

  • Tapeworm treatment and blood test as proof of effectiveness (rest of the countries).

  • Pets must be included in your booking and check-in (additional fee).

  • Security scan for carrier, leash, and food.

  • Not available on flights to/from the UK.

 
 

Pet Travel with Delta Airlines

  • At least eight weeks old for domestic travel, 16 weeks old from outside the U.S., and 15 weeks old when travelling to the EU.

  • One pet per kennel with exceptions (it will count as your one carry-on item).

  • You must select specific seats.

  • Reservation for your pet, with kennel dimensions (first-come, first-serve policy).

  • You must visit the Special Service Counter to check in with your pet.

  • When travelling to some countries, pets must travel as cargo and are not permitted in the cabin (except for service animals).

 
 

Pet Travel with United Airlines

  • Cats and dogs in the cabin are allowed when there’s space available.

  • Up to two pets are allowed (you must purchase two adjacent seats).

  • The pet must travel in a soft-sided or hard-sided carrier fitting under the seat and closed all the time (except for service animals.)

  • A carrier can host only one pet.

  • You must book pet tickets and check in with your own and your pet’s confirmation number.

 
 

Pet Travel with American Airlines

  • Carry-on pets are limited to cats and dogs that meet age, size, and destination requirements.

  • One kennel is allowed as your carry-on bag (must stay under the seat; you must pay the fee).

  • The kennel replaces your carry-on bag.

  • Check-in and fees are required for pet strollers.

  • Some destination restrictions apply when travelling to Australia, Mexico, Hawaii, the Caribbean, Canada, the Continental U.S., South America, Transpacific, and Transatlantic.

 
 

Pet Travel with Southwest Airlines

  • The airline allows small, vaccinated domestic cats and dogs in a pet carrier in the cabin on domestic flights.

  • Pet carriers can be soft or hard, must be well-ventilated and leak-proof, and stay under your seat.

  • One pet carrier is allowed per ticketed customer (it counts as a carry-on bag or personal item).

  • Each carrier can contain up to two of the same species of dog or cat.

  • You can check a pet stroller or crater for free.

  • Pets are not accepted on flights to and from Hawaii or international itineraries.

  • Specific requirements apply for travel to Puerto Rico.

 
 

Pet Travel with Spirit Airlines

  • The company allows small domesticated pets only on all domestic flights.

  • Only service animals are accepted on international flights.

  • One container per guest is allowed, with up to two pets per container.

  • Pets must remain in the carrier and have space to stand upright and move.

  • Pets should be at least eight weeks old, fully weaned, harmless, inoffensive, and odourless.

  • The animal can’t be violent, ill or physically distressed.

  • The airline also accepts small household birds and small domestic rabbits (exclusions apply).

  • Add your pet to your reservation (up to six pet containers are permitted on the aircraft).

  • You must check in at the ticket counter.

  • Health certificate NOT required.

  • A rabies vaccination certificate is required (for travel to Puerto Rico).

  • Pets in cargo are not allowed.

  • Screening at the security checkpoint is required.

 
 

Pet Travel with Singapore Airlines

  • Pets are allowed as checked baggage or in cargo (at additional baggage fees).

  • Pregnant pets are not allowed.

  • Temporary bans of dogs entering the U.S. from high-risk rabies places.

  • Pets must be at least three months old.

  • Pets must travel via cargo if the combined weight of the pet and its carrier is above 32kg.

  • Before departure, inform your local Singapore Airlines office to provide your pet's information.

  • The carrier size depends on the aircraft.

  • Some dog and cat breeds are not accepted.

  • Documents (travel out of Singapore): export license, indemnity form, health certificate, rabies vaccination, pet's passport (if any), transhipment licence (if any).

  • Documents (travelling to or transiting in Singapore): import license, indemnity form, health certificate, vaccination record with microchip ID no.

 
 

Airline Travel Crates for Pets

Travel Dog Carriers

You may also be interested in learning How to Choose the Best Group Tour and Travel Guide Company.

Top 14 Pet-friendly Countries

Travelling with your pets is like going on vacation with your family members. They deserve care, comfort, and a welcoming environment. So, where can you travel and feel happy with your dog, cat or other pets?

Top 14 Pet-friendly Countries

According to The Swiftest, those are the world’s 14 top dog-friendly countries where your pet can be treated as a living being and human’s best friend. The Dog-Friendly Country Index takes into account eight factors.

1. Animal Protection Index (API) – 0 to 50 points: recognition of animal sentience, prohibition of animal suffering, and animal welfare legislation.

2. Companion Animals Grade – 0 to 50 points: A to G ranking determined by legislation aimed at protecting pets.

3. Pet-friendly Hotels per Million Population – 0 to 100 points: based on the number of hotels in a specific country accepting dogs in their facility.

4. Number of Vets per Million Population – 0 to 100 points: based on the number of vets in the Veterinarians Guide website.

5. Laws on Animal Rights – 0 to 50 points: presence of government animal protection laws and their enforcement level.

6. Animal Sentience Formal Recognition – 0 to 50 points: laws that mention animals’ capacity to experience awareness and consciousness.

7. Low-risk Rabies Country – 0 to 100 points: based on the rabies prevalence in each country.

8. Significant Dog Meat Consumption (-100 points): the index considers only the countries with a high quantity of dog meat human consumption (Switzerland, South Korea, Philippines, Nigeria, Indonesia, China, and Vietnam).

Best Pet-friendly Cities and Accommodation

I like practical guides. So, for each of the 14 countries, I selected only the best of the best pet-friendly accommodations (with a rate above 8/10) in the four main cities. This way, you can move from theory into action and select the best hotel, B&B, hostel or lodge for you and your furry friend.

1. Italy

Many Italian hotels, restaurants, and cafes welcome pets with open arms. Do you like big, glorious cities like Rome, Florence, and Venice? Do you prefer hidden gems? Everywhere in Italy, you will see locals strolling with their dogs along picturesque streets or relaxing at outdoor cafes together.

Numerous parks and outdoor spaces in Italy provide infrastructures to let your pets stretch their legs and enjoy the fresh air. You can find them even in small villages.

Lastly, many attractions, such as historical sites, gardens, and event locations, allow pets to visit alongside their owner—what a rich travel experience! Isn’t it? Visit, for example, Arezzo with its monthly antique street market or Parma with its international flairs. Roam around for a few minutes, and you will immediately notice more dogs than you can shake a stick at, with countless owners walking with their daemon side by side—did you see the Golden Compass movie?

Best Cities

Milan
Venice
Florence
Rome

Top Lodging

Hotel Nuovo Rondo ✮✮✮ (8.5)
Tiziano Hotel ✮✮✮✮ (8.9)
Hotel Accademia ✮✮✮✮ (9.4)
Hotel Re Di Roma
✮✮✮✮ (9.5)

2. New Zealand

New Zealand is the second-best country for pet travel, with stunning landscapes, including beaches, forests, and hiking trails, perfect for pets and their “human pack members”. You should know some national parks and conservation areas may have restrictions on pets to protect native wildlife.

However, there are still many places where pets are welcome to roam and explore. Not to mention the numerous dog parks and off-leash areas where pets can socialise and exercise freely.

Best Cities

Auckland
Wellington
Christchurch
Dunedin

Top Lodging

LyLo Auckland ✮✮✮ (8.7)
The Blue Mantle ✮✮✮✮ (9.3)
BreakFree on Cashel Christchurch ✮✮✮ (8.3)
Longbourne Lodge ✮✮✮✮ (9.2)

3. France

As of 2024, France has almost 9,000 veterinary clinics, 1,917 pet supply stores, many outdoor spaces, and over 250 pet-friendly beaches. Paris, in particular, is renowned for its pet-friendly attitude, with numerous parks, gardens, and outdoor spaces where pets can roam and play. Many cafes and restaurants in the city allow pets to accompany their owners in outdoor seating areas. For locals and visitors, this creates a vibrant and inclusive atmosphere.

Additionally, Paris offers several pet-friendly accommodations, ranging from hotels to rental apartments. Lyon, Marseille, Bordeaux, and Nice are also among the cities known for their pet-friendly attitude.,

Are you travelling with pets to France? This pet-friendly attitude also extends to the French transportation system. It’s fantastic to walk with your cat and dog. But sometimes, I prefer to relax and move faster. After a 2-hour outdoor activity with my buddy, being able to take trains and buses (for a nominal fee) can save your day.

Best Cities

Paris
Nice
Bordeaux
Rennes

4. United Kingdom

The UK has a strong tradition of pet ownership, with 57% of households living with a furry companion (12 million dogs and 11 million cats as of 2024). This has led to the development of pet-friendly services such as veterinary clinics, grooming salons, pet supply stores, and restaurants and hotels that are more than happy to host your best friends.

The UK is famous for its gardens and green spaces. And many of them are open to pets. Come to Edinburgh, Manchester, Bristol or London. The latter even created a dog park map, and I must say it’s pretty extensive.

In terms of transportation, many UK trains, buses, and taxis allow pets to travel with their owners. However, there are usually restrictions and guidelines that you must follow, such as keeping pets on a leash or in a carrier.

Best Cities

London
Manchester
Liverpool
Glasgow

Top Lodging

The Grange Pub ✮✮✮ (8.4)
Ibis Manchester Centre 96 Portland Street ✮✮✮ (8.3)
Chavasse Apartments ✮✮✮✮ (9.0)
Linburn Apartment ✮✮✮ (8.4)

5. Germany

There are 1,210 dog parks in Germany, with plenty of choices in cities like Berlin, Munich, Hamburg, and Cologne. In Germany, you can always find a peaceful refuge and comfortable playgrounds for your dog.

Some establishments provide water bowls and treats for furry visitors, creating a welcoming atmosphere (like in several other countries).

Many hotels and rental properties explicitly welcome pets, providing amenities such as pet beds, food bowls, and designated pet-friendly rooms to ensure a comfortable stay for your enlarged family.

Best Cities

Berlin
Hamburg
Frankfurt
Munich

6. Australia

Is Australia your next pet travel destination? For pet owners, the sixth in the rank offers vast outdoor spaces and dog-friendly beaches (for example, Tallebudgera Dog Beach and Biggera Waters Beach). You will also find national parks and cities where your dog is welcome.

Come to Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, and Perth or book a visit to the Gold Coast. If you are from abroad and planning to travel to Australia, remember to read the health requirements and airline pet policy. You don’t want to be in a situation where you will get separated from your lovely, hairy partner.

Best Cities

Sydney
Melbourne
Brisbane
Perth

Top Lodging

The Ultimo Sydney ✮✮✮ (8.6)
Best Western Melbourne City ✮✮✮ (8.1)
Airway Motel ✮✮✮ (8.0)
Citadines St Georges Terrace Apartments Perth ✮✮✮ (8.2)

7. Sweden

What you immediately notice in Sweden is its profound commitment to environmental sustainability. That means well-maintained, clean, and safe outdoor spaces, including parks and natural reserves, where your pets can behave like free living beings. Stockholm, Gothenburg, and Malmö are ideal Swedish pet travel destinations for the best pet-friendly experience.

Here’s where you can book your safe accommodation.

Best Cities

Stockholm
Goteborg
Malmo

Top Lodging

Avanti Hotel ✮✮✮ (8.2)
Spart Hotel Garda ✮✮✮ (8.2)
HOTEL N Hostel Malmö City ✮✮✮✮ (8.5)

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8. Spain

Spain is home to 28 million registered pets (more than children under 15 years). Although the number is lower than in other EU countries, the impact of domestic pets in Spain is relevant, with €140 for dogs and €91 for cats spent monthly. I'm not surprised there were over 6,000 Spanish veterinary clinics and 5,400 pet shops (as of 2020).

The number 8 in this rank offers pet-friendly parks and beaches, such as Barcelona's Parc de la Ciutadella and Valencia's Turia Gardens, where pets can play and socialise off-leash.

Furthermore, locations like Madrid's Plaza Mayor and Seville's Alameda de Hércules are examples of outdoor dining scenes with countless pet-friendly cafes and restaurants.

Best Cities

Madrid
Barcelona
Valencia
Siviglia

Top Lodging

Madrid Suites San Mateo ✮✮✮ (8.8)
Ibis Styles Barcelona Centre ✮✮✮ (8.8)
Casual Vintage Valencia ✮✮✮ (8.4)
Hotel Simon ✮✮✮ (8.6)

9. Austria

Austria's government recently proposed a new comprehensive animal welfare package. When you come to Austria with your dog or cat, you'll be confident the protection and well-being of your animals have been enhanced further.

In addition to the law, Austria's stunning natural landscapes, including mountains, lakes, and forests, are perfect for outstanding outdoor adventures with your pets.

While in the Country, you should also experience Austria's vibrant cafe culture, with many places allowing owners to dine aside their furry companions.

Best Cities

Vienna
Innsbruck
Salzburg
Graz

Top Lodging

Living Hotel Kaiser Franz Joseph ✮✮✮ (8.2)
Hotel Heimgartl ✮✮✮ (8.7)
Leonardo Hotel Salzburg City Center ✮✮✮ (8.4)
Daniel Graz ✮✮✮✮ (8.9)

10. Poland

Poland is a worthy destination for budget travellers eager to explore Eastern European culture and architecture. Unlike in other European countries, finding a restaurant that allows you to dine indoors with your pet could be more difficult. However, choosing a seat outside or on the terrace will give you more chances to eat with “Fido” at your side (but better if you visit Poland during summer and hot seasons).

Are you not travelling in your car? I have good news for you. You can transport your luggage and pet for free on all Warsaw's ZTM (Public Transport Authority) vehicles. Busses and trams in Wroclaw also offer free entry for animals.

Best Cities

Warsaw
Krakow
Wroclaw
Gdansk

11. Denmark

Denmark is the most Southern of the Scandinavian countries. It offers many outdoor spaces where you can enjoy free time with your pet, including some sections of the forest, beaches, campsites, and holiday cottage rentals. However, always check with local regulations and watch for signs to know where dogs are not allowed.

Best Cities

Copenaghen
Aarhus
Odense
Aalborg

Top Lodging

Go Hotel City ✮✮✮ (8.1)
First Hotel Atlantic ✮✮✮ (8.5)
Guldbergs Guesthouse ✮✮✮ (8.8)
Aalborg Hotel Apartments ✮✮✮✮ (8.9)

12. Netherlands

Your dog, too, needs to exercise and socialise, and the Netherlands won't disappoint you. Indeed, many parks, such as Vondelpark in Amsterdam and Beatrixpark in The Hague, allow pets to roam off-leash (pet travel also means freedom).

As for rules, pets are generally welcome in public spaces. But remember to clean up after your dog and adhere to leash regulations in certain areas because other visitors' safety and comfort are also important.

Best Cities

Amsterdam
Rotterdam
Eindhoven
Groningen

Top Lodging

Radisson Hotel & Suites Amsterdam South ✮✮✮ (8.4)
Hotel Breitner ✮✮✮✮ (8.9)
Inntel Hotels Art Eindhoven ✮✮✮ (8.3)
Nh Groningen Hotel ✮✮✮ (8.1)

13. United States

86.9 million US homes host a pet (66% of households). With so many furry best friends living with their humans, the US couldn't be excluded from this list. But the United States is a vast area, and pet-friendliness and rules vary by region and city. So, if you plan to visit it on the go or do a coast-to-coast tour, study first the pet regulations in every state and city you'll touch.

Are you a nature lover? As a pet owner, I bet you all are. So, you can take your pet to the most famous parks, such as Central Park in New York City or Griffith Park in Los Angeles, where you will always find designated areas for your pets to run and exercise off-leash.

Best Cities

New York
San Francisco
Seattle
Austin

Top Lodging

Pod 39 Hotel ✮✮✮ (8.5)
Hotel Triton ✮✮✮ (8.4)
Belltown Inn ✮✮✮ (8.8)
Drury Inn & Suites Austin North ✮✮✮✮ (9.0)

14. Switzerland

Switzerland is loved for its nature, mountains, and cleanliness. This is something your pets will love, too. Take them to outdoor spaces like the Lake Zurich promenade in Zurich and Parc des Bastions in Geneva. Also, the extensive network of hiking trails and mountain paths are fantastic places to have outdoor adventures with your buddy.

Are you wondering if you can take good care of your pet in Switzerland? Although it's a small mountainous country, Switzerland has 648 pet hospitals and 460 pet shops. So, you can consider pet travel in Switzerland completely safe.

Best Cities

Berna
Ginevra
Zurich
Lugano

Top Lodging

Los Lorentes Hotel Bern City ✮✮✮ (8.5)
Ibis budget Genève Palexpo Aéroport ✮✮✮ (8.6)
Hotel Saint Georges ✮✮✮ (8.7)
Lean Home – Happy Rentals ✮✮ (7.8)

8 Best Pet-friendly Apps

8 Best Pet-friendly Apps

They say there's an app for everything. Indeed, as of 2023, Google Play Store listed 2.4 million Android apps while Apple Store had 3.8 million iOS apps.

Among all mobile applications, you can find the ones to support pet travel. I selected the best pet-friendly apps categorised by spot finding, wellness, dog service search, and fun.

Best Apps for Pet-friendly Spot Finding

BringFido


Explore over 500,000 places and find pet-friendly accommodations, restaurants, attractions, and activities.

Android | Apple

BarkHappy


Discover dog-friendly restaurants, connect with other dog owners, attend dog-friendly events, and find services.

Android | Apple

Best Apps for Pets Wellness

PetCoach


Receive personalised advice and guidance on pet health, behaviour, nutrition, and training from veterinarians, trainers, and pet experts available 24/7.

Android | Apple

Pet First Aid


Learn essential information and step-by-step guides for handling common pet emergencies and administering first aid until veterinary care is available.

Android | Apple

Top Apps for Dog Services Search

Rover


Connect with trusted pet sitters and dog walkers in your area. Book services such as pet boarding, doggy daycare, pet sitting, and dog walking.

Android | Apple

Wag


Find and book 5-star pet caregivers near your place, including sitting, walking, training, boarding, brief visits, insurance providers, and vet chat.

Android | Apple

Apps for Dog Fun

Dog Whistler


Go beyond dog training and start having fun with kids and dogs: pull pranks, create high-pitched sounds, and wait for your pet's funny reactions.

Android | Apple

Dog Translator


Find the sounds that your pet likes most. Communicate with your dogs by selecting and playing different sounds and seeing how they react.

Android | Apple

You may also be interested in discovering the 18 Best iOS and Android Photography Apps in 2024.

Outdoor Gears for Dogs

Pet Travel Accessories

Ultimate Pet Travel Checklist

  • Microchip identification: Ensure your pet has a microchip and the information is up-to-date. Carry a copy of the microchip registration number and contact details.
  • Vaccination records: Obtain and carry original copies of all required vaccinations, especially rabies certificates. Check if additional vaccinations are needed for your destination.
  • Health certificate: Consult your veterinarian about obtaining a health certificate issued within a specific timeframe before departure.
  • Pet passport (if applicable): Some countries require a pet passport for international travel. Ensure it's valid and contains all necessary information.
  • Airline/transport confirmation: Keep your booking confirmation readily available.
  • Pet insurance (optional): Consider travel insurance for unexpected medical emergencies.
  • Carrier: Choose a comfortable carrier that meets airline/transport guidelines. Train your pet to be comfortable inside it beforehand.
  • Leash and harness: Bring a sturdy leash and a secure harness for safe walks and car travel.
  • Food and water: Pack enough food and water for your pet's entire trip, considering potential delays. Bring airtight containers and collapsible food and drinking bowls.
  • Waste bags and disposal scoop: Always be prepared to clean up after your pet. Choose biodegradable bags for eco-friendly disposal.
  • Poop bags dispenser: Attach a convenient dispenser to your leash for quick access to waste bags.
  • Medication: Pack any prescribed medications with labels and copies of prescriptions.
  • Collar and ID tags: Ensure your pet wears a secure collar with up-to-date ID tags, including your contact information.
  • Familiar items: Bring a familiar blanket, bed, or toy to supply comfort and reduce stress.
  • Chew toys and treats: Offer engaging chew toys and healthy treats to keep your pet occupied during travel.
  • Travel water bottle: Choose a portable water bottle with a built-in dispenser for on-the-go easy hydration.
  • First-aid kit: Pack a basic pet first-aid kit with essential supplies like gauze, bandages, and antiseptic wipes.
  • Cleaning supplies: Pack paper towels, disinfectant wipes, and odour neutraliser for unexpected accidents.
  • Litter Box: aka sandbox, cat box, litter tray, cat pan, potty, pot or litter pan (it can also work for small dogs and puppies. Have you ever tried with a Maltese or other dwarf/toy dogs?)
  • Recent pet photo: Carry a recent picture of your pet in case of separation or identification needs.
  • Schedule breaks: Plan regular breaks every few hours for walks, potty breaks, and stretching.
  • Stay hydrated: Offer water frequently, especially during long journeys or hot weather.
  • Maintain comfort: Ensure proper ventilation and avoid extreme temperatures during travel.
  • Be patient and provide reassurance: Understand travel can be stressful for pets. Be patient and calm, and offer plenty of love and praise.
  • Research destination-specific regulations.
  • Consult your veterinarian for personalised advice.
  • Pack for unexpected delays and potential accidents.
  • Be a responsible pet owner and respect local regulations.
  • Most importantly, relax and enjoy the journey with your furry friend.
  • Familiarise yourself with pet-friendly rest stops, restaurants, and accommodations along your route for a smooth and enjoyable experience.

Cat Travel Products

Pet Food Water Bowl Feeders

Pet Travel FAQs

Let's summarise by answering to the most frequent questions about pet travel and how to take a safe and exciting journey around the world with your dog or cat, whether by car, campervan or plane.

Can you travel with pets?

Yes. Travelling with pets is an incredible experience, and you can travel without being separated from your dog or cat. But first, you must learn the pet travel essentials, rules, and requirements and discover the best pet-friendly locations.

Why travel with pets?

First of all, your fluffy friend always makes a great travel companion that can enhance your whole experience. Secondly, travelling with pets provides several health benefits, such as lowering stress, reducing anxiety, boosting your immune system, keeping you active while playing with your pet, visiting new pet-friendly places, socialising with locals, saving money for dog sitters, or reducing strays rate caused by abandonment.

Where to travel with pets?

There are many pet-friendly destinations in the world. They are ideal for tourists travelling with furry companions because they offer dog-friendly outdoor spaces, restaurant and accommodation options, transportation allowing pets, professional pet clinics and stores, and laws on animal rights. Check our selection of the top 14 pet-friendly countries with the best hotels that welcome your four-legged family member.

What pets need to travel?

Travelling with pets must be taken seriously. Therefore, you must know all the requirements to bring your buddy on vacation. The essential things are pet travel certificates, pet vaccination, microchip, pet passport, carrier, leash and harness, cleaning products, and medication. Also, remember to learn the country and transportation rules to avoid fines and entry denial. Read our ten pet travel must-haves and checklist for complete knowledge.

Can a pet travel on planes and international flights?

Dogs, cats, ferrets, and other pets may be allowed to travel on domestic and international flights. However, airlines have pet policies, and some companies don't accept pets onboard. Before leaving for your journey, check with the airline to make the travel smooth and avoid inconvenience.

Which airlines are allowing pet travel?

There are over 5,000 airlines in the world, as of today. Listing them all would be impossible here. So, we compiled a list of the most requested airlines, including Delta Airlines and Spirit Airlines. Discover the other companies and their pet policies.

Where can I keep my pet when I travel?

It depends on how you travel. For example, when you drive long-distance by car or campervan, you can keep your pet in a secure carrier/crate or certified harness, always on the back of the vehicle.
If you travel by plane, with some airlines, animals must travel as cargo. Other companies accept pets in the cabin, but they must stay in the kennel all the time, under your seat. Before departure, I recommend you learn all the essential pet travel rules.

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