Guide to how to travel abroad with your dog or cat

Guide til hvordan du rejser til udlandet med din hund eller kat

There are many rules that you must be aware of when traveling with your dog or cat. This is a guide made by that can help you as a dog or cat owner who needs to travel with your dog or cat.

- Who can the dog travel with
- Not all dogs are legal in all countries
- Remember your dog must have a legal ID tag
- Remember to take care - yes, this also applies to your dog
- Which vaccines should your dog have before the trip.
- Are you traveling with a puppy
- You may travel with a maximum of 5 animals at the same time
- Danger of taking your dog on trips abroad

Who can/may the dog travel with

Accompaniment by the owner or authorized person - travel with a pet

There are 2 different ways a dog can travel - some call this "moving" but we will choose to call it "travel". But there are 2 ways one's dog can travel, non-commercial and commercial. Completely different rules apply to these 2 types of travel, and it is important to know the difference.

Non-commercial travel with dog
When it comes to non-commercial travel with a dog, this means that you as the owner yourself travel with your dog or a person who is authorized travels with your dog.

The authorized person must be a person = a real person and it can be, for example:

  • your spouse
  • a good friend
  • or an employee of an approved animal transport company

Whether it is you as the owner or a person to whom you have given responsibility for the dog, the same rules apply during the journey, which is that you travel with the dog and have direct responsibility for the dog during travel.

The purpose of the trip must not be to sell the dog or to transfer the ownership of the dog to another person - so roughly speaking, non-commercial travel with a dog, travel in connection with a holiday, relocation or something else of the same type.

A non-commercial trip with dogs can take place up to 5 days before or after the owner's trip.

If the moving of the dog does not take place at the same time as the owner's journey, but within the above-mentioned time period, the moving of the dog must take place under the responsibility of another person who is authorized by the owner to carry out the moving of the dog on the owner's behalf.

If you wish to give authority over your dog during the journey to another person, this must be in writing. We have prepared a power of attorney that you are welcome to use.

Remember to bring the power of attorney on the journey with the dog.

You can pick up a Power of Attorney to authorize a dog while traveling here

If the dog's journey does not take place together with the owner and therefore without the owner himself traveling with him, or if it takes place within 5 days before or after the owner leaves, then it becomes commercial travel, which means that the journey must now live up to the rules that are for commercial travel with a dog or dogs.

This also applies if the purpose of the dog's journey is to sell or transfer ownership to another person.

Documentation that you are not carrying out a non-commercial movement of the animal - traveling with pets

It is therefore important that you can document that it is not a commercial trip, but a non-commercial trip. This can be done with hotel confirmation or other proof that it is a holiday or relocation.

And as a dog lover, you should only be happy about this, as there are often "travels" with dogs that do not take place under particularly good conditions, in fact so bad that you get a complete ache in your heart that this can take place.

So always remember to have documentation ready when you travel with your dog, so that you can show them should authorities, such as the Police, Customs or the veterinary authorities, ask to see them.

As mentioned, this can be done by having your hotel reservation or invoice, boarding pass, plane or train tickets etc. etc., with you, which unequivocally proves that your dog's journey is connected with you or the person you have given responsibility for the dog during the journey.

Not all dogs are legal in all countries

Since not all dog breeds are legal to take with you, it is always important to contact the veterinary authority in the country you are traveling to, or contact the Danish embassy in the country in question, who will be able to inform you whether your dog is legal to travel with in the country in question..

You can find an overview of Danish embassies abroad on the website of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs .

Remember your dog must have a legal ID tag

ID tag and Microchip - travel with pets

The dog must of course have a legal ID tag such as a microchip (transponder) or alternatively an easily legible tattoo can also be accepted. Remember, if it is a tattoo, it must be applied before 3 July 2011.

If your dog has a microchip, it must comply with ISO standard 11784 and use HDX or FDX-B technology, which means it must be readable by a reader compatible with ISO standard 11785. This will allow your vet to inform you if this is the case.

Remember to take care - yes, this also applies to your dog

EU pet pass - travel with pets

When you travel with your dog within the EU, it must have a valid EU pet passport, which your vet will be able to do for your dog.

Read more on the EU pet passport page .

Which vaccines should your dog have before the trip.

Vaccination - travel with pets

There is a difference in the requirements for vaccines in different countries, but it must be vaccinated against rabies, like your dog and dogs in other countries, at least 21 days before traveling out of Denmark. But as I said, there are different requirements in different countries, so always contact the veterinary authorities or talk to the Danish embassy in the country you are traveling to, so that you are sure your dog complies with the regulations on vaccines in that country country in question.

We always recommend that you talk to your local vet about this, as they will be aware of the requirements in Annex III to Regulation (EU) 576/2013. which is the part you have to live up to in the EU.

Open Regulation (EU) 576/2013

What we can tell you, however, is that the dog must be at least 12 weeks old when you vaccinate. Also remember that the date on the Vaccine is not before the date of the microchip or tattoo, as you cannot be sure of the age and date.

It is also important that the period of validity for vaccination is calculated from the time when immunity has been achieved and not from the day it received the vaccine. This part is important about the 21 days before departure, as this means you cannot do it 21 days before, but must stay for the period before the immunity is obtained. Fortunately, his vet knows a lot about this, so contact your vet so that you have 100% control over it being vaccinated in time before you travel.

Since there are several different rabies vaccines for different animal species etc., we always recommend that you contact your local vet who can recommend the best vaccine for your animal, whether it is a dog or cat.

Even if your dog is vaccinated, we also recommend always contacting the vet or your local vet to ensure the vaccine is still valid or whether a revaccination is required.

And if you give a revaccination before the expiration of the validity period for the old vaccine, you will be able to travel with your dog immediately, and of course only if the other requirements are also met.

Are you traveling with a puppy?

If you travel with a puppy that has not received a valid rabies vaccination, it will not be possible in many EU countries to travel during non-commercial trips with young dogs that have not received a valid rabies vaccination.

We therefore always recommend that you first check with puppies whether the country you are traveling to, as well as any transit countries where intermediate countries allow non-commercial travel with puppies without a valid rabies vaccine. If it is not possible as non-commercial, you must investigate whether it is possible with commercial travel. Here there may be requirements for quarantine etc

You can read more about which countries allow this on the EU Commission's website here

You may travel with a maximum of 5 animals at the same time

Travel with more than five pets - travel with pets

The person who owns or is authorized to travel with the animals in question may travel with a maximum of five animals of the species dogs, cats and ferrets at the same time.

However, as always, there are exceptions which are:

1) The journey with the animals is intended for participation in competitions, exhibitions, sports events or training for the same events.

2) That you have written documentation that they are either registered to participate or are registered with the association that holds events.

3) And all the animals must be over six months old.

If the animals do not meet the above conditions, it will be commercial travel and therefore they must meet the requirements that apply to commercial travel.

Also read:
What should I bring when traveling with my dog?

Danger of taking your dog with you on trips abroad


When you travel with your dog abroad, you must always be aware of taking extra good care of your dog, as abroad there may be a risk that your dog may be infected with various diseases that we do not normally see in Denmark. It is particularly in Eastern and Southern Europe and in countries outside Europe that the risk is most serious.

One of the main reasons why the risk is high in Eastern and Southern Europe is mainly street dogs, but also from the local dogs. And it can be serious, since in these countries you see diseases such as zoonoses, which can be transmitted from animals to humans (zoonoses).

So even if you are just on holiday, you must remember to take extra care of your dog, we recommend always keeping your dog on a leash, we do that in Denmark as well, if you are not in a kennel or other place where it is safe for one's dog to be free. But on holiday it is extra important, so you can keep track of your dog and keep your distance from other dogs. This also applies to the campsite etc. here it can be smart to take a fixed steel line with you like this dog leash made of steel cable, with a shock-absorbing spring and a ground spike , so you are sure your dog won't run away etc.

It is also important to remember that even if you meet all the requirements we have described in this guide, it is not a guarantee that a dog will not become infected. It can still happen, so on and after a holiday it is very important to keep a close eye on your dog, so that you can quickly seek a vet if it shows symptoms of illness.

Remember to read this travel guide thoroughly and, if necessary, look at the Danish Veterinary and Food Administration 's website for more help about the different requirements in the different countries.

Also read:
What should I bring when traveling with my dog?

Thanks to Stenaline who made graphics / illustrations for this blog post about how best to travel with pets:

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