Different country, different rules
I still remember the day we arrived in the UK from Germany with our little West Highland Terrier, Sammy. One evening we decided to take Sammy for a walk and try out one of the local restaurants. We stopped somewhere that took our fancy but didn’t even make it over the threshold before the waiter told us that dogs were not allowed! Disappointed (and a little put out), we naively headed off to the next place – only to be told the same thing. Slowly it began to dawn on us that maybe dogs were just not welcome in cafes and restaurants in the UK.
Pack your dog’s suitcase
Preparation is everything
If your dog is used to travelling by car, why not treat it to a holiday in Germany? Some dogs do suffer from car sickness, so it’s always a good idea to try out a shorter journey before planning a long trip. If your dog is happy being in a car, there’s no need to find a dog sitter, and feel guilty about leaving your beloved pet behind when you go on holiday. You might even save some money on the cost of a kennel – a win-win in my book! Just remember that your companion will need an up-to-date passport, along with all the necessary vaccinations.
Travelling to Germany
Taking your dog to Europe in case of a no-deal Brexit
With the Brexit situation being very uncertain, it’s a good idea to check out the gov.uk and Eurotunnel websites for updates and advice. As we frequently travel back and forth between the UK and Germany with our dog, Charlie, we decided to take the safe option. Even though Charlie’s rabies vaccination was still valid for another year and a half, we decided to give him a booster jab at the beginning of March. We then had to wait one month before the vet could carry out a blood test, which confirmed he’s free from rabies. We now have a three-month wait until we’re allowed to travel back into the UK with Charlie. So, Charlie can definitely join us on our summer holiday.
I would advise discussing all the options with your vet well before travelling to avoid any disappointment. You also need to allow extra time at the Eurotunnel Pet Centre for the paperwork to be processed if you’re travelling by train.
Let’s pit stop – with doggy
A warm welcome in cafes and restaurants
If you decide to take your four-legged family member on holiday to Germany, you’ll be pleasantly surprised how easy and relaxed it is when going out for a meal. Most eating establishments welcome dogs and often provide water bowls, and even a treat if the owner is feeling particularly generous! This makes it so much easier to try out the local cuisine after doing a full day of activities. I remember a wonderful experience we had at the Alpenhof hotel in Bayerischzell, in Bavaria. Our little Westie was made to feel very much at home with his own special bed in our room as well as a water bowl and an endless supply of treats. A lovely touch on the part of the hotel, and certainly guaranteed to melt the hearts of any dog lover.
Dog-friendly places across the country
Accommodation is becoming more and more luxurious
We take our dog on holiday to Germany almost every time when we go back for a visit. Although, this does mean taking on a certain amount of commitment. After all, Charlie is part of our family, and we enjoy having him around. We went to the island of Sylt and Borkum with our previous Westie, Sammy, and to Juist and Spiekeroog with Charlie – as well as many other places in Germany.
Almost all the hotels or self-catering apartments welcome dogs; with most charging an extra fee of between 5 and 25€ per night. Just recently, we fell in love with the seaside resort of Büsum, which is located on the North Sea, close to Hamburg. We even took Charlie to the Küstenperle Hotel & Spa on our two-week summer holiday. Büsum is very dog-friendly, with certain areas on the beach being allocated to dogs, and it’s no problem taking them into the city centre or taking them for a walk along the dyke. Dogs are also welcome in shops, cafes and restaurants in Büsum. In many places, they even provide bowls, treats, poo bags and even a bed – as well as other useful things.
Plan ahead to ensure a happy dog
Create a check list
In general, I’d recommend thinking in advance about what you’d like to do on holiday, and whether or not it would be suitable for your dog. Additionally, do check if your dog would need any special treatments, e.g. tick treatments or vaccinations. Don’t forget to take food, or any medication as some dogs can sometimes react to a different environment, and different food could upset their stomach.
Flying with your dog?
Check before booking your flight
If you like the idea of travelling to Germany by plane, most airlines will allow dogs onboard – although, there are some that don’t. However, each airline will have their own policy, so do check before booking your flight. Some airlines will allow dogs weighing up to eight kilograms into the cabin; providing they are carried in a special bag. Larger dogs travel in a special box that remains in the hold. This could be quite stressful for some dogs; so, you should think about this option carefully – depending on the type of dog you have. It’s always advisable to get your dog used to the box a few weeks beforehand so that they are familiar with it before the big journey.
If you’re considering travelling to Germany with your dog, please don’t hesitate to contact me for any recommendations or advice. I can suggest nice dog-friendly places in Germany, and I’m always happy to do some research for you.