Following a steady increase in the past few decades, over 70 million households across Europe are now estimated to be owners of at least one pet. By far the most favored domesticated animals are dogs and cats, respectively comprising 26% and 25% of this figure. With companionship coming out top in surveys of reasons to buy a canine or feline friend, it is unsurprising that high ownership statistics combined with the standardization of regulations across Europe has produced unprecedented numbers of pets accompanying their owners on holiday.
Despite the growth of services offering to safely and cheaply transport your pet and the rise of pet-friendly hotels and caravan sites, taking pets abroad still requires careful research and planning. As well as acquiring all the necessary documentation, it is important to consider how you personally can get your pet ready for a journey.
Steps to ensure a comfortable and relaxing journey for a dog include taking them out for short drives in the weeks prior to holidaying to allow them to get used to travelling . During these short trips it is important to try to discourage barking as this can be distracting to both yourself and other travelers. If you are travelling with a cat you may want to consider a special cage whereas dogs may well be fine with just a harness. These measures are likely to make travel more comfortable for you and your animal.
Finally, before you embark on your journey be sure, when possible, to have a well ventilated vehicle and plenty of quality food and be sure to plan plenty of stopping points so your pet can do its business and get some well-needed exercise.