Holidays with your Pets (cats & dogs)

We generally recommend early planning (months to weeks before the planned holiday date). As a family, do you consider whether the desired region, the travel time, the travel duration and the changed environment and climate are suitable for your pet? What are the advantages of taking the animal with you on holiday in the usual family pack/family affiliation, or how important is the travel stress with the changed environment, daily routine and unfavorable climate for your animal? Wouldn't your animal be content and happy to spend a family break with animal friends and professional care? 

Define the travel destination, where would you like to spend the holidays? Can pets be brought to the holiday resort (information about pet-friendly hotels, holiday homes, club trips, etc.), is there a veterinary clinic near the holiday resort? Are there special regulations for pets at the destination / beach etc.

Care - if your pet will not accompany you, can it stay at home or will it be taken care of externally, i.e. where and by whom? Is there a possibility that e.g. a pet sitter can come to your house/apartment regularly, do you know any recommendations for pet boarding houses or pet hotels, or are friends or acquaintances suitable for 24-hour all-round care over a longer period of time? Do you give important phone numbers to all these people, where can you be reached in an animal emergency during the holidays? Inform the caretakers of your pets about the emergency number and address of the treating veterinary practice, including important information about known illnesses and medications of your pets.

Means of transport - how do you start the journey?:
1.  Car/ camper (transport box available, training with dog box, seat belts for the dog? Getting used to this accommodation, air conditioning, tinted windows...), possibly get anti-stress or medication for indisposition and vomiting from the veterinarian.
2. Train (possibly muzzle obligation in public transport, muzzle training, favorite blanket), knowledge of public transport regulations in the countries to be traveled to.
3. Airplane (Is it possible to fly with an animal on the same flight, know the regulations of the airlines and airports, weight/size determines whether the animal can travel in the passenger compartment, weight usually including travel bag, training in a dog box if cargo hold, getting used to handling strangers on transport, etc.), discuss anti-stress additives with the veterinarian, animals may no longer be sedated for safety reasons. Inquire about specialized relocation companies/ pet movers.

Check your pet's vaccination status before the holiday is booked. A brief consultation with your veterinarian about the validity of your pet's vaccinations would be ideal. If the holiday destination is known, get important additional information, e.g. whether your travel destination is a rabies-free country or whether it is classified as a rabies risk country. If your holiday country is rabies-free, a valid rabies vaccination that has not yet expired (most rabies vaccinations are now valid for 3 years), the pet passport/international vaccination card and your animal must be microchipped (this is a requirement for dogs in Switzerland, only mandatory for cats if a trip goes beyond the Swiss national borders - we recommend that you also register cats with a microchip in addition to the implantation). 
If your pet's rabies vaccination has expired, you must make an appointment with your favorite vet as soon as possible for the renewal of rabies protection can be agreed. After the newly administered rabies vaccination, there is a waiting period of 21 days before crossing the border (this only applies if your pet has never had a rabies vaccination before or has had one that has expired). If your travel country is classified as a rabies risk country (see list of countries), you must have a lead time of at least 2 months for rabies vaccinations (possibly even 2 intervals by 10 days each), a blood test of the rabies titer with sending it to a specialized laboratory and certification of the findings, ev re-import permit for the return journey to Switzerland by plane (apply to the FSVO).

In preparation for crossing the border (microchip, passport, TW vaccination), we also recommend that you carry out prophylactic vaccinations against contagious dog diseases. These are often referred to as "combi vaccinations" (additional vaccinations against distemper, parvovirus, hepatitis contagiosa canis, parainfluenza, kennel cough and possibly Bordetella). These vaccinations are important if your dog comes into contact with other (possibly unvaccinated) dogs in the holiday country. For cats, the cat flu vaccination is recommended and if the cat is not only kept indoors, but also outdoors, the leucosis vaccination is also recommended.  !! Important!!: Know the regulations for re-entry/return to Switzerland (re-import permit also possible online, FSVO).

Order food and regular medication early and in sufficient quantities from your veterinary practice. Our recommendation, have an emergency pharmacy put together that is personalized for your pet. We would be happy to advise you.

Be sure to discuss parasite protection/prophylaxis with your veterinarian, deworming is generally recommended AFTER the holidays, or if the holidays last longer than 14 days, also on site and again after the return journey (heartworm prophylaxis or other internal parasites). Apply the prophylaxis against ticks, fleas and mosquitoes (very important, since many parasite remedies sold in Switzerland are not effective against mosquitoes) a few days BEFORE the holidays (especially in warmer regions, see Esccap map) (these are usually collars or drops) and possibly renew after 3-4 weeks on site during the holidays. Obtain information on vector diseases in dogs and cats, ie infectious diseases transmitted by mosquitoes and ticks (e.g. leishmaniasis, babesiosis, erlichiosis, heartworm disease) which mostly do not yet occur in Switzerland (see, possibly after a longer stay abroad discuss the possibility of blood tests for these diseases with your veterinarian.

Contact the addresses of the official offices in Switzerland and in the holiday destination, e.g. Contact the cantonal veterinary office, BLV, veterinarian early so that these checks can be carried out at the prescribed time.
Approximately 7 - 10 days before the holidays: Some countries or airlines require a check at the veterinarian, which includes a health check, microchip control, deworming and possibly includes an anti-ectoparasite treatment. After the visit to the small animal doctor you trust (government-approved veterinarian), some countries also require official certification of the documents by the veterinary office (official government of veterinarian (Veterinäramt Zürich)), where the documents are checked and stamped again, you do not have to bring your pet with you. If desired, clarify additional foreign protection with your existing animal insurance, animal liability insurance is mandatory in Switzerland as the owner of a dog.

Packing list:

  • Food and treats that your pet knows, likes, digests fine and tolerates.
  • Activity items (toys, chews, food games).
  • Travel bowl foldable, water bottle.
  • Cat litter, poop bags.
  • Collar with pendant including owners emergency phone number (check and please tighten the collar sufficiently, so that the animal can not slip out when stressed or frightened).
  • Short leash, drag line.
  • Muzzle (training).
  • Bed or favorite blanket/quick-drying towels, etc., comb/brush
  • Regular medication, sunscreen for short-haired or light-colored animals.
  • Emergency travel kit (@kleintierpraxis kreis2) and emergency addresses, telephone numbers, 
  • reserve medicines can be put together by your favorite veterinary clinic, e.g. against diarrhea, eye inflammation, vomiting, electrolyte replacement and a wound cleaning solution.
  • Parasite prophylaxis including tick tweezers.
  • Pet passport and travel documents issues by governement approved veterinarian and/or official governement veterinarian !!
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