For many people, their pets are so important that they love them as if they were one of the family. We often forget that they are animals and think of them as if they were people. These little animals give us so much love and are so faithful that it is impossible not to love them.
When vacation time arrives, it is very tempting to visit another country, but it can be a real headache trying to decide what to do with our pets, because on most occasions we would like them to travel with us.
Italy is one of the most popular tourist populations in the world and many people probably search for information on how to travel to this wonderful country with their dog. This article should clear up any doubts you might have.
- Before travelling:
As you have probably imagined, the procedures for your trip to Italy with your dog begin in your country of origin.
If you are in a European Union country, the first thing you need to take into account is that your pet will need a “Pet Passport”. In order to obtain this document, your four-legged friend must have been recently vaccinated against rabies and must have a microchip or legible tattoo.
If this is not the case, you need to visit a vet that is officially recognised by the pertinent authorities in both your country of origin and in Italy, to obtain a certificate of good health for your dog. You also need to remember that, as well as the aforementioned certificate and the rabies vaccine, your pet must be identified with a microchip or clearly legible tattoo.
It is important to bear in mind that, to enter this European country, your dog must be vaccinated against rabies at least 21 days before your trip.
It is also important to note that dogs under 3 months old are not allowed into Italy because, at this age, they have still not been vaccinated against rabies.
- During your trip:
Once you have completed the pre-journey procedures, you need to be ready for your flight. At this stage, there are certain aspects that you need to be very clear on, so that your pet’s journey is as comfortable as possible.
The first thing you need to do is to find out whether your airline accepts animals for transport. Once you have checked it out, you need to investigate, well in advance, all the regulations for your dog’s trip.
These are some of the things you need to take into account:
- If your dog weighs less than 10 kilos, it will be allowed in the cabin with you. Of course, there are guidelines to follow, e.g. it must be clean, in an appropriate carrier and cannot be taken out during the flight.
- During the flight, the dog must be placed under the seat in front of you and you need to make sure that it does not disturb the other passengers.
- Dogs that weigh over 10 kilos are transported in the hold, in a pressurised area, inside a cage suitable for transporting the dog, so you can be completely sure that your four-legged friend will not be uncomfortable. In this case, many companies allow the client to bring their own cage or else they will provide you with a suitable one.
- Moreover, you should check whether the airline offers personal assistance for pets and, if so, whether or not they charge for the service.
Once you have arrived at your destination, you need to take into account certain measures that must be fulfilled by everyone who visits the country with their pet. Here are a few rules that you need to remember:
The first thing is that, in Italy, your dog must always be on a lead and wear a muzzle. The lead must be no longer than 1.5 metres long and the use of the muzzle is not always compulsory, although I would recommend that you always carry it with you in case you need to show it or put it on your dog.
If you need to travel on public transport and your pet is with you, your pet must either wear its muzzle or be in its carrier and you must pay for its journey, which will cost you half of the normal fare. Only guide dogs for the blind or visually impaired can travel free of charge.
If you would like to go to a restaurant with your pet, be sure that they are allowed on the premises. To a great extent, this depends on the size of the animal. If the dog is allowed into the restaurant, make sure it doesn’t disturb the other diners.
- Going to the beach:
There is no doubt that Italy has some beautiful beaches that are popular among many tourists. People travelling to Italy with their dog, must remember that on the majority of these beaches, dogs are not allowed. I suggest that you check out which beaches allow dogs. To begin with, I would recommend Bau Beach in Maccarese.
Other places that welcome pets include Ristorante Quinoa in Florence, the National Museum of Cinema in Turin and the HangarBicocca Contemporary Art Museum in Milan.
Moreover, every town in Italy has areas where dogs can run freely without having to be on a lead.