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Taking your Dog on holiday

  • Not without my Dog! Info and Tips for a pleasant Holiday with your Pet

    Is a holiday without your beloved four-legged friend out of the question? With To Tuscany, holidaying with your dog becomes child’s play. We offer an extensive selection of dog-friendly holiday homes and apartments.

    Tuscany is the ideal holiday destination for dog owners and their faithful companions. Long beaches and vast landscapes – in short nature at its best make the hearts of owner and dog beat faster.

    There are a few things to consider to make a holiday with your dog become an unforgettable experience. And our To Tuscany team can tell you what these are. We are at your side with info and tips!

  • 1. Before you start – Entry Requirements

    For travel to Italy, EU regulations for pets apply. In any case your dog must be vaccinated against rabies and will need an EU pet passport with a veterinary certificate with regard to the vaccination and a microchip. In addition, taking out a dog liability insurance is advisable and necessary. We would also like to point out that in Italy a lead and muzzle are compulsory.

  • 2. Dream Holiday with a Dog – finding the right accommodation

    Dogs welcome! At  www.to-tuscany.com/pet-friendly-villas/ you will find a large selection of dog-friendly holiday homes – and apartments. Using our search criteria you will find a suitable holiday home –  in terms of position, size and price.

  • 3. Arrival by Car - Considerations

    Travelling by car with a dog is possibly the most pleasant way to reach your holiday destination, as in most cases the animal will be familiar with the car and individual breaks can be taken. To safeguard proper and safe transport the dog should be kept in the rear of the car and secured with a dog guard. Even if your dog is used to travelling by car, you should consider that a long journey is stressful. Therefore you should plan plenty of breaks for yourself and your pet. Apart from a first-aid kit for a possible bout of travel sickness of the four-legged friend your luggage should also contain food and drink bowls as well as a bottle of water. If possible the dog should only be fed properly at the destination as a full stomach can easily lead to sickness and vomiting. It is preferable to offer a few snacks during the journey so as not to overload the digestive system. The basic rule is: water is more important than food.
    Please NEVER leave your dog in a closed car, not even for a short break. In the sun the car body heats up very quickly and dogs are unable to sweat. This leads to a rapid rise in body temperature and blood clotting, almost always followed by death, even after a short stay in the car. Open windows don’t really help. Even if you park in the shade you are acting negligently, as the sun moves.

  • 4. Arrival by Plane or Train - Regulations

    Train: If you decide to travel by train, then dogs of up to 6 kg can travel for free in a transport box of a size of 70 x 50 x 30 cm. Bigger dogs need a ticket, and lead and muzzle are compulsory. The dog is only allowed in a sleeper or couchette compartment, if the owner has booked the whole compartment and in a seating car, too, the whole compartment has to be booked.

    Plane: Animals up to 5 kg, in some cases possibly up to 6 – 8 kg can come into the cabin, if they are in a suitable transport box. The box may not be bigger than the usual hand luggage size, i.e. 45-55 cm x 35-40 cm x 20-25 cm. All bigger dogs must go into the luggage area. Transport boxes for the luggage area, so-called kennels, must fulfil strict regulations. The dog must be able to move, stand upright and lie down in the robust, escape-proof and water-tight kennel. Any danger of injury must be eliminated and air supply from two sides must be guaranteed. On long flights the kennel must contain food and water. And of course it should be thermally insulated and padded out with cushions, sheets, wood shavings or sawdust. If necessary, stress can be reduced by giving sedatives. 
    The costs of flights are variable and vary greatly. We suggest you contact your airline.

  • 5. Arrival – to make sure your dog will feel at home

    Dog basket – and cushion, blanket and favourite toy will, due to their smell, help your dog to settle into the unfamiliar surroundings. In addition you should initially feed him the usual food in food and drink bowls you brought with you from home.  The less the animal comes into contact with unknown things during the first few days, the better he/she will settle in. Initial walks should be restricted to the immediate surroundings, before longer tours are undertaken.

    Vet: You might need a vet due to unfamiliar food, heat and travel sickness or in case of unexpected injuries – even if your pet is healthy. With the following link you will find a vet’s surgery nearby anywhere in Tuscany or Italy generally:

    www.vetfinder.mobi/

  • 6. Out and about – successful outings with your dog

    To avoid nasty surprises, you should familiarise yourself with the local regulations concerning accompanying animals. Leads are compulsory in all of Italy. You should always have a muzzle with you, but the dog will only have to wear it upon request. In some places, such as churches and museums, dogs are not permitted at all.

    Beaches: Dogs are allowed on specific dog beaches. Over recent years the number of dog beaches in Tuscany has increased steadily. These are mainly the Spiagge Libre, i.e. public beaches, which are not leased out, and there the dogs can enter the water to cool down. These beaches are identified by signs.

    Parks: Dogs have been allowed in public parks since 2009, if they are kept on a lead. 

    Museums: In most museum dogs are not permitted. But this prohibition may vary. Please check the local regulations. In Florence you can find a kennel where dogs can be boarded hourly if necessary.

    You will find information via the following link:
    www.florencepetsitting.com/

    Restaurants: Taking your dog with you to a restaurant after a day trip? No problem!  Since 2013 dogs can be taken into specifically identified restaurants in Tuscany. In many bars, restaurants and cafés it now says “Dogs welcome” or rather “Qui Fido è il benvenuto“

  • 7. Summer, winter or in-between – the best time to travel with your dog

    No matter whether it is spring, summer, autumn or winter – Tuscany is enchanting at any time of the year. However, for a holiday with the four-legged member of the family the cooler seasons are a better choice. Dogs cope better with lower temperatures than with extreme heat. But if you want to holiday with your dog in July or August, then we would recommend a holiday home with air conditioning. We are very happy to advise you in this respect.

  • 8. Tips for a relaxed time together

    Mutual consideration is important for a relaxing stay. Most of our holiday accommodations have house rules in order to avoid any misunderstandings right from the start.  

    We want to give a few tips in advance, to make sure that all guests can feel comfortable. For instance, the pool should be absolutely out of bounds for the dog.  Within the property the dog must be on a lead, unless you live in a house by yourself. In any case, you ought to use poop bags to remove the mess your dog leaves behind. Clean and dry the dog after a walk to avoid dirt being taken inside.

    The team from to Tuscany would like to wish you and your faithful friend an enjoyable and unforgettable holiday.

    „Buone Vacanze!“

  • For guests from the UK: please contact dympna@to-tuscany.com before your arrival in Italy so that you can be given the address of the nearest vet who can complete the necessary pet passport requirements for your return to the UK.

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