Ever since the pug Lilibet came to our family, we have had our sights set on her becoming a little traveller. We have driven her a lot, trained her to accompany us to restaurants and practiced sleeping in hotels. And of course we were lucky that she turned out to be a safe and happy dog, but she also loved accompanying us everywhere. At the beginning of March (2022) it was therefore time to go abroad with her for the first time. We went on a mini-holiday to northern Zealand, via the Helsingborg-Helsingör ferry. But what does it really take for you to be able to travel to Denmark with your dog? And what do you have to do to be able to travel back to Sweden? It was easier than we thought to travel with a dog, but at the same time there were some things that you need to keep an eye on!
NB: Before you head abroad with your dog, make sure you are fully read about the current laws and regulations that apply to the countries you are going to visit. Otherwise you risk your dog in the worst case to be euthanized.
Basic rules for traveling with a dog between Denmark and Sweden
As Denmark and Sweden are EU countries, the basic EU requirements apply both to traveling with the dog to Denmark and back to Sweden. Within the EU, almost the same rules apply between all member states, but there are certain exceptions - also for Denmark and Sweden. See current special rules further down the page.
We would only travel one day in Denmark, so the rules below apply for a shorter holiday trip from Sweden to Denmark. If you are going to stay more than 4 weeks in Denmark, come from a country other than Sweden, import/sell dogs or are in transit, different rules apply.
The dog must be ID marked with a microchip (alternatively a tattoo if it was done before 2011-07-03). In Sweden, the ID chip must be of ISO standard 11784 or 11785, which is the same standard used in Denmark.
Lilibet is chipped and we checked at the last vet visit that the chip was readable.
The dog must have one EU passport. It looks something like a human passport, with name and identification. In addition, the passport contains a list of vaccination certificates. The passport is printed by veterinarians in Sweden and usually in connection with rabies vaccination.
Lilibet got her own passport last fall. Very cute if I do say so myself. The passport does not have an expiry date, but it does have the vaccinations - see the next point.
Within the entire EU is rabies vaccination a must for all dog travelers. A rabies vaccination needs to be planned well in advance of a trip. In Denmark, a dog is considered to be fully vaccinated 21 days after the vaccination, before that you cannot travel into Denmark with your dog. The rabies vaccination then needs to be renewed relatively often and different countries have different requirements. Check with your vet about the vaccination and make sure that the vaccination is entered clearly in the passport.
Lilibet was vaccinated against rabies in November, so almost 3 months had passed since the vaccination.
The dog must travel together its owner, otherwise a written certificate from the registered owner is required.
The dog should be at least 15 weeks old.
No problems for Lilibet - she is traveling with us and is 1,5 years old.
Special requirements for entering Sweden
When you travel to Sweden, you need to register the dog with the Customs Office, so this applies even if it is a Swedish dog that is registered in Sweden. Ideally, you do it in advance on the web - then you can choose "green" and "nothing to declare" at customs. You register your dog easily on the page Travel with a dog or cat at the Customs Office. Keep in mind that you need to have all documentation with you and meet all EU requirements even when traveling home.
If you have not registered the dog in advance, you need to go to customs and register the dog.
We pre-registered Lilibet online and were able to drive through in the green lane. However, we had all the papers ready in case there were any questions.
Special requirements for entering Denmark
You can find all information about rules and possible exceptions at How to travel with your dog at the Danish Food and Drug Administration.
Extra important to think about when you travel to Denmark is that 13 dog breeds are prohibited and dogs of these breeds are also not welcome as tourists. This applies to Pitbull Terriers, American Staffordshire Terriers and Dogo Argentino, among others. You can find a list of prohibited breeds at Danish Food and Drug Administration.
Lilibet is a pug and pugs are not on the banned list in Denmark.
How did we do at customs?
I won't pretend that I checked all the official websites in Swedish and Danish once, twice and three times before we left. It concerns a dear family member and nothing can go wrong! I had all the papers with me and everything was pre-registered and ready before we left.
In Elsinore we just got off the ferry and didn't have to show any papers at all to either the dog or any of the rest of us.
In Helsingborg on the way back home to Sweden, we drove against green at customs (when we had pre-registered and received confirmation by email) and even though the customs officer looked into the car and saw the dog, they just waved us past without asking for any papers.
Time for Lilibet to see more of Europe now?
Now that we have all the papers and vaccinations in place, it doesn't feel so difficult to travel to Denmark or the rest of the EU with a dog! The only hurdle was finding the right official pages to read and booking the vaccination, otherwise everything went very smoothly. In fact, we are now thinking of taking a longer turn down to Germany next time. We haven't flown with Lilibet yet and I'm a bit unsure if she weighs a bit too much to fly in the cabin, so it will be another car holiday before we try the wings.
One thing that can be good to think about when it comes to traveling with a dog to other countries, however, is that there can be both written and unwritten dog rules within the country - everything from muzzles to restaurant visits. How does it work in Denmark? It will be a separate post - so To be continued... 🙂
Check the latest rules on the official pages well in advance of your trip.
The official pages are: