Vacations with dogs

Dog friendly boating vacations

Your dog is welcome on board!

Every year, pet owners ask themselves, “What should I do with my beloved dog when I go on vacation?” Well, we have the answer - take your dog with you! You will find no better alternative because with Le Boat, dogs are welcome on ALL our boats. We all know that our furry friends are part of the family too, and a self-drive boating holiday with everyone on board offers you and your loved ones the chance to explore your surroundings and take a different walk every day. Here is everything you need to know before coming on board for a dog-friendly boating vacation.

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Why take your dog on a boat?

Dogs love boats, and we welcome canine companions on board all of ours. Your dog will love being out on the water and exploring somewhere new every day. You can stop off and explore local pubs and cafes, or moor up and go for lovely walks along the canals or in nearby parks.

Can I take my dog abroad?

Hunde an Bord

If you want to travel with your dog to a country in the European Union, your pet will need a valid rabies vaccination and an animal health certificate. If travelling to Ireland, your pet will also require tapeworm treatment.

For the animal health certificate, you must take your pet to the vet. You need to do this no more than 10 days before you travel. The certificate needs to be signed by an ‘official veterinarian’ (OV).

To be allowed into the UK, you’ll need to visit a vet to treat your dog for tapeworm. This must be recorded in your pet’s animal health certificate. If you’re travelling from Ireland to the UK, this isn’t required. Please always check official advice before travelling with your dog.

 

Where to go

All of our destinations are dog friendly, which makes any of our cruising regions perfect for a boating holiday with your furry friend.The Thames has many dog-friendly pubs which you and your pooch can enjoy together, plus excellent trails for walks and lovely parks in places such as Windsor. Or your four-legged friend may love exploring the unrivalled scenery of the Scottish Highlands on a trip along the Caledonian Canal.

If you’re thinking about travelling to countries in the European Union, then the canals of France are excellent for long walks together. The Canal du Midi is a great option: the towpath runs alongside making it the ideal destination to explore on foot with your dog. The River Shannon is also home to lots of dog-friendly pubs, as well as fields, gardens and walking paths around lakes just waiting to be explored. Adventures may also await you and your dog in the woods of Mecklenburg and Brandenburg in Germany.

How many pets can I take with me?

A maximum of two dogs are welcome on board each boat. A pet cleaning supplement of €60 per pet applies.


Which boat should I choose?

If you have a small dog, you’re welcome to choose any of our boats for your dog-friendly boating adventure! You can easily carry your doggy on and off board. With a bigger dog, you need to make sure that they can easily jump on and off the boat on its own. You might prefer to have the salon and cabin on the same level, without any stairs. In this case, we recommend Salsa, Tango, Calypso and all boats of the Vision fleet.

Tips for a dog-friendly boating holiday

  • Bring your dog’s favourite things such as their blanket, favourite toy and water bowl along for the trip, so that they settle in faster
  • Being able to have your dog settle in a specified place while underway helps keeps them safe and prevents distracted boat driving. You don't want your excited pup running about while you're launching your boat. 
  • Having a designated spot onboard can also help a more nervous dog feel better about riding on a boat. Invest in a comfortable anti-slip mat or pad that is big enough for your dog to lay down on. Fibreglass non-skid decks may provide a secure footing to you and I, but they can be quite slippery to a dog’s paws.
  • Pack a spare towel and a log lead in case they go swimming
  • Purchase a doggy life-vest to make sure your dog is safe when paddling. 
  • Some areas may be protected, and you may have to put your dog on a lead – always check beforehand
  • Take plenty of doggie waste bags and paper towels with you on your trip
  • Swim, run, jump – on a boating holiday everything is possible, just moor up and let your dog have fun!

Testimonials & further tips

Croisière fluviale

Moana the Golden Retriever

“My name is Moana, I'm a Golden Retriever and a canal boat holiday enthusiast! My person Holger is a travel photographer: during some photoshoots in the Mecklenburg Lake District in Germany and in Alsace-Lorraine, I was able to accompany him with great pleasure. I have always been greeted with great friendship by the staff at Le Boat bases and I felt immediately at home on board the boats!”

© Photograph by Holger Leue / www.leue-photo.com


Paul Wojnicki, author of France: A Woof Guide

“I'd never let Falco off lead abroad without a pet tracker, I'd hate to think I lost him anywhere let alone a foreign country. Make sure yours has European maps on it, my Garmin has this as standard.”

Read more from Paul in his book, France: A Woof’s Guide

Looking for more holiday inspiration?

Take a look at all our houseboat rental vacation activities to see what else you could discover on your Le Boat holiday.