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Taking dogs to Switzerland

25 Aug

This summer we decided to look into the process of taking dogs to Switzerland and whether it was an easy process or not.

As regular visitors to Switzerland, we bit the bullet and applied for a pet passport for the new addition to our family, Zara our 10 month old golden retriever puppy.

And now it’s official, our dog loves Switzerland! Zara was in doggy heaven during her week visiting with us whilst combining business with pleasure this August.

Read on for a synopsis of how we fared travelling from the UK to Switzerland with a puppy, how much she enjoyed the Swiss mountains and to see why our dog loves Switzerland as much as we do!

taking dogs to Switzerland mountain scenery

Taking dogs to Switzerland by car.

taking dogs to Switzerland in Eurotunnel

It was easy applying for a pet passport. Our vet filled out all the paperwork, gave Zara a rabies jab (which must be done at least 3 weeks before travel), we updated her insurance, booked her on the Eurotunnel and Zara was ready for her adventure!

After a long journey from England involving several stops for stretching legs and performing the essentials we arrived in Veysonnaz, Switzerland ready to begin our hiking holiday.

Why it was great fun taking our dog to Switzerland.

Our first walk was in Evolene, we parked the car near the La Borgne River and let her run along the path running parallel to the river. The glacial water was perfect for a swim (for the dog!) in the 30 degree heat so we spent some time here throwing stones for her. We were out for most of the day walking a circular route from Evolene to Les Hauderes and La Sage.

Like most golden retrievers she is “fine tuned” to the sound of water so was constantly dipping into the various streams running down the mountain.

taking dogs to Switzerland in the La Borgne River Evolene

Our next walk was more of a challenge for Zara as we decided to introduce her to the cable car from Veysonnaz up to Thyon.

After initially stalling, she hopped in and after a quick look out of the window she settled on the floor of the telecabine. She seemed happy enough.

taking dogs to Switzerland in the cable car

High altitude walking was slightly more interesting with a dog but we used a lead around our waists attached to a sturdy harness which she soon got used to. Slightly challenging for the human attached but less dangerous than a golden retriever helping themselves to the Swiss Alps!

taking dogs to Switzerland looking at cows
taking dogs to Switzerland Planchouet

On another day we decided to explore one of the local resorts so we went to Crans-Montana. We parked the car in the town centre and followed a circular walk around the many lakes in Crans-Montana.

This was a wonderful walk starting at Lac d’Icogne, passing along a bisse to Etang des Miriouges followed by a forested walk which Zara really enjoyed to Etang de la Moubra (NB no dogs allowed off lead here as it’s the main swimming lake for Crans-Montana). We finished off at Lake Grenon. Another perfect day of sun, walking and swimming!

taking dogs to Switzerland boats on Lake Moubra Crans-Montana
taking dogs to Switzerland Lake Moubra Crans-Montana

The next day involved a trip to the local vet in Sion to prepare Zara for her return journey. This was seamless and had clearly been done by the practice many times before. A worming tablet is required between 1 and 5 days before returning to the UK.

And afterwards we parked at Bramois near Sion and walked along the River Rhone where Zara had a quick dip on the lead as it was extremely fast flowing! The walking track runs parallel to the Rhone and takes you back into Sion, returning to Bramois via an apple orchard.

taking dogs to Switzerland Sion

For our final day we decided to use the cable car again to get Zara used to it. This time we went to Nendaz and she jumped straight in again. We zipped up to Lake Tracouet and started the walk with a quick dip. Onwards to Prarion and then we got lost for the first time and were unable to find the Bisse de Saxon to return to Nendaz. It was another really hot day but we found a handy cow trough for Zara to cool off in before finally rejoining the Bisse!

taking dogs to Switzerland in cow trough Nendaz
Taking dogs to Switzerland in a stream

Our puppy has never slept so well and after such long walks in the Swiss Alps she was happy to get to her bed for a well earned kip in Veysonnaz. She was too tired to even finish her supper some nights!

Dog loves Switzerland asleep in Veysonnaz

Travelling home with Zara

We were unsure of the procedure on the French side of the channel but we found that when we reached the Eurotunnel it was very clearly signposted. You need to follow the yellow sign post on the right towards the Pet Check in. We fast tracked through the Drive-Thru and the whole process was finished in less than 5 minutes.

It should be noted that we travelled midweek and this would be much busier on a summer Saturday so follow advice from Eurotunnel.

taking dogs to Switzerland Eurotunnel

We will be be taking our dog to Switzerland again - she loved it!

Now we know the dog travels well and that it is easy to travel on the Eurotunnel and drive through France and into Switzerland with various stop offs, we will definitely be taking Zara back.

As regular visitors to the country for both work and pleasure it’s great to know that the whole process is relatively stress free.

We both really enjoyed taking her on long hikes and there is so much water running down the mountains in Switzerland that we were never short of cooling off opportunities for a dog.

Let’s just hope that taking our pets on holiday to Europe continues to remain as easy and enjoyable as it is now.

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