The Swiss know how to treat your dog right
Stress-free traveling with your dog may seem like an oxymoron but in Switzerland, it’s not. Having traveled recently with my mini-poodle, Rosa to multiple countries like Argentina, Australia, and America— hiking through the Swiss Alps has by far been the easiest pet travel experience. Plus, Switzerland is the most beautiful country I have ever visited. The scenery is so breathtaking that no other place compares. Switzerland was made for pet-friendly travel, especially if you love to hike.
The hiking trails are expansive and fit for all skill levels. Whether you’re an expert alpine hiker, a solo wanderlust explorer, or have a family with young kids— you can find just the right trail for you and your dog. Depending on your appetite for risk, there’s flexibility to switch to different skill level trails each day. Most importantly, you can actually enjoy traversing the isolated trails and absorb the dramatic scenery without worrying about getting lost because the trails are extremely well marked.
The Swiss culture makes it easy to cohesively incorporate your dog into your travels. They value the dog- family relationship, making trekking the alps with your hound a memorable experience.
1. No Hassle Hiking
Unlike many American national parks, no hiking or park restrictions will come in-between you and your dog. Most American national parks do not even allow entrance for dogs let alone hiking trails. In Switzerland, your dog can hike alongside you anywhere, on leash, making it a fit and healthy vacation for both of you. No need to fiddle with rules and regulations or worry about hiking alone and leaving your dog at home— he will be right by your side, soaking in the vast alpine range. Switzerland Mobility website has detailed hiking maps and an app which can track your location as you hike.
2. Always Room at the Inn
The majority of Swiss hotels are pet friendly. With the right planning and preparation, you can get a cozy mountain chalet for $100 a night. You can find great accommodation options on Booking.com by filtering on “Pet Friendly”. Some will include a small fee of $10 to $20 for your pet.
Remarkably, Swiss quality is exceptionally high, so budget price points don’t mean dodgy hotels. If you book on shoulder seasons, you’ll likely get an upgrade upon arrival— giving you that gorgeous snow-capped mountain view from your bedroom. Of course, the best deal is to camp in the mountains for free with your pup, under the stars— if you’re more of the outdoorsy type.
3. Wine and Dine with your Dog
There are plenty of cheeses and chocolates to savor in Switzerland’s restaurants. But even better than the tasty food is that you won’t find a single restaurant that doesn’t accept dogs. The Swiss culture is so accepting of dogs that you may get a funny look if you ask for permission. This rule doesn’t only apply to lap dogs, you may even spot a mountain Bernese dog sitting at the table next to you.
But if you’re going off to a romantic dinner and you want to leave your dog at home, or if fido has had a long day hiking and doesn’t feel like going out, you can easily leave him unattended in your room to snooze.
4. Trains, Ferries, Buses, Gondolas, Oh My!
The entire Swiss public transport is pet friendly including all trains, ferries, buses, and gondolas. If your dog is traveling without a carrier or bag, then the cost of the dog is half fare. If your dog is traveling with a carrier or bag, then the dog rides free.
The Swiss transportation system is impeccably on time and organized. It’s extensive service runs through the mountains, spitting you out into quaint villages and entrances to the best hiking spots.
5. Swiss Travel Pass, Man’s Second Best Friend
You can bundle days of travel into “saver fares” to reduce cost with the Swiss Travel Pass. More bang for your buck and more stress-free traveling. With the Swiss Travel Pass, you can pay an extra 35 Swiss francs for an unlimited day pass for your dog.
Bonus – If you’re traveling from America…
If you’re traveling from the U.S on the East Coast, dogs under 20 pounds can fly in the main cabin to Switzerland with you! It will cost around $100 to $150 for your dog to travel with you in a carrier in the main cabin with major American airlines. Or if your dog is registered as an emotional support dog, then he can sit in your lap for no additional cost.
Basically, if your flight time is under 12 hours your small dog should be good to go on the plane. If you’re traveling from the west coast to Switzerland, then break up the trip with a stop on the east coast to ensure your dog is always by your side.
With the right planning, you’ll be surprised by how cost effective and seamless traveling through Switzerland with your dog can be. Their hospitable and organized culture makes it the ideal pet-friendly destination. So, start your planning and take advantage of one of the most scenic places in the world with your furry best friend!