Travelling With Small Breeds In Australia

With Australia rapidly becoming the most pet-friendly country in the world, many locals and outsiders are eager to travel the country with their beloved pets. Understandably, you’re worried about finding appropriate accommodations, but you shouldn’t be.

After all, many corporations and businesses have started adopting new policies to accommodate pet owners. In Australia, you will find many facilities that accept pets. Just remember that some do not. Therefore, you should always prepare to avoid having to sleep in your car for the night.

Smaller breeds are much easier to travel with. Airlines and hotels are more accepting of smaller dogs because they tend to be easier to care for. Plus, they’re not going to be as destructive as bigger dogs. Before packing your vehicle, make sure that you know the ins and outs of travelling Australia with your small canine friend.

Image Credits – Pixabay

Understanding Australia’s Pet Travel Landscape For Small Breeds

Australia’s pet travel landscape has improved significantly in the last few years. Much of this has to do with the fact that government officials have started implementing laws to accommodate pet owners.

For instance, walking your dog downtown is usually okay as long as it is on a leash. Furthermore, many state and national attractions accept pets. If you have a small dog breed, you’ll have more options. People tend to see small breeds as safer and less destructive.

As a result, most motels, stores, and restaurants will be okay with letting your small dog come inside. These companies understand how popular small dog breeds are in Australia.

Chihuahuas and Pomeranians are two of the most popular breeds in the country. Other popular small breeds in Australia include Cavapoos, Toy Poodles, French Bulldogs, Miniature Fox Terriers, Silky Terriers, and Miniature Dachshunds.

Australians like smaller breeds because they’re so much easier to care for. Training them won’t be as difficult either. Regardless, you should be able to enjoy a trip across Australia with your small dog because there shouldn’t be too many restrictions. There could be a few though and you’ll want to be well aware of these.

Preparation Before The Trip

Once you’ve confirmed that you’re going to travel Australia with your dog, you need to make sure that your dog is up for the trip. First, take your dog to the vet for a comprehensive check-up. Make sure that the dog is healthy enough for it.

Furthermore, you should ensure that the dog is mentally ready for it. Some dogs do not handle long car rides very well. If you want to take your dog on a long ride, you may need to train it first. Start with short trips to nearby parks and attractions.

As the dog gets more comfortable being in the car, you can move to longer trips. Eventually, your dog will be ready for a multiple-day trip across Australia. Individuals outside of Australia will need an import permit for their dog.

Unfortunately, the process of getting an import permit can be very tedious. It may take a few months or longer. Therefore, you should start applying early. It may also be a good idea to get your dog microchipped.

Your dog will need vaccinations and a rabies titer test. You must present a pet health certificate and treat the dog for internal and external parasites. Some breeds are not allowed to enter Australia. For instance, you cannot bring an American Pit Bull into Australia.

Transportation Tips For Small Breeds

Preparing your vehicle for the trip will make a big difference. If your dog doesn’t handle rides well, you’ll need to take steps to make it more comfortable in your vehicle. For instance, you should consider bringing a crate. Some small dogs feel more comfortable in their crates.

Having a small crate in the backseat can help your dog relax and go to sleep. If you allow the dog to roam, you must at least prevent it from reaching the steering wheel or falling into the pedals. Using a seat divider keeps the dog in the backseat or passenger seat.

You can also purchase a harness that will keep your dog secured to the seat or seatbelt. It is recommended that you use this because it will protect your dog in the event of a vehicle accident.

Remember that your dog will need frequent stops so it can use the bathroom and stretch its legs. Stop at rest areas. You can also schedule stops at petrol stations that have dog areas.

Learn how to safely harness your dog and get it out of the car to avoid problems. You also have the option of travelling Australia using an airline. Most airlines allow passengers to bring their dogs into the cabin area.

However, the dog will need to be kept in a crate. This isn’t possible for bigger dogs. There will also be a fee to keep your dog in the cabin during the flight.

The requirements tend to vary based on the airline. If you choose Alaska Airlines, you need a health certificate from the last 10 days. Dogs at least eight weeks old can be transported in the cabin.

American Airlines doesn’t require certificates for dogs being housed in the cabin. Again, dogs must be at least eight weeks old before they’re allowed in the cabin.

Accommodation Options For Small Breeds

Many motels and B&Bs are happy to accept small dog breeds. Again, people believe that these dogs are less vicious and destructive because they’re small. At the very least, they’re easier to handle. Regardless, this opinion can be used in your favour.

In Australia, you shouldn’t have any trouble finding a motel that will allow your small dog to stay. Some boutique hotels will not accept dogs. This includes the Sydney Boutique Hotel. Only service animals are allowed. Other hotels are pet-friendly.

The Crystalbrook Albion, Yondah Beach House, Four Seasons, and many other Australian hotels accept dogs. Some hotels have policies saying they will only accept dogs under 50 pounds. Thankfully, this won’t be an issue for a person with a small dog.

Campgrounds often accept dogs as well. National parks in Australia generally do not accept pets based on the National Parks and Wildlife Act 1974. However, plenty of state parks and private campgrounds will work well for pet owners.

This is why preparation is so important. Always research the campgrounds along your route to determine whether they’ll accept your dog. Otherwise, you may end up sleeping in your car. When choosing a campsite, pick one that matches your dog.

Dogs with social issues should be separated from others. Pick a tent that is big enough for you, your dog, and your other guests. Alternatively, you may need to get side-by-side campsites to ensure enough space for everyone.

Activities And Engagement

In many Australian cities, you will find countless cafés, shops, and stores that are happy to accept small dogs. Leading dog-friendly cafés in Australia include Lost & Found, Beef & Barley, Café Bones, A Minor Place, Naked Brew, and Dachshund Coffee.

You can always stop for a coffee and hang out with your dog in one of these establishments. Travelers will find an abundance of urban sports to check out too. Monkey Mia and the town of Denham are dog-friendly.

You may also want to explore historic Echua which is in northern Victoria. It has a variety of historic attractions that make it a great stop for you and your dog.

Tourists who want to learn more about Australian history should also take their dogs to Atherton Tablelands. Coober Pedy is also worth the visit. One unique thing about this town is that most residents live underground.

Many recreational areas such as beaches and parks are open to dogs too. In terms of beaches, you cannot ignore Tallow Beach, Belongil Beach, Washerwoman Beach, North Wall Beach, and North Shelly Beach.

Centennial Parklands, Blackwattle Bay Park, Warrigal Dog Run, Rushcutters Bay Park, Sydney Park, and Rowland Reserve are some of the best dog parks in Australia.

Many parks feature off-leash areas so your dog can run free before hitting the road again. Dog lovers can also check out many nature reserves, such as Isaacs Ridge, Mount Ainslie, and Aranda Bushland. Blue Gum Hills Regional Park, Coffs Coast Regional Park, and Leacock Regional Park allow dogs too.

Travel Etiquette And Responsibilities

People need to ensure other people feel safe around their canines. Utilize the proper restraints at all times in public settings. Only take your small dog to pet-friendly public establishments like restaurants, shops, and petrol stations.

Pick up after your dog. Dispose of poop bags in the proper waste containers. Discourage barking by redirecting your dog’s behaviour. Never leave your canine in a parked vehicle alone.

Never allow your small dog to venture into other people’s personal space. Discourage male dogs from urinating on public buildings, car tires, bushes, street signs, and other objects.

In terms of travel etiquette, you have to think about strangers and your dog. After all, your dog is your travelling companion. Make sure it is going to enjoy the trip just as much as you will.

Schedule lots of stops are petrol stations and rest areas. Doing so will give your dog time to stretch its legs in the bathroom. You should also take breaks to eat and feed your dog. Don’t ignore your dog’s essentials just before you’re travelling.

Health And Well-Being On The Go

Summer road trips can take their toll on a canine. Hydration is essential when travelling by car, on foot, and other forms of transportation. Store water in an ice cooler inside the boot for easy access. Medicine, perishable food, and snacks can also be stored inside the ice cooler.

Small dogs with disabilities need special travel accommodations. Make space for the dog’s wheelchair, back brace, orthotics, prosthetics, brace, sling, and lift harness.

Canines are not always comfortable travelling in a vehicle or aeroplane. Stock up on calming treats for your trip. Bring at least one of the dog’s favourite toys, a dog bed, and a blanket. Calming music and white noise can also combat travel anxiety.

Image Credits – Pixabay


People spend a lot of time away from their loyal four-legged roommates. When vacation time rolls around, they dare leave their furbabies behind. Fortunately, there is no longer any reason not to take your small canine on a road trip or vacation.

Airlines have taken steps to make their transport more accommodating to small breeds. Some airlines are now accepting large dog-breed passengers. Special preparation is required when booking airline accommodations for a small dog. Shop around to find the best airfare rates for you and your furry friend.

Sharing a travel experience with a small dog is extremely rewarding. Contrary to belief, small canine breeds offer immense protection and companionship. Small dogs are very protective of their masters which can be good and bad. One thing is for sure: a small canine can send a creeper running just as fast as a large dog.

To ensure the best travel experience for you and your dog, pack a first-aid kit, the dog’s feeding and water bowls, a special blanket, an extendable leash, harness, water, and food.


Are There Any Specific Restrictions For Certain Small Breeds In Australia?

There are few restrictions for small canine breeds in Australia. Owners get to know their dogs’ temperament, behaviour, and personality extremely well. Some small breeds are known for being temperamental and aggressive around other pets and strangers.

How To Find Small Breed-Friendly Accommodations In Cities Like Brisbane And Perth?

Most accommodations in Australian metropolis areas welcome small canine breeds. Even 5-star hotels and resorts do not accept small canine guests to serve their customers better. It is a good idea to start with close acquaintances before turning to Google’s search engine. Word-of-mouth recommendations are more reliable than online searches. A Google search will render ample accommodations welcoming small canine breeds.

What Are The Top Travel Destinations In Australia For Small Breed Enthusiasts?

Australia is home to some of the most small breed-friendly destinations. People should know there are some limitations when travelling with small dogs. Avoid all destinations that are not pet-friendly. If your ideal vacation is a beachside resort, Cable Beach, Cronulla, Byron Bay, and Greenhills Beach welcome and accommodate small dogs.