We know Estonia
23.8.2022 | Estonia

Bringing your dog on vacation with you to Estonia

Hospitable Estonia will warmly welcome your canine friend.
Text Susanna Poikela
Photos LEA GZ, Susanna Poikela,
Annika Valberg, Anne Myllymäki

Bringing your dog on vacation with you to EstoniaDog friends Sissi and Alma accompany their owner almost everywhere they go in Estonia.

 

Estonia is known for being a dog-friendly nation, so you shouldn’t be afraid to travel to the country with your canine friend. In Estonia, you can take your dog with you to most restaurants, almost all parks and even some museums.

Anne Myllymäki lives in Estonia and is used to moving around with her dog in different places. “It’s really nice to live with a dog and travel in Estonia. We have been welcomed almost everywhere we have gone. Grocery stores don’t accept dogs on their premises for a good reason, although my friend’s lap dog goes there smoothly in a bag. Similarly, some shopping centres forbid dogs, but for example, we have walked through Viru Keskus without any problems,” says Myllymäki.

When booking holiday accommodation, it is good practice to always check whether pets are allowed to stay in the accommodation. Holiday cottages and almost all hotels usually accept furry friends. In most cases, an additional fee is paid for a pet. “The hotels have always welcomed us well. You can find a surprising number of pet rooms on Booking.com and Airbnb. In them, the pet is often taken into account with water bowls and toys,” advises Anne Myllymäki.

From attractions to most outdoor destinations, your dog can come with you. There is a disparity between museums: those museums whose collections contain easily perishable exhibits do not accept any dogs other than guide and assistance dogs on their premises. Dog-friendly attractions in Estonia include all markets and open-air museums.

In Tallinn, you can take your dog to, for example, the ruins of Pirita Monastery, the businesses of Telliskivi Creative Center, Juhan Kuus’s Dokfoto Center, Fotografiska Museum of Photographic Art, Kalamaja Museum, Vabamu and Raeapteek. Calling ahead is always the best way to find out where you can take your dog.

 

Mörkö the Chow Chow recommends cafes and restaurants in Estonia to other dogs.
Dog parks are entertaining, well equipped and maintained.

 

The best outdoor areas in Tallinn for dogs

Fortunately, there are plenty of pleasant green areas in the Tallinn area. The nearest city park can be found immediately outside the walls of the old town. There is a dog park opposite the Meriton Conference & Spa hotel in Šnelli park. Kadriorg park is also a popular outdoor area for dog owners. Some park areas even have separate trash cans for dog poo and dispensers with free poo bags. The area of ​​Pelguranna and Merimetsa is a pleasant recreation area for the whole family, including your dog. There are many dog ​​walkers among the exercisers.

Nowadays, the majority of dogs in Tallinn are leashed according to the rules. However, there are exceptions, so you should take this into account when moving in the city’s forests or further away from settlements. After all, an off-leash dog can jog in front of you. In Tallinn, dogs that roam freely with their owners are quite friendly.

 

In Estonia, you can bring your dog to the beach if it is not an official beach.

 

Taking your dog down to the water

Pirita’s fitness trail and the surrounding forests are a nice recreation area. You can take your dog swimming at the small natural beach on Pirita river along the fitness path. In northern Tallinn, on the edge of Stroomi beach towards Rocca al Mare, there is an unofficially official bathing place for horses and dogs. The city of Tallinn has officially banned dogs and horses from swimming at Stroomi’s surf beach. Despite that, the beach attracts dog owners in the summer to splash in the cooling seawater. However, monitor the blue-green algae situation before the swimming trip, as it is common there in the summertime.

With a car, you should also visit Estonia’s beautiful marshlands and hiking trails. They also have plenty of places to swim.

Active activities are organised for dogs in Estonia. TailsPlanet organizes a summer camp for dogs and their owners. At the camp, it is possible to participate with your dog in various work groups, from agility, orienteering and obstacle courses to dog massages, moments of relaxation and healthy diet workshops. “We have an international team of instructors and during the courses it is possible to discuss in English,” says Juri Kont from TailsPlanet.

 

In Fotografiska, owners can enjoy the art of photography and the dog can enjoy the peaceful atmosphere.
Jack Russell’s Ertu and Vilma habitually wear muzzles while riding on public transport.

 

Taking your dog on public transport

On all public transport in Estonia, dogs must either wear a muzzle or travel in a carrier. Here, too, the rules stretch a little. Locals usually don’t complain about well-behaved little dogs travelling on public transport without a muzzle. However, with bad luck, you may not be able to get into the vehicle with your canine companion if the proper equipment is missing.

On the train, travel with your dog in the middle C carriage. The carriage is marked with wheelchair and bicycle stickers. You do not need to buy a separate ticket for your dog. You can travel with a dog on long-distance buses too, but different companies have different policies on how a dog travels and how much is charged for a dog. Some companies charge for a dog, others don’t.

“We carry a muzzle with us and it is kept according to the situation. If the bus is almost empty, I ask the driver if we can go without, because it can be uncomfortable for a blunt-nosed dog. We have travelled mostly in the centre of Pärnu and Tallinn by public transport. We try to avoid rush hour, so that no one carelessly falls or steps on a dog,” says Anne Myllymäki.

 

Travelling with your dog by ferry

When travelling with your dog on a ferry, you must always notify beforehand. During the summer, dogs must not be left on the car deck due to the warm weather. During the winter season (October 1st–April 30th), a dog used to travelling by car can spend the boat trip in the car. However, it is good to remember that on some ferries you cannot get on the car deck during the trip. In addition, the winter sea climate can cool the car to an unsuitably cold temperature for a dog.

Viking Line charges 14 euros per route for your furry travel companion. At Tallink, a pet’s ticket costs 13 euros. Eckerö Line does not charge anything, but the dog must travel either in a carrier or a bag. Shipping companies do not charge for pets transported in the car.

A nice way to travel to Finland or Sweden is to book a cabin where your dog can stay with you during the trip. Dogs must always be on a leash when outside the cabin. You don’t have to go to cafes or restaurants with your dog, but often on Viking Line ships, for example, you see dogs with their owners sitting in the lobby.

Dogs can also be taken on ferries to the islands of Hiiumaa and Saaremaa. On the Hiiumaa ferry, there is even a pet area on the car deck. Well-behaved dogs are also welcome inside on both ferries in the designated area for dogs. All dogs must, however, be on a short leash and dogs over 15kg in weight must wear a muzzle.

 

Checklist before your trip:

  • Your dog must have a valid European pet passport.
  • Your dog has been vaccinated against rabies at least 21 days before the trip.
  • Your dog is microchipped or has a clearly legible tattoo made before July 3, 2011.
  • Before returning to Finland as well as some other countries, the dog must be wormed against Echinococcosis before the return trip.
  • During the summer, it is recommended to give your dog a tick repellent on the neck before the trip or to place a tick collar on them.
  • Carry the required muzzle or carrier bag/box with you on public transport.

 

Information on the necessary animal travel documents:

If you are travelling from a different country, please check the rules of your relevant government department.

 

Dog services:

  • In PetCity’s dog hotel, dogs are offered high-quality day-care. For example, a day’s care for a dog under 20 kg costs 30 euros. You can also monitor your pet’s activities remotely.
  • Dog grooming services are significantly more affordable than in Finland and many other countries. Trimming a small dog costs from 45 euros and plucking from 35 euros.
  • Veterinary services are of a good standard in Estonia. In addition, they are about a third cheaper than in Finland. 
  • You can buy tick medicine at veterinary clinics without an appointment. You can also buy mite solutions to put on your dog’s neck at a regular pharmacy in Estonia.

 

Veterinary clinics:

 

24/7 Animal first aid and ambulances:

 

Best beaches for dogs

Tallinn:

  • The eastern part of Russalka beach, located at the beginning of the Pirita road.
  • The beach area on the Viimsi side of the Merivälja breakwater.
  • The Koerte ujumiskoht (dog swimming place) located in Kopli on Liinivahe.
  • The northernmost part of Raku lake.
  • Paljassaare’s outermost beach (not Pikakari).

You can read more information on taking your dog to beaches, lakes and rivers in Tallinn here. https://www.tallinn.ee/est/lemmikloom/Koeraga-suplema

 

Pärnu:

  • Both sides of Pärnu beach and in front of Papiniidu.

You can see these locations more clearly on a map of the city swimming area here. https://parnu.ee/failid/rannaalade_kaart.pdf 

  

Dog parks in Tallinn

 

To learn more about this and similar topics
Dog Beaches Estonia Dog Grooming Estonia Dog Hotel Estonia Dog Parks Estonia Dogs Estonia Dogs Holiday Estonia Dogs Public Transport Estonia Vets Estonia

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