There is nothing better than taking your beloved dog with you on vacation. And Norway is a paradise for a vacation with dogs. Norwegians are generally quite dog-loving, in Norway there are fantastic hikes that are also wonderful to go with dogs. And because of the vastness of the country and the great nature, Norway is really one of the top travel countries for a vacation with dogs.
We tell you now what you have to consider if you plan a Norway road trip with your dog and what you can look forward to.
We are Sabrina and Andreas, two adventurous travelers who never miss an opportunity to discover the world. Whether by plane to distant countries or with our campervan Bruno, we just love to travel. We hope to give you helpful tips for your next trip on our blog.
Sabrina & Andreas Globetrotters, Travelers, Adventurers
Norway with Dogs – Customs
First, of course, we should be talking about customs. Since Norway is not a member of the EU, there are different (and also stricter) rules, if you want to enter Norway with your dog. The following requirements must be considered:
- You need an EU pet passport
- The dog must be chipped and the identity number must be indicated in the pet passport and in all veterinary certificates/original documents
- The dog must have a valid rabies vaccination
- Dogs (including puppies) must have been treated for tapeworm infestation within the last 120 to 24 hours
- You are allowed to import a maximum of 5 dogs
- You are not allowed to import the following breeds of dogs: Pit Bull Terrier, American Staffordshire Terrier, Fila Brasileiro, Tosa, Dogo Argentino, Czechoslovakian Wolfhound as well as hybrids of these breeds and hybrids between dogs and wolves
When entering the country, you must show the documents to customs without being asked. During our Norway trip to the Lofoten this has been strange. The border official did not note anything and we did not get a confirmation or something similar. We would not have been able to prove that we have registered the dog at all.
Of course, it may be that this is handled differently at other border crossings. However, especially the treatment against tapeworms makes travelling Norway with dog a little bit time critical, because the dog must have been treated within the last 5 days.
Especially if you want to go to the Lofoten Islands and via Sweden, the time can be tight. Keep this in mind when planning your trip.
General Rules for Dogs in Norway
Leash obligation in Norway
In general there is a leash obligation in Norway from April 1st to August 20th. In some municipalities this period can be longer. The reason for this is the free-roaming cows and sheep, which are often not separated from roads or paths by a fence.
By the way, the fines if you let your dog run without a leash start at 300 euros.
Restaurants with dogs
In most restaurants in Norway dogs are unfortunately not welcome and therefore not allowed. Mostly, however, it is allowed in the outdoor areas. It is best to call in advance or check the restaurant’s website to see if you are allowed to bring your dog.
Do Dogs need to wear a Muzzle
There is no direct muzzle obligation for dogs in Norway and also on ferries or camping sites your dog does not have to wear a muzzle.
Norway with Dog – Ferries
On the many Norwegian ferries, traveling with a dog is unfortunately not so unproblematic and unfortunately the rules are quite different. On most ferries it is not allowed to take a dog with you on the ferry. In these cases, the dog must wait in the car or camper. This can be quite a traumatic experience for the dog.
Some ferry trips last one or even several hours and in the area where the cars are it is very noisy and also the movements of the ship create a very unpleasant atmosphere for the dog. It vibrates and everything wobblesand your dog doesn’t even know why. You should therefore check with the ferries beforehand whether you are allowed to take dogs on board.
Sometimes dogs are only allowed on the outside deck and sometimes there are certain areas in the ship where dogs are allowed. For the long ferry trip from Denmark to Norway, for example, there is a ship of the ferry company Fjordline, where you can take dogs onto the ship. Inform yourself here before your trip.
By the way, there are many ferries that only need 10 or 20 minutes for a crossing. On such ferries you remain in the vehicle during the trip and therefore it is also no problem for your dog, because it can be with you the whole time.
With Dogs on Camping Sites
On most Norwegian campsites it is absolutely no problem to take a dog with you. During our travels through Norway we never had any restrictions because of our dog Aaro. Since on the campsites in Norway the prices apply per night and not by person, a dog also causes no extra charge.
Of course, the leash requirement for dogs applies on campsites as well, but this should not be an issue. Therefore, your camping trip in Norway can be a super relaxing experience with your dog.
Hiking with Dogs in Norway
There are wonderful hikes in Norway that you can explore with your dog. During our travels through Norway, we have not noticed any hike where it is forbidden to take a dog with you. Of course, the leash requirement applies here as well. You should of course consider whether the hike is suitable for your dog.
There are so many different hikes in Norway, ranging from a few kilometers on flat terrain to 9 hours with over 1000 meters of elevation gain. You need to be able to assess what your dog is capable of. Can it walk for hours on rough terrain, can it climb or jump over rocks?
Can it cope with the sometimes high temperatures in the Norwegian summer? Are there lakes or rivers on the way or do you have to take enough water with you? There are also hikes like the Besseggen, where you have to climb over high rocks. On such routes you can carry small dogs, but big dogs must be able to jump.
Our retriever-mongrel Aaro always had a lot of fun on our hikes and could also keep up with us very well. Most of the time he was even faster than us and had to wait for us.
The most beautiful Norway hikes that we have done with our dog Aaro were:
- Hike to the Besseggen ridge (very strenuous)
- Tømmerrenna Lumber Slide (very easy)
- Offersoykammen hike in the Lofoten Islands
- Ryten Hike (quite strenuous)
Useful dog accessories for hiking
When you go with your dog on your first Norway road trip, there is a lot to discover. But there are also some accessories that can be very helpful especially when hiking. Here we want to introduce you to some of the most useful little helpers:
If you want your dog to be able to run a little more than it’s possible with a short leash, then we can recommend a drag line. This can be up to 20 meters long and you still have your dog under control.
Especially with a dragline it is important to use a chest harness instead of a collar. So the danger of hurting your dog is much lower and you have your dog also better under control.
Not on all hikes there are enough water points where your dog can drink. It is therefore important to have enough water with you.
Does your dog sometimes run away and you are afraid not to find it again? Not only in Norway a GPS tracker can be very helpful. Nowadays they have become very affordable.
Leak proof water bowls
Especially if you are traveling with a campervan or motorhome, then a leak-proof water bowl is worth it. So your dog can drink no matter how bumpy the ride is. And no water can leak out.
It sounds strange at first, but we used it a lot on our Norway trip. When you come back from a long hike in the rain or your dog has been playing in the river and then is soaking wet, you don’t want to just leave him in the van, do you?
If drying off isn’t enough, then a cozy dog bathrobe is perfect!