Are the tall skyscrapers of the big city making you and your pup feel claustrophobic? Or is monotony of daily life, stressing you and your doggie out? Then maybe it’s time to get away! Animal Fair understands that everyone deserves a holiday and you and your pooch are no exception. We have the scoop on one of Europe’s best vacation getaways: Holland.
There are lots of misconceptions about Holland. Most people envision scantily clad women pressed up against windows like pups in a pet shop welcoming you to come in with their eyes, or half-baked people stumbling out of smoke shops. Although this may be the experience of some visitors, Amsterdam is more than just a haven for those wanting to indulge in hedonistic activities. A port country and a historic trading post located at the southern end of the Markermeer, in Noord Holland, the canals of Amsterdam do little mercantile business these days but a lot of tourism.
Dogs have played a part of Dutch culture since the founding of Amsterdam. Legend has it that two fishermen and a seasick dog discovered Amsterdam. The dog jumped ship to relieve the contents of his stomach, and as they say, “X marks the spot”. The two fishermen followed the dog on land and became the founders of Amsterdam. The city’s coat of arms that can be seen on the façade of Beurs van Berlage (Old Stock Exchange), and the Royal Palace back up this tale. It’s more likely that the city’s real story began in the 13th century, when the River Amstel was dammed and a settlement developed on the site, which took the name of Aemstelledamme–today known as Amsterdam.
All this sounds inviting, and now you’re bound for Holland! Chances are the easiest way to get there from here is by plane and if your pet is traveling with you, you should check on the pet-policies of the airline you intend to fly. Airlines tend to have strict rules when it comes to pets traveling on planes, but the rules vary from airline to airline. There are three ways that pets typically travel; in the cabin with their guardian, in the hold or on a separate flight. Usually, in order for a pet to qualify for transport in the cabin of the plane, the animal has to be small in size and relatively docile. Some airlines do not permit animals to travel in the cabin and require that pets be transported in a kennel in the cargo hold. It is important to consult your airline well in advance to make sure the needs of you and your pet are met.
However, there are a growing number of alternatives and humane efforts being made by major airlines to make the skies a little pet friendlier! A pet-loving couple, frustrated by the lack of options available when they had to travel with their own dog, Murphy, decided to do something about it. They founded Companion Air (www.companionair.com), a pet friendly airline that specializes in flying both pets and their guardians in the aircraft cabin.
There is also evidence that other airlines are becoming more humane, and taking steps to assure safer, more comfortable travel for pets. An airline with the right idea is Amsterdam’s KLM (www.klm.com). Pets travel in well-ventilated and temperature-controlled cargo areas. When transferring at Amsterdam Airport, pets will visit the KLM Cargo Animal Hotel, where trained animal attendants will look after them. They’re temporarily housed in a larger kennel, walked, and given food and water.
In order to qualify for entry into the Netherlands, you must comply with the following requirements. There aren’t any quarantine requirements for your cat or dog if you submit a health certificate and rabies vaccination certificate. First, you must obtain a Health Certificate for you pet that is issued by a US certified veterinary doctor, your personal vet, or another VDM and it must be dated ten days prior to your departure from the US. The second piece of documentation, the Rabies Vaccination Certificate must contain the following information:
1) Date of vaccination.
2) Type of vaccination used and expiration date.
3) A statement in either Dutch or English testifying that the animal has been inoculated with the rabies vaccination.
4) Description of the animal (sex, breed, color or distinct markings).
5) Name of the guardian.
You may also contact Dutch customs directly for more information at:
011 31 45 574 3031
M-Th: 8.00 – 20.00 – F: 8.00 – 17.00 Dutch time (EST +6)
After a long flight, you are going to need a place for you and your pup
to rest your weary heads and paws in order to recharge for a day of sightseeing. Animal Fair has taken the liberty
of exploring some pet-friendly hotels so you can experience the best of Dutch hospitality. Most places we found seemed to welcome well-behaved pets with open arms, so make sure your dog brushes up on his pettiquette before making his debut in Amsterdam.
Palace Hotel Noordwijk aan Zee
The Palace Hotel Noordwijk aan Zee comprises five floors and 120 suites, individually designed with the amenities one would expect from a luxury hotel. The hotel features an `a la carte restaurant with a terrace and a variety of tastes and flavors to be savored. The Palace hotel offers impeccable and personalized service to cater to even the most demanding of travelers. In addition to a fitness pavilion, there is a host of beach activities that you and your pup can enjoy.
Susan Van Leeuwen, Sales Executive
011 21 71 365 3000
Eewal Bed and Breakfast
If you are up for a little side excursion perhaps you should visit Leeuwarden. Located in the northern province of Freisland, Leewarden is the only bilingual region in the Netherlands where the official languages are both Dutch and Frisian. Try the Eewal Bed and Breakfast, located only ten minutes walking distance from a train station.
This classic B&B was originally a canal side house built in 1611, where the River Ee streamed past it. Now the Eewal Bed and Breakfast has been fully renovated so guests can enjoy the historical value of this former residency and also have modern day comforts available, including internet access and laptop use. Guests stay in authentic rooms with plastered ceilings, wooden floors, and marble chimneys. Lodging at the hotel includes full breakfast, parking, free (chilled) drinks, coffee and tea. They welcome four-legged friends for no extra charge!
011 31 58 215 7784
NH Amsterdam Centre
This luxurious five-star hotel is situated in the lively heart of Amsterdam, directly opposite the famous Leidseplein square which hosts a plethora of restaurants, cafés, pubs and theatres. Indeed, this vicinity is unique! A few steps away you will find the Holland Casino, fascinating shopping areas, the business district and the flower market. The local tourist board boasts that Amsterdam has more museums per square inch than anywhere else on the planet. Staying at the NH Amsterdam Center, you are short distance from some the city’s most famous museums, including the Rijksmuseum and the Van Gogh Museum. You can enjoy the culinary delights of Ristorante Bice, with its authentic Italian cuisine, while the Bar/Brasserie is perfect for a light lunch or informal dinner. Small dogs are allowed in the hotel, on leash when outside of the room. Dogs are accommodated for a fee of 12.50 Euros per night to cover cleaning expenses and water provision.
Patou Beckers, Sales & Guest Relations
011 31 20 685 1351
No matter where you choose to stay in Amsterdam, you are never far from the fun and the action!
For more information contact the official consulate of the Netherlands located in Washington, D.C.: