Unique Croatia Destinations with Dogs - Krk & Cres Island

Unique Croatia Destinations with Dogs: Krk & Cres Island

New on our list of Croatia destinations with dogs this year were the southern and eastern parts of Krk Island as well as Cres Island!

If you’ve followed my blog for a while, you’ll remember that we traveled to mainland Croatia with Wally last summer. Back then, we stayed in Crikvenica, right on the Kvarner Bay, from where we visited Krk Island a few times. However, we only checked out the northern and western parts.

This time around, we stayed in a dog-friendly vacation rental in Baška, located right on the southern tip of Krk island itself.

Unique Croatia Destinations with Dogs: Krk Island

Of course we explored Baška and its surroundings, but we also took day trips to nearby Vrbnik on the east coast of Krk and the island Cres.

In this blog post, I’ll share our travel experience, the practical doggie gear I brought and an acceptable alternative to raw dog food while traveling.

Spoiler alert: The practical gear includes my favorite new travel pouch that fits all of my walking & exploring essentials, including first aid stuff for Wally! For example, Benadryl pills and Neosporin ointment.

Croatia Destinations with Dogs: Krk & Cres Island

Unique Croatia Destinations with Dogs - Krk & Cres Island

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We took the exact same route as last year which took us from Germany via Austria and Slovenia into Croatia for a total of 830 km or 515 miles. The roads were just as packed as they were last year, so it’s a good thing that Wally loves car rides!

Mapping Out Our Road Trip From Germany to Croatia
Mapping out our summer road trip from Germany to Croatia

We pulled into rest areas every 3 hours or so to stretch all of our legs, use the bathroom, hydrate Wally and get fresh coffee/cappuccino. All in all, it took us a little over 13 hours. We left Germany at 5:30 in the morning and arrived at our vacation rental around 7 pm.

Similar to last year, no one cared to see Wally’s European Union passport at the border!! Total bummer as I made an appointment to get it from his vet here in Germany last year prior to our first trip to Croatia.

K9sOverCoffee.com | Croatia with dogs - Wally and his pet passport
Wally’s German Pet Passport

Dog Travel Accessories

Let’s start with Wally’s dog travel accessories, all of which I’m listing below:

  • Crash-tested car crate
  • Cooling mat
  • Foldable travel crate
  • Zip-able doggie bag
  • 2 Walking harnesses
  • 2 Collapsible travel dog bowls
  • Poop bag holder & poop bags
  • 3 Dog towels
  • Dog shampoo
  • 2 6′ leashes and 2 30′ leashes/check cords

Crash-Tested Car Crate & Cooling Mat

He traveled in his crash-tested car kennel that I lined with a cooling mat. I scored the mat at a local German pet store at 20% off. I saw it when I went there during the second week in August to pick up his dog food for our 10 day trip and just couldn’t resist it!

Lining Wally's crash tested car crate with a cooling mat
Lining Wally’s crash-tested car kennel with a cooling mat
Wally scored a cooling mat at 20% OFF
Wally scored a cooling mat for 20% OFF!

Back in the States, I had similar dog cooling mats for my pups Missy & Buzz. They are pressure activated and work without having to add any water or ice. Just set them down and that’s it, they make for a cooling surface to lie down on.

I remember picking up the first one at a pet store while Missy & I were on the way back home during a summer road-trip and the AC stopped working in my Jeep.

The mat worked great!!

I can’t remember if I picked it up at a Petco or at a PetSmart, but either way, I picked up a second one for Buzz once I was back home.

Boxer mix Missy enjoying the cooling mat on our roadtrip
Missy’s dog cooling mat
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The crash-tested car crate provides peace of mind, especially on longer road trips. This particular one is called 4pets Transportbox EcoLine three, in medium size. We bought it for a little over €300 at a local pet retail store in Germany last year.

I found a similar one on the US market:

Traveling with Wally in his crash tested car crate
On the road in Baška, Croatia with Wally

Foldable Travel Crate

We bought a collapsible travel crate for Wally to sleep and lounge in a few months ago. It’s super convenient i.e. light weight when we’re traveling for the weekend and don’t want to break down and schlepp along his big, heavy wire crate.

It has 3 zippable openings – one on the top and two on the side. I leave the side ones open during the day and close them at night.

Wally lounging in his foldable travel crate
Wally hanging out in his foldable dog crate

I recommend this type of crate for dogs who are crate-trained and enjoy being in their crate. It would be super easy for Wally to just “break out” of it since it’s made of soft mesh and nylon, but he doesn’t. Just like he does with his wire crate at home, he walks into this one during the day to hang out and at nighttime to sleep.

Zip-Able Doggie Bag

Wally’s Zipper Tote Bag held all of his doggie stuff:

  • Dog food & treats
  • Slippery elm powder
  • 2 Walking harnesses
  • 2 Collapsible travel dog bowls
  • Poop bag holder & poop bags
  • 3 Dog towels
  • Dog shampoo
  • 2 6′ leashes and 2 30′ leashes/check cords
Wally's zippable tote held all of his dog travel accessories
Wally and his zippable dog travel accessory tote. This was right after a swim in the ocean. He’s lounging on one of his towels and the cooling mat.

Walking Harnesses & Collapsible Dog Bowls

His walking harnesses are the Sport Dog Harness 2.0s from Mighty Paw in green and black, respectively.

The collapsible travel dog bowls are also from Mighty Paw and come along whenever we’re on the go – regardless of whether it’s on a weekend trip or a full blown roadtrip.

Wally eating out of Mighty Paw's collapsible dog travel bowls
Wally eating raw dog food from his collapsible travel bowl.

They’re super convenient because they feature a carabiner clip that I use to attach one bowl to Wally’s walking harness. That way, we always have a bowl handy.

Poop Bag Holder, Poop Bags & Dog Shampoo

The poop bag holder and poop bags are also from Mighty Paw, and the shampoo I brought is from Anicura. I gave Wally a quick spray down in the shower after a swim in the ocean, and only gave him one proper bath with the doggie shampoo at the end of our stay.

Dog Towels

Most of Wally’s towels are older, cheap towels that no longer make the cut as human towels but still work great as doggie paw and body wipes. There’s one exception because that one is a specific microfiber pet towel from Norwex. It’s super absorbent and dries very quickly.

Dog Leashes

Most of the leashes I brought are also from Mighty Paw, but this time around I actually didn’t use the long ones at all! The one time where I could have used them I forgot them at the vacation rental, and the other times when I did bring them along there wasn’t a good spot for me to tie Wally to for swimming purposes.

Last year, we had found one very specific bay that had lots of opportunities to tie Wally’s long leash to. That way, he was able to lie down in the shade and also go into the water on his own. The main advantage was that neither one of us had to constantly hold his leash.

Wally exploring the Adriatic Sea safely on a 30' check cord
Wally exploring the Adriatic Sea (and a fellow pup!) safely on a 30′ check cord (in 2021)

So this year, Wally explored the ocean on a 6′ leather leash and on a 5′ bungee leash! Surprisingly enough, the leather leash didn’t look awful after the dip in the saltwater. I washed it off with fresh water once we were back at the rental and dried it, and that did the trick.

Wally swimming in the Adriatic Sea on a leather leash
Wally going for a refreshing swim in the Adriatic Sea on a leather leash…
Wally swimming off the island of Cres on a 5' bungee leash
Wally in the Adriatic Sea on a 5′ bungee leash

Croatia Destinations with Dogs: Baška

Croatia destinations with dogs
 - downtown Baška
On a morning walk in downtown Baška, Croatia

Pet-Friendly Hotels & Vacation Rentals in Baška, Croatia

For pet-friendly hotels in Baška on Krk Island as well as pet-friendly vacation rentals, check out BringFido.com or select the “pets allowed” filter on Booking.com. We stayed at a pet-friendly Bed & Breakfast vacation rental that was about a 10 minute walk into downtown Baška and the beachwalk.

Croatia Destinations with Dogs - Pet-Friendly Bed & Breakfast in Baška on the island Krk

Tip: You can score great deals if you book 4-6 months in advance! We did just that and got a great deal in February for our 10 day stay in mid-August. Our Bed & Breakfast was rated as exceptional, and it truly was.

The hosts were a multi-generation family who were always friendly and willing to help. They also paid attention to detail, made a fabulous breakfast every single morning and provided phenomenal service overall.

Bonus: They kept their place impeccably clean and spoke multiple languages, including English, German and Italian.

Wally wasn’t the only dog who stayed there! There was one couple who stayed there with their 4 little dogs, and I also saw a Viszla, a bully puppy and a Border Collie.

Our pet-friendly vacation rental in Baška, Croatia
Croatia destinations with dogs: Our pet-friendly Bed & Breakfast “Došen” in Baška, Croatia

Dog-Friendly Beaches in Baška

As far as dog-friendly beaches on Krk Island, most big city beaches don’t allow dogs. However, there’s at least one designated dog beach per town as well as lots of “wild” beach bays where dogs are allowed. The one downside is that parking is limited and/or not possible meaning you may have to hike there.

Tip: If you’re planning on a hiking vacation, skip the busy and hot summertime and plan for your trip during Spring or Fall.

There’s one official dog beach in Baška, and that one’s on the far right side of the camping sites if you’re facing the ocean. I had read a lot of bad reviews about it, but honestly didn’t think it was too bad when I saw it!

Dog beach in Baška on Krk Island
Dog beach in Baška, Croatia on Krk Island

Dog-Friendly Aquarium in Baška

The aquarium in downtown Baška is on the smaller side and takes about 15 minutes to explore. Unless you’re looking to spend endless time in front of each fish/seashell!

But dogs are allowed inside and so it makes for a little something else to explore on an overcast day.

On our way to Baška's dog-friendly aquarium
Croatia destinations with dogs: On our way to Baška’s dog-friendly aquarium
At Baška's dog-friendly aquarium
I’m paying Wally with single-ingredient training treats for not barking at the fish at Baška’s dog-friendly aquarium!

Dog-Friendly Restaurants

The city is lined with dog-friendly restaurants and coffee shops!! Regardless of whether you’re in quaint downtown/old town or right on the busy beach promenade – there were dogs hanging out everywhere with their people while they ate.

I will say that during the busy summer season, this is a drawback for reactive dogs or shy dogs who are easily overwhelmed. Wally for example was being a prime butthead towards other dogs the very first night we had dinner on the beach promenade.

I resorted to distracting him with MY food to keep him from acting up. That worked like a charm, so I kept at it! His training treats did NOT keep him interested in this scenario although they work most of the time back home.

Since I gave him some of my food including gravy and fries, I made sure to whip up a batch of slippery elm syrup once we were back at our rental. It either worked like a charm or Wally’s stomach is made of steel. I say that because he neither threw up during the night nor did he have any loose stool the next morning.

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Either way, we decided not to repeat the busy dinner outings with Wally! So when we went out for dinner, Wally stayed at our air conditioned vacation rental.

Unique Croatia destinations with dogs - Wally lounging at our dog-friendly vacation rental in Baška, Croatia
Wally lounging in our AC’d vacation rental

Instead, we took him along to little coffee shops super early in the mornings when most people still slept, or later in the mornings when people were starting to crowd the beach again, but didn’t go out for lunch quite yet.

Croatia destinations with dogs - Wally behaving nicely at a dog-friendly coffee shop in downtown Baška, Croatia
Wally behaving nicely at a dog-friendly coffee shop in downtown Baška, Croatia

Tip: Be Aware of Feral Cats!

I kid you not, feral cats were everywhere, especially in the early evening hours when people were getting ready to walk to dinner. That was another reason why Wally was better off at our rental come dinner time. His prey drive towards cats, rabbits and squirrels is crazy strong! Essentially anything small that moves fast is right up his alley.

I will say that he wasn’t the only pup who was distracted by them. I remember this one instance when we were out for dinner sans Wally and the Chocolate Lab at our neighbor’s table spotted a kitty that came racing towards them. It’s a good thing his owner had a tight grip on the leash or that Lab would have been gone!

A feral cat enjoying the sunshine on a wall in Krk, Croatia
Can you spot the kitty?! This was in Krk city on Krk island.

Croatia Destinations with Dogs: Vrbnik

Vrbnik is a quaint, old town on the east coast of Krk island. It’s a lot less touristy than Baška and many other cities on Krk island. That said, it’s not lined with many stores and only has a few coffee shops and restaurants.

Vrbnik on Krk Island
Vrbnik on Krk Island

We went ahead and explored it during an overcast morning. It was lovely walking around the narrow, shaded city streets without running into too many tourists! We even found the “narrowest street in the world” AND fit through it, ha.

The narrowest street in the world in Vrbnik on Krk Island

After walking the countless tiny streets, we found an area right on the outskirts of Vrbnik that was lined with several “wild” coves. We all took a refreshing dip in the Adriatic Sea and stayed for a few hours before we returned to our rental.

Unique Croatia destinations with dogs - Vrbnik
Exploring Vrbnik with Wally, including the narrowest street in the world!

Croatia Destinations with Dogs: Cres Island

We took the car ferry from Valbiska, Krk over to Merag, Cres. The ride itself took about 25 minutes and was 110 kn (Croatian Kuna). That’s about $15. Croatia’s joining the Euro zone in early 2023 at which point their currency will be the Euro (€).

Wally did well on the ferry although there were quite a few other dogs catching a water ride! There’s two car decks and my guess is that the ferry could fit 80-100 cars, so you get an idea of how big it was. During the busy summer season, ferries leave as soon as one is fully loaded with cars (hint: doesn’t take too long).

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Unique Croatia destinations with dogs - Cres Island
Croatia destinations with dogs: Wally on Cres Island

There’s only one actual city on the island, and that’s Cres city. It’s another quaint town that’s beautiful to walk and lined with lots of swimming opportunities. Since we had left early in the morning, we had breakfast at a coffee shop in the harbor, and then walked the city.

A good part of the city is right on the water and offers lots of opportunities for lounging about and bathing.

Unique Croatia destinations with dogs - Wally cooling off in the Adriatic Sea on Cres Island, Croatia
Wally cooling off in the ocean in Cres City on Cres Island
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New Mommy Gear: Field Pouch V2 by Peak Design

I recently pulled the trigger on this field pouch I had been eyeing for a while! It’s made by Peak Design and retails for $49.95. Technically speaking, it’s made for photography gear, but you can really use it for anything!

It’s super roomy and features lots of side pockets which means there’s plenty of room for all of my (day trip) walking essentials, including my phone and:

  • Tissues, contacts etc.
  • Training treats
  • Storm whistle
  • Pepper spray
  • Room key
  • Neosporin
  • Benadryl
  • Wallet
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So How Do You Feed a Dog Raw When Traveling?

There are a few different options:

  • Bring your dog’s regular raw dog food in (car) coolers
  • If you have a freezer at your final destination, have your regular raw dog food shipped there
  • Only bring secreting organs in a small cooler since they take up little space and meal prep with RMBs (raw meaty bones) and ground meat from local grocery stores. For example, chicken leg quarters, turkey necks and ground chicken, beef, turkey etc. The reason why you’ll want to bring secreting organs along is because they’re a lot harder to find at grocery stores than RMBs and muscle meat (except for liver).

Alternatives for Raw Dog Food When Traveling: I Opted for Canned Dog Food

Another option is to feed canned dog food, freeze-dried or air-dried raw dog food for the duration of your vacation.

Just like last year, our vacation rental didn’t have a freezer. Since I was not going to bring 3 coolers along for our 10 day trip and freeze-dried raw dog food is not a thing here in Germany, canned dog food it was.

The particular kind I brought is made by a German brand that also makes raw dog food, so the ingredients were top notch. I brought duck & sweet potato, pure lamb and pork.

Here are the ingredients of each:

Duck & Sweet Potato:

  • 41.5% of duck (muscle meat, heart)
  • 36% of pork (liver, lung)
  • 16.3% of beef (lung, udder)
  • Sweet potatoes 5%
  • Minerals 1%,
  • Yeast beta glucan 0.2%.

Pure Lamb:

  • 70% of lamb (heart, lamb meat, liver, tripe, lung)
  • Minerals 1%

Pure Pork:

  • 70% of pork (heart, pork meat, liver, lung)
  • Minerals 1%

The brand is called Dr. Clauder’s and comparable to canned Ziwipeak dog food in the States.

Ziwipeak Lamb Ingredients:

  • Lamb
  • Water sufficient for processing
  • Lamb lung
  • Lamb kidney
  • Chickpeas
  • Lamb liver
  • Lamb tripe
  • Lamb heart
  • New Zealand Green Mussel
  • Lamb bone
  • Lecithin (used as an emulsifier)
  • Minerals
  • Dried kelp
  • Salt
  • Vitamins

Regardless, Wally’s piles of poop were considerably larger than his raw dog food poops. That goes to show that raw dog food is the best absorbed food for dogs because it’s minimally processed!!

Why I’m OK Feeding Canned Dog Food When Traveling

It’s the cumulative exposure to poor, highly processed ingredients over the course of many months/years that’s bad for our dogs.

Keeping that in mind, I’m not worried at all about feeding Wally canned dog food once or twice a year while we’re on vacation.

2 Raw Turkey Drumsticks from Local Grocery Store

I still got him two raw meaty bones from a local grocery store, turkey drumsticks. They’re about 38% bone and the rest is meat. That way, he still got to chew on an actual bone 2 days out of our 10.

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Yak Cheese Dog Chew

For the remaining days, I brought some Yak Cheese Dog Chews. They’re limited-ingredient, fully edible chews that last him quite some time. As in weeks!

Sometimes I wonder if he doesn’t demolish them in one sitting because he also gets raw meaty bones with his meals.

Then again, he does finish a bully stick in one sitting unless I take it away from him, so who knows.

Limited-ingredient Yak Cheese Dog Chews
Stocked up on Yak Cheese Dog Chews at a German pet store.

Croatia Destinations with Dogs: Krk & Cres Island – Bottom Line

This year’s summer trip to the Adriatic Sea was another memorable one. We enjoyed the sunshine, the refreshing seawater as well as lots of new sights when exploring Krk island and nearby Cres island.

However, I noticed that Baška itself is crazy crowded in August, so that’s not a time I would return with Wally in tow. We’ll come back during off-season with him, anywhere from mid-September through the end of October.

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    Barbara launched her blog K9sOverCoffee in 2014 and has been feeding her dogs raw dog food since 2015. As a former professional dog walker, she’s passionate about balancing species-appropriate exercise with healthy dog nutrition. Barbara is raw dog food nutrition certified from “Dogs Naturally Magazine” and the author of several e-books about minimally processed, balanced raw dog food.


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