If you’re a dog owner in America, then you know that going somewhere with your canine is no small feat. In fact, restaurants in cities from coast to coast prohibit bringing pups on the premises, and some outdoor areas, like public basketball courts in New York City or Malibu Creek State Park in California, won’t even allow your furry friend to come along.
But not every country makes being a dog owner so difficult, in fact, in other places around the world, being a dog owner is actually encouraged. Take Sweden, for instance: The country loves its animals so much that it recently passed laws that limit the amount of time an animal can be caged. And in Poland, you’ll find a movie theater where people can even bring their pups to the movies! If you’re looking to travel with your pet in tow, you’ll want to check out these pet-friendly countries.
All around the world, France is known for its relaxed dog policies. One Telegraph writer noted that “even the most palatial chateaux will be happy to welcome your dog, either free of charge or for a small supplement.” And don’t be surprised to find a pup with his own seat at the table—the French are much more lenient about allowing animals in restaurants.
The Swiss take pet ownership very seriously—before you can own a dog, the government recommends a training course for first-time owners (and it was once a legal requirement.) But once your pet is properly registered and trained, you’ll find that the country is an animal oasis. As one Swiss dog mom wrote: “Nearly every restaurant I’ve been inside making a real effort to accommodate us. The offer of dog water as soon as we sit down is no longer a surprise to me.”
The Italians welcome dogs with open arms. One of Italy’s beaches, called Beaubeach, was even described in the Italian newspaper The Local as “a canine-friendly stretch of sand on the outskirts of Rome.” So whether you want to frolic on the beach or take in the beauty of Villa d’Este, you’ll be pleased to find that Fido can tag along.
Canada’s famous hospitality applies to human and animal friends alike. According to Trusted Housesitters, Vancouver is home to eight dog-friendly beaches and a pet-friendly ski resort, and Calgary houses more off-leash spaces than any other city in North America.
There are very few rules about bringing a dog or cat into the UK from another country, as the Brits love welcoming in their furry friends. Some of the many surprising dog-friendly places to visit in England include the Newlyn Art Gallery, the Crich Tramway Museum, and the Newhaven Fort. But it’s not just furry friends that the United Kingdom loves—In 2008, the British Federation of Herpetologists reported that there were up to eight million reptiles and amphibians being kept as pets in the country.
Other countries should look to Germany as an example of how to humanely treat stray animals. The entire country abides by a strict no-kill policy, and the city of Berlin is home to the largest animal sanctuary in Europe with room to house nearly 2,000 animals at a time (horses included).