Don’t leave your pets behind again this holiday season. Musement is here to fill you in on five pet-friendly destinations around the world.
Our pets are full-fledged family members, so traveling without them is a bit like leaving one of your children at home. From time to time it may be pleasurable, but we worry nonetheless about them, and we don’t always enjoy our holidays to the fullest if they’re not around. However, if you take your dog, cat, Guinea pig or other pet on holiday with you, be sure to find out what rules apply in the destination country and what airline regulations you’ll need to follow if traveling by plane. Often, it’s necessary to have a chip implant for your dog (in the United States, for example, a simple tattoo is not enough), and up-to-date vaccines are also a must — especially the one against rabies with the accompanying pet passport.
Once you have chosen your destination, booked your plans and have made the journey, all that’s left is sharing the moment with your beloved furball. To help you find inspiration and ensure that you and your pets receive the welcome you deserve, Musement has prepared a selection of five particularly pet-friendly countries around the world.
Italy —especially the northern part of the peninsula — is perhaps the most pet-friendly country in all of Europe. This is an especially welcoming destination for pooches, as they can enter most establishments, and you’ll have no trouble finding water bowls in front of shops and restaurants. Don’t be surprised if people stop you on the street to pet your dog. Right next to Rome, there’s even a beach entirely dedicated to dogs where they can play freely and participate in sports activities such as yoga or Pilates with their human companions.
2. The United Kingdom
Until the turn of the century, traveling to the United Kingdom with your pet was unthinkable due to the country’s quarantine regulations. Since January 2012 (and provided you comply with certain basic rules imposed by the “PETS” Travel Scheme), you can travel with your dog, cat or ferret to England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland as well as to any country in the European Union. This is good news because the U.K. is a paradise for hikers and dog owners. Cornwall is so popular among dog owners that the tourist office has even published a guide especially for them. The National Trust is also particularly useful for identifying activities to do with your pet, various walking routes, restaurants where dogs are accepted and pet-friendly accommodations.
3. The Netherlands
If you can go for long jaunts with your dog in the U.S. and the U.K. and do yoga on the beach with him or her in Italy, Holland’s the ideal destination for dog owners who enjoy cycling with their four-legged companion. The long, flat, tulip-lined cycle paths in the Dutch countryside are perfectly suited for this activity, as are the mills and small towns such as Utrecht. However, when biking in Amsterdam, we don’t recommend that you bring your canine companion. Traffic is typically too heavy and cyclists cruise particularly fast, so it would be an unnecessary risk to take — unless you put your dog in the basket. Actually, the Dutch capital allows pets on boats and other public transport for no extra fee.
4. The Azores
This Portuguese archipelago situated in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean is a paradise for nature-loving travelers who like to bring along their dogs. The Azores are particularly wild and abound with hiking trails dotted with a variety of panoramas. If you have the chance, don’t miss a walk on the isle of Sao Miguel near Europe’s only tea farm. The island of Terceira is particularly suitable if you travel with your pet; at the bends of the many trails, you’re sure to cross natural pools where you can relax with your dog. Finally, if you and your dog like swimming, this is the perfect place!
5. The United States
The United States is a highly recommended destination for traveling pets, especially dogs. Very pet-friendly, Americans particularly appreciate dogs, and they’re accepted in most establishments, including hotels. You will find many canine parks where you can have a good time with your companion. As a rule of thumb, beaches and parks — even the National ones — welcome our four-legged friends. You’ll find an interactive map on the National Park Service website showing if dogs are allowed in any particular national park. For example, there’s no reason for concern if you want to discover the Grand Canyon, which celebrated a milestone this year, with your pet, but the same pet will not be able to accompany you to Arches National Park.