Dog-Friendly Paris & Catalunya

by Gigi Griffis

I’m bundling Paris and Girona into one post because I only spent five too-short days in Paris and just four days in Spain (three of which were mostly spent attending a conference and its many parties). So our experiences in these places were a bit more limited than our normal stay-for-a-month-and-immerse-ourselves-in-the-culture mode of travel. My apologies for the lack of vet addresses, pet food shops, and favorite walks. Our time was just too short.

That said, four or five days does give us an idea of the pet-friendliness of these cities…

Dog-friendly housing
Paris is one of the most dog-friendly cities on the planet, so finding a place to stay shouldn’t be a hard task. That said, Luna and I crashed at a new friend’s apartment in lovely Montmartre (which just happens to be our favorite Parisian neighborhood), so we can’t recommend any specific housing options for the city.

In Girona, Spain, Luna and I again rented from Airbnb. Even better, when we started sending emails asking about dog friendliness, we got an overwhelming amount of yesses. So, if you are looking for a place to stay with your pooch in Girona, I say start with Airbnb.

Just like in Belgium, Germany, and Switzerland, trains in France and Spain allow dogs to travel free in carrier cases. They’re considered hand baggage! Again, I encourage you to always check with the ticket sellers before boarding the train, but our experience was that Luna traveled for free as long as she stayed in her carrier.

We also found the Paris metro decidedly pet-friendly, just walking on and off the trains as needed.

Paris’ Dog-Friendly Culture
While in Paris, Luna was treated to treats, kisses, and tons of snuggles. Parisians love love love dogs! In fact, more than once someone wanted to hold Luna in their lap and/or pick her up. If your dog doesn’t like being picked up or gets nervous with strangers, make sure to be hyper vigilant. Sometimes people ask before petting the dog and sometimes they dive right in. (Luckily, Luna is quite social, so she did well.)

Restaurants and bars
I’ve heard mixed reviews from other pet owners. Overwhelmingly, we hear that Paris is dog-friendly to its core (and, indeed, that was our experience), but I know that Montecristo found a number of bakeries and other establishments putting up no-dogs signs on his last trip…so dog friendliness may depend where in Paris you are.

That said, during our five day visit, Luna and I frequented cafes, gelatto shops, a creperie, wine shops, neighborhood bakeries, and other food or drink establishments without issue. Only once was Luna forced to wait outside with my friend while I was purchasing some sweets.

In the case of Spain, we found less by way of dog-friendly spots (in fact, we were kicked out of a restaurant that we stopped into for a moment to just ask directions), so plan more carefully in northeastern Spain and always call ahead.

English-Speaking Vet In Paris
One thing to keep in mind about the vet listed below: while he speaks very good English, his staff does not. I was not able to make an appointment by phone; I had to go in and make it in person. If you speak a little French (even just enough to ask if the vet is available for an appointment at a certain date and time), you will be fine. Otherwise, I suggest walking over and making your appointment or asking to be seen as a walk-in.

Clinique Veterinaire
Dr. Metivet
3 Rue de Monceau

Open 9 – 1 / 2 – 7 weekdays, 9 – 1 Saturdays

Phone: 01 45 63 41 39

More dog-friendly Paris
We were only in France and Spain for a short time, but never fear, there are more dog-in-Paris tips here:

Going to France or Spain this year? Check out my unconventional guidebooks.

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Montecristo Travels October 5, 2012 - 10:48 am

Oh thank you for shout out Gigi and Luna! Indeed, I think Paris is still very pet friendly, but we were sadly surprised. I think, and I do not mean this in any controversial way, with an increase in Muslim business owners in areas of Paris, the dog friendliness has “taken a hit”. This is only our guess. But … there was ALWAYS another option and the subway was wonderfully pet friendly – hop on hop off. Unlike say – Ottawa where there are zero choices for indoor dining and barely anything for patio’s … and with 6 months of winter even if we had patio dining it would be a short season. Nor are pets here allowed on ANY form of public transport.

So yes, Paris is dog friendly but better yet FRANCE is very dog friendly! Did you know that the very famous Hospice de Beaune (near Dijon) actually allows small dogs inside? it’s a museum … I was … floored.

gigigriffis October 5, 2012 - 9:19 pm

Oh, that’s wonderful to know. Cheers to Hospice de Beaune!

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