Dog Friendliness in Europe

The top 5 most dog friendly countries are all Europe based (with the exception of Canada also on the list). France, Switzerland, Germany, Hungary and Austria all welcome canine patrons into pubs and restaurants, there are plenty of pet-friendly hotels to choose from and provided that you pay the appropriate fare, well-behaved pooches are also permitted on public transit. Dogs are no longer simply tolerated; they are indulged! Let Australia follow suit…


So how are the Europeans doing it? 

The answer is, as always, responsible pet ownership. Let’s take a look at each individual country’s laws and regulations as well as aids that would make pups lives happier and healthier!


  • “Loo points” offers free bags to pick up your dogs’ poop, along with lots of bins for disposal.
  • There are no leash or muzzle laws so long as your dog isn’t an attack or guard breed, meaning dogs get to run free.


(Dogs sitting with their owners in a restaurant and a bar in France)



  • All Swiss dog owners are required to successfully complete a course on animal understanding and pass a series of both practical and written tests to demonstrate their aptitude.
  • There are strict guidelines as to how you may train your dog (absolutely no prong collars, hitting, or equipment that uses electricity, for instance) and all owners must have special pet insurance.




  • Is known for its no-kill shelters which not only avoid euthanising animals but also provide excellent living conditions for their residents.
  • Germany often takes in dogs from other countries who would have otherwise have been put down.
  • There is a even dog tax that German citizens pay out of their pay-checks to avoid having to put dogs down!
  • These laws reinforce a society belief that dogs are an integral part of our lives, and therefore no wonder most German places open welcoming doors to canines!



  • Measures are taken to ensure that they are well taken care of at all times. Ear and tail docking are prohibited and micro chipping is mandatory.
  • There are also programs in place to ensure that spaying and neutering is accessible to everyone and rules are enforced in order to guarantee that all dogs get at least the minimum required amount of exercise daily.



  • Pet stores are strictly prohibited from selling dogs and cats
  •  Training measures that use force are also not permitted (such as chains), nor are devices like shock collars or invisible fences. Austrians are also not permitted to clip ears and tails of their pups, presumably to curb dog-fighting rings.
  • In addition to cracking down on cruelty, Austrians make an effort to include dogs in daily life. There are plenty of hotels across the country that welcome animals, making it easy to include your pooch in your holiday plans.




One thought on “Dog Friendliness in Europe

  1. Daniel

    I grew up in Europe so I know what you mean when you refer to Europe’s dog culture. A big difference in most Western Europe towns is that no one has backyard dogs. They actually never lock their dogs outside, even when they have a decent sized yard.

    And yes, they take their dogs into shops, even restaurants and on public transport. When we last visited Belgium in May this year, my 11yo got so excited when she saw a dog on the street because she missed pets and she would try to get their attention so she could pat them. Each and every dog we met completely ignored her. Presumably because they are so used to being in public places with lots of people?


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s