Where will your dog enjoy a happy expat life

  • boy with dog
Published on 2018-05-30 at 12:15 by Maria Iotova
How exciting — you are about to seize a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity abroad with all its challenges and rewards. But you are not alone in this expatriation journey; your four-legged friend is family to you and is joining the adventure. Before you get your pooch a passport and make the first steps towards your dog's transportation, take a look at the list we have prepared with some of the world's greatest places to be a dog.  


Dog in front of the Eiffel Tower in Paris

There's a slight paradox in France, which will introduce your dog to a new, more humanlike lifestyle. Dogs in France are certainly welcomed in cafés, bistros, and bars, but they may be restricted in gardens and parks due to the authorities' efforts to keep public spaces in perfect condition, free from garbage and holes on the lawn. In France, you and your dog can go shopping for clothes and groceries together, or hang out with other dogs which are so easy to find everywhere.


Girl playing in the snow with dogs

As long as your dog can handle the cold weather, it is free to stroll in the city, huge dog parks, and dedicated to dogs beaches. During the warmer months, let your dog off-the-leash, and together explore nature trails and indulge into recreational activities such as swimming and hiking, or enjoy a Sunday picnic (don't forget your dog's cookies). If you are a professional expat with a strenuous schedule, in Canada, you will find some of the best daycares for dogs, which respect your dog's nature and cater to their needs with supervised play, mental stimulation, and social contact. Also, it's important to know that in some cities like Toronto, canines are allowed to ride on public transports within certain times.  


trekking with dog in switzerland mountains

There's probably no other nation that takes pet ownership so seriously as the Swiss do. The government may have recently annulled the certificates of competence and the mandatory practical aptitude course for all dog owners, but there is a plethora of other strict guidelines (e.g. pet insurance), which ensure that life with pets is happy and safe. In Switzerland's big cities dogs are allowed on most trains and buses upon paying a fee, and it's common for restaurants to welcome your pet with even a special doggie plate.  


Leipzig woman walks with dog
skyfish / Shutterstock.com

Germany nurtures an animal loving culture in which dogs have a special place — they are allowed on all public transportation (buses, trams, the underground, and trains) and even to some museums and the church. However, we tend to believe that your dog is most likely to find joy in Germany's many lakes, rivers, and parks. In general, dogs in Germany are well-behaved and follow their owners to restaurants, markets, and even their work. Remember to keep your furry friend on the leash, especially when you are passing through residential areas and spaces with children. If you are not a dog owner yet, and you are moving to Germany, the country has first-class dog shelters, which don't euthanise animals.


dog looking at the view of Budapest

Hungary makes much of animal welfare with laws, measurements, and guidelines, which ensure that animals are treated decently and with respect. For example, ear and tail cropping are strictly prohibited among all dog breeds, and spaying and neutering are easily accessible and affordable to prevent the country's contribution to the big stray dog population crisis. Feel free to bring your dog to cafés and restaurants, and let it follow you off the leash in public spaces (as long as you know it always comes back to you when you call it).


Happy dog in Australia

Without a doubt, Australia makes the list of the top pet-friendly countries in the world thanks to its plethora of dog-friendly parks and beaches. In Brisbane alone, for example, there are over 100 off-leash outdoor areas where you can even take a fitness class alongside your four-legged friend. Admittedly, public places such as restaurants and cafés don't have the friendliest pet policies, but a “Pet in The Office Policy”, which more and more companies have been adopting, allows you to work alongside your dog. Also, remember that Australia has some of the strictest animal-import laws, which may delay the process of joining your dog once there, but it's all worth it.  

The Netherlands

Dog on the Scheveningen Beach in Holland

The Netherlands has every dog's back with many dog-designated areas such as parks, campsites and beaches, which guarantee a quality time with your pooch. In many of the special dog play areas, you don't have to clean up after your dog, as it's been taken care by the city (and the dog taxes you pay). Dogs can travel on the train, and service dogs travel free on all public transports. Adding to the Netherlands' care for dogs, laws prevent individuals with criminal records from becoming dog owners. One thing only, be careful of the bicycles, as both you and your expat dog may find it difficult at first to get used to the heavy load of cyclists in the city.

What's your experience of moving abroad with your pet? How pet-friendly is your host country? What obstacles did you have to overcome when first moving abroad with your dog? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments section below.