Is Latvia dog/ pet friendly?

Hello, I am new here. I am from Singapore and have lived in Malta for 4 years before moving back to Singapore for the past 2 years. As I will be moving to Latvia next year, am hoping that someone who is already living there can help me with some queries. I can't seem to find much information in English about this.

I will be taking my 8 mth old puppy to Latvia with me. I am wondering how dog friendly Latvia/ Riga is - are dogs allowed in  cafes, markets and shopping malls like in Italy, Spain and France?

Are there pet shops in Riga? For buying of dog food. I am not looking for supermarket brands. More along the lines of the brands Origen, Acana, Timberwolf.

Would it be difficult to find a place to rent if I have a dog in tow?  I am looking at least a year to two in Latvia. I am looking to live in a safe area that's convenient to markets, shops, cafes or supermarkets. Somewhere central in Riga, near parks.

Thanks! ;)

There are dogs everywhere.  I often see dogs left outside the grocery (so it is safe) and dogs in restaurants etc.

You will never see a dog in a fancy evening restaurant, but everywhere else they're common.

Dogs are common in the woods and the parks as well (the larger dogs) and leashes are often used, although I don't know if they are obligatory.  Outside of the downtown Riga area responsibility for pets is poor, especially in the poop department.

Thanks! :)

Technically, small dogs (like Yorks) are allowed in SOME cafes, most supermarkets and grocery stores. But in reality people do not appreciate it, especially old people and parents with kids. This is the mentality and you should be prepared to get looks and negative response in some cases. If it's a puppy, who can sit in your coat or in your hands while you shop, then there would not be much of the problem. Streets, beaches, parks and forests are absolutely open.

Bars, clubs, cinemas and restraurants do not allow dogs in. If you use public transport, you would need a muzzle, unless it's a small dog that you can hold in your hands. Keep in mind that every dog MUST be kept on a leash in public places, but you can allow it to run free in the small forest (which is almost in every are of Riga).

Try to keep the dog out of places where children are, because you will definitely get angry looks. Such places are all playgrounds, areas close to schools and kindergardens, etc.

There is a very good chain of pet shops called DinoZoo. They sell pet stuff, toys and professional pet food such as Hills, Royal Canin, ProPlan, Ontario. The full list is available here

You can get their member card and get discount and bonuses. Also they have sales and offers quite often (2 for 1, for example). The other good thing about this card is it gives you discount at most vet clinics (you can ge the list of them in the store).

Overall people are pet tolerant, there are many dogs around and most of them feel quite comfortable and free. Some will ask you if they can pet it and most will not freak our if it comes closer :)

There are also yearly dog and cat exhibitions, where you can come and meet other pet lovers.

Thanks Lacefactor for the tips on Dinozoo :) I am considering areas to stay in and one of the places is a nice apartment on Martisa iela near the Ziedondarzs park. It's in the Avoti area, and I read that this area is not very safe' and should be avoided. I will most probably walk my dog in that park, is it a safe park? What do you think? Thanks.