Explore Venice with Your Dog

 Take your dog with you to Venice? No Problem

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The cheapest way to visit Venice is to book your accommodations outside of Venice. Zala and I chose to couchsurf in Mestre. It made for a fun Halloween and provided an excuse to buy one of those fabulous Venetian masks. Also, if you are able to ‘borrow’ a Venetian’s card; you will save money.

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Advice from someone who made the mistake. Do not drive to Venice. There is no reason for you to do it other than to spend extra money. You can not drive within Venice. Once you reach Venice, you must immediately find overpriced parking.

Taking the bus from Mestre to Venice is no problem with a dog. Slip on his/her muzzle and hop aboard. But be warned, the bus to Venice is usually packed tight with people. Make sure your dog is comfortable in this kind of situation. The train is also easily available for you and your dog for a higher price.

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As for water transportation, gondolas are for tourist with money to spend. Everyone else takes the water bus ‘Vaporetto’. Dogs ride free. Muzzles are required but are more of a courtesy. Zala loves riding the Vaporetto. There is more to Venice than the main island. Be sure to visit the other islets such as Murano and their amazing glasswork.

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Don’t bother using a map in Venice. It is a mess of tight alleys and never ending corners. The joy of Venice is getting wonderfully lost and finding amazing places. Trust me, you will find your way back no problem.

Take little doggy bags. Venice is rock and water. Patches of green are rarely seen.

Feel free to leave comments and questions. I will be happy to answer.

Travel Italy with Your Dog

 Italy may be the best place in the world to travel with your dog.

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Italians and Dogs

The French like dogs. Italians love dogs. I have gone to restaurants where Zala has been given packages of dog treats, cheesy pasta, ham, chocolates (without my consent), and pizza. Walking down the street I was always being stopped by Italians petting and loving on my dog. After one month in Italy, my dog believed her name was ‘Ciao Bella!’ (Hello Beautiful!).

On the Train

Trains accept dogs just as easily as France. I personally have only taken the train from Chambery, France to Milan, Italy. This ticket is a flat rate of 30Euros for your pet. I believe this holds true for all train travel in Italy. My passport was checked crossing the border, but Zala’s was not. Don’t forget your dog muzzle.

Bus

Take your dog on the bus and do so confidently. I did it in cities throughout Italy including Venice, Bologna, and Rome. People will appreciate you following the rules by putting a muzzle on your dog before you get on. I was thanked numerous times for doing this courtesy. Not everyone is comfortable with dogs, especially large ones.

Metro

I never took my dog on the Metro. I expect their dog restrictions are lax. Check online before you try.

Hotels

Many hotels do not post if they accept dogs and some only allow small dogs. E-mail or call anyways. Most hotels will accept large dogs even if their website does not say so. Most do not charge a fee either.

Restaurants and Shops

Unless it is a meat deli or grocery store, assume your dog can come inside. I got told off numerous occasions because I tied my dog outside and the owner or employee demanded I bring my dog inside because she ‘looks sad’. Please view my posts on specific Italian cities where I talk in detail of all the strange places that accepted my dog.

Churches, Museums, Ancient Buildings

No; except the ruins of Pompeii. Dogs are allowed there. See my post and photos on Pompeii.

5 Tips for International Pet Travel

 Traveling for the first time is intimidating. Traveling for the first time with a pet can be daunting. It is important to know how to sift through information and not get misled by the poor information spread throughout the net.

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1) Do yourself a favor and get your dog microchipped NOW. The only vaccinations that count on your dog’s health certificate are the ones given after your dog is microchipped.

2) Get your dog vaccinated for rabies directly after he/she gets her microchip. The bare minimum of every country around the world is a rabies vaccination and microchip. In general, it is a 21 day wait after the vaccine was given before your dog can travel out of the country.

3) Buy a dog crate that meets airline standards. Some airlines are stricter than others. Sky Kennels by Petmate meet the standards of essentially all airlines. Their crates also include all the stickers and accessories you may ever need. Buy it for your dog now so they can sleep and adapt to their crate.

4) Check the embassy/consulate page of your destination country for pet requirements. Double check this information with your destination country’s Department of Livestock. Like mentioned above, only let other websites serve as general guides. Much of the information given is not exact and rules change often.

5) Check the cost of your pet’s ticket BEFORE you buy your airline ticket. Just because the airline accepts pets, it does not mean you can afford their price. Know if your pet will fly as cabin baggage, checked baggage, or cargo. Please see my post on International Dog Flights for more information.

If you do this prep work before you start planning trip dates, you will save yourself time and a headache.

Also see my post on cheap dog friendly airlines.

Feel free to comment below with questions. I will be happy to answer.