Explore the Ancient Ruins of Pompeii with Your Dog

 Well preserved frescos, intact ancient building, and your dog can explore with you.

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Have more caution in the Southern region of Italy. There is more poverty in the south, and it is common knowledge among Italians that Naples is notorious for car theft. That does not mean you can’t have a fantastic time, just use caution.

Yes, your dog can accompany you inside the ancient ruins of Pompeii, but beware of the stray dogs roaming about.

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Stone pedestrian crossings, ancient wagon ruts, an ancient amphitheater, and the petrified remains of Pomeii’s inhabitants will keep you occupied for at least half the day so bring your good walking shoes and a bottle of water.

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There are a couple campgrounds, Zeus and Spartacus, directly across from the ruins at a reasonable price. Spartacus was the cheaper option for car camping. The showers had no hot water and the wifi was pay by the hour. Dogs were of course welcome.

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.

Travel France with Your Dog

Traveling in France with you dog is accessible and fun.

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City Travel

Most cafes, stores, banks, and post offices allow dogs. Assume if there is no sign saying no dogs allowed, you and your furry friend can walk in. But it is always polite to ask first. Most cafes and restaurants will even serve your dog water before you. The French, as a whole, love dogs.

If a business does not allow pets, such as grocery stores and delis, there normally are hooks to tie your dog outside the store.

Metro and Bus

I personally have not traveled by bus or Metro in France. But I have in Italy, so be sure to check my post on the topic. Metros usually accept small dogs. I have seen individuals bring their large dog aboard with no issue. Most public transportation require your dog to be in a travel carrier or muzzled. It is the respectful thing to do, and those around you will be thankful you did. Show this small courtesy, and you will likely be greeted with smiles and winks.

Train

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This is the way to travel France and also Europe with a pet. TGV charges half the price of your ticket for your pet. You can buy your ticket online but not your dogs. Go to the station ticket counter and ask for a ticket for your furry friend. Your dog is required to be muzzled at all times. I’ve found this rule is rarely enforced. Your pet is also supposed to have a pet passport. In my one year of train travel not once was it checked.

Pet Passport

Although my dog’s passport was never checked, this is a requirement and a good thing to get for your pet upon arrival in Europe. Go to the vet and bring your international health certificate and rabies certificate with you. The process is painless and the passport is valid for the lifetime of your pet. In addition, the vet can give you paperwork to register you pet for that country.

Muzzles

You may have noticed I have mentioned muzzles several times. This is a very common requirement for pets allowed on public transportation. There are a lot of choices available, but I have found a simple mesh muzzle works best. They are cheap and can be purchased for under $10. You can slip it in your pant or coat pocket and easily slip it on and off your pet. Typically I put the muzzle on my dog when entering or leaving and take it off during the journey. Also, this kind of muzzle does not give your dog as intimidating of an appearance. This is important to me because I own a very striking Dutch Shepherd. A big metal cage muzzle makes her look like a killer.

Cautionary note: A tight mesh muzzle restricts panting. This is dangerous for a dog during high temperatures. Always put your dog’s health first.

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.

International Dog Flights

 Flying around the world with a dog can get complicated and expensive. I am going to break it down.

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Who Can Fly?

If you have a snub nosed breed, you are going to have a more difficult time finding an airline than most dog owners. Breeds known to have breathing problems are a higher liability. Don’t let this dishearten you. You will simply have to put an extra effort into finding the right airline.

Some countries prohibit ‘dangerous’ breeds, therefore, airlines may not fly your breed of dog to certain countries. These lists usually include Mastiff and Bully breeds. Sad but true. I’ve never seen any Shepherd breed put on these lists.

In addition, pregnant, sick, or injured dogs are not generally not allowed. Some airlines have age restrictions if you are flying your puppy.

Cabin, Checked, Cargo

First, determine if your dog can fly as cabin baggage, checked baggage, or cargo. Rule of thumb, the price goes up as you go down the list. Unless you can prove your dog is a service dog, you have a doctor’s note or your dog is purse sized; let go of the hope your dog can ride in the airplane cabin with you.

Some airlines accept pets as checked baggage. Check before you buy your ticket. Certain airplanes can carry pets and some cannot. When you find the ticket you want to buy, write down the plane number and make a phone call to the airline inquiring about that specific plane to be sure. In general, the cut off weight for dogs as checked baggage is 32kg(70lbs) combined weight of your crate and dog. There are a few airlines that will allow pets to count as checked baggage and fly free but not many. Everything else gets put into cargo. Count on this costing the most. This is usually calculated by distance x weight. Many airlines then double or triple this price if it is a live animal.

Also be aware, some airlines have time and/or temperature restrictions. They will only fly your pet for so many hours and if the temperature raises to a certain point that day they will not accept your pet. Ask if they have these restrictions before you buy your ticket.

On the bright side, there are airlines such as KLM that have flat rates for pets. I have found when flying a large dog these airlines are the best option. I have posted a growing list of personal reviews and research of airlines for cargo sized dogs.

Also see my 5 Tips for International Pet Travel