Moving to a different country is hard enough, even without a dog. If you are worried whether it’s going to be ok, don’t worry it’s a very dog-friendly city. The Catalonians adore dogs and you will often see what looks like two friends meeting with theirs, when one will walk off shouting ‘nice to meet you’ in Catalan.
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The hard bits
The are a few balancing acts first though. It’s not a suitable city for big dogs; people live in very dense apartments and small flats so anything bigger than a Labrador will be a struggle. Similarly, this is a problem if your dog barks a lot as your neighbors will hear it and that may cause problems. Also, you can only let your dog off the lead in designated dog areas and you will be fined heavily for not picking up the mess.
Now we’ve got the nasty parts aside there is the good stuff. Having a dog in Barcelona can be a real pleasure. There are so many dog owners that unfortunately you should often look where you’re walking. However, there loads of things that make it easy for one to keep a dog.
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There are several big parks in Barcelona, Parc de la Ciutadella and the gardens on Montjuïc being two. Parc de Collserola is the largest metropolitan park in Europe next to Tibidabo, a theme park on top of a mountain and of course Park Guell.
There is also a fantastic doggy swimming pool at Resort Canino Can Jane just outside Barcelona city center. Based on the assumption that humans get far too much attention toward their leisure time and dogs are missing out on a good dip!
The beach is open to dogs during the winter months so you can wander along the sea front and let your hairy companion dive amongst the surf. But in the summer months, it’s closed to dog walkers. Fortunately, you may walk your dog along the concourse that runs behind the beaches the whole way from La Barceloneta to Badalona, it’s quite a walk, lined with palm trees swaying in the wind and boats sailing past the city.
During Summer 2014 in Barcelona, there is a new trial period for taking dogs on the metro. This means that, except for rush hour, for the next 6 months it will be possible to take your dog wherever you want on the metro. However, you must have a muzzle and an in-extendable lead on the dog. If you feel uncomfortable with a dog on the underground system then it is perfectly legal to take them in doggy bags, boxes, and other enclosed transport cages.
What if you need a break, need to go somewhere without your dog? Well, there are many dog walkers in the city, whilst charging they provide an excellent service that don’t have the time to walk their dogs or need to take a break. Fido’s Playground provides a great service.
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Make some friends
Having a dog is a great way to meet people in Barcelona, as mentioned before the Catalonians love dogs and if you have one many people will just start talking to you on the street. This is a brilliant way to make friends with people or even just to have some conversations with friendly strangers.
Where to get a dog
If you don’t have a dog and are desperate to own one there are several places around Barcelona where you can get one. These are the dog rescue center Animals Sense Sostre or the shop, Mister Guau Center are the best to start with.
So have fun, enjoy the city with your pooch and feel free to tell us some of your doggy stories below!
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