Sunday, November 27, 2011

What I've Learned About Traveling to Italy with a Dog

A Baker's Dozen of Thoughts and Lessons:

1. Overall, northern Italy is more pet-friendly than southern Italy.

2. Rome is the least pet-friendly city I have visited in Italy, although it is still better than anywhere in the USA.

3. I could not have traveled without Seymour's sling. We used it everyday and it became Seymour's "safe" place when he got overwhelmed. He would just bury himself down in it for awhile

4. When it comes to taking a dog somewhere, it is better to ask forgiveness than ask permission. Often people didn't even notice Seymour when we were walking around or on public transportation. If they did notice and stopped us, it was often after I had seen a little of what I wanted to see.

5. When looking for a place to stay, if they state "no pets", ask anyway. All but 2 changed their mind and let us stay. It helps if they can see a picture of the pet and how small it is.

6. Even though NO ONE here cleans up after their dog (it is disgusting), I still cleaned up every time. I was glad when someone saw me because maybe it would give them a hint. I don't know what has happened to Seymour here but he goes "number 2" at least three times a day! Luckily grocery stores usually sell the poop bags. BTW, the websites I searched said that they all do clean up after their pets here. I don't know where they got that information.

7. It is very frustrating to me when places have those "no dog" signs up showing walking dogs and don't differentiate between dogs that are carried or in slings and those that are walking. I think they should allow well behaved dogs that are in carrying bags into those places. I wrote one email to Arezzo tourist folks and will write another to the Italy Tourism Director when I get home to give my thoughts. It never hurts to speak up.

8. Next trip, I will bring more of Seymour's chicken tender treats. They don't sell them here and I wasted a lot of money trying other treats that he won't eat. In fact, they have very limited dog food and treats. They actually have more choices for cats. There are lots of stray cats but they all look like they are being fed.

9. I brought the muzzle they said I needed and not one person asked me to show it to them. I would still bring it next time, but wouldn't get so stressed about it. I think it is more for dogs who act like they could be biters.

10. I used Seymour's folding water bowl all of the time
- until I lost it. I did bring a bigger folding bowl that I use for his water in the places we stay.

11. I mostly bought his dog food in the single serving size. It cost a little more but I didn't have to worry about trying to carry a partial can of dog food with me when we moved to our next location - or have to throw it out.

12. With all of the Pros and Cons of bringing a dog to Italy, the Pros won out. I loved seeing people - especially children - notice Seymour in his sling and start to smile and coo. I think he made many people's days better just by letting them pet him and talk to him. I know that more people started conversations with him than with me.

13. I would definitely bring him again.

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  1. Great info! I love that it worked out so well having your little guy with you! Hope this info helps future Italy-bound travelers with pets! -Shannon

  2. Thanks for a wonderful adventure! Great comments in your "baker's dozen"... Sam