English Speaking Therapists in Barcelona
info@therapyinbarcelona.com

Barkcelona Bliss: Navigating Expat Life with Your Dog in Barcelona

Barkcelona Bliss: Navigating Expat Life with Your Dog in Barcelona

 

Barcelona, with its sun-kissed beaches, rich culture, and warm Mediterranean charm, is a city that attracts expats from around the globe. And for those with four-legged companions, the journey becomes even more of an adventure. Your dog will provide you with significant reductions in anxiety and stress on your expat adventure, in addition to increased physical activity, social and community interaction. You can also bring your dog to your therapy session at Therapy in Barcelona as many of us are dog parents too!

In this guide, Daphne Singer, founder and dog trainer at Saving Slippersexplores the unique challenges and joys of being an expat dog parent in the vibrant heart of Catalonia. Daphne helps Barcelona based dog parents get a peaceful home (and their sanity) back.

Unleashing the Adventure: Dog-Friendly Neighbourhoods in Barcelona

As a human canine team, the first step is to find a new base camp far from home.
When you start flat hunting, be sure to check with the real estate agencies about regulations for your dog. 

Having a dog generally makes the process more complicated and landlords do have the right to prohibit pets in the contracts. However if the contract doesn’t specify anything, Fido and you are good to get yourselves your first Barcelona home.

In terms of neighbourhoods to warmly embrace both of you, these are the ones you should check out first:

Gràcia, with its beautiful squares and dog-friendly cafes, is a great pick. The Born, adorned with historic architecture, and the nearby Ciutadella park are ideal for your daily strolls. Keep in mind those districts are best for the more social and relaxed pups. If loads of movement, loud noises and people are not your dog’s thing, look into Sant Martí and Sarrià-Sant Gervasi – those are less dense neighbourhoods that offer some nice off leash areas.

Closer to the city centre you’ll find Poblesec right at the green hills of Montjuïc that offer panoramic views of the city and take you out of the buzz in a heartbeat. On the opposite side of town, Poblenou awaits you with bigger avenues and fast access to lovely beaches like Playa Bogatell and Playa Mar Bella, where dogs are welcome between mid September to mid April. During high season, there is still a dog beach open at Playa Levant – but be wary, it gets packed!

No matter where you end up living, take note of Parc del Guinardó, and Parc del Carmel – nestled away from the crowds, these are great options to let your pup run and play on the weekends. 

You can find all current dog areas on the city hall’s website here.

Mediterranean Life: Special Considerations for Dogs

Barcelona’s climate is generally mild, but the summer sun can be intense. Ensure your dog stays hydrated during those sunny strolls, and consider scheduling walks during the cooler mornings and evenings. All over the city there are fountains with drinkable water, so you can do pit stops or bring a bottle to fill up for Fido.

People in the streets can be a tad too excited to pet any dog they see and having the basic knowledge to protect their personal space can go a long way! In case your dog is really unhappy about a stranger’s hand coming too close, consider shopping for a “Do not Touch” or “No!” sleeve for your leash.

 

Pet Sitters for Dogs in Barcelona

While you can’t always bring your dog with you, Barcelona’s large dog population of over 180,000 dogs, outweighing the 171,863 children under 12 in Barcelona, means there are plenty of available pet sitting services.

If possible, get personal recommendations or check the sitter’s reviews on Rover.com to make sure your pup’s stay is a pleasant one. Use our link here to get 10 euro credit toward your first dog sitting or dog walking experience.

You’re looking for dog sitter who can answer all your questions, doesn’t take more than 2 dogs at a time and gives you frequent updates!

Wagging Tails Welcome: Where Dogs Are Allowed in Barcelona

Barcelona is generally welcoming to dogs, but it’s essential to be aware of specific spaces where your furry friend can join you. Many cafes and restaurants with outdoor seating happily accommodate dogs, for you and your pet to enjoy the city’s many culinary treasures together.

My Top 3 dog-friendly places in Barcelona are:


1. Federal Café in Carrer del Parlament, with its laid back atmosphere and spacious outdoor seating. You’ll almost always get a water bowl and the staff is very friendly to pooches.

2. Roots and Rolls is an amazing plant-based sushi place for fans of innovative vegan cuisine. They welcome your pup with arms wide open and make them feel as at home as you.

3. Chivuos is, hands down, my all time favourite burger place in the city. Although the space is not big they will always let you come in with your  dog!

Check the website Sr Perro for other plans that are dog-friendly too!

 

Moving Around Barcelona Metro with Your Dog

If you need to move around, you can take your dog by metro. Your dog must wear a muzzle and be kept on a non-extending lead and remain within 50 cm of you. At weekends and on public holidays, dogs are allowed at any time and during the summer (from 24 June to 11 September).  On weekdays from 11 September to 24 June, dogs are not allowed on the metro between 7.00 and 9.30 am, and between 5.00 and 7.00 pm. 

At times when the metro is likely to be very crowded and the safety of passengers and animals so requires, TMB Barcelona may restrict access with dogs. Check for any updates under Travelling with Animals on the TMB website here.

Taking your dog on buses in Barcelona is trickier as they only allow dogs in carriers to travel on board.

Need a quick solution? Search Google for ‘dog friendly taxis barcelona’ to find taxis that will welcome you and your dog onboard.

Resources for the Discerning Dog Owners in Barcelona

Being a new expat dog owner in Barcelona comes with its own set of challenges, and fortunately, the city offers plenty of resources to make your life easier. There are some great local veterinarians that provide excellent service (also in English). Do get an insurance though – it can otherwise get pretty pricey. Some recommendations are Caser, Barkibu, PetPlan, Santevet and Protectapet. However, it’s always best to ask on expat websites like Dogs Barcelona for advice of other dog owners.

Pet supply stores stock everything from organic treats to stylish accessories, plus you have access to several online suppliers of natural diets. Additionally, joining local dog owner groups and online communities like the Facebook group “DOGS Barcelona” opens doors not only to plenty of advice but also new canine and human connections.

 

Dog Trainers in Barcelona

In case of having a sensitive pooch or facing struggles due to the move (reactivity, separation anxiety, fears, etc.) you can find dedicated professionals to help you tackle these issues through respectful and positive training.

Stay clear from group classes, as they tend to work dogs up even more, and avoid any shady techniques that rely on punishing, scaring or controlling your animal. This includes choke, shock and, prong collars that, apart from being terrible for your dog’s health, are now finally forbidden with the passing of the new Animal Welfare Law in Spain. 

 

In conclusion, being an expat with a dog in Barcelona is a symphony of unique experiences. If you embrace the challenges, surround yourself with the right people and watch out for your dog in busy Barcelona, you’ll both soon get used to its vibrant rhythm. 

Ready to come, leash in hand, and embark on this exciting journey of Barkcelona bliss?

About the Author

Daphné Singer (below) is the founder and dog trainer at Saving Slippers. She helps dog parents get a peaceful home (and their sanity!) back. Her services are offered in English, German, Spanish or French. 

Grab a copy of her FREE e- book “5 surprising changes that your dog can’t wait to see you make” here.

× Welcome! Available from 10:00 to 15:00 Available on SundayMondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFridaySaturday