Dog-Friendly Madrid

  • Madrid con perros
    madrid_con_perros1.jpg
  • Madrid con perros
    Madrid con perros.jpg

Are you travelling to Madrid and don't want to leave your pet behind? Great, because this is a cosmopolitan dog friendly city, where you will find all kinds of facilities to enjoy a holiday with your pet. Here are a few hints and tips so you know exactly where you can take your dog and which rules you need to abide by in our city.

Before travelling

If you are travelling with your dog, you should know that Spain does not allow you to bring in animals that are younger than three months' old and which have not therefore been vaccinated against rabies. To find out the sanitary and identification requirements applicable to your pet, which might vary depending on the country of origin, you should check out the following information from the Spanish Department of Farming, Fisheries, Food and the Environment.

In general, your pet must be identified by means of a legible tattoo or a microchip, a current passport, and have paperwork indicating it has been vaccinated against rabies. If they have been given the first vaccination, they cannot travel for 21 days afterwards.

On public transport

Travelling by public transport with your pet dog in Madrid is easier than it seems. Municipal buses allow you to travel with a pet dog as long as they are in a suitable carrier and they do not endanger or disturb other passengers.

For local train services (Cercanías), dogs that are not carried in a cage must wear a muzzle and chain or non-extending lead, which must be no longer than 1.5 metres. Only one animal per passenger is permitted.

And what about by metro? Here you can also travel with 'your best friend'. However, you can only do so at certain times: you can travel at any time except during rush hours: 7:30-9:30am, 2-4pm, and 6-8pm. During the months of July and August, at weekends and on public holidays, you can have full access. Remember, your dog must also wear a muzzle and a lead no longer than 50 cm. You must also travel in the last carriage of each train.

The majority of private taxis also accept dogs, provided they are in a carrier and the driver is notified previously. However, there are an increasing number of taxi companies that specialise in transporting pets, such as eTaxi and Mascotaxi.

Out and about on the streets

How should you walk with your dog on the public roads? Would you like to visit any of the capital's parks such as El Retiro, Madrid Río or Casa de Campo Park? Your pet must wear a chain or resistant rope lead that allows you to control it, and they must also wear a muzzle if required. Naturally, you should try and prevent your pet from fouling the public walkways, but if they do, always clear it up immediately.

You can let your dog off the lead in parks and gardens between 7pm and 10am (in winter) and between 8pm and 10am (in summer), always remembering the opening times of each park, and with the exception of areas where it is strictly prohibited or in children's play parks or recreational areas for the elderly.

Did you know that in parks such as El Retiro or Juan Carlos I there are special areas for dogs with benches, agility areas and drinking fountains for dogs? You'll have a great time together.

Commercial premises

Madrid is teeming with terraces where you can enjoy a bite to eat or a drink accompanied by your dog. Within commercial premises, the legislation determines that the owners have the right to allow pets to enter or not. However, more and more places have a dog friendly policy in place and are happy for you to enter with your four-legged friend.

Cafés such as Federal Café and La Infinito, restaurants such as El Perro y la Galleta, book shops such as Casa del Libro or La Fugitiva, markets such as Terraza de la Cocina de San Antón (at certain times), shops such as those belonging to the famous INDITEX chain (provided current legislation is fulfilled)… The list just keeps growing. However, before you enter a restaurant, café, shop or mall, always ask about the rules in place.

In this same regard, Snau, an online service platform for dogs, has compiled a list with the 30 most dog friendly places in Madrid, including the restaurants Camino Food&Drinks, in the area around the Santiago Bernabéu Stadium, the fashionable PerraChica in the district of Chamberí, and Boho Bar in Chueca.

And what about staying in a hotel? We advise you, when booking a hotel, to let them know that you are travelling with a dog, indicating the breed and weight, to know whether they accept pets and if there is a supplement to be paid. However, more and more hotels have prepared their rooms so that your dog can also travel with you. This is the case of the Petit Palace chain, designer hotels that welcome pets and which offer specific services such as a pet bed, food and toys.

What about if the hotel where you want to stay does not allow pets? In Madrid you will also find hotels for dogs with 24-hour surveillance and climate-controlled rooms.

Business and specialist events

As well as hotels for dogs, there are also shops and pet grooming salons, doga centres (yoga with dogs), and numerous vets' clinics open 24 hours a day. Everything to ensure your stay with your pet is as pleasant as possible.

And if you like the idea of taking part in an event where your dog is the star, you also have a number of options: Perrotón (a charity run to promote the responsible adoption of pets), the Fiestas de San Antón (did you know that during these festivities people take their pets to the Church of San Antón, the patron saint of animals, to have them blessed?) or initiatives such as Guau, ¡qué alucine!, where owners can take their dogs to a huge drive-in cinema to attend workshops, eat at gastronetas and of course watch a film under the stars.

 

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