Getting around cities with your dog

Cities are always a headache when it comes to get around with your dog (the park below your house does not count). It is sad, but society is not prepared for us at the level of transport infrastructure. Some people are afraid, others have allergies... I can think of different ways to solve that, it is just that they do not want to. There are many who do not understand us and believe that we are crazy for wanting to take our dogs everywhere. Hell yeah, we want! And as an example of this, the human intellect has led us to witness situations such as dogs on bicycles, or dogs hidden in bags and backpacks in the metro. The first award is for a biology teacher of mine, who used a baby cart, so he would not get caught in the Madrid subway. That dog was probably happier with his owner in the botanical office than at home alone.

So yes, it is hard to get around the city with your dog, but, once again, there is always a way. And if there is no way we will have to invent it. In my day to day in my hometown, my dear Madrid, I try very often to make my plans by counting on my dog. It does not matter whether I am going to get some fruit in my neighborhood or I am meeting up with my friends in downtown. I take Cocaí with me (ask my friends if you don’t believe me!). Obviously, I do not always do it, because sometimes it just does not make sense (if you are going to the movies, for example). But if we want to go to a park or a square in the center, where she would be happy, why should not I bring her? In short, many times I take her, even if it is not the easiest thing.

These are the options that I can come up with for getting around with your dog in a big city:

OWN CAR

If you have your own car, it will be a piece of cake. Disadvantages: pollution, driving under stress in traffic chaos, getting trouble with parking, potential parking payment stations.

ELECTRIC CARS

In some cities there is an application that shows you the car of the company closest to your point. Although it is not the cheapest option (it is cheaper than a taxi, though), here are some advantages: zero pollution because it is electric, you do not have to pay for the parking pay stations, and you can park wherever you want (within a limit).

METRO

In most of the world pets are banned from the metro. In some cities dogs are allowed, though. I am happy that one of them is Madrid (since June 2016). In Madrid you can take your buddy in the last car (always on the leash and with a muzzle). The other option, if it is not allowed in the subway of your city, is to sneak in. But keep in mind that they can give you a ticket, so be careful. It is best not to ask and play dumb, especially if you are traveling and you do not know the city, so you can claim that you are just visiting and had no idea. I did it in the subway of Santiago de Chile. But also in Madrid... Holy smoke, it was so funny putting her inside a sport bag... The bad news is that she has grown up and it is not that easy now.

Getting around Madrid with my dog by metro

BUS

Same thing, most of the countries/cities would not let you travel by bus, but there are some exceptions. For example, in the Scandinavian countries it is very common to see dogs on public transport.

UBER/CABIFI

They are some of the applications (there are several of this type) in which a person (registered in the application) offers transportation services around the city. Like a taxi, but cheaper. There are many countries in the world, such as Spain or Mexico (to give you two examples). I only used these apps in Monterrey, Mexico, and it perfectly worked. However, it may happen that it does not work well in other places. I imagine that it will depend on the country or city in which you are living or traveling.

TAXI

A slightly expensive option, but there it is. And it is not always expensive, as in many areas of Latin America with, for example, the moto taxis. On the other hand, you can always be unlucky and find a taxi driver who does not want to take your dog.

In some countries like Peru, you will not have problems with the moto taxis. Also, they are cheap

BIKE

You can ride with your dog side by side, or carrying him/her in a box. I have only done the first option and never had any problems. I usually carry her on the leash on the sidewalks and roads and loose in parks and bike lanes. For more information on how to ride by bike with your dog take a look at Pablo Calvo's blog, a guy with lots of experience traveling in this way with his doggie: https://bikecanine.com/

WALKING

This is the one we use the most. If you are touring it is perfect because you are traveling the city up and down and you could take your dog. What a better way of knowing a new place than walking! If you are living, it is a little heavier having to walk every day through the same streets to reach certain points... Especially when they are too far away. But hey, for short and medium distances it is still the best option.

Walking Campeche streets, Mexico

I want to finish launching a call! People all over the world, tell us how is your city with the dog stuff, is it easy to get around by bus or metro with your buddy? Somewhere really dog-friendly where we all can go settle down forming a dog-commune? Let’s try and make a map with the cities in this planet where dogs are welcome in public transport. There is no so much information about it and could be really helpful for all of us. Hopefully, little by little we will see a greater number of cities joining this initiative to allow the access of pets to the public transport.

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