Generally speaking, Europe is considered as a dog-friendly continent. However, if you were to narrow it down to a select few countries or destinations, then Belgium is definitely up there on the top of the list. As a matter of fact, 1 out of 10 residents of the country owns a dog, making Belgium one of the most canine-welcoming countries in the whole of Europe. This dog-loving status that the nation carries is made evident by the various activities open to humans and canines that are being offered, such as specific pet railway tickets, off-leash beaches and dog-friendly accommodations. Below is a list of some of the top dog-friendly activities that you and your pooch can do in Belgium.
Because of the popularity of the Colin Farrell-starred cult film In Bruges, the city of Bruges has become one of the most recognizable cities in the entirety of Belgium. Aside from the movie, however, Bruges is well-known for one other reason – its reputation as a dog-friendly destination. In fact, along with Ghent, Bruges is considered to be Belgium’s most dog-friendly cities. In here, you will find quite a lot of accommodation options that cater to both you and your dog. The city is also teeming with dog parks, dog-friendly cafés and restaurants and tourist spots where dogs can roam around.
Is your dog a lover of the beach? If yes, do not fret because Belgium offers a lot of options for you. There are so many Belgian beach towns to choose from, some of which are more dog-friendly than others. Despite this, however, beaches in Belgium generally allow dogs to roam on a designated area of the beach during the low season, particularly from the month of October to May. Most beaches are free of charge for public use, although there might be a few that may charge a minimal entrance fee. Needless to say, the best time to go to the Belgian beaches is in the summer, when the sun is out and the skies are clear.
Camping is one of the most exciting and fun activities that you can do with your dog. For one, camping allows you to enjoy the outdoors while spending time with your pooch. Another thing about camping is that it offers a lot of opportunities for your dog to have fun; you can take walks, go on hikes, play and run around and even swim (if there is water near your camping grounds). After a long, active day, you can simply chill out with your dog beside you as you sleep under the stars. Having your dog not only makes camping more enjoyable, it is also a safety precaution because your dog can serve as your guard while you camp. Belgium features several remarkable campsites for you to choose from.
Shopping has always been a human activity but why not make it more fun by dragging your dog along with you? Fortunately, most shops in Belgium (particularly in the cities of Ghent, Brussels and Bruges) allow shoppers to bring their dogs with them. The Animal Store is definitely one to see, which carries a wide range of pet needs and supplies. It even has a grooming center if you want to pamper your dog. Just make sure to have your dog on a leash at all times to avoid any inconvenience.
Boasting an impressive number of at least 1.5 million dogs, it is no secret that Belgians adore their furry friends. In fact, a lot of residents bring their dogs with them around on day trips. If you want to experience this with your dog, hop on NMBS, Belgium’s national railway company. NMBS welcomes dogs of all shapes and sizes, provided that they are kept on a leash throughout the journey. After all, the train is the cheapest and most convenient way to explore Belgium.
As it is, Belgium is already a top tourist destination because of the beautiful spots, its heavenly chocolate and great Belgian beer, with its dog-friendly status being the cherry on top. With the aforementioned activities, you can now plan a vacation to Belgium without having to worry about leaving your four-legged best friend behind.