Dog-friendly London | Why London is Europe’s Top City for Pets

Europe’s most pet-friendly cities for 2021 have been revealed in a new report by the mortgage experts at money.co.uk and thanks to its 164 dog-friendly parks, 240 pet grooming facilities and 172 pet daycare options, dog-friendly London has emerged as the well-deserved leader of the pack.

The Pet-Friendly Cities Report ranked 20 of Europe’s most densely-populated cities, scoring them on their pet-friendly credentials; such as travelling on public transport, pet-friendly rentals, and options for veterinary treatment within the city centre to determine which European cities are the best for pets.

The study then assigned a score to each city in the index using a weighted ranking system, revealing the most pet-friendly cities in Europe, with London being the clear top dog as seen in the ranking below…

Source: money.co.uk

Why is London ranked the most pet-friendly city in Europe?

Dog-friendly London The Best Free Dog-friendly Things To Do - Battersea Park

Based on the report, London is Europe’s most pet-friendly city, scoring 82.5 out of 100 thanks to its fabulous green parks and spaces, pet shops, and of course, London’s dog-friendly public transport network. 

Pups in Paris will be pleased to hear that the French capital took second place on the list, scoring 71 out of 100 for green spaces, with 163 parks welcoming four-legged friends. 

In third place, Rome rounds out the top three scoring 57.5 out of 100 with 39 groomers, 29 pet daycare centres, and not surprisingly given the Italian love of fashion and shopping, 129 pet stores to shop for all your pet’s needs. 

Source: money.co.uk

Pet-friendly London is Leader of the Pack 

New Pet Lifestyle Brand Love My Human + Chelsea In Bloom 11

The pet-friendly cities report took a seed list of the most populated European cities, taking into account the following 10 pet-friendly elements to decide the ranking: 

  1. Number of Veterinarians (via fve.org)
  2. Groomers (via Yelp)
  3. Pet Daycare (via Petbacker) 
  4. Parks (via TripAdvisor)
  5. Dogs allowed on public transport
  6. Pet stores (via Yelp)
  7. Number of furnished pet-friendly rentals (via Nestpick)
  8. Number of dog-friendly restaurants (via BringFido) 
  9. Highest average monthly temperature (via climate data)
  10. Lowest average monthly temperature (via climate data)

Pet-friendly London’s key strengths were its parks, pet shops and public transport system. It’s no secret that London is known for its green spaces and parks. The most well-known of course is Hyde Park but with green space covering around half of Greater London, no matter where you live in the city, there won’t be a dog-friendly park or green space too far away.  

Looking after your dog’s essential needs won’t be a problem either. London has a whopping 240 pet stores and 172 options for pet daycare, meaning even if you’re not lucky enough to work from home or to work in a dog-friendly office in London, you won’t have to leave your dog home alone.

Dog-friendly London Public Transport - Dogs On The Tube

And last but by no means least, The fact that dogs are welcome on all of London’s buses, trains, tubes, was also a critical factor in securing the top spot. 

How Dog-friendly is London?

How Dog-friendly is London - Belinha outside Tate Britain

Whilst the pet-friendly cities report methodology used a defined set of criteria, people who have lived in many of these cities may disagree with the rankings based on their own personal experiences. For example, we have heard from several people that they consider Rome to be far more dog-friendly than London.

I decided to conduct a survey of our own and reached out to our audiences on our Dog-friendly London Facebook Group and our Instagram to see what people thought. This was clearly an emotive topic with passionate responses received in favour of specific cities. However when asked which was Europe’s top pet-friendly city (from the 4 cities ranked the highest in the Money.co.uk report), the results ranked the same with 63% of respondees voting that London was Europe’s most pet-friendly city.

The Dogvine Dog-friendly London Survey

Personal experiences are clearly key in perceiving how dog-friendly a city is, with negative experiences playing a big role in this. However, those experiences can also, of course, vary significantly from person to person.

Despite ranking London at the top of the list, many people commented that they would like to see dogs welcomed in more shops, restaurants and cafés in London, especially compared to other European cities.

Speaking from personal experience since we started The Dogvine, we’ve seen more and more restaurants and cafés welcoming dogs as well as an ever-increasing repertoire of dog-friendly things to do in London.

In fact, as featured in many of our dog-friendly London features here on The Dogvine, on most weekends (in post-lockdown times), you’ll be spoilt for choice for things to do in London with your dog, and we should recognise how lucky we are to have this. If you’re looking for some inspiration on this front, then have a read of our Guide To The Best Dog-friendly Things to Do In London, featuring 30+ of the best dog-friendly things to do in London but in the meantime, here are a few highlights…

Dog-friendly London Restaurants and Cafés 

Dine With Your Dog - Dog Menus in London - Pepper Chung

Whilst an ever-increasing number of restaurants will be more than happy for your dog to join when you dine, some dog-friendly London restaurants and cafés even go as far as to provide your pup with their own dog menu. Our Guide to the Best Dog Menus in London will have your dog drooling with delight.

Dog-friendly Attractions in London

Dog-friendly Tower Bridge London 16

One of the fabulous dog-friendly things to do in London is to visit the iconic Tower Bridge, and the best part is that your dog is allowed to join you inside Tower Bridge, 42 metres above the Thames. Holding the accolade of London’s only dog-friendly indoor tourist attraction, this is a must-do for your list of dog-friendly things to do in London. 

Dog-friendly Attractions in London - Emirates Air Line

As long as you have a head for heights, taking a ride on the Emirates Air Line is also another fun thing to do with your dog. The Emirates Air Line FAQs state that you should carry your dog but as long as your dog is well-behaved, the cable car staff are usually flexible about this.

Dog-friendly Things To Do In London

Dog-friendly Go Boat Kingston Upon Thames 38

Dogs in London are lucky to be spoilt for choice regarding canine things to do in the capital. Most weekends you’ll have a choice of dog-friendly brunches, London dog meetups, dog-friendly London cinema or even Doggie Bingo to choose from, meaning your dog can have just as busy social life as you!

For pups and people who enjoy being outdoors, why not enjoy a dog-friendly boat trip on the Thames or Regent’s Canal if you’re feeling adventurous.

Of course, there are lots of parks, walks and other free dog-friendly activities to enjoy too.

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Dog-friendly Afternoon Tea in London

Dog Afternoon Tea At The Egerton House Hotel 12

There’s nothing more quintessentially English than afternoon tea in London, except dog-friendly Afternoon Tea in London! Afternoon Tea with your dog is one of our favourite things to do and a real treat for you to enjoy together. And if you’re wondering where to go, we’ve put together a Guide to the Best Dog-friendly Afternoon Teas in London to help plan your next Dog Afternoon Tea date with your four-legged friend.

London Dog Events

In usual times, London has a busy London Dog Events scene with on average 30+ dog events taking place in the capital each month – that’s more than one for every day of the year! Once restrictions are lifted again, you can plan your dog’s diary with our London Dog Events Calendar which lists dog shows, meetups, brunches and more taking place in and around the capital.

London’s Dog-friendly Public Transport System

Dog-friendly London Public Transport - Dogs On The Tube

Many people living in London don’t own a car either by choice or by circumstance. Fortunately, dogs of all sizes are welcome on London’s buses, trains and tubes. In fact, last year, the London Underground was crowned the most dog-friendly public transport system in the world to add to the capital’s dog-friendly accolades.

How To Get Around London With A Dog On The River Bus 15

Hands (and paws) down our favourite way to travel around London with a dog is the Thames Clipper. With its scenic river views, spacious boats so you can travel in style and the fact that Thames Clipper love to welcome dogs on board makes this the perfect way to get around London with your pup. Fancy taking in some river views when out and about with your dog? Then our dog-friendly Thames Clipper feature is what you need.

Living in London With a Dog – How to find a pet-friendly flat in London?

The Ultimate Guide to Renting With a Dog In London - Dog on the Mat

If you’re a dog owner living in or thinking about moving to London, then one of the questions at the forefront of your mind will likely be, how will you find a dog-friendly place to live in London especially if you’re renting. 

Renting with dogs in London is not easy and research from YouGov and Mars Petcare revealed that two-thirds of private renters live under strict no-pet tenancy agreements. 

However, the good news is renting with pets in London is getting easier with many developments now putting a particular focus on welcoming pets. If you happen to be looking for a place to rent in London with your dog, we’ve put together a Guide to Renting With a Dog in London covering apps, agents, developments and more to help you navigate finding a place to rent with your dog in London.

Discovering The Best of Dog-friendly London

It’s fantastic that London is getting recognition as Europe’s top pet-friendly city and we hope that this will encourage more restaurants, cafés and shops to see the value in welcoming dogs. Here on The Dogvine, we’re all about bringing you the latest dog-friendly London news, events and things to do so we look forward to seeing London become more and more dog-friendly!

Join our Dog-friendly London Facebook Group for all the latest tips on dog-friendly things to do in London with your dog.

Join our Dog-friendly London Facebook Group

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Dog-friendly London is ranked Europe's most pet-friendly city for 2021
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