According to a survey undertaken recently by a credit card comparison site, London scores the highest when it comes to the rankings of the most pet-friendly capital cities in Europe.
Dog lovers and other pet owners across all of the major cities in Europe were asked to score their city on a wide range of factors, including what type of provisions there were for things like veterinary care and support services, how much green space there was for dogs and other pets, and even how easy it is to get around the city with the dog in tow.
What makes London the most dog-friendly city in Europe then, and how did it score according to the capital’s dog owners? Let’s take a look.
Pet owners in all of the major cities of Europe were asked to score their cities on a number of different factors out of a maximum total of 100 points; and London got the highest score overall.
London was awarded 82.5 points by the city’s pet owners, with the next city down the list being Paris with 71 points, and then Rome at 57.5 points.
As you can see, London scores a lot higher than the second and third most pet-friendly places, and if you live in London with your dog and have never lived elsewhere with your pet, you might well take this for granted and not even realise how well-served the British capital is for pet-related things.
We’ll look next at the main factors that resulted in London being scored as the most pet-friendly capital in Europe.
London actually has far more green space (particularly public parks) than most European capitals, and a whopping 164 of them are dog-friendly! It comes to a surprise to many of us to know that London has that many parks in total; this number includes huge parks like Hyde park and small local dog-friendly parks alike.
That’s 164 different green spaces in the capital that dogs can be walked in.
Dogs are permitted to travel on the whole of the London transport network, which includes the tube, London busses, trams, and Thames Clipper river services.
In fact the London underground alone, when scored in another survey for how dog-friendly it is, has been named the world’s most pet-friendly subway system in terms of freedom to travel with dogs.
Dogs aren’t allowed on some other country’s subway systems at all, and in others there are restrictions that limit the type of dogs that can use them, like the New York subway’s mandate that dogs must be carried; something of a problem if your dog was a Newfoundland!
Some other subways mandate that dogs be muzzled as standard too.
When it comes to getting dogs bathed and groomed, London is very well served with dog grooming facilities.
As of the latest count, there were over 240 dog grooming salons in London, and this number has been increasing year on year for some time now.
People who work in London often have quite an onerous commute from home to their workplace and back; and even if your home and work are just a few miles apart as the crow flies, this can take an hour or even more to achieve if you’re forced to travel at rush hour.
This means that if you work an eight-hour workday, you probably won’t be able to pop home in your lunchbreak to let your dog out, and so you’d probably need to rely on either a dog walker to take your dog out for you, or maybe use a doggy daycare facility to entertain your dog during the day.
How easy is it to get a doggy daycare place in London? Well, easier than it is to get a nursery place for a child in many cases! There are over 170 doggy daycare businesses operating in greater London, as of the last count.
London is also very well served with veterinary clinics, and not just general small animal practices either. There are a great many out-of-hours and 24-hour clinics in London too, as well as several specialist and referral clinics to take care of complex or unusual problems.
If you own an exotic pet, London is also one of the best places to live to get specialist care for them too!
How many Londoners actually own a dog? Based on figures collated between 2016-2019, a total of around 9% of London households own a dog. This figure is rather lower than the norm across the UK as a whole (as you might expect it to be within a capital city) but also actually higher than the norm in European capital cities themselves.