Dogs in Paris appear to be another Parisian fashion accessory. They come in all shapes, sizes, colours and textures and are carried in dolls prams and handbags and customised doggy transportation.They add yet another quirky element to observing Parisian the go, and as dogs appear to out number humans, there’s no way you can miss them.
The French love their dogs and they are a part of daily life.
They’re with their owners everywhere; in upscale hair salons, cafes and restaurants, the post office and the bakery and everywhere on the streets. Hotels do not seem to have any problem allowing dogs inside, although some hotels charge additional fees per dog per night!
Smaller dogs can ride on the Metro and on the red double-decker buses that cruise around the city at no extra charge. Smaller dogs are more easily transported and dressed up and there are an abundance of miniature poodles, terriers, daschounds, and chihuahuas.
Dogs are a regular part of the restaurant scene and mostly they lie quietly under the table until the meal is over. However, sometimes if there is a free seat, they will take up position on their own chair, as though an accepted guest at the table, and may be seen to be fed tidbits from their owner’s plate.
Even when the dogs are not allowed in certain places, such as food stores, there can often be found outside a few thoughtfully designated doggy parking spaces. Many French businesses also have resident dogs that become part of the personality of the establishment, and many market store holders have an accompanying canine sales agent.
Sometimes they’re on a leash, and if tired they may be carried in their owner’s handbag or even in a baby buggy as we have witnessed several times. But more often than not they are walking free through the city unleashed and well behaved! The thought of unleashed dogs in a busy city is foreign to most.
However, usually the owners are not too far away, and the dogs appear to be extensively socialised and well behaved enough to not require a leash. It is perfectly appropriate to stop and pat a stranger’s dog, and will be taken as a compliment rather than an intrusion.
There are a few restrictions though for the Parisian dog owner: understandably they do not love dogs enough to allow them in Parisian museum. What seems to make less sense to us is that they are banned from many Parisian parks, or are only allowed in designated sections of a park.
The Parisians do not always abide by these rules but it is best to follow to rule to pick up your dogs mess as there is a serious 475 Euro fine to leave doggy do in the grounds and there are police are on bikes with whistles around to make sure you do!
The dogs of Paris add to the busy and eccentric atmosphere of the city and are yet another enjoyable object of fascination for those visiting Paris.