Barcelona is quite animal friendly, especially when it comes to dog owners.
There are no public spaces in the city that are off-limits to dogs. All parks and beaches are dog-friendly, as long as your dog is well behaved and kept on a leash. You will find pets at open-air markets, on the Ramblas and lolling in the Park Guell. The only limitation is indoor spaces. Cafes, restaurants and shops either welcome your four-legged friend in or will happily provide water for them while they wait for you outside.
Recently, there have been poop and scoop laws instated for picking up after your dog in the south of Spain, but not yet in Barcelona. It is still considered extremely rude not to do so, even though there are still a number of dog owners that refuse to follow standard protocol. Most dog owners will have spare plastic bags if you run out.
Pet food is available in all grocery stores, but the more economical (and often healthier choice) is one of the many individual pet supply stores around Barcelona. This is especially true if you are a dog owner as high-quality dry dog food can be bought in 20kg bags for around €10. These are never found online or in the phone book – it will be a matter of wandering around your neighbourhood and keeping your eyes open. If you live in the outer suburbs, look for industrial estates. These often house groups of useful stores for things like pet supplies, hardware, firewood, pool supplies and furniture.
For fun, you could lash out and buy your dog:
- A designer collar from Barcelona Dogs http://www.barcelonadogs.com/index.php?lang=eng&opcion=-2
- A Barcelona Football Strip from Tu Mascota (phone: 976528845 )
- Other high-end designer accessories from Yorky’s http://www.tiendayorkys.com/
If your pet is particularly stressed, you can hire them a psychologist (Anna Moller Soler: Dog training, behaviour therapy and psychology for pets. Phone: 932 178 811 / 610 293 954) or, if they need a good walker, hire someone from Roberto&Lorenzo, an English-speaking dog-walking service in Barcelona. Phone: 675 382 222.
More practical needs like grooming and boarding can either be handled by your vet or they can recommend the best place in your area. Or, you can organise a pet-sitter through sites like Loquo (there are an abundance of inexpensive and experienced folk willing to take care of your pets) or kennels:
- Alidog (website in Spanish)
Kenneling and sales of purebred dogs. You will notice the bias towards boxers as soon as the page opens.
- Fontfreda (website in Spanish)
Kenneling and loving care from an experienced and dedicated animal lover.
- Ken Sewell (English speaking)
Kenneling (with plenty of running space) for your dog run by an English expat.
- El Gos Blanc (Spanish speaking)
Recommended and experienced kenneling for dogs and cats.
- Fido’s Playground
http://www.fidosplayground.com/index3.html (Engiish and Spanish speaking)
A kennel specializing in home care, so that your dog does not have to leave his or her home in your absence. However, if you don’t feel like shelling out the extra money for this service, the kennel does offer a pick up and drop off service (they are in central Barcelona), as well as grooming, counseling and weekend excursion services. Run by expat Susie Hunt, the kennel is fully insured and a member of the American Kennels Boarding Association.