Venice Unleashed: Is Venice, Italy Dog Friendly?

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Calling all dog owners who dream of experiencing the beauty and romance of Venice, Italy, with their beloved furry friends by their side!

Imagine strolling through the winding cobblestone streets, exploring the picturesque canals, taking a gondola ride, and savoring delicious Italian cuisine, all while your dog accompanies you every step of the way. But, is Venice dog friendly?

In this ultimate guide to dog-friendly Venice, we will cover everything you need to know, from legal requirements for bringing your dog to Venice to the best accommodations, dining options, attractions, public transport, and services that cater to you and your four-legged companion. 

So, don’t wait any longer!

Read on to unlock the secrets of visiting Venice with your dog and start planning your unforgettable journey to this magical floating city together.

The Legalities of Bringing Your Dog to Venice

Dog documentation and regulations

  • EU dog Passport: If you are traveling from a European Union (EU) country, make sure your dog has a valid EU dog Passport. This document includes information about your dog’s microchip, vaccinations, and health records, making it essential for a hassle-free entry into Italy.
  • Non-EU Countries: For travelers from non-EU countries, you will need to obtain a health certificate (also known as Form 998) issued by an accredited veterinarian within 10 days of your trip. This certificate should include details about your dog’s microchip, rabies vaccination, and general health.
  • Microchip: Ensure your dog is microchipped with a 15-digit ISO 11784 compliant microchip. If your dog’s microchip is not ISO compliant, you must bring your microchip scanner.

Understanding the quarantine process

  • No quarantine for EU and listed non-EU countries: Dogs from EU countries and listed non-EU countries (such as the United States, Canada, and Australia) do not require quarantine, provided they meet all the necessary health requirements.
  • Unlisted non-EU countries: If you are traveling from an unlisted non-EU country, your dog may be subject to a four-month quarantine. It is essential to verify Italy’s specific requirements for dogs from your country of origin to avoid complications upon arrival.

Vaccinations and health requirements

  • Rabies vaccination: Your dog must be vaccinated against rabies. The initial vaccination must be administered at least 21 days before your arrival in Italy and be recorded in your dog’s EU dog  Passport or health certificate.
  • Tapeworm treatment: If you are traveling with a dog, it is recommended to have your dog treated for tapeworms (Echinococcus multilocularis) 24 to 120 hours before entering Italy. This treatment must be recorded in your dog’s documentation.
  • Additional vaccinations: While not mandatory, it is a good idea to ensure your dog is up-to-date with all other recommended vaccinations, such as distemper, hepatitis, and parvovirus, to maintain your dog’s health during your trip.

Transportation Options for Dogs in Venice, Italy

Traveling to Venice with dogs

By air

Traveling to Venice with dogs can be a hassle-free experience if you know your options and plan ahead. When arriving in Venice by air, Marco Polo Airport welcomes dogs, and most airlines have pet friendly policies in place for dogs allowed travel, including guidelines for carrier sizes and fees. It’s essential to research your chosen airline’s dog policy and book your dog’s spot in advance to ensure a smooth journey.

Treviso airport is also dog friendly and there are multiple options to get to Venice from Treviso airport.

By train

If you prefer traveling by Italian public transport, Trenitalia allows dogs on board most of their trains. Small dogs can travel for free if they are in a carrier, while larger dogs must have a muzzle and leash and require a half-price ticket. Night trains may have more stringent restrictions, so always check the specific dog policy for the train service you plan to use.

By car

For those considering driving to Venice, keep in mind that the city is car-free, and you will need to park your vehicle in one of the public parking garages, such as Piazzale Roma or Tronchetto. From there, you can continue your journey with your dog using Venice’s public transportation options.

Navigating Venice with dogs

Vaporetto (water bus)

Navigating public transport with dogs is a unique experience due to the city’s water-based transport system. The Vaporetto, or water bus, is the primary mode of public transportation in Venice with dogs allowed on board with a few rules. Small dogs in carriers can travel for free, while larger dogs may require a muzzle and a leash, and you may need to purchase a ticket for them depending on the specific line. During peak hours, it’s a good idea to avoid crowded Vaporettos for the comfort and safety of your dog and other passengers.


Gondolas, the iconic Venetian boats, are another popular way to explore the city’s canals. While there is no official dog policy for taking a dog for a gondola ride, many gondoliers are pet friendly and will allow you to bring your dog on board. Always ask for permission before boarding a gondola ride with your dog and be prepared to pay a small extra fee.


One of the primary challenges of visiting Venice with a dog is walking through the city’s bustling streets, especially during the peak summer months. Venice sees a significant influx of tourists making certain areas difficult to maneuver with your canine companion.

walking a dog in venice italy

The narrow alleyways between Rialto Bridge and St. Mark’s Square, in particular, can be quite congested during the day, posing a challenge for dog owners and their dogs. The Vaporetto Line 1, which runs along the main canal towards the train and bus stations, can be packed with passengers during late afternoons.

To overcome these challenges and ensure a pleasant experience for both you and your dog, consider the following tips:

  • Plan your visits to popular sites during off-peak hours: Exploring the city’s famous landmarks early in the morning or later in the evening can help you avoid the most crowded times and make it easier to navigate with your dog. Visiting Venice during peak season should also be avoided when possible. Peak season is crowded and a challenge for many dog owners so consider coming during shoulder season or during months like February.
  • Opt for less frequented routes: Instead of taking the busiest paths, explore alternative routes that are less congested. This will allow you and your dog to enjoy a more relaxed and comfortable walk through Venice.
  • Be patient and flexible: When you encounter crowded areas, be patient and maintain a positive attitude. Remember that Venice is a popular destination, and it’s essential to be flexible and adapt to the situation.
  • Prepare your dog for the experience: Train your dog to be comfortable walking on a leash and be well-behaved in busy areas during peak season. This will make it easier for you to navigate the city and ensure the safety and comfort of your dog and other visitors.
  • Use a dog carrier for smaller dogs: If you have a small dog, consider using a dog carrier when navigating congested areas. This can help keep your dog safe and comfortable while allowing you to move more freely through the crowds.
dogs are allowed in natural history museum venice

Dog-Friendly Accommodation in Venice

Finding the perfect place to stay where dogs are allowed in Venice is easier than ever, thanks to the city’s growing pet friendly culture. From luxurious hotels to cozy bed and breakfasts and spacious vacation rentals, there are options to suit every traveler and their furry companion.

hotel for dogs in venice


Hotels in Venice offer a range of dog-friendly accommodations to cater to various budgets and preferences. Many friendly hotels welcome small dogs with open arms, providing amenities such as dog beds, bowls, and even dog-sitting services. Some luxury hotels even offer dog spa treatments and dog walking services to pamper your four-legged friend. 

Bed & Breakfasts

Bed and breakfasts are another popular accommodation option for dog owners visiting Venice. Many B&Bs allow dogs and provide a warm, welcoming atmosphere for both you and your furry friend. Staying at a dog-friendly B&B can offer a more personalized and intimate experience, as the hosts are often dog lovers themselves and can provide valuable local insight and recommendations for pet friendly activities and services.

Vacation Rentals

For travelers seeking a more independent and flexible experience, vacation rentals can be an excellent choice. Many vacation rental properties in Venice are dog-friendly, offering the space and amenities you need to make your stay comfortable and enjoyable.

From charming apartments overlooking the canals to spacious townhouses in the heart of the city, there is a wide range of dog-friendly vacation rentals to choose from. Be sure to check the specific dog policies, fees, and possible restrictions when booking a vacation rental, and communicate with the property owner to ensure a smooth check-in and stay with your dog.

Dining with Your Dog in Venice

Finding pet friendly dining options in Venice where dogs are allowed can be a delightful experience when you know where to look and how to approach the situation. From charming restaurants and cafes to outdoor terraces with stunning views, there are plenty of places to enjoy delicious Italian cuisine with dogs allowed.

Restaurants and cafes

Many restaurants and cafes in Venice welcome small dogs, particularly those with outdoor seating areas. You can often find dog-friendly establishments by looking for water bowls and dog treats near the entrance, indicating that dogs are welcome. If in doubt, don’t hesitate to ask the staff if your dog can join you while you dine.

Outdoor terraces and seating

Outdoor terraces and seating areas are an excellent option for dog owners, as they usually provide a more relaxed and comfortable environment for both you and your dog. In addition to offering fresh air and space for your dog to move around, these outdoor areas often boast picturesque views of Venice’s canals and architecture. When choosing an outdoor dining spot where dogs are allowed, make sure your dog is well-behaved and on a leash to ensure a pleasant experience for everyone.

dogs in venice

Tips for dining etiquette with dogs

To ensure a smooth and enjoyable dining experience with your dog  in Venice, keep these etiquette tips in mind:

  • Call ahead: Contact the restaurant or cafe in advance to confirm that dogs are allowed and can accommodate you and your furry friend. This can save you time and potential disappointment. It might also depend on the size of the dog as small dogs are more easily accommodated than large ones.
  • Bring your own dog essentials: While some establishments may provide water bowls and dog treats, it’s always a good idea to bring your own dog essentials such as a collapsible water bowl and a dog mat, just in case.
  • Be mindful of other diners: Keep your dog close to your table and ensure they do not disturb other guests. This not only shows respect for other diners but also helps maintain a positive image of pet friendly dining in Venice.
  • Be prepared to tip generously: When dining with your dog, consider leaving a generous tip to show your appreciation for the staff’s accommodation and understanding.

Exploring Venice’s Attractions with Your Dog 

dog in front of san zaccharia in venice italy

Venice offers a wealth of pet friendly attractions and activities that you and your furry companion can enjoy together. From strolling through charming squares and parks to visiting dog-friendly museums and galleries, there are numerous opportunities for you and your dog to make the most of your Venetian vacation.

Dog-friendly parks and green spaces

Explore Venice’s picturesque squares: Venice is home to several beautiful squares, known as “campi,” where you and your dog can stroll, relax, and soak up the city’s unique atmosphere. Some notable squares to visit with your dog include Campo Santa Margherita, Campo San Giacomo dell’Orio, and Campo San Polo.

Walk along the Zattere: The Zattere is a picturesque promenade along the Giudecca Canal, offering stunning views and a relaxing atmosphere. Take a leisurely walk with your dog and enjoy the scenery, stopping at one of the many pet friendly cafes and bars along the way.

Discover Venice’s parks and gardens: Venice has several parks and gardens where dogs are allowed and you and your dog can enjoy some greenery and fresh air. Giardini della Biennale and Parco delle Rimembranze are two popular options that welcome dogs, providing ample space for walking and playing. Although there is no specific dog park in Venice, you can often find a small park or green space to let your dog feel some grass under its paws.

dog park sign in venice italy for local dogs

Take a trip to the Lido: The Lido is a nearby island with pet-friendly beaches, making it an ideal destination for a day trip for many dogs. Catch a Vaporetto to the Lido and spend a relaxing day on the beach, or explore the island’s charming streets and parks.

Participate in a dog-friendly guided tour: Some tour operators in Venice offer pet-friendly guided tours, allowing you to explore the city’s history and culture with your four-legged friend. This can be an excellent way to learn more about Venice while ensuring a pet-friendly experience.

Shopping with dogs in Venice

Exploring Venice’s shopping scene with your dog can be a fun and unique experience when you know where to look. From charming dog boutiques to artisanal dog products and local markets, there are plenty of opportunities to indulge in some retail therapy with your furry companion by your side.

Dog boutiques

Venice is home to several dog boutiques that cater to the needs and tastes of local dogs owners and their four-legged friends. These specialty shops often carry a wide range of high-quality dog products, including stylish collars, leashes, dog apparel, toys, and gourmet treats.

Many dog boutiques also offer personalized services such as custom-made dog accessories and grooming services, ensuring your dog looks and feels its best during your Venetian adventure.

La Cuccia pet store Cannaregio

Artisanal dog products

Venice is renowned for its artisanal craftsmanship, and this extends to dog products as well. As you explore the city’s winding streets and hidden corners, you may come across local artisans selling handcrafted dog accessories, such as intricately designed leather collars, handwoven dog beds, or unique ceramic dog bowls. These artisanal dog products not only make great souvenirs but also support local artisans and showcase the city’s rich heritage and culture.

Dog Services in Venice

To ensure a worry-free and enjoyable experience for both you and your dog during your Venice vacation, it’s essential to be aware of the various dog services available in the city. From veterinary clinics to dog grooming and spa services, as well as dog walking and dog sitting services, Venice offers a range of options to cater to your dog’s needs.

Veterinary clinics

In the event that your dog requires medical attention while in Venice, it’s crucial to know the locations of nearby veterinary clinics. Do some research before your trip to identify clinics in the areas you’ll be staying in or visiting. Save their contact information and note their opening hours to ensure you’re prepared in case of an emergency. It’s also a good idea to inquire about English-speaking veterinarians to facilitate communication if needed.

Dog grooming and spa services

To keep your dog looking and feeling its best during your Venice vacation, you may want to consider taking advantage of the city’s dog grooming and spa services. Many dog boutiques and dog stores offer grooming services, ranging from basic bathing and brushing to more luxurious treatments such as massages and spa packages. Booking a grooming session for your dog can not only keep them clean and comfortable but also help them relax and enjoy their Venetian experience to the fullest.

Dog walking and dog sitting services

If your Venice itinerary includes activities or excursions where dogs are not allowed, you may need to rely on dog walking or dog sitting services to ensure your dog is well cared for in your absence. Several professional dog care providers in Venice offer these services, allowing you to enjoy your vacation with the peace of mind that your dog is in good hands.

Be sure to research and book these services in advance, as availability may be limited, especially during peak travel seasons. It’s also important to choose a reputable provider and communicate your dog’s specific needs and preferences to ensure their comfort and well-being.

Tips for a Successful Dog-friendly Venice Experience

To make the most of your dog-friendly Venice vacation, it’s essential to be well-prepared and mindful of your dog’s needs and local customs. Follow these tips to ensure a successful and enjoyable experience for both you and your furry companion:

Preparing for the trip

  • Research and plan: Start by researching dog-friendly accommodations, transportation options, and activities to create a dog-friendly itinerary that suits your needs and preferences.
  • Health and documentation: Consult your veterinarian to ensure your dog is up-to-date with vaccinations and has the appropriate documentation for travel to Italy.
  • Pack essentials: Bring all the necessary items for your dog’s comfort and well-being, such as a leash, collar, travel carrier, collapsible water bowl, dog waste bags, and a favorite toy or blanket.

Communication and understanding local customs

  • Learn basic phrases: Familiarize yourself with a few basic Italian phrases related to dogs, such as “Can I bring my dog?” (Posso portare il mio cane?) or “Where is the nearest veterinarian?” (Dov’è il veterinario più vicino?).
  • Respect local customs: Be aware of local customs and etiquette when it comes to dogs. For example, some restaurants may not permit dogs inside, while others may require dogs to be on a leash and well-behaved at all times.
  • Observe local rules: Pay attention to local rules and regulations regarding dogs, such as designated dog areas, leash laws, and waste disposal requirements.

Ensuring your dog’s comfort and safety

  • Schedule breaks: Make sure your dog gets regular breaks for rest, hydration, and exercise throughout your trip.
  • Monitor your dogs well-being: Keep an eye on your dog’s behavior and physical condition, and be prepared to adjust your plans as needed to ensure their comfort and well-being.
  • Be prepared for emergencies: Familiarize yourself with the locations of nearby veterinary clinics and have their contact information readily available in case of emergencies.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the leash laws in Venice?

In Venice, like in many other Italian cities, there are certain rules and regulations regarding leashes for local dogs. It is generally required that many dogs be kept on a leash in public spaces. This is especially important in busy, crowded areas, such as popular tourist spots, narrow streets, public transportation, and bridges.

Are there any off-leash areas for dogs?

While there are no specific off-leash dog parks in Venice as you might find in other cities, you may come across some open spaces, parks, or less crowded areas where locals take their dogs for a walk and let them run around off-leash. However, it is essential to pay attention to signage and follow local rules and guidelines before letting your dog off the leash.
When planning a dog-friendly itinerary in Venice, it might be a good idea to consider nearby islands, such as Lido, where you can find more open spaces and dog-friendly beaches, allowing your dog to enjoy some off-leash time. However, always ensure you are in a designated dog area and that your dog is under control and well-behaved at all times.

Can I take my dog to museums or churches in Venice?

In Venice, as in most cities, the rules regarding dogs in museums and churches vary depending on the specific establishment. Generally, dogs are not allowed inside museums, churches, or other historical and religious buildings due to concerns about preservation, safety, and potential disturbances for other visitors.
If you’re traveling with your dog, consider focusing on outdoor attractions and activities, as they tend to be more dog-friendly. Alternatively, you can plan ahead and arrange for dog walking or dog sitting services during your visit to museums or churches where dogs are not allowed.

Are there any breed restrictions for dogs in Venice?

There are no specific breed restrictions for dogs in Venice or Italy as a whole. However, there are general guidelines and expectations for dog owners to follow to ensure the safety and comfort of both their dogs and the people around them.
It’s important to be a responsible dog owner and ensure that your dog is well-behaved, on a leash, and under control at all times, regardless of its breed. If you have a large or strong breed, using a muzzle in crowded areas and public transport may be recommended to avoid any potential incidents or issues.
If you have small dogs then there are fewer issues in Venice since they are more manageable.

Wrapping It Up

Venice can be a wonderful destination for dog owners and their furry companions with proper planning and preparation. By researching dog-friendly accommodations, attractions, and services, public transport, as well as understanding local customs and regulations, you can create an unforgettable Venetian adventure for both you and your dog.

Remember to prioritize your dog’s comfort and well-being, respect local rules and guidelines, and be prepared for any emergencies that may arise. With these tips in mind, you’re sure to have a fantastic dog-friendly experience in the enchanting city of Venice.

If you found this article helpful, don’t hesitate to explore the other informative articles linked below. They offer additional advice and insights on traveling to the floating city, ensuring you have all the information you need for a successful trip. Happy travels with your furry friend!

Sal Presti

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