Summer or winter, the Dolomites are definitively one of the best places ever for our four-legged friends, especially for those long-haired animals who suffer the heat in a particular way. In these stunning mountains dogs can find fresh air, healthy life and tons of funny things to do. And you? Together with your dog, you can run and play in the open fields, go trekking in the forests and enjoy the wild nature.
If you are planning your holidays in the Dolomites and you do not know if your dog will be at ease, here are our tips based on our long experience in these places, even with our golden retriever “Jack”, who comes to the mountains with our family since he was a puppy!
Dog friendly accommodations
If you do not have your own house, when you are going to bring your fury-friend with you, the first step is the search for a dog friendly accommodation. Nowadays, thanks to the internet and the search engines, it is very easy to find these facilities. We found easy and exhaustive this website which offers the list of all the Hotels, B&B and Agritur of the region that can accomodate your animals.
Once you have found your favorite “dog’s bed“, you should also look for the nearest veterinary clinic, just in case you need it during your stay. You can find this information at the information offices of your town.
Now let’s go on…
At the restaurant
When you go hiking or trekking with your dog and want to have lunch or a snack in the refuges, your friend is always welcome. More and more people are going up the mountains together with their dogs and all the shelters and refuges are now organized to welcome them. We always found bowls of water outside, and maybe some piece of meat left, that the Host kindly share with the fury guests…
However, when you are going to a restaurant, shops, and public areas, it is always better to ask if pets are allowed inside. Local people is always very polite with our animals but, law and regulations must be respected. According to the Italian law D.P.R 320/54 Regolamento della Polizia Veterinaria: dogs can enter restaurants, bar and shops only if they are accompanied by their owner with leash (and muzzle if required).
For instance, along the famous bike lane of the Val di Fassa, which goes from Predazzo to Canazei, dogs must be kept on a short leash. Dogs are not allowed even in playgrounds (just do not stay too close to kids).
What to bring from home?
In the supermarkets and other interesting shops in the towns you can really find everything you need but, there is something we really suggest you bring from home:
- Vaccination booklet: in case you need to go to a clinic
- Muzzle: if you feel more comfortable with your big dog and if you are going to stay in crowded places. Sometimes, especially in the weekends, towns and tourist places are very crowded.
- Waterproof coat : if your dog does not like rain, you have to know that in the Dolomites it can rain every day in the summer, maybe only for 10 minutes in the afternoon, but it is normal.
- Toys: bring something you can use to play with your dog when you find an open space. Usually a branch of wood is more than enough, but a colored ball is always appreciated.
- Dog pesticides: honestly we have never had problems with fleas or ticks on our dog in the dolomites but we know there are some. We are using a Neem oil collar when we go out.
- Brush or carder: if you go walking or trekking the dog might come across fleas or ticks. Better check once you get home.
- Bags for the poop: even if you will find bags dispensers in many places, people appreciate those who collect dirt.
- Long leash: if you want to keep it on a leash but more freely.
- Travel bowls: we love this one
Every time we travel with our dog, we must be careful to observe some precautions, to ensure that our vacation is enjoyable for everyone, humans and dogs.
Actually in the Dolomites we did not observe particular problems. The only two real important dangers are: First, do not leave dogs in the car, even if the air is fresh the sun warms a lot; Second, vipers! Yes, in the Dolomites there are vipers, especially in the valleys with many rocks exposed to the sun. If your dog is bitten by a viper, do not do anything, just bring him to the veterinary clinic immediately.
If you are going to spend your winter holiday on the Dolomites, you may need to bring some paw protection against ice and salt.
Whatever you go to do in the mountains, whether it’s hiking or a relaxing holiday, whether it’s camping or an eno-gastronomic trip, we can safely say that dogs love mountain!
Every time we bring our Jack in the mountains we love to see him running like crazy in the meadows, between the paths and the woods at altitude; losing his mind by smelling the smells of wild animals; happy-go-lucky with other dogs, or simply playing with our son (who calls him “brother”).
Last year, we almost lost him when he threw himself at the chase of a marmot.
Sometimes he dives into a frozen creek and lets himself be pampered by the stream to cool off.
So, if you can, do not leave your dogs at home! Let them enjoy the holiday with you, they will be grateful.
We really hope that our post was useful and gave you some more information. Maybe one day we will meet on the Dolomite paths with our dogs!