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All you need to know about living in London with a dog

London is considered one of the most pet-friendly cities in the world and dogs are welcomed in most public places here. Your pet pooch has plenty of open gardens to run around and socialise in, and many restaurants do not mind if your dog tags along as long as they are well behaved.

If you are planning to move to London with your dog, here’s what you need to know:

Microchip and vaccinate your pet

All dogs living in London are required by the law to be microchipped. The microchip is usually inserted under the skin of the dog between the shoulder blades. The chip is embedded with information about your pet and is helpful if your pet is lost or stolen. All dogs older than eight weeks must be microchipped, and the microchip must be registered to a government-approved database.

It is the pet owner’s responsibility to make sure the pet’s microchip information is always up-to-date. So if you are moving homes or have changed your contact details, make sure the database company has updated your information on the microchip. Your pet dog must wear a collar and tag with your contact information on it all times when in out in public.

All pet dogs should be up-to-date with their vaccinations, including the rabies vaccine.

Care and control of your pet

In London, it is against the law to neglect a pet dog. If you own a dog, you are required to ensure your pet has access to adequate food and clean water. They must be protected from illness and given suitable treatment when they are ill or injured. The dog must have a proper and hygienic place to live. You must be over the age of 16 to own a pet in London.

Dog owners in London should control their pets effectively when out in public. Dogs must not injure or harm other people or animals; pet owners are liable to be fined or even imprisoned if their dog is found to have caused bodily harm. A well-behaved and friendly dog is welcomed in most public places in London.

Pets on public transport

Unlike many other big cities of the world, Londoners love to bring their dogs everywhere with them. London dogs are allowed on all trains, buses, trams and the Tube – for free! Your dog can travel on London’s public transport as long as they are on lead, or in a carrier. For safety reasons, dogs cannot use the escalators unless you carry them. 

If you take your dog on the train, make sure they are on a lead or in a carrier. Trains have a two dog per passenger rule; you will need to pay a fee if you are travelling with more than two dogs. Dogs cannot occupy seats and are not allowed in the restaurant cars unless they are assistance dogs. Make sure your dog is quiet and well-behaved on the train; the railway staff are allowed to remove you and your dog from the train if it causes inconvenience to other passengers.

Most London cabs welcome dogs; remember to check with the cab company before booking. After you book your taxi, check with the driver if it is okay to bring your dog along.   

Best places to live with a dog in London

Finding pet-friendly accommodation in London is easy with many agents specialising in the same. Most localities have gardens and dog-friendly parks where you can exercise your pooch. Remember to be a responsible pet owner and make sure your dog does not disturb the peace of the locality. Homeowners have to give you permission to board a pet; look for the pet clause in your tenancy agreement.

Be prepared to spend more as some homeowners may ask for a higher rent or deposit because of your dog. It is important to be honest and transparent right from the start; do not try to sneak in your dog without the homeowner’s knowledge. The best way to convince the homeowner is to bring letters of reference from your previous landlord and to allow your pet to meet the owner during discussions. Some dog-friendly localities in London are Hampstead, Greenwich, Soho, Battersea and Hackney.

Dog-friendly parks and public places

London is famous for its multitude of parks, gardens and commons where your dog can have a great time walking, exercising, socialising or just sniffing around. Some of the best places in London for your dog are:

  • Primrose Hill
  • Wimbledon Common
  • Richmond Park
  • South Bank
  • Brockwell Park
  • Mile End Park
  • Hyde Park

Travelling to London with your dog?

Pet travel to the United Kingdom with your dog just got slightly complicated because of Brexit. There is a possibility of regulation changes after the end of the transition period. If you are planning on travelling to London with your doggy, get in touch with Petraveller for more information and detailed pet travel plan.