There’s no shortage of good reasons to move to London. Some people move to attend university at one of the many stellar academic institutions in the area, some move there to work, and others simply see a move as an exciting, new beginning. Whatever your reason for moving to the vibrant and diverse city of London, you wouldn’t want to start this new chapter without your precious pup. The following information will help you when moving to London with a dog.
London is a very pet-friendly city in more ways than one. In fact, the extent of the pet options is something that often surprises new residents. Here are some of the specific ways that London is a great city for pets.
Your dog will be able to travel for free on the London Underground Tube Network. When taking the Tube, it’s important to remember that smaller dog breeds can only travel by escalator if they are carried, and larger breeds have to use the stairs. Some stations have stairs and some don’t so double-check this before traveling. In addition, some Black Cab and London Bus drivers will accept a pet on board.
If you have a social dog who may miss friends from home, it might be a good idea to join a walking group. It’s not uncommon for people and pets alike to meet informally in person at a park, but you can also become active on online forums. You can get tips on local parks from people on these forums as well as find out about scheduled meet-and-greet opportunities. Some parks are better at certain times of day, for example, and some offer unique features or activities. Your dog may not be the only one to make new friends. Dog walking forums are a great place to begin meeting new people and pets, even before making your move to London.
When the bustling pace of London leaves you looking forward to some outdoor relaxation with your dog, you’ll have limitless options for dog-friendly places to visit. Roughly 47% of the Greater London area is green space that offers peaceful settings for a walk, a picnic, or just a lazy afternoon.
Dogs are welcome in most London parks and green spaces, but here are some options for exceptionally dog-friendly parks.
Alexandra Palace and Park
Located in North London, Alexandra Palace and Park have 196 acres of Grade II listed English Heritage parkland. This park offers spectacular views of the London skyline from Canary Wharf to St. Paul’s Cathedral and the Shard. There is also a farmer’s market, cafe, bar, and boating lake. The nearest station is Alexandra Palace (National Rail).
Battersea Park spans 200 acres of woodland areas, lakes, and open space. After you and your pup take a walk in this park, you can head to the Pear Tree Cafe for a bowl of water provided by the establishment, and there may even be an odd treat available for purchase. The nearest station is Battersea Park (National Rail). Car parking is also available.
Morden Hall Park
Spanning 120 acres of land, Morden Hall Park is a National Trust site in South London that includes a rose garden, a restored waterwheel, the River Wandle, and Morden Hall itself. The nearest station is Morden (Northern Line), and car parking is available.
Chiswick House and Gardens
Chiswick House and Gardens is home to pristinely restored gardens from the 18th century and offers plenty of green space, waterfalls, lakes, and woodland areas to keep you and your pup occupied. There’s even a special part of the lake designated for doggie swimming. Car parking is available and the nearest station is Chiswick.
One of the first parks established in London, Finsbury Park has been around since the Victorian era. This park is known for the Parkland Walk, an abandoned railway line that’s been transformed into a nature preserve and footpath that links Finsbury Park to Crouch Hill Park and Highgate Woods. The rest of the park consists of open green space, a lake, woodland pathways, and arranged gardens. The nearest stations are Manor House and Finsbury Park.
As with any city, London has pet-friendly areas that vary considerably in price. At the higher end of the spectrum for owning or renting with a dog in London are Hampstead Heath and Belsize Park. If you’re not on a tight budget, these are highly dog-friendly areas with lots of grass for off-the-lead dog walking.
Generally speaking, it’s cheapest to live in southeast London, so if you’re living on a humbler budget, here are some more affordable areas that provide amenities that make living in London with a dog a great experience.
There’s a lot of grass in this area as well as plenty of pet-friendly restaurants and shops. You can walk your dog on Parliament Hill, for example, and then head to the Doggy Sunday Brunch, hosted by Gaucho Hampstead, where your furry friend can enjoy a nice meal and receive a goodie bag. There is a suggested £5 (approx. $6.60) donation for an animal charity if you attend this event.
The Battersea area is at the top of the list when it comes to pet-friendly places for living with a dog in London. A 200-acre park offers games and activities for pets and children alike.
Greenwich is another wonderfully green zone that is located on the banks of the River Thames and includes Greenwich Park. Don’t forget to make a stop for your dog to socialize at a pet haven known as The Pavilion Cafe.
Despite its brand-new skyscrapers, Hackney is home to 330 hectares of green space. It also houses Abney Park, a woodland in Stoke Newington, and Clissold Park. There are also plenty of pet-friendly shops and restaurants here.
In order to find a suitable place to live, moving to London with a dog will take some research and advance planning. It can be a little challenging to find pet-friendly rental property since these spaces are typically limited and tend to be rented fairly quickly. To help make the process a bit easier, consider writing a cover letter for your dog to submit to landlords with rental applications. Include a reference from your previous landlord. You can use this CV to discuss your dog’s personality and behavior.
We’ve already discussed a few particularly pet-friendly spots in London above, but there are plenty more where they came from. Here are some other activities and places to consider visiting with your dog.
This is a workout that includes your dog so that you can stay fit and reduce your stress levels together. Mahny and her Maltese do workshops in Camden or you can book a private session.
The Red Lion & Sun
The Red Lion & Sun is a great pet-friendly place to stop for both you and your pooch to grab a bite to eat. There are two beer gardens, and they offer a wood-burning fire in the winter months. The owners take photos of all their regular dogs and treat them with pigs’ ears and fresh water.
The Shake Shack is a fun place for a quick lunch. Even better, your dog can indulge in a “Pooch-ini” made from ShackBurger dog biscuits, vanilla custard, and peanut butter sauce.
Moving to London with a dog is no small undertaking. With proper planning, some research, and the support of new friends, however, your move can be much more exciting than stressful.
What Paperwork Will My Dog Need?
Moving To London With A Dog can be stressful, especially when you’re planning the trip for yourself as well as your pet. You should start the process of transporting your dog months in advance of your travel arrangements so that you have everything you need to move overseas. The last thing you want to do is end up waiting on a piece of paperwork to come through for your pet and end up putting the entire trip in jeopardy.
While moving with your dog can be difficult, once you get settled into your new home, you’ll feel that it was all worth it. Here are a few tips and tricks to get you started when moving to London with a dog.
In order to travel from the United States to London, your dog will need the proper paperwork and documentation. A pet passport is the most important document your dog will need.
A pet passport lists all the different types of treatments and health tests your dog has had. This includes vaccination records and any rabies test results. Before you travel, make sure that the vet issuing the passport has filled in all necessary sections.
If you do not have a pet passport, here are some steps that you can follow to get one.
Step 1: Microchipping
Your dog must be identifiable by an ISO-compliant microchip.
Step 2: Vaccinations
Dogs must be vaccinated for rabies. There are some specific rules and regulations regarding vaccinations that, if not followed, could result in your dog being quarantined. These include the following:
Puppies under the age of 12 weeks that have never been vaccinated are not allowed to travel to London and can be refused entry or quarantined. Do not attempt to take your puppy abroad with you until they are a bit older and can be vaccinated.
Vaccinations must be given the same day or after microchipping occurs, otherwise they will be considered invalid.
If your dog is traveling without proper documentation showing that a rabies booster was given within one year after the primary vaccine, they may be quarantined for up to 21 days and revaccinated.
Make sure your microchip number is on the vaccination certificate or your pet may be quarantined upon arrival.
Step 3: 21-day waiting period
After 21 days from the primary vaccination date, your dog is eligible to travel to London.
Step 4: Get a Health Certificate from an Accredited Veterinarian
In most cases, a USDA accredited veterinarian must issue a health certificate for your dog within 10 days of entering the EU if you are traveling with your pet. This certificate allows your dog to safely travel there. If someone else is traveling with your pet or you are arriving before or after your pet will, make sure you check with the airport regarding the regulations they must follow and where exactly you’ll be able to pick up your pet.
Step 5: APHIS signs and seals the EU Health Certificate
After the vet has issued the health certificate, your paperwork must be endorsed by an APHIS Veterinary Services office. You should receive information from them about fees associated with the endorsement when you visit, however you can also call ahead and arrive prepared.
STEP 6: Tapeworm Treatment
The UK allows tapeworm treatment to be given after the APHIS endorsement of the health certificate. Your dog must be treated for tapeworms every single time he or she is brought into the UK and the treatment must be administered by an accredited veterinarian. Check with your local APHIS Veterinary Services Office to learn more.
Bring the original documents you need for transporting your dog with you while you travel and ensure that you have plenty of copies made just in case.
Learn More About London Relocation
If you’ve started investigating living in London, or have been investigating for some time, you know just how difficult it can be to find the perfect home. London Relocation has services for families planning a move to London that will take care of all the details of finding a wide selection of your perfect flats and setting up ONE day of viewing. After you choose your perfect new home, we negotiate the lease and assist you to get moved and settled in. Call London Relocation now to get started at 800-903-1658 from the United States or from the UK +44 20 7993 0422. Our service is 100% guaranteed to find your ideal flat in one day!