Continuing on with our series if you’re relocating to London with a pet, here are a few additional tidbits my dog-owning friend had to share with me about pet ownership after a London move. Yesterday, we talked about London’s overall pet-friendliness, so today let’s get more specific about rewarding your pet with a pleasant London experience for making that international relocation with you:Where are your favorite places for walking your dog?
I LOVE Kensington Gardens and Hyde Park for our dog—there are always other dogs and people out and about and loads of squirrels to chase. AND the Honest Sausage snack bar is, of course, a personal favourite of our furry friend.
Battersea Park is another great place for dogs—ours heads out with his buddies to BP a few days a week. AND on the weekends,
Richmond Park is doggie heaven with acres and acres of trails, open space and swimming opportunities for our four legged friends. All off leash—but you do have to be mindful of the deer and the horses in the park, so it’s wise to know that your dog is good with recall. Regent’s Park, Hampstead Heath, and Primrose Hill also all have large leash-free areas.
What if you aren’t home to walk the dog?
For those people who work at an office and don’t want their pet home alone all day, there are a number of dog walkers and doggy day care options in and around the city. A good place to start in finding a walker is through your vet—who may have an approved list of dog walkers in the area—or from other pet owners in your local park.
Speaking of vets, how can expats go about finding a good one for their pet?
A good vet is a MUST, and I highly recommend our vet, Dr. Peter Culpin at Pets Naturally in Notting Hill. Cannot say enough wonderful things about him—gentle, kind, sweet, and incredibly knowledgeable about pets large and small: www.petsnaturally.co.uk. He is one in a million.
I hear, though, there is also one near Marble Arch that is good as well, and another expat friend who recently got a dog just found the local vet in her neighborhood, which is a privately owned chain of three locations in north London: St. John’s Wood, Primrose Hill, and Finchley. They’re called Hamilton Veterinary Clinics: www.hamiltonvets.com. There is another bigger chain called Village Vet (www.villagevet.co.uk). University of Cambridge apparently also has a cutting edge animal hospital for serious pet illnesses.
Like healthcare for humans in the UK, your experience is largely dependent on whether or not you find a good doctor or not. So do the research, ask around, and take referrals seriously. I received referrals from two people who did not know each other for the same vet and took that very seriously. I would also suggest getting insurance, which is offered by many companies; I got mine through Tesco.
Well, this is all very valuable information to know if your London relocation involves a pet, and we’ll follow up tomorrow with more. Meanwhile, if you have questions about the logistics of actually moving a pet overseas, don’t hesitate to ask any of our London Relocation company staff—they’re highly knowledgeable on all aspects of an international relocation, for humans and animals alike!