Dog-Friendly Holidays In Belgium

Belgium is a fantastic destination for dog-friendly holidays, offering a variety of attractions and amenities that cater to both you and your furry companion. 

Many hotels, guesthouses, and vacation rentals in Belgium are pet-friendly, allowing dogs to stay with their owners. When it comes to outdoor activities, Belgium offers beautiful parks, forests, and walking trails where you can enjoy quality time with your dog. The Ardennes region, with its stunning landscapes and hiking trails, is a particularly popular destination.

In cities like Brussels, Antwerp, and Bruges, you’ll find numerous cafes, bars, and restaurants with outdoor seating areas that are dog-friendly.

Belgium’s well-maintained parks and gardens often have designated areas where dogs can roam and play off-leash. It’s a great opportunity for your dog to socialize with other furry friends and enjoy some freedom.

Travelling To Belgium From UK With A Dog

If you’re planning to travel to Belgium from the UK with your dog, there are a few important considerations to ensure a smooth and comfortable journey for both you and your furry friend.

Pet Passport and Microchipping

Make sure your dog has a valid pet passport, which includes proof of microchipping. Microchipping is a legal requirement in the UK and allows for easy identification of your dog. Ensure the microchip is registered with your contact information before traveling.

Vaccinations and Health Check

Check that your dog’s vaccinations, including rabies, are up to date. Belgium, like many other countries, requires a valid rabies vaccination. It’s essential to adhere to the specific vaccination requirements and timing outlined in your pet passport. Additionally, it may be a good idea to have a health check-up with your veterinarian before traveling to ensure your dog is fit to travel.

Travel Crates and Carriers

Invest in a suitable travel crate or carrier for your dog. It should be well-ventilated, secure, and provide enough space for your dog to stand, turn around, and lie down comfortably. Familiarize your dog with the crate or carrier before the trip to help them feel more at ease during travel.

Transport Options

When traveling to Belgium from the UK, you have several transport options available. If you’re flying, check with your airline regarding their pet travel policies and any specific requirements. Some airlines may allow small dogs to travel in the cabin, while others require them to be transported in the cargo hold. If you’re driving, plan for regular rest stops to allow your dog to stretch their legs, hydrate, and relieve themselves.

Entry Requirements

Familiarize yourself with Belgium’s specific entry requirements for pets. This may include having a valid pet passport, up-to-date vaccinations, and complying with any quarantine regulations if applicable. Additionally, it’s advisable to carry copies of your dog’s documents and keep them easily accessible during your journey.

Accommodations and Pet-Friendly Facilities

Before you travel, make sure to book accommodations that are dog-friendly. Research and confirm their pet policies, any additional fees, and whether they have any specific restrictions or requirements. It’s also a good idea to locate nearby veterinary clinics or pet-friendly facilities at your destination.

Feeding and Hydration

Avoid feeding your dog a large meal right before travel to prevent motion sickness. However, keep them well-hydrated throughout the journey by providing small amounts of water at regular intervals. Consult with your veterinarian for specific feeding and watering recommendations.

Temperature and Climate

Ensure that your dog is protected from extreme temperatures, both during the journey and at the destination. If traveling in warmer weather, provide access to fresh air and keep the vehicle or carrier well-ventilated. In colder weather, provide appropriate bedding or clothing to keep your dog warm.

Calming Techniques

If your dog experiences anxiety or stress during travel, consult with your veterinarian about potential calming techniques or medications that can help them relax.

Top 5 Dog-Friendly Hotels In Belgium

Martin's Château Du Lac

Nestled near Brussels, Martin’s Château du Lac is a charming and pet-friendly hotel that combines history, elegance, and comfort. This picturesque retreat offers pet-friendly rooms with garden access, allowing your dog to enjoy the fresh air and tranquil surroundings. Upon arrival, your furry friend will be greeted with a cozy pet bed and food and water bowls. To add an extra touch of warmth, the hotel provides a special welcome treat for your beloved companion. With its serene ambiance and thoughtful pet-friendly amenities, Martin’s Château du Lac is a perfect choice for a relaxing stay with your dog.

Hotel BLOOM!, Brussels

Known for its modern and artistic vibe, Hotel BLOOM! in Brussels extends its warm hospitality to four-legged guests. The hotel features designated pet-friendly rooms that combine contemporary design and comfort. Upon request, they provide pet amenities to ensure a pleasant stay for your dog. With its central location and pet-friendly approach, Hotel BLOOM! allows you to explore the vibrant city of Brussels while keeping your furry friend by your side.

Hotel De Orangerie, Bruges

Hotel De Orangerie in Bruges is a charming and pet-friendly hotel that warmly welcomes both human and canine guests. With its beautifully restored 15th-century building along the Dijver Canal, the hotel offers a picturesque setting and stunning views. Dogs are treated as cherished guests, receiving special welcome treats and enjoying designated pet-friendly rooms with cozy beds and bowls. The hotel’s location near Minnewater Park provides a convenient green space for walks, and the attentive staff can provide information on other dog-friendly areas. For dog owners seeking a memorable stay in Bruges, Hotel De Orangerie is an excellent choice with its exceptional service and genuine care for furry companions.

L-Avenue, Brussels

L-Avenue in Brussels is a dog-friendly hotel that warmly welcomes four-legged guests. With its prime location in the heart of the city, this pet-friendly haven offers designated rooms where dogs can stay comfortably. They provide cozy pet beds and food/water bowls, ensuring a pleasant stay for both dogs and their owners. The hotel’s convenient location allows easy access to nearby parks and green spaces, making it an ideal choice for dog owners looking to explore Brussels. Enjoy a memorable stay at L-Avenue while creating special moments with your furry friend.

Le Mont Rigi, Waimes

Le Mont Rigi in Waimes is a dog-friendly hotel that offers a welcoming retreat for both human and canine guests. Nestled in a serene location, this pet-friendly haven provides designated rooms where dogs are warmly welcomed. They provide comfortable accommodations with pet beds and food/water bowls, ensuring a comfortable stay for dogs and their owners. The hotel’s picturesque surroundings and nearby walking trails make it an excellent choice for dog owners seeking a peaceful getaway with their furry companions. Enjoy a relaxing stay at Le Mont Rigi while immersing yourself in nature and creating cherished memories with your four-legged friend.

Popular Dog-Friendly Destinations In Belgium

Belgium, known for its stunning architecture, rich history, and delicious chocolates, is also a great destination for dog owners. The country boasts a welcoming attitude towards four-legged companions, making it an ideal place for a dog-friendly vacation. Whether you’re exploring bustling cities or enjoying the tranquility of nature, Belgium has plenty to offer both you and your furry friend.

Brussels

Heading to Belgium’s capital city, Brussels, is a must for any dog lover.

Antwerp

A city renowned for its fashion and diamond trade, is also a fantastic destination for dog owners

Ghent

A historic city with a vibrant cultural scene, is known for its dog-friendly environment.

Bruges

Often referred to as the “Venice of the North,” is a picturesque city that welcomes dogs with open arms.

Ardennes

For nature enthusiasts, the Ardennes region in Belgium is a paradise.

Dining Out In Belgium With A Dog

Dining out in Belgium with your dog can be a delightful experience, as many cafes and restaurants welcome four-legged guests. Here are a few reviews of dog-friendly dining establishments in Belgium:

  • Le Dogue de Falaise, Brussels: “Le Dogue de Falaise in Brussels is a fantastic dog-friendly restaurant that goes above and beyond to cater to both humans and their furry friends. The outdoor seating area is spacious and comfortable, perfect for enjoying a meal with your dog by your side. The staff is incredibly friendly and provides water bowls and even treats for the dogs. The menu offers a variety of delicious Belgian dishes, and the atmosphere is relaxed and inviting. It’s a must-visit spot for dog owners in Brussels.”

  • De Werf, Antwerp: “De Werf in Antwerp is a hidden gem for dog-friendly dining. The restaurant has a lovely outdoor terrace overlooking the water, where dogs are warmly welcomed. The staff is accommodating and friendly, ensuring both humans and dogs feel comfortable. The menu features a range of mouth-watering dishes, including fresh seafood and local specialties. It’s a peaceful and picturesque setting to enjoy a meal while spending quality time with your furry companion.”

  • De Kleine Notelaar, Bruges: “De Kleine Notelaar in Bruges is a charming dog-friendly restaurant located in the heart of the city. The outdoor seating area is cozy and inviting, and dogs are greeted with water bowls and treats upon arrival. The staff is attentive and provides excellent service. The menu offers a mix of Belgian classics and international flavors, with options for all tastes. It’s a wonderful place to relax, soak up the atmosphere of Bruges, and savor a delicious meal with your furry friend.”

Taking A Dog On Public Transport In Belgium

Taking a dog on public transport in Belgium is generally allowed, but it’s important to familiarize yourself with the specific rules and guidelines for each type of transportation. Here are some details about the different types of public transport in Belgium and their pet policies

Trains

Dogs are typically allowed on trains in Belgium, but there are some restrictions and guidelines to follow. Small dogs are often allowed to travel for free if they are transported in a carrier or small bag that can fit on your lap. Larger dogs may require a paid ticket and must be on a leash and muzzled. It’s advisable to check with the specific train company, such as the National Railway Company of Belgium (SNCB), for their pet policy and any additional requirements.

Metro/Subway

Most metro systems in Belgium allow dogs to travel, but there may be restrictions during peak hours. Small dogs in carriers are usually allowed on board, while larger dogs must be leashed and muzzled. It’s recommended to check with the local metro authority or transportation company for their specific guidelines.

Buses

Buses in Belgium generally allow dogs on board, but there may be variations in policies depending on the specific bus company or region. Small dogs in carriers are usually allowed, while larger dogs may require a muzzle and a paid ticket. Some bus companies may have restrictions during busy hours or certain routes, so it’s best to verify the pet policy beforehand.

Trams

Trams in Belgium typically permit dogs on board, but rules and regulations may vary depending on the specific city or tram network. Small dogs in carriers are generally allowed, while larger dogs must be on a leash and well-behaved. Checking with the local transport authority or tram company will provide you with the most accurate information regarding their pet policy.

Dog Friendly Activities In Belgium

City Strolls

Many cities in Belgium, such as Brussels, Antwerp, Ghent, and Bruges, are known for their dog-friendly environments. Take leisurely walks with your dog along the charming streets, admire the architecture, and explore the vibrant neighborhoods. Don’t forget to stop by dog-friendly cafés and restaurants to enjoy a meal or a cup of coffee together.

Parks and Gardens

Belgium is home to numerous parks and gardens where your dog can stretch their legs and enjoy the outdoors. For example, in Brussels, you can visit the expansive Bois de la Cambre or the picturesque Parc de Bruxelles. Antwerp boasts the beautiful Rivierenhof Park, while Ghent offers the car-free city center as a great place for walks. Bruges provides a charming setting with its canalside paths and tranquil Minnewater Park.

Beach Fun

If you’re visiting during the warmer months, don’t miss the opportunity to explore Belgium’s dog-friendly beaches. Bredene, De Panne, and Oostduinkerke are popular choices, with designated areas where dogs can frolic in the sand and enjoy a refreshing swim in the sea. Remember to follow any specific beach rules and regulations regarding dogs.

Hiking in Nature

Belgium’s countryside and natural areas provide fantastic opportunities for hiking adventures with your dog. The Ardennes region, with its rolling hills, dense forests, and picturesque villages, is a perfect destination for nature enthusiasts. Enjoy scenic trails together, breathe in the fresh air, and immerse yourself in the beauty of the Belgian outdoors.

Dog-Friendly Events and Festivals

Keep an eye out for dog-friendly events and festivals happening throughout Belgium. From dog shows and agility competitions to charity walks and pet expos, there are numerous opportunities to socialize, learn, and have fun with your furry companion. These events often celebrate the bond between dogs and their owners, creating memorable experiences for all.

How Dog-Friendly Is Belgium?