The world is changing for everyone, also for our little dog friends. There are more and more spots where pets are welcome. It’s also much easier to travel with our pets. For those visiting Amsterdam with their dogs and for locals thinking about adoption I would like to share my experience of having a dog in the Netherlands. Is Amsterdam dog-friendly?
Amsterdam and the Netherlands, in general, are very dog-friendly. There are many restaurants, workplaces which allow your dog to come with you. Dogs are welcome on public transport such as trams, trains, and metro. There are only a few places where dogs won’t be allowed such as churches or museums.
In this article, I will share with you my experience of having a dog in the Netherlands and dog adoption. I will also share some tips and tricks on having a dog in Amsterdam. You’ll learn about some cool spots where you can go with your friend and some things that you can do together.
Living in Amsterdam With a Dog
Living in Amsterdam with a dog is so much easier than in any place I have been living before. It’s very common that you go to the restaurant and you meet there someone with a dog. Very often I see also people cycling and their dog is running jut next to them.
Don’t worry if you must are an active person and sometimes you need someone to take care of your dog. There is nothing wrong with this. In Amsterdam and other cities of the Netherlands, you can find a lot of dog-related businesses, so it’s not difficult to find a dog-walker or a dog hotel.
You can also look for someone to take care of your dog on our facebook group – LINK
For those looking for a dog sitter, I would like to recommend this website – Pawshake – It’s a site where dog-sitters can sign up and they offer their services. It’s much cheaper than a dog hotel, and you can find a lot of offers in your neighborhood.
There is also another facebook group for dog owners living in Amsterdam – here it is – You can find here anything you need about living in Amsterdam with a dog. You’re also welcome to ask questions.
There are no homeless dogs in the Netherlands so if you see a dog running around without his owner you can contact Dierenambulance. Once I left my dog with my friend, and this little crazy furry guy runs away. 2 hours later I’ve got a call from Dierenambulance that they found my dog. In this case, you pick up your dog in a shelter. Another time I found a wounded bird and I called Direnambulance. They are great people and they were very happy that I called them!
Problems of Living with a Dog in Amsterdam
There is one serious issue when it comes to living with your dog in Amsterdam. If you plan to move to Amsterdam, better find in advance a pet-friendly apartment. The housing market in Amsterdam is already very competitive and when you want to find a dog-friendly apartment it really becomes a challenge. Trust me, I’ve tried it, it’s not easy. Moreover housing prices in Amsterdam skyrocket last
Dogs Friendly Apartments and Hotels in Amsterdam
There are lots of pet-friendly hotels in Amsterdam. I did a little research and I would like to share with you 3 of them in a different price range.
Postillion Hotel Amsterdam – This is the most affordable hotel I have found. Bring your furry friend with you. Just put a note in the special request section that you are coming with your dog. Keep in mind that this hotel doesn’t accept a cash payment. It’s not in the city center but very close to it. Amstel park is a few minutes by walking distance. You should definitely give it a try. Amstelpark is one of my favorite spots in Amsterdam. To get to the city center I would rent a bike. It’s 10 minutes on a bike to get to the center of Amsterdam. You can book this pet-friendly hotel here.
NH Collection Amsterdam Barbizon Palace – This is a little bit more pricey hotel, but still nothing super expensive. This hotel is in a perfect location, just next to Centraal Station. It’s 5 minutes walk from the Dam square. It has very good reviews and they serve a perfect coffee. I don’t know how about you, but for me, it’s a must. You can book this pet-friendly hotel here.
Dog Friendly Hostels in Amsterdam
The only one dog-friendly hostel I have found on the map of Amsterdam is a&o Amsterdam Zuidoost. I called this hostel and they allow dogs but only if you reserve a single room, so there is not a really big difference between this hostel and other hotels in Amsterdam.
Dogs on Public Transport in Amsterdam
Little dogs are allowed on public transport in Amsterdam. You can take a small dog for free on trams, buses, and metro, but when you get a train you have to buy a ticket for a little furry guy. It cost 3 euros and it’s a ticket for the whole day. For bigger dogs, you need to get a ticket which is also around 3 euros. Remember to take a dog mess bags with you because in the Netherlands you must clean up dog poo.
Dog Friendly Restaurants in Amsterdam
Before I even mention any dog-friendly restaurant in Amsterdam I have a few tips for you. First of all, you must keep in mind that you can be always asked to leave with your dog. Don’t stress when someone tells you to leave. There could be houdred reasons behind that. Don’t even ask, just find another bar, restaurant or cafe. There are plenty of them in Amsterdam.
Another tip I have for you is that sometimes you can see a dog bowl in front of the restaurant and it means you are more than welcome. On the other hand soemtimes you’ll see a sign of a dog in a red circle on the front window of restaurant. It means you can’t enter with your dog.
If you just visit Amsterdam I have for you a list of some dog-frendly cafes, bars and restaurants. If you live here for a long time already share with me your favorite spots, there are so many cool places in Amsterdam.
- Sir Hummus
- Bulls & Dogs
- China Sichuan Restaurant
Dog Friendly Bars in Amsterdam
- JD Williams
- Friends & Foes
Dog Friendly Cafes in Amsterdam
- Coffee & Coconuts
Dog Friendly Parks in Amsterdam
It’s less known but one of my favorite parks in Amsterdam. You can take a dog with you and you can be sure that there are other people with their furry friends. Here you can find a Sarphatipark -> LINK
It’s a small park so it’s easy to control a dog. Also, there are not that many people as for example in Vondelpark (in Vondelpark you can also bring your dog but I wouldn’t advise it because it’s a huge, busy park. There are a lot of bikes, scooters, people running. Definitely not-dog friendly)
This is the park close to the Indische Buurt. Dogs are allowed and I can recommend this park in the summer. There is a pond where you can see many dogs taking their swimming classes. It’s perfect for warm, sunny days.
This park is located very close to the city center. It’s also dog-friendly and there is some large shady area, so it’s perfect on a sunny day.
This is another dog-friendly park in Amsterdam. It’s a little bit further from the city center, but definitely worth visiting, as it’s not as crowdy as other parks in the city.
My Favorite Pet Shop in the Netherlands
When it comes to ordering anything for my dog I do it online, because it’s much cheaper than in a pet shop. My favorite online pet shop is Zooplus. Here you can find their website –> LINK
Dog Friendly Camping in Amsterdam
There are 2 pet-friendly campings in Amsterdam. Other won’t allow pets or are at least 20 km from the city. Search for Gaasper Camping Amsterdam and Camping Zeeburg.
Dog Friendly Beaches Close to Amsterdam
Zandvoort aan Zee
It’s a seaside town 20-30 minutes away from Amsterdam. You can get there easily by train from Centraal Station. There is no problem with taking your dog on public transport. For small dogs, there is no ticket required but for bigger ones it is and it costs around 3 euros.
1st April – 7th October – you can come with your dog only after 7 pm
8th October to 31st March – dogs are allowed anytime
Keep in mind that you have to clean up after your dog. Close to the dunes, the leash may be a necessity, so even if you can go run free, you should have a leash with you.
Tips and Tricks for People Coming To The Netherlands WIth a Dog
Keep in mind that you have to plan a coming to the Netherlands with your dog in advance. If you take up a decision that you want to take a dog with you it can be already a little bit too late. It’s because you must vaccinate your dog at least 21 days before coming to Holland.
Another thing that is necessary when traveling with a dog is a valid passport(when it comes to this document you really have to plan in advance. If you don’t have a dog passport you should plan even 9 months earlier) and microchip. You may also want to get insurance for your dog and I advise you to get it here –> Link
Before you come to the Netherlands you have to sign up your dog within a local town hall(search on Google for Gemeente) and tax office (belastingdienst). You contact a town hall because in most Dutch cities you have to register your dog. It must be done within 14 days after you come to Holland. Contact a tax office because often(but not always) you have to pay a dog tax. I would like to mention also that taxes apply not to dogs and not to any other animals. You don’t have to pay a tax for your cat. You may wonder how much is a dog tax in the Netherlands. It depends, some municipalities don’t have a dog tax at all in other you pay even 100 euros per year.
Another requirement is that your dog must be at least 15 weeks old.
Nowadays it’s also much easier to travel with a dog. If you have a small dog you can often take him with you on the board and it cost very little. Contact specific airlines for that kind of information. I wouldn’t suggest you put a dog in an airplane luggage space. I’ve heard too many thrilling stories about this. There is often very cold, noisy and it’s very stressful for a little one. Just don’t do this. You must think about this much earlier because there is always a limited amount of people who can take their dogs with them on board.
Where to Adopt a Dog in Amsterdam?
I wanted to adopt a dog already a long time ago. But it’s not that easy in the Netherlands. In my country of origin, there are many dogs in shelters and you just hit the closest one and you choose a dog. It’s very easy and they are happy that someone wants to support them by taking part in the adoption program. In Holland, there are just a few dogs in shelters and often they get there because the owner had some problems with them. I know it from my own experience because when I was searching for a dog for myself I visited about 10 shelters and in many, there were no dogs available or there were some crazy ones 🙂
But finally I found an amazing dog and I called him “Cookie”. Imagine that he was born in Romania, and there is a charity which brought him all the way to the Netherlands. This charity is called Stichting Le Woef It’s run by a lady with a big heart and I would like to recommend this place to everyone. Here you can visit their website –> LINK
You must be aware that adoption in the Netherlands is not that cheap and it is in other countries, but it’s definitely worth it. Don’t buy dogs from dog breeding businesses, there are too many dogs in the world which need loving families. This charity helps dogs from Romania and bring them all the way to the Netherlands. It’s because there are many homeless dogs in Romania. They also vaccinate and treat dogs in Romania, so the money you spend on adoption will go on a good cause.
Adoption Buying a Dog?
Dog Adoption in the Netherlands isn’t necessarily much cheaper than buying a dog. Price of a dog depends on the breed, and if you would like a puppy or a grown-up dog. Adoption in Holland can be also quite expensive, so be ready to spend at least 250 euro in total.
I always recommend adoption because there are plenty of dogs which need a loving family. We shouldn’t support breeding companies as long as we can not take care of dogs that are already living on this planet. If possible go for adoption.
Unfortunately, some shelter dogs may experience some issues, but don’t worry because Dutch shelters do a great job when it comes to matching a dog and a family. Before you even see a dog you’ll know his history and if they find there this match can be challenging they won’t even allow you to see a dog.
A Vet in the Netherlands
I have a good experience with Ranzijn Vet — Link Here — They have clinics all over the Netherlands. They offer competitive prices and I visit this vet with my cats and a dog. They know what they do and I can recommend them. However, I am sure there are many other very good vets in Holland.
Each and every dog owner has its own view on the feeding of their furry friend. I feed my dog with some raw meat and high-quality dry food. Sometimes I cook for him. Dry food I buy online – here. You can buy a huge pack of high-quality food every few months and then it doesn’t cost as much. Get some good box where you can store dry food. When it comes to raw meat I buy it in a local pet shop. You can also get some bulk dog cans online and then you also get a good price.