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Mans best friend, dog

CarolT

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Camino de Santiago (2016)
Hello,

Just curious has anyone ever done a Pilgrimage with their best friend, their dog? If so was it welcomed by others, and is it difficult to find places to sleep for small dog.

Thanks,
Carol T
 
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Peter Fransiscus

Be a Rainbow in someone else's cloud.
Time of past OR future Camino
All that we are is the result of what we have thought.
Hello,

Just curious has anyone ever done a Pilgrimage with their best friend, their dog? If so was it welcomed by others, and is it difficult to find places to sleep for small dog.

Thanks,
Carol T
Hi Carol, last year I met three pilgrims with a dog.
One was on his way back and he walked with a donkey and a dog.
And there was one on a bike with the dog
on the back of the bike. And an other one walking with a dog.
They all three had a tent with them.
Most of the nights they slept outdoors.
For the rest I don’t know.
I wish you a wonderful journey with or without a dog and a Buen Camino, Peter.
 
Time of past OR future Camino
Francés ('15, '19)
Via Coloniensis ('16)
Trier-Nancy + Le Puy-Fisterra ('17)
Aragonés ('18)
Dear Carol T,

I met someone one the Francés who walked with a large dog. The dog was well cared for, very well trained, friendly, relaxed and obviously having a good time. The owner told me he made calls in the morning to find a place that accepted him and the dog for the night and walked as long (or short) stages as needed to reach that place.

It seems to be possible, but difficult. Spain is not very welcoming towards dogs (to say it nicely). So, you need either a tent or good planning and enough money for hotel rooms, as most albergues don't allow dogs, and if at all, it might be in an outside building. If you need to skip stages, that's almost impossible, because no bus and no train will allow a dog, as far as I know (very small dogs in cages seem to be allowed, but in the bus the cage will be put where the luggage is! Yes, that windowless place at the bottom of the bus... saw it with my own eyes... Imagine that on a hot day!)

Also, be honest – is your dog trained well enough to walk the Camino with you without suffering (physically and/or mentally)? Also, a small dog has short legs. It might be able to keep your pace on shorter walks, but over long distances? All day, every day? Over weeks? On rough terrain?


There are many who discourage anyone who thinks about bringing their dog, I'm not one of them. But it has to be very well thought through.

If you walk with your dog, you want to be a good example (like the pilgrim with dog I met!), not a bad one (the pilgrim with the ill behaved, smelly and suffering dog everyone seems to be talking about, usually).


With or without dog, Happy planning and Buen Camino!
 

CarolT

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Camino de Santiago (2016)
Thanks everyone!

I am sure I will be doing this alone. Just wondered as my long legged Jack Russell has been my walking partner preparing for the upcomong trip. I hadn't thought about taking him, until this morning, and wondered.

Best to leave him home, so I can stay focused on me.

Thanks again,
Carol
 
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Time of past OR future Camino
Francés ('15, '19)
Via Coloniensis ('16)
Trier-Nancy + Le Puy-Fisterra ('17)
Aragonés ('18)
Carol,

maybe the first time you walk alone, the next time you know how to do it with your four legged friend ;)

In my opinion, it would be good for Spanish people to see more well behaved, well groomed dogs with responsible owners, so they realize dogs are not a health hazard and/or an annoyance, per se.

I do not even own a dog... but realized the difficulties regarding dogs in Spain because I informed myself before I went there, just in case I pick up a stray... (I mentally prepared to walk back to France, sleeping under the stars, in that case!)
 

Diane Kinney

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Leon to Santiago May 21 to June 3, 2014
Ponferrada to Santiago September 2015
While I did not travel with my dogs (Scotties with short little legs), I thought dogs in Spain were generally well cared for. I am sure not unlike North America, many rental accommodations do not allow pets, but there were always local dogs sitting at outdoor cafes with their owners. Without exception, they seemed to be well cared for and adored pets. Working (farm) dogs seemed to be no different than ones I see here; very protective of their charges and territory.
I wouldn't take my guys because of the uncertainty around anccommodations but especially as they can't tell me when they have had enough. Pets are pleasers and will often push on just to do what their master wants. Why expose your buddy to the rigours of travel and endless days of walking?
Enjoy your trip and Buen Camino.
 

MinaKamina

Eclipsigrina ~ August 12, 2026
Time of past OR future Camino
Jacobspad 2017
I read a lovely story recently about a pilgrim who took a shelter dog named Kruger on the Camino in order to find him a home.
The little dog loved the walk in the morning, but he had problems with the heat later on the day, so his padrino had to carry him often. It wasn't always easy to find a place to sleep, although Kruger was the easiest of dogs.
But they made it to Santiago, Kruger got his Compostela and best of all, he was adopted bij a family who fell in love with him along the Camino.
Story here:
http://www.lavozdegalicia.es/notici...ueger-busca-amo-camino/0003_201608L5C5994.htm
with video:
http://www.lavozdegalicia.es/notici...ida-familia-albacete/0003_201608L12C12991.htm
 
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LTfit

Veteran Member
I am writing this as someone who was adopted by a small dog last year on my way to Corcubión. Due to various circumstances, I brought Guapito home with me to The Netherlands but transportation in Spain - at least on buses - was a real problem.

Renfe
does allow dogs on the train but you will need to buy a ticket which is around €5 euros. I had a dog bag which I bought at a Chinese bazaar. No problem but he is only 5 kg. Buses are another story. As another poster mentioned, no matter the size, they must be transported with the luggage!!! I ended up taking a taxi from Finisterre to Santiago!

If people want to know more details on the procedure let me know. In Finisterre a private albergue allowed me in with Guapito but I of course needed to pay for a private room.

I would love to walk a part of the Camino with him (he ran the 22 km we did together and regularly walks with me in The Netherlands) but believe that you need to plan accommodation very carefully. Also if an albergue accepts a dog they will need to sleep in separate, unfamiliar quarters. Depends on the dog but I am not sure that it is nice for them.
 

MinaKamina

Eclipsigrina ~ August 12, 2026
Time of past OR future Camino
Jacobspad 2017
A lovely story indeed. Unfortunately lots of dogs get abandoned ( by their two legged friends) once they get to Santiago de Compostela, Muxia or Fisterra. This causes a serious problem in those towns.

This is just one of the many articles in the local press. http://www.mundicamino.com/noticias/8575/logran-63-000-firmas-para-salvar-a-los-perros-del-camino/

Ondo Ibili !

MendiWalker


You can sign the petition here:

https://www.change.org/p/firma-para...-de-santiago-nos-necesitan-losperrosdelcamino
and never let a dog follow you if you don't want to provide for him for the rest of his life.... :(
 

MinaKamina

Eclipsigrina ~ August 12, 2026
Time of past OR future Camino
Jacobspad 2017
@MinaKamina

Why do you assume I haven´t signed it already or done other things? Have you already signed it? If so , good for you. :)

Ondo Ibili !

MendiWalker


Do not worry. I would not dare to assume anything about you at all.
I read the article.
I tried to find a link to the petition.
It took a while to find it, but google helped me out.
Then I posted the link for those who are interested.

That's all.
 
Time of past OR future Camino
Us:Camino Frances, 2015 Me:Catalan/Aragonese, 2019
A friend of ours moved to The Netherlands from the US about 10 years ago and we kept her dog for a few months until she could find a place of her own. Then we shipped her dog to her by air. The airline would not accept the dog until daily temperatures were within a certain range (so she would survive the trip in the unair-conditioned luggage hold.) Either the airline, the NL or the EU required a special veterinarian examination with certified results beforehand (within a certain timelimit from the shipping date.) A pet crate meeting safety, security and size specifications had to be bought, the airline did not provide any. Then there was the shipping cost. All this was pretty inconvenient even done from home. Shipping the dog back home from Spain would have been more so.

The dog loved it in The Netherlands, she could go just about anywhere and shopkeepers would give her free snacks. If the Spanish dogs knew how much the Dutch loved dogs there would be canine caminos heading to the Hague.
 

obinjatoo@yahoo.com

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
2012 Dieppe, FR Bici CF.
2014 Ruta Vasco/CF/Primativo
I walked with a Dutch kid on and off during late summer 2014. He had walked most of the way from up north in the Netherlands. A little dog adopted him in France. They walked all the way to Santiago, Muxia and Finisterre. He slept in a tent with the dog. If you're willing to deal with that, you can do whatever you want. I would do it!
 
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mcopeland

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances - April-June, 2016
Portuguese Lisbon-Santiago - October, 2017
We met a man walking with a dog last spring in Carrion de los Condes. He could not find a place to stay - had tried every albergue in town, so he said. He had spent the previous night sleeping on a park bench.
 
Time of past OR future Camino
I live next to the Grand Châtenet section
Little Dog has just reminded me that while her race may be our best friends we are not always hers. Leave your dogs home in their own territories.

I take my two boarder collies everywhere I can so they learn to be sociable and not become guard dogs defending their territory. They free walk mostly and on lead when I free it's needed and hunting season. We are lucky and live in rural france so it's easier for us than others.
 
Time of past OR future Camino
2012
@Tuesday Wildchild I could have elaborated but chose not to in my earlier post. Little Dog goes, nearly, everywhere with me. You may have seen or will be able to find a photo of her on the Hadrian's Wall path. I take her everywhere I can. She comes with me when I am foraging for elder in the spring, seafoods in summer or fungi in the autumn. She walks to heel unless told to "scream and shout and run about". She'll hunt to her own standards in season and sit quietly in the pub and join in the banter when she can.

What I won't do to her is put her through the traumas of vets, airports, cages and kennels. A massive and sudden climate change that she will find bewildering. And the constant threat of other dogs who have been raised and trained to be territorial.
 

Gareth Griffith

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
SJPdP to Santiago de Compestela in May(2016)
I've seen people walking with their dogs but I wouldn't put my dog through it.
There are loads of dogs to stroke on the way.
Finding somewhere for you to stay when you've got a dog will mean that you will probably need to take a tent. Carrying dog paraphernalia and food with add to your load, although I have seen a couple of dogs wearing saddle bags.
If your dog flies off after a squirrel or rabbit you could be looking for it for a long while!
 

SYates

Camino Fossil AD 1999, now living in Santiago de C
Time of past OR future Camino
First: Camino Francés 1999
...
Last: Santiago - Muxia 2019

Now: http://egeria.house/
@Tuesday Wildchild I could have elaborated but chose not to in my earlier post. Little Dog goes, nearly, everywhere with me. You may have seen or will be able to find a photo of her on the Hadrian's Wall path. I take her everywhere I can. She comes with me when I am foraging for elder in the spring, seafoods in summer or fungi in the autumn. She walks to heel unless told to "scream and shout and run about". She'll hunt to her own standards in season and sit quietly in the pub and join in the banter when she can.

What I won't do to her is put her through the traumas of vets, airports, cages and kennels. A massive and sudden climate change that she will find bewildering. And the constant threat of other dogs who have been raised and trained to be territorial.

MEGA Triple LIKE! Buen Camino and give her an ear scratchie from me, she is a lucky dog, SY
 
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Albertagirl

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Frances; Aragones; VdlP; Madrid-Invierno; Levante
I saw a dog walking with a group of French pilgrims on the road up from St Jean Pied de Port to Orisson. It was off leash and seemed to have no travel smarts at all: went up to a fence and barked loudly at a dog behind the fence, sending it into a frenzy; walked into the middle of the road and ignored a large agricultural machine, which came to a complete stop to avoid hitting it. I wondered how long it would survive. The accompanying pilgrims were friendly with it but ignored its safety.
 

newfydog

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Pamplona-Santiago, Le Puy- Santiago, Prague- LePuy, Menton- Toulouse, Menton- Rome, Canterbury- Lausanne, Chemin Stevenson, Voie de Vezelay
Depends on the dog. I have yet to see a newfy who would like the trip in the summer. I had a Newfy/ Great Pyrenee mix who would have absolutely loved the trip in the winter and would have gladly carried my pack.
 

alexwalker

Forever Pilgrim
Time of past OR future Camino
2009-2019: More than I remember...
You will not get into (most) albergues with a dog.
I would protest and demand you sleep outside: I am allergic to dog (and cat) hair.
You will walk 20-30 kms/day. Can your dog do it, on stony paths/roads?
It is hot in Spain. Is your dog ready for that?
Dogs living on the Camino are bosses, protecting their habitats. Is your dog ready for that encounter?

IMHO: What is it with this dog thing?!! Let them have a good time at home, and you a good time in Spain. To me, it sounds like stupid to bring a dog with you, both for his, yours, pilgrims, and local dogs' sake...
 
Time of past OR future Camino
2002, Toulouse/Aragon 2005, Cami S Jaume/Aragon 2007/9, Mont Saint Michel/Norte/Vadiniense 2011, Norte/Primitivo 2013, Norte/Primitivo 2014. Norte 2015, Cami S Jaume/Castellano-Aragonese 2016
In eight Caminos, I have only met two pilgrim dogs who seemed to be enjoying themselves. I have seen many others looking exhausted and miserable. One of the two happy dogs stayed in his master's hotel room, and the other in a tent with its mistress. I chatted with them both at length and they both told me that they would not have dreamed of trying to gain access to albergues, as their dogs would have been unsettled with new people around, and as many pilgrims had objections to the dogs.
 
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alexwalker

Forever Pilgrim
Time of past OR future Camino
2009-2019: More than I remember...
Well, it is something with dog owners: At my cottage in Arctic Norway, I have reindeers/foxes/birds grazing around. Every autumn, dogs on the loose are chasing the life out of these reindeers and other animals, and eating/crushing birds eggs. Completely out of control, and completely mad. When i try to confront the owners, they all claim that their dog is well-behaved, and that it is other dogs who scare the reindeers into an early death. These are mostly hunters, "training" their dogs before autumn hunting on grouse, moose, etc.

It is my experience that those dogs, as well as their owners, are a danger to our environment. I have experienced big dogs dripping saliva on the head of my little granddaughter right outside my cottage, just wanting to bite her head off.

But by all means, bring your dog with you: Let it walk for 30+ days, 25 kms/day, on tough trails, confronting very territorial, tough, Spanish shepherd/watchdogs with all local knowledge, as well as negative pilgrims,,,

Most dogowners agree with me that many dogs are ill-behaved, but they do not agree it applies to their dog...

Oh yes, I know I'll get flamed now...

Edit: The saying is that a dog is a man's best friend. Is a man a dog's best friend? I am not sure...

I should also add, that IMHO, and it is only my HO: If your best friend is a dog, you should work on getting friends you can talk to. The Camino is a perfect place to talk to/reflect with people.
 
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Albertagirl

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Frances; Aragones; VdlP; Madrid-Invierno; Levante
Completely out of control, and completely mad. When i try to confront the owners, they all claim that their dog is well-behaved, and that it is other dogs
@alexwalker
I once experienced this denial after I had been attacked by a neighbourhood dog which ran up to me from behind, without making a sound, and stuck its teeth into my back. Fortunately, it was winter and it only got a mouthful of my winter clothing. But a member of the family which owned the dog denied that it would ever attack anyone. I think that perhaps many people do not understand the territorial nature of dogs, and that their good nature can only be relied on by their owners. Dogs are also very loyal and may attack if their family seems to them to be threatened. And of course many have never been properly socialized. In Canada, there is a problem with packs of wild dogs on the reserves of the indigenous peoples. I would think that their occasional attacks on people and their hunting of wild game would cause more efforts to be made to control them, but they seem to be tolerated.
 
Time of past OR future Camino
Francés ('15, '19)
Via Coloniensis ('16)
Trier-Nancy + Le Puy-Fisterra ('17)
Aragonés ('18)
@alexwalker,

wouldn't disagree with your experience that many dog owners are in denial on how badly behaved their dogs are. That's sadly true, as is the fact that many people are bad at reading their pets body language, which leads to the problem that they wouldn't even see whether the dog enjoys the walk, or is stressed and exhausted.

So, in most cases, advice to better leave the dog at home while walking the Camino should be good advice. Still, I do think it unfair to generalize and say no, never, and everyone who thinks about it must be "stupid".

Because, there really are responsible dog owners out there, with well behaved, friendly dogs, capable of not only doing the Camino with their owner, but enjoying it. I met one of those, so they do seem to exist. It was a joy meeting the two. That kind of dog accompanying their owner can be a gain (certainly was, for me, even though only walked with them for half a day), and it saddens me to think that someone would think this pilgrim to be doing something "stupid", because quite obviously, that was not the case.

To your last statement, about if your best friend's a dog, you should work on finding friends that can talk...

I could turn this around and say: If you think a dog isn't someone you can talk with (not only to!), there's much to learn for you...

Non-verbal communication with other species can be a very interesting experience. It's like learning new foreign languages: The more of them you speak, the better your language skills get, in general. So, being able to communicate well with our non human friends of any kind (and I do not mean giving commands to them – which is what most people think of in this regard) can even teach you a thing or two that can be useful in communication with fellow humans.

But this is getting off topic. Sorry!

What I want to say is, having a four legged best friend doesn't keep one from having a best human friend, or a bunch of Camino friends, also :)
 

domigee

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
2022 CF
You will not get into (most) albergues with a dog.
I would protest and demand you sleep outside: I am allergic to dog (and cat) hair.

I stayed in one brand new, super clean albergue. Lied down for a nap and woke up covered in fleas that were apparently coming out of the pillow!!!
Of course, discreetly told the HORRIFIED hospitalera, who then told me she had allowed a pilgrim in the room with his dog. Her last words were 'never again!' :eek:
 

MinaKamina

Eclipsigrina ~ August 12, 2026
Time of past OR future Camino
Jacobspad 2017
Depends on the dog. I have yet to see a newfy who would like the trip in the summer. I had a Newfy/ Great Pyrenee mix who would have absolutely loved the trip in the winter and would have gladly carried my pack.

My idea of True Romance! :)
 
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SYates

Camino Fossil AD 1999, now living in Santiago de C
Time of past OR future Camino
First: Camino Francés 1999
...
Last: Santiago - Muxia 2019

Now: http://egeria.house/
I didn't get dogs just to abandon them so I could go off on my own.

There is a huge difference between abandoning a dog/dogs so that you can go off on your own and leaving them with caring people instead of taking them to an environment (the Camino) that is potentially extremely stressful to them. Buen Camino, SY
 
Time of past OR future Camino
2002, Toulouse/Aragon 2005, Cami S Jaume/Aragon 2007/9, Mont Saint Michel/Norte/Vadiniense 2011, Norte/Primitivo 2013, Norte/Primitivo 2014. Norte 2015, Cami S Jaume/Castellano-Aragonese 2016
@alexwalker,

So, in most cases, advice to better leave the dog at home while walking the Camino should be good advice. Still, I do think it unfair to generalize and say no, never, and everyone who thinks about it must be "stupid".

Because, there really are responsible dog owners out there, with well behaved, friendly dogs, capable of not only doing the Camino with their owner, but enjoying it. I met one of those, so they do seem to exist. It was a joy meeting the two. That kind of dog accompanying their owner can be a gain (certainly was, for me, even though only walked with them for half a day), and it saddens me to think that someone would think this pilgrim to be doing something "stupid", because quite obviously, that was not the case.
:)

Over 8 Caminos I think I have run into over two dozen dogs with their owners. As I think I mentioned above, I have met two dogs who appeared to be enjoying it. That's not a great percentage. My counsel to anyone is to examine their motivations carefully, thinking more than feeling, and then to leave the dog with a trusted friend or carer.
 

Magwood

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
See signature line for links to daily posts to blogs from many caminos
I live in Spain and have a spanish 'campo' dog. He walks with me in the mountains day after day, up to 35 kms. He loves it...when the weather is to his liking. When it is hot he dashes from one patch of shade to the next and he hates being wet.

I have also come across a few dogs walking the Camino. One peregrina gave her dog her sleeping bag so he had something familiar whilst he slept in the albergue garden and she shivered all night with no bedding.

Another dog that had been picked up along the way suffered a muscle strain from over exertion and needed vet's attention and bed rest.

On Camino I find I have enough to deal with looking after myself without having to worry about my dog, who runs free with me at home, but would probably need to be leashed most of the time in a strange environment, which he wouldn't enjoy too much. I miss my friend terribly when I am away, but I know it is best for him.
 

Smallest_Sparrow

Life is rarely what you expect or believe it to be
Time of past OR future Camino
2012: most of some, all of a few, a bit of others
For the many excellent reasons listed I applaud your decision to leave your little friend safe and happy at home. I do want to say that I didn't see Spain as less dog-friendly than the US. Perhaps it's perceived as such when people try to do things that wouldn't be allowed at home (e.g. take them into stores, restaurants, grocery markets, museums, public transport, many hotels, let run around off-lead, etc), because otherwise they'd miss out on pilgrim experience/fun.
My sister breeds/shows English mastiffs and I've always loved being around dogs--so I'd often stop and talk to locals about theirs. I think Spaniards may not object to dogs so much as health code violations and bad behavior.

Edit: for what it's worth, not a day passed that I couldn't get a dog and cat fix from a local's pet
 
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Smallest_Sparrow

Life is rarely what you expect or believe it to be
Time of past OR future Camino
2012: most of some, all of a few, a bit of others
There is a huge difference between abandoning a dog/dogs so that you can go off on your own and leaving them with caring people instead of taking them to an environment (the Camino) that is potentially extremely stressful to them. Buen Camino, SY
Exactly. In fact, I worried about one of my two cats, who was very distrustful of anyone but me, and how he would do while I was gone. Rather than the cat sitting service I usually used for the odd night I worked late, I convinced a very nice fellow cat-lady neighbor to watch them. She enjoyed it because her house was being renovated so she could get peace and quiet three doors down. And Tammuz learned to let someone else into his life. Dogs and to an extent cats live in the moment. They will miss you, but won't realize how long you've been gone, and won't remember once you return.
 
Time of past OR future Camino
I live next to the Grand Châtenet section
For the many excellent reasons listed I applaud your decision to leave your little friend safe and happy at home. I do want to say that I didn't see Spain as less dog-friendly than the US. Perhaps it's perceived as such when people try to do things that wouldn't be allowed at home (e.g. take them into stores, restaurants, grocery markets, museums, public transport, many hotels, let run around off-lead, etc), because otherwise they'd miss out on pilgrim experience/fun.
My sister breeds/shows English mastiffs and I've always loved being around dogs--so I'd often stop and talk to locals about theirs. I think Spaniards may not object to dogs so much as health code violations and bad behavior.
Some good points but one my two are off lead running 95% of the time, t put them on a lead is as alien as me putting anything other than flipflops or sandels on.
 
Time of past OR future Camino
Us:Camino Frances, 2015 Me:Catalan/Aragonese, 2019
Dogs and to an extent cats live in the moment. They will miss you, but won't realize how long you've been gone, and won't remember once you return.
Uh, Beau was peeved with us for a week once we got home and now when we pack to go camping or backpacking he is insistent that we take him with us.
 
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Mhel

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
I'm going in 2017 for the first time
I am writing this as someone who was adopted by a small dog last year on my way to Corcubión. Due to various circumstances, I brought Guapito home with me to The Netherlands but transportation in Spain - at least on buses - was a real problem.

Renfe
does allow dogs on the train but you will need to buy a ticket which is around €5 euros. I had a dog bag which I bought at a Chinese bazaar. No problem but he is only 5 kg. Buses are another story. As another poster mentioned, no matter the size, they must be transported with the luggage!!! I ended up taking a taxi from Finisterre to Santiago!

If people want to know more details on the procedure let me know. In Finisterre a private albergue allowed me in with Guapito but I of course needed to pay for a private room.

I would love to walk a part of the Camino with him (he ran the 22 km we did together and regularly walks with me in The Netherlands) but believe that you need to plan accommodation very carefully. Also if an albergue accepts a dog they will need to sleep in separate, unfamiliar quarters. Depends on the dog but I am not sure that it is nice for them.

Hi LTfit, loved reading your story! I want to walk the Camino Frances this year (may, june, july) and I'm preparing like crazy to get everything ready. I want to take my 8 kg (ok, 8,7 kg) small dog with me. She won't be walking the camino all the way, I'l take a dogcar or something with me. I'm trying to figure out the best way to gat to St Jean Pied de Port with dog and dogcar and I'm really interestes in this procedure you're talking about. What do you mean with that? Hope to hear from you!
 

Mhel

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
I'm going in 2017 for the first time
@Mhel it is your first camino. Do it by yourself before you sentence your dog to it.
Hi Kanga, thanks for replying and caring :). If I conclude that walking the Camino will harm her in any way, I'm just not going. Simple as that. After reading different stories, the harmful part could be having the dog walk the whole Camino (in that heat) and having the dog sleep separate from the owner. I got solutions for both. What are more reasons, you think I shouldn't take her with me? Please know, I take it very seriously. Hope to hear from you also!
 

Bradypus

Migratory hermit
Time of past OR future Camino
Too many and too often!
We cannot always have our cake and eat it. Owning a dog means making choices and some sacrifices. For 10 years my walking was restricted because I owned a devoted (obsessively possessive!) three-legged one-eyed rescue dog. He brought me great joy but also limited my range of movement a great deal. I felt a deep responsibility to put Woody's welfare ahead of my own whims. That can be frustrating. Walking the caminos is not an unconditional universal right. I would suggest that those who truly believe that they and their dog are inseparable should accept that now is not the time to walk the caminos.
 
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Kanga

Moderator
Staff member
Time of past OR future Camino
Francés x 5, Le Puy x 2, Arles, Tours, Norte, Madrid, Via de la Plata, Portuguese, Primitivo
@Mhel walking the Camino is not easy. Unless you are used to walking 800km it is a long, long way. Many people do not make it. This forum is made up of people who have walked and survived, and those who are in the planning stage and so are enthusiastic. The ones who have started the Camino but dropped out early (and there are many) don't tend to be among our members. So I think sometimes new members get a rather slanted view of the Camino. At 8 kilos, your dog is not a "pocket dog", and you are not going to be able to carry her and your own pack (average about the same, i.e. 8 kilos), plus supplies of dog food and additional water, for any great distance. So your dog will have to walk a long way too. People get blisters, swollen knees, hip pain, tendonitis, sunburn, suffer from exposure to heat, exposure to cold, pouring rain, endless mud, wind and dust. Your dog will face the same conditions. And, additionally, for dogs there are the problems of hard rocky surfaces, sore (raw) paws, terrible burrs on some parts of the camino, and the stress of unfriendly local dogs protecting their patch. Plus not being admitted into any accommodation in which you may sleep - your dog will always have to sleep apart from you unless you are planning on taking a tent - which will add further weight to your pack.

You could get your pack transported all the way, that would help, and you could spend lots of money on taxis. But you will still have trouble with accommodation (dogs just are not accepted inside, pretty much anywhere on the Camino). And is that the Camino you want?

I have seen happy dogs on the camino, it is possible. But I also had the experience of walking with someone who finished up by calling her mother to drive all the way from Belgium to collect her dog and take it home. And I have also seen some very miserable, very stressed dogs.

I just think that it makes more sense to walk the camino by yourself first. Then you could think about a second camino with your dog.
 

Mhel

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
I'm going in 2017 for the first time
@Mhel walking the Camino is not easy. Unless you are used to walking 800km it is a long, long way. Many people do not make it. This forum is made up of people who have walked and survived, and those who are in the planning stage and so are enthusiastic. The ones who have started the Camino but dropped out early (and there are many) don't tend to be among our members. So I think sometimes new members get a rather slanted view of the Camino. At 8 kilos, your dog is not a "pocket dog", and you are not going to be able to carry her and your own pack (average about the same, i.e. 8 kilos), plus supplies of dog food and additional water, for any great distance. So your dog will have to walk a long way too. People get blisters, swollen knees, hip pain, tendonitis, sunburn, suffer from exposure to heat, exposure to cold, pouring rain, endless mud, wind and dust. Your dog will face the same conditions. And, additionally, for dogs there are the problems of hard rocky surfaces, sore (raw) paws, terrible burrs on some parts of the camino, and the stress of unfriendly local dogs protecting their patch. Plus not being admitted into any accommodation in which you may sleep - your dog will always have to sleep apart from you unless you are planning on taking a tent - which will add further weight to your pack.

You could get your pack transported all the way, that would help, and you could spend lots of money on taxis. But you will still have trouble with accommodation (dogs just are not accepted inside, pretty much anywhere on the Camino). And is that the Camino you want?

I have seen happy dogs on the camino, it is possible. But I also had the experience of walking with someone who finished up by calling her mother to drive all the way from Belgium to collect her dog and take it home. And I have also seen some very miserable, very stressed dogs.

I just think that it makes more sense to walk the camino by yourself first. Then you could think about a second camino with your dog.

Hi Kanga, Thanks very much for such a elaborate answer! Making a lot of sense...
 
Time of past OR future Camino
Us:Camino Frances, 2015 Me:Catalan/Aragonese, 2019
I just think that it makes more sense to walk the camino by yourself first. Then you could think about a second camino with your dog.
Peg and I considered taking our dog with us but decided against it. During our camino we could see where problems would occur. I recommend not walking with a dog.

Edited to add: Peg and I are backpackers and we hike with our dog. For two days he is so much better than us but beyond that we have to limit the hiking to 5 or 6 miles a day and even then he shows signs of tiring. Check at home how long your dog can keep up with you day after day. Even if there is no problem there the camino will give you more.
 
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LTfit

Veteran Member
Hi LTfit, loved reading your story! I want to walk the Camino Frances this year (may, june, july) and I'm preparing like crazy to get everything ready. I want to take my 8 kg (ok, 8,7 kg) small dog with me. She won't be walking the camino all the way, I'l take a dogcar or something with me. I'm trying to figure out the best way to gat to St Jean Pied de Port with dog and dogcar and I'm really interestes in this procedure you're talking about. What do you mean with that? Hope to hear from you!

Hi @Mhel
Since writing my above post I walked a week on the Norte with my dog (Santillana del Mar - Gijón). He did wonderfully, walking between 20 and 36 km a day. We ended up doing several 30+ km days in a row simply because I couldn't find a hostel that would accept us. I found that to be the biggest deterent and the reason that we didn't walk further. No municipal albergue will accept a dog and only some privates do. Gijón with its train station was a logical place to stop. I loved walking with him (and other pilgrims always stopped to pet him and have a chat) but will probably not do it again. For me the Camino is sharing communal life with other pilgrims, not sleeping alone with my dog in a private hostel.

I met a young guy walking with his dog too but he had a tent and they slept outside.

Re dog health issues: when I returned home I took my dog to the vet (for something else) and told her about the long kilometers. Her comment was that it was a lot but looked at his paws and said "they look fine so I wouldn't worry".

I guess that you just don't know how our furry friends will adapt. By looking at my 5 kilo ball of hair I would never have expected him to be so strong and enjoy walking so much. He literally ran around like a nut along the beach after our 36 km stage!

Let me know if you are still thinking of this option or need help.
 

Mhel

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
I'm going in 2017 for the first time
Hi @Mhel
Since writing my above post I walked a week on the Norte with my dog (Santillana del Mar - Gijón). He did wonderfully, walking between 20 and 36 km a day. We ended up doing several 30+ km days in a row simply because I couldn't find a hostel that would accept us. I found that to be the biggest deterent and the reason that we didn't walk further. No municipal albergue will accept a dog and only some privates do. Gijón with its train station was a logical place to stop. I loved walking with him (and other pilgrims always stopped to pet him and have a chat) but will probably not do it again. For me the Camino is sharing communal life with other pilgrims, not sleeping alone with my dog in a private hostel.

I met a young guy walking with his dog too but he had a tent and they slept outside.

Re dog health issues: when I returned home I took my dog to the vet (for something else) and told her about the long kilometers. Her comment was that it was a lot but looked at his paws and said "they look fine so I wouldn't worry".

I guess that you just don't know how our furry friends will adapt. By looking at my 5 kilo ball of hair I would never have expected him to be so strong and enjoy walking so much. He literally ran around like a nut along the beach after our 36 km stage!

Let me know if you are still thinking of this option or need help.

Hi LTfit, yes I'm still thinking about it. My dogs health and happiness is my priority, but before I give up on everything, I want to explore all my options :). I would love to know more about your week with the dog and your way to the camino and back, traveling with a dog. I live in Utrecht, don't know if that is any where near where you live, but maybe you'd like to chat with me once about your experience? If not, no problem! Next week I'll be joining a Genootschapsborrel here, so hopefully I'll meet more people who did it this way. Have a great weekend!
 
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J Willhaus

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
2016, 2022
We only a few dogs walking (or being carried) by owners last summer.
One was a dachshund who had to be carried much of the time due to the sores on its feet. We saw the owner turned away from several albergues because of the dog.
A Spaniard we met told us he had walked the Camino 52 times and his pregnant dog had walked 7 times. They did not seem to be staying in albergues.
We saw a third gentleman who was turned away the albergue because of his dog.
A fourth young woman had stopped at a new albergue outside of Fromista with her dog and was living in a tent because the dog had taken ill and could not travel. She was working part-time for the owners and sleeping in a tent with her dog in exchange for meals and a place to camp. The sick dog was not allowed inside the albergue.
 

MinaKamina

Eclipsigrina ~ August 12, 2026
Time of past OR future Camino
Jacobspad 2017
This website features a list of albergues and campings that allow dogs (Camino Francés):
http://www.caminoconmiperro.com/de_santiago/alojamientos.html

PeRRegrinos are advised to book in advance, just to be sure they have a place to stay at the end of the day.
There are lots of practical tips, all in Spanish.

Don't walk in the summer if you take your dog, and get him Kevlar boots to protect his feet.
 

LTfit

Veteran Member
@Mhel
I'm in Leiden so I am certainly open to meeting.
In the fall I was already in Spain with my dog (was there for 4 months with a car) so travelling was not an issue. To get back to the car we took the train. Otherwise travelling on the plane with a dog up to 7 kilos is a breeze, they can come on with you. Mine stayed quiet at my feet but then again the flight was only a few hours.
 

JCarpenter

Member
Time of past OR future Camino
2022
I love most dogs, but I think bringing one on the camino is possibly intrusive and disruptive to locals. I noticed this past summer that more local dogs were on a leash. I wonder if laws changed. I also noticed in very small villages the dogs were chained up more than they used to be. While that is a safer thing for pilgrims going by, I wondered if it were because of the increased number of pilgrim dogs. I did see an argument between a pilgrim (with his dog on a leash that was long enough to wander just a bit into a driveway,) and the homeowner who was trying to relax at the end of the day with his dog. A spat between dogs started the thing. I felt for the home owner, who for years has probably been able to sit peacefully with his dog in his own yard. I also saw plastic bags along the way.
 

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