A Man’s best friend A Man’s best friend

It started a couple of years ago, the nagging. Finally, in September, my armor cracked. Ok, I ceded to the Mrs, it’s time we became three. Stats estimate Warsaw is home to 120,000 dogs, and on September 10th, 2015 that number rose by one as we welcomed Bonnie into the household. For expats also looking to join the canine circle, here’s the brief…

Shelters
5,000 dogs await rehousing in Warsaw’s shelters, the most famous being Na Paluchu (napaluchu.waw.pl). Also try schroniskojozefow.pl or psianiol.org.pl. All animals will have had their shots and most will have been spayed/neutered. Donations of food (especially puppy food) are greatly appreciated as a trade-off.

Trainers
Shelter dogs can be hard work: for an English-speaking trainer Agnieszka Wojtków (660 473 348) is highly recommended and charges zł. 80 per session. For a wider choice, check dogadajciesie.pl. Get your dog socialized by joining the English-language training groups at psieprawy.com. Prices begin at zł. 570 for a 5-hour course. For those working away, look to Asia (facebook.com/joannapetsitter) for a ‘dog hotel’ service. Lodgings are zł. 50 per night (plus food) with Asia stressing that your dog will not at any point be caged.

The Law
Owners of excessively noisy dogs can be arrested, fined or even imprisoned. While muzzles/leashes are not obligatory, failure to control your pooch can result in a zł. 250 fine. If you’re forest walking, your animal must be leashed at all times. Fines of up to zł. 500 can be issued for not cleaning up after your animal, and owners will be held liable should their dog cause any physical or material damage – liability insurance is advised.

Supplies
Check online stores such as pakazwierzaka.info, superdog.sklep.pl, warsawdog.com or sklep.doctordog.pl. All provide ample opportunity to spoil your pet. Beyond food and essentials, Bone Pet Club (petclub.pl) represents the ultimate pampering experience.

Social
For a vast list of dog-friendly venues have a sniff around pieswwarszawie.pl. Insider favorites inc. Limoni Canteri (doggy ice cream!), the specialist canine menu at Przegryź, Pardon To Tu bar for its attitude and the obstacle course at Wilanów Dog Park.

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