The London transport system (TFL) has become increasing dog-friendly over the years. With anything it is always best to plan ahead, particularly with our four-legged friends. Travelling on London busses, Tubes and Trams are free. Always keep your dog on the lead when travelling in Central London. There are the Central London parks such as Regents Park, Green Park, Hyde Park, Primrose Hill and Battersea park where dogs can be off lead. With London Underground, many of the stations are different. Some have lift only access with the alternative being steep stairs, such as Covent Garden, others are served by escalators and lifts. Only assistance dogs are allowed on the escalators, because their fur, nails or skin could get caught in the moving staircases. People are asked to use lifts. With so many small dogs living in the Capital, you do see people carrying their dogs up the escalator. Some people even have their doggie backpacks Naturally that is a personal preference and you have to be careful. Also the dog has to be used to being carried. Some dogs do find escalators quite scary. If you think your dog will be scared about travelling on the London Underground, here are a few tips: • Introduce your dog on short trips, even if it is 1 stop • Stand near the ticket hall with lots of people walking past so they get used to a busy environment • Introduce your dog to the lift and then on to the platform. Try and avoid early morning and late afternoon rush hour • If your dog is uncomfortable with London Underground try planning bus routes which are far more scenic • Be aware when travelling that some people are scared of dogs, other will want to stroke your dog. It is all about making sure that your dog is calm when travelling round London • The London Underground can be very hot during the summer months. Make sure you have water for your dog and try to limit your journeys when the heat is extreme
When it comes to pets in general, London has changed over the years. The UK has over 9m pets and that number is growing. Department stores such as John Lewis and the Café Nero chain across the UK have opened their doors to dogs. Businesses realise people come with their dogs to the shops, so they have to allow them, or they will shop elsewhere. Look for the water bowl outside boutiques and cafes for a clue. However, when renting in London for a few days or a few years, dog friendly London rentals are still tricky, with only 10% of London Landlords considering pets. Website such as Pets Lets, Open Rent and Zoopla have a selection of pet friendly London properties.