Paris is the City of Love—which makes it the perfect city to enjoy with your dog, the love of your life. Though I’ve studied in Paris, have family in France, and have visited Paris several times with friends in the past few years, I had never felt so, er, romantic until that first night Artemis and I drove into Paris, the Eiffel Tower sparkling outside of our right window. “Artémis, we’re here,” I whispered into Artemis’ ear. (In France, Artemis goes by Artémis.) By the end of the night, Artemis had already stolen a baguette slice from me.
First, you need to know three basic guidelines to enjoying Paris with your dog:
- Dogs are allowed in most restaurants, cafés, bakeries, etc. You can safely assume that all vegan restaurants are dog-friendly (or so the reception at The Hoxton tells us!).
- Dogs are restricted in public parks.
- Dogs must be carried in a bag on public transportation. (Bigger dogs need a ticket of their own.)
Unlike our approach to our guide to New York City, it doesn’t make sense to make a list of all the dog-friendly venues in Paris—there would be far too many. There is no law against having dogs inside restaurants, which means each restaurant gets to decide its own policy. Generally speaking, dogs are allowed in most sit-down restaurants in Paris, as long as they are well-behaved and don’t sit on the furniture. (They have to remain on the floor.) Worst case, restaurant management will ask you to move to a corner of the restaurant, far from the other diners. Best case, the waiter will bring your dog a water bowl before they offer you any water. To do Paris like a true French dog, you and your dog should visit the neighborhood brasseries and cafés, sitting calmly at your side while you enjoy a long, leisurely lunch.
That said, the parks and (few) green spaces in Paris are not as dog-friendly. Until February 2019, dogs were not allowed in the public parks of Paris at all! Nowadays, well-behaved dogs on leashes are allowed, but they cannot sit on benches or defecate anywhere. (This is actually strictly enforced—Artemis sat on a bench at the Square du Temple – Elie Wiesel while I ate a sandwich from the Marché des Enfants Rouges, the oldest covered market in Paris, and two policemen politely asked me to keep her off.) Your dog cannot run off-leash in the parks of Paris, and yet, we noticed that many Parisian dogs were excellent at walking off-leash with their owners in the streets. In fact, I’m pretty sure I saw a couple dogs checking for traffic on both sides before crossing.
While Artemis and I spent most of our days in Paris pretending to be locals enjoying our neighborhood brasseries and boulangeries together, there are a few dog-friendly venues for which we would go out of our way:
The Hoxton in 2nd arrondissement
32 Rue du Sentier, Paris 75002
We stayed at The Hoxton, which is famously dog-friendly across all of their properties. Artemis stayed free, though of course, we signed a contract taking financial responsibility for any damages. The hotel did not have dog beds, but housekeeping promptly sent up two pet bowls and a chew toy for Artemis as soon as we checked in. Dogs are not allowed in their restaurants and bars (which is a pity, because they are very Instagrammable), but you can sit in the ambient lounge area with your dog and order from the same menu. The entrance to the hotel is on a small, narrow street, and even on a Friday night, we didn’t worry too much about running into drunk crowds on Artemis’ bedtime walk. You are allowed to leave your dog in your room while you are gone, as long as you put up the “Do Not Disturb” sign for housekeeping.
Bonhomie in 10th arrondissement
22 Rue d’Enghien, 75010 Paris
Bonhomie is a Mediterranean restaurant full of beautiful people and beautiful cocktails, yes, but they also love dogs here, which is why you should come here even if you’re like me and you ask for a “sparkling lemonade” to the disdain of the handsome bartender, who will instead make you a wildly delicious ginger-lemon mocktail. Artemis received plenty of cuddles from waitstaff while I enjoyed rabbit served over fregula (and well, snuck her some rabbit).
Bontemps Pâtisserie in 3rd arrondissement
57 Rue de Bretagne, 75003 Paris
We heard this was one of the best pastry shops in Paris, which should immediately set us up for disappointment. But it didn’t! I enjoyed a Mont Blanc with earl grey cream and chestnut purée in the back of the shop, which is a sit-down tea room. It wasn’t very crowded, except for a couple families, when we came here for a sweet treat in the mid-morning of a weekday.
Jardin du Palais Royal in 1st arrondissement
2 Galerie de Montpensier, 75001 Paris
To be a true Parisian dog, you should just enjoy your walks on the streets together. But if you must go to a park, the Jardin du Palais Royal is full of people walking their dogs. Though you cannot go off leash, it is a fantastic backdrop and opportunity for your dog to, at least, sniff some trees.
Moustaches in 4th arrondissement
32 Rue des Archives, 75004 Paris
This is the best pet store in Paris. We stocked up on Artemis’ favorite dog food brand, Lily’s Kitchen (which has a Royal Warrant from HRH The Prince of Wales), and we found Eiffel Tower-shaped toys and treats if you want to bring a souvenir home for your dog. If we lived in Paris, we’d be shopping here for our pet supplies.
Pet So Chic in 6th arrondissement
16 Rue Dauphine, 75006 Paris
I stumbled upon the Pet So Chic shop (it was, indeed, so chic) on my way to City Pharma to buy enough French sunscreen to last me until my next trip to Paris. What really caught my eye was their leather harnesses, which can be monogrammed on the spot in the shop. You see, harnesses are the most difficult dog accessory to design, and to find one that is both stylish and functional is rare. The next day, I brought Artemis and got her fitted for a forest green harness, which the co-founder Julien embossed on the spot. He told us that the harnesses were designed with consultation by a veterinarian to make sure that the straps sit comfortably and safely against the dog’s torso, even when the dog pulls. There are also (expensive) dog treats, life jackets, bowls designed by Walter Glassof, and more. But really, come here for the leather accessories so your dog can dress like a French girl, er, dog.
And lastly, give your dog a taste of French cuisine for pups…
Petit Chéri is an organic dog food brand from southern France that makes duck with Camargue rice, carrots, fennel, figs and thyme. We found this brand at a tiny pet store and were drawn to it because it resembled a jar of foie gras. Artemis devoured it—and if you’re in Paris, I highly recommend that you buy a jar or two for your dog. Because who goes to Paris without trying the local cuisine?
Photography by Jon Filin