For our latest city guide Leona Chapman catches up with fashion photographer and dog momma to Millie, Tory Smith, to get the lowdown on pet ownership in one of our favourite European cities, Lisbon.
How popular are dogs as pets in your city?
These days, dogs are very popular in Lisbon! A few years ago a new law was introduced to give pets more security and to give owners more freedom to adopt a pet and live with it in rented accommodation. This has meant that lots of couples and families are now adopting dogs (which is great!), and the city in general is becoming a lot more pet friendly. As a fashion photographer, a lot of my work is done outside, shooting. So when I'm working in Lisbon Millie usually tags along, and I can tell you first hand, this city loves dogs! Or least they love mine!
Are most places pup friendly or do you have to do your research beforehand?
It's definitely best to do your research if you have a certain place in mind, as a lot of places don't allow dogs. If you're just looking for a café while you're out about, you'll find that there's always clear signage on doors stating whether dogs can enter the premises or not. As its warm and sunny much of the year in Portugal though, most cafés have tables and chairs outside, so even if dogs can't come inside - they're more than welcome to sunbathe on the terrace with you. There are also lots of new bars and café's opening up throughout the city that have a fresh perspective on dogs, so soon I'm sure they'll be welcome inside and out pretty much everywhere!
Are dogs allowed on public transport? Is it easy to get around with your canine companion?
Yes and no! We normally travel by Metro (the tube!) and dogs are welcome if they're on a lead. It's not normal to see a dog on the metro though, so Millie gets a lot of attention when we travel with her, she loves it! However, they are not allowed on buses unless they are in a carrier - that's quite a bit of hassle for us, so we don't usually bother! The same goes for long distance trains and the tram network. When it comes to taxis and Uber's, it's down to the individual driver, so it's best to just give them a heads up beforehand. We've been lucky in the past and all our taxi drivers have been dog lovers!
Do you have any favourite dog-friendly shops / spots in your local area?
To be honest we normally order things for Millie online, as it's more convenient for us, she gets super excited when a delivery comes in! However, El Corte Ingles (kind of like Selfridges) have an amazing pet section! So many treats and toys for dogs, plus a glorious food hall for the owners too! Alongside this, there are lots of new 'pet parlours' opening up in Lisbon! We regularly go to one called IRA for a wash and a trim, they were lovely in there and after an hour with them she came out looking like a puppy, and smelling like a star!
What is your favourite dog friendly café / restaurant to visit?
My personal fave right now has to be Bowls & Bar in Chiado. It's a very cool, modern looking café that serves Instagrammable bowls of goodness all day long. The owners have an adorable Corgi called Alexandre, and so they are always more than happy to welcome new furry friends in to meet him. It's one of those places that you go for breakfast and end up staying for lunch as the food is just so good, plus the coffee is delicious.
Where is your favourite place to go walkies in your city?
I love walking around my local area! It's just so pretty, and never seems to get old as I'm always finding new alleyways and side streets for us to get lost in. The pavements may be narrow in places but people are very respectful of Millie, they're always happy to jump in the road to give us more room (especially at the moment...), so it's easy for us to have a little adventure every day. If we think she needs a good run and a play, there are lots of dog parks situated in public parks nearby. They are pleasantly busy at the weekends, which means there's lots of other excitable pups for Millie to chase around. For a big walk, there is Monsanto which is kind of like Hyde Park but without the tourists and a little more wilderness-y! It's huge! Really great in summer for picnics and the dog loves to stretch her legs running on the fresh grass. A lovely break from the city for all of us.
What is the most unusual activity you have taken your dog along to in your city?
Ha! I wouldn't say that it's unusual, but Millie's first trip to the beach was a very special event! We are blessed with some beautiful beaches within an hour's drive of Lisbon city centre, and some of them are dog friendly. One such beach is Praia da Cova do Vapor, and we travelled out there on a quiet, sunny day last year. We let Millie explore the beach at her own pace, as she was a little nervous of the sand at first, but soon she was running, jumping and burying herself in it at every opportunity! Running along the beach with her as the tide was coming in was lovely, even if she was a little unsure of all this salty water that kept splashing her!
What are your top tips for anyone visiting your city with their pet pooch?
If you're visiting in Summer, always keep water on you, as the weather in the city is very dry at that time of the year. Thankfully it's usually fairly frequent to find shade, but it is easy for dogs and owners to get pretty worn out here, especially with all the hills! In general, it's best to have a short lead and keep your dog close to you. Some of the pavements are a little narrow, and the cars/trams fly by quite close to pedestrians - so if your dog is prone to jumping off left or right, try and keep them near you for safety.
Where can we see more of your work & follow your adventures with Millie?
I am a commercial photographer in London and Lisbon mainly working in fashion and beauty and you can see my latest work by visiting tory-smith.com where you'll also find my contact details if you'd like to get in touch. You can also follow me on Instagram @torysmithphoto to see what Millie and I have been up to!
Thank you Millie and Tory! Millie wears our Kaleidoscope Dog Collar and Kaleidoscope Classic Lead. All Photographs by Tory Smith.