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10 Things I Learned About Traveling to Italy With My Dog

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3.    Dogs need outfits, too.

Seymour is a Chihuahua mix and they are known for getting cold. I brought two sweaters and a T-shirt because the weather changed depending which part of Italy we were in. I also didn’t think about how long those clothes would take to dry. We never encountered a place with clothes dryers, so all clothes were either hung in the bathroom or on a line outside a window. One of Seymour’s sweaters was made of a heavy cotton and it took longer than a day to dry. In fact, I’m not sure it was ever completely dry in the 3 months we were there. I ended up leaving that sweater in Italy when we came home. The other sweater was a synthetic and seemed to dry in minutes. Next trip I will bring three quick-drying, but stylish sweaters. After all, Italians are very fashionable people.

4.    Is that favorite stuffed horse really necessary?

I packed Seymour’s favorite stuffed horse, thinking that it would make him more comfortable when he was in his crate. He rarely gave it a sideways glance. There were probably only a handful of hours in the whole 3 months that Seymour was not by my side. I was his stuffed horse! When it doubt, leave it out. Remember, you have to carry all of that stuff, and often your dog, when you travel from place to place.

5.     Bring doggie grooming items.

I didn’t realize how hard it would be to find a place to get his nails trimmed. I was told of one salon in Montepulciano but it was out of town and I didn’t have transportation. I spent much time wandering the streets of each quaint city looking at ancient buildings while keeping my eye out for a dog grooming shop. I did finally knock on the window of a place where I saw dogs being bathed and the woman trimmed his nails free of charge. But the next trip I will bring my own nail clippers. I will also bring his toothbrush and toothpaste. He loved the food he ate in Italy (who doesn’t?), but it gave him unbearable breath. Sleeping next to anyone who hasn’t brushed their teeth in 3 months is a challenge. I could not find a doggie toothbrush anywhere. I would also have brought a package of doggie wipes for a quick all over cleaning about once a week. A clean dog is a welcome dog!