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10 Things I Learned About Traveling to Italy With My Dog

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9.    Use the leash as a pocket. 

Take advantage of what that leash can hold, besides the dog. One woman I stayed with laughed at what was hooked to Seymour’s leash. It was like a doggie charm bracelet. I had his poop bag holder, a collapsible doggie bowl and a small bungee cord dangling from his leash. The poop bag holder was multi-purpose. I would take out the roll of bags and only stuff two or three in the holder, covering the hole. In the back I carried a little money. I figured that if I was pick pocketed, no one would think of stealing the poop bag holder! The folding bowl was indispensable. For myself, I carried a filtered water bottle that I filled up every morning. When Seymour got thirsty, I just opened his bowl and poured in the water. The bungee was useful if I had to tie him somewhere beside me for a moment. He was thrilled to lie in the sun while I munched on a piece of pizza and I was happy that he was safe beside me.

10.    What I won’t bring next time…

I read all of the information I could find on the Internet related to bringing a dog to Italy. Some of the information was good and some didn’t work for us. I wouldn’t bring pee pads again. Seymour didn’t know how to use them when we were at home, so I don’t know what made me think he would magically use them on our trip. I had great plans to take him into the ladies’ room between flights, put down a pad and say “pee.” I did, but he didn’t. I read that they need a muzzle and that I’d have to show it upon request. Not one person asked to see the muzzle. I spent many hours trying to find one that would fit Seymour. If I forget to bring it next time, I won’t stress over it.

What I will bring next time is my best friend, Seymour. He opened doors (not literally) to communication. We were often mistaken as locals: Tourists would use broken Italian to try to ask me for directions, and Italians would speak fluent Italian while gushing over him. He was good company when I got lonely, he took up very little space, he made me laugh every day, and we never once got into an argument. That’s what I call a perfect travel companion.

For more information on traveling with a pet, check out:

By Susan Rigby for Follow Susan and Seymour’s travel adventures at