I’m sure you’ve often wondered if it would be possible to do the Camino de Santiago with your furry companion. The answer is YES! All of us who have a dog know how complicated it can be at times, to plan holidays or escapes in which we can take our faithful companion with us. If you are thinking of doing the Camino de Santiago, you are in luck! The route has all the necessary infrastructure for you to enjoy this experience with your dog.

Obviously, planning the path with a dog means programming more things than we need to do on our own, but don’t worry! In the following lines we tell you everything you need to know about it. Take note!

What should you consider before starting the Way with your dog?

First of all, you should think about which route of the Way choose. With dog, we recommend you to pick the French or the Portuguese Way, as they are the best prepared routes for the needs of your furry friend. Of course, we also advise you to do the route with a duration of around 120 kilometres. A longer route can become a real ordeal for your pet.

Physical preparation of the dog

Just like you, he’ll have to prepare himself. We recommend that you spend at least a month walking your dog every day for at least 2 hours. If it’s possible, try to combine walks on asphalt, and dirt and gravel roads. If you can spare one day a week to go for a walk in the mountains, much better!

All the trips to do the Camino de Santiago with your dog

Schedule accommodation and travel

Making the Way with your pet means leaving nothing to chance. Before starting the journey, you should be sure to do so with all the daily accommodation bookings made. The same goes for travel. As far as the latter is concerned, we advise you to use your car whenever possible to get to the starting point of the route. Once you have finished, if you are several people, you can go by public transport at the beginning of the route to pick up your car. Otherwise, you can hire a taxi service that admits dogs.

As all these steps can be a little bit complicated, if you wish you can hire the Way with your dog with us. We will make sure that all your accommodation and transport services are guaranteed.

What time of year to choose?

It is advisable to do this in spring or autumn, thus avoiding the excessive heat of summer. Bear in mind that the road runs on asphalt in some sections and if it gets too hot it burns, so your dog’s pads will suffer a lot.

Sunrise with your dog

What to put in your pet’s backpack?

Once the Way is programmed, it’s time to prepare the backpacks. Make a note of the essential things you need to carry in your dog’s backpack:

Documentation of the animal: veterinary booklet and documentation.

Blanket or sleeping mat: so he has his own place to rest.

Towel: quick-drying.

Portable feeder and drinker

Canicross harness and belt: so you can walk without holding the strap and everyone will be more comfortable.

A small sack of food: just in case, it’s never too much to carry some feed in single doses.

“Prizes”: some snacks to reward him.

Water and cooler: to take with you during the stages.

Raincoat and scarf: in case of bad weather

A toy: a kong ball to play with.

Waste collection bags

Pure Vaseline for the pads: to put on every day at the end of the stage.

Pest repellent: in spray or collar format. It is advisable to have put it on before starting a pipette or anti-parasite tablet.

When walking with a dog, we recommend that you hire a luggage transport service, since between your things and the dog’s, it will be too heavy to carry during the stage.

 Signs and dogs on the road

Dog Care on the Way

During the stages, you must take into account the following care for your companion. Think that your dog needs considerations on your part so that the two of you can enjoy the experience together.

-Hydration: it is important to always carry the portable drinking fountain in the backpack we carry during the stage. The animal will need to drink frequently, so always carry a bottle of water with a cooler.

-Heat: closely related to the above. To avoid it, try to walk early in the morning and offer him water regularly. It is also advisable to stop and rest in shady places.

-Food: always carry some food with you during the stage, so that you can replenish your strength. And above all, lots of prizes to cheer him up! Although usually, experience tells us that they go the sea of happy always.

-Make sure you take care of the pads: although it is recommended that you apply the Vaseline at the end of the stage, make sure you check that you have them well so that they are comfortable. If necessary, apply Vaseline during the stage or at breaks.

-Tied up or loose?: You have to take into account that there will be more dogs, both on the route and in the villages you pass through. If you go alone, take him loose, but if you see that you are going through a very crowded area or that there are more dogs, we recommend that you take him with the harness and the canicross belt.

A pilgrim dog on the road

Having a “perregrino” at home

You should know that there is also a dog tag for your dog! So don’t forget to stamp his at every stage too, so that when he arrives in Santiago de Compostela, your dog will turn into a real “perregrino” and get his official diploma.

Go ahead and have this experience with your pet! If you still have doubts, here’s more.

Design the Camino to suit your needs