Lithuanians are super welcoming to pets, and with all parks and pet-friendly cafes, you and your pet will feel right at home.
If you’re a cat or dog lover, one of your biggest worries when moving to a new country or city is what you’ll do with your beloved pet. Well, where Lithuania is concerned, there’s no need to worry. With pet-friendly legislation and a society that’s super receptive to your furry friends, both you and your pet will have no problem fitting right in.
Want a fact that illustrates how much Lithuania loves dogs? Both the president and prime minister are proud dog owners. Not only that, Lithuania can lay claim to its very own, and extremely rare dog breed, the Lithuanian Hound. And if you want to know what it looks like, when you get to Vilnius, you can take a trip to Bernardine Park, where you’ll find a popular statue of three of these rather regal-looking hounds.
As we mentioned Lithuania is a very pet-friendly country, so the more the merrier! Bringing your pets here couldn’t be easier, you just need to make sure you follow the rules. Before you leave for Lithuania, your pets need to have been microchipped and vaccinated against rabies, and must have a current certificate of health from a vet. And if you are travelling by plane, on arrival you’ll be asked to submit your pet for a special examination. Once that’s done, you and your pet are free to explore your new home.
In 2017, Lithuanian animal-lovers launched a national campaign Draugiški Gyvūnams (Pet Friendly), aimed at promoting the idea of pet friendliness across the society. And it has so far been able to successfully position its sign in over 1000 places across the country. This sign lets you know that your pet is welcome inside. You’ll find it adorning shops, restaurants, hotels and B&Bs, libraries, in fact all manner of public spaces, in even some of the smallest towns. For a comprehensive list of pet-friendly places, you can visit Draugiški Gyvūnams website.
These days it’s also not out of the ordinary, especially in the country’s thriving startup scene, to find that you have the chance to work remotely for at least part of your week. And you’ll find that cafes in the country’s main cities of Kaunas and Vilnius (and plenty of other places besides) will happily allow you to bring your pet with you. Quite a few of the coworking spaces in both cities are also pet friendly, so you have quite a bit of choice.
Many offices allow bringing your pet whenever you like. It’s also not uncommon for a lot of offices to have specially designated “bring your pet to work” days. This means that you’ll not need to worry about leaving your loved ones at home. And as pets are a great way of making connections, you’ll be able to bond with fellow pet lovers in your new job.
If you’re a fan of an active lifestyle, or just want to escape to nature in your time off, you’ll find Lithuania offers plenty of cool destinations for you and your pet. The cheapest way to get around is by bus. You’ll find that in the main cities both buses and trolleybuses will allow you to take your pet on free of charge. Cats need to be in carriers, and dogs need to be on a leash and muzzled, but they’re more than welcome. In fact, you’ll probably attract a lot of smiles and positive attention from the locals.
Trains are an awesome way to connect quickly and conveniently with some of the country’s more remote spots, and again, you’ll find they’re welcome on board. Be aware though, if your dog is not in a carrier and on a leash, you will need to pay a fare for them to travel. You’ll find it’s only 50% of an adult full ticket, though.
Lithuania’s capital, Vilnius, is home to some of the country’s most dynamic startups and largest international companies. It’s also a real architectural treasure trove whose crown jewel is its UNESCO protected old town. And here you’ll discover lots and lots of cafes and small eateries where you’ll be able to take your pet after a day wandering. There’s even Cat Cafe, a visit to which has become a Vilnius tradition. This unique coffee spot is home to a number of felines rescued from the city’s streets. And we’ve not even mentioned all the parks and green spaces that are perfect for a run around. The country’s second city Kaunas is just as pet friendly, with lots of cafes, small eateries, and even museums and galleries that will allow you to bring your pet with you.
One of the great joys of Lithuania is a trip to its coast, particularly the Curonian Peninsula, where sand, sea and forest merge. Here again, you’ll find that your pet is more than catered for. There are specially designated pet beaches, where your dog is able to run free off its leash. And as places like Nida (the main town on the Peninsula) are havens for fans of active holidays, you’ll find that lots of accommodation spots happily accept pets.
So there you have it. If you have a pet, or have always wanted a pet, Lithuania is a great place to live.