Dog parenting / Lifestyle

Why I Love Living with a Dog in Paris

Last September, I became the happy Mum of Kitsu! She’s now a 10-month-old puppy who’s given me plenty of joy and time to experience raising a baby dog in Paris, with all the surprises it entails. It’s time to assess what the past months have been like.

Raising a puppy in Paris has been easier than I initially thought in many aspects: Kitsu is a quick learner and since I work from home most of the week, we get to spend plenty of time together, which makes me very available for her.

Becoming a dog parent in the city didn’t seem like a good idea at first. Of course, my main worry was that Kitsu might need more space than just our flat to spend her time and energy. But it turned out she loves being indoors, as long as I play enough with her (thank her frightful character for that…) She also gets to go places with me, so she doesn’t really have time to get bored.

Although the first weeks were very challenging, mainly because of my not being used to taking care of a baby being, I can say after eight months that we’ve both been adjusting pretty well, I think, to living together in Paris! Here, I’m sharing the main reasons why I don’t regret making the decision of adopting Kitsu in the city, which might help you if you’re considering getting a dog.

Socializing with other dogs & learning from their owners

I’m going to say this is the number 1 reason why I love going out with Kitsu in Paris. When you become a dog owner in this city, you become part of a special community: we face the same challenges, and meet with the same stories to tell, on the streets, in the transports, at the dog park… And when you start going out in your neighborhood, you naturally get to meet other dog owners.

It proved very helpful for me, at the beginning in particular, when I was still at a loss as to how to properly raise a puppy: I met several dog owners who gave me advice and reassured me with their own past experiences with their older dogs. I was very grateful for that, especially as Kitsu was scared and difficult to handle and reassure outside.

Kitsu on her very first days at home in Paris.

This gives you the chance to make new friends (or at minimum get to know some of your neighbours better) and most of all, it gives an opportunity to your dog to socialise with all sorts of other breeds. Although Kitsu was always scared of other human beings, she immediately connects with other dogs. So meeting dozens of them on the street really made her “grow”, as she could see through them that there was no real cause for fright. Little by little, she’s been overcoming her fear.

That’s also how Kitsu met Koba, her now-BFF, and his owner and I became great friends (on top of finding out she works at the same agency I worked for in Amsterdam three years ago, and lives right next door – talk about destiny!) We’ve now gotten into the habit of meeting for nightwalks and Saturday coffee breaks with the dogs.

Discovering dog-friendly places in Paris

This came as a surprise, but I discovered that many restaurants and cafés in Paris are actually dog-friendly! I can count only on one hand the number of times a food place refused Kitsu. It’s also true that she’s exceptionally quiet since she doesn’t like the crowd, so she hides below my chair and doesn’t move until we leave. I was worried she would get too stressed by the noise and crowd at the start so I didn’t take her out that often, but very quickly, she got used to waiting for me under the chair, even starting to fall asleep in restaurants at some point, instead of being alert all the time.

It’s always pleasant when I realise my dog is welcome, just because I feel like she’s a part of my family. I also get a little flummoxed when she’s being refused somewhere, even if I do understand the regulations, obviously. Most restaurants that have a terrace accept dogs outside, but when in doubt, I make sure to phone the place beforehand to ask whether dogs are accepted or not, and they’re very rarely refused. It’s interesting to point out that there are very few green spaces for dogs in Paris (which is really a shame for such a big city) but there are many indoor places where they’re completely allowed!

Take healthy breaks and move around with my dog

There has been a huge improvement in my lifestyle since I’ve become a dogmum! Obviously, Kitsu doesn’t sit at a desk all day long, as opposed to me, and it’s so easy to lose track of time or forget to take breaks when you’re deeply focused on something. Luckily, she’s always here to remind me that she needs to go out, eat, or play! Having her beside me to remind me to take breaks has been a real life savior.

She’s been used to moving a lot since she was a puppy: I didn’t want to leave her alone at home when I had to go to my client’s office for a half-day for instance, or to the pottery workshop – and everybody was so lovely as to invite her to come to the office and the workshop!

Until she turned 6 months, I carried her in a special backpack. Honestly, I loved the look we had together. Gradually, she got used to taking the metro with me and come to the office. Then she took the train, and even the plane to fly to Reunion Island as she was only 7 months old! Travel became part of her life very soon. I will tell you more about flying with a dog in another article!

Today, Kitsu isn’t scared of going to the railway station and hopping on the train any longer. I was super surprised the last time we traveled, to see how excited and all jumpy she was on the platform (she’s rather the opposite usually). So all in all, living with Kitsu in Paris has been an amazing experience, giving me the chance to enjoy the moment and my environment more, by being open to unexpected encounters and sometimes situations! Of course, I’m always concerned of her well-being, which I hope, has contributed to make me a little more responsible? Anyhow, Kitsu definitely changed my life for the better. I hope the converse is true. Thanks Pup ♥️

Kitsu at home – 7 month old (Photo: Tony Trichanh)

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