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Reader’s report: Visiting Loire Valley châteaux with a small dog

I first “met” Christie when she left a comment on a post I’d written about PetEgo’s Pet at Work travel carrier, asking whether I thought it would work as an in-cabin carrier — she and her husband were headed to France with their dog Miso, and the Pet at Work backpack had caught their eye. As you’ll see, they spent some time in Paris, and then headed off to the Loire Valley. Here’s Christie’s report (she actually posted two separate comments, which I’ve combined into one):

The beautiful and dog-friendly Château de Villandry (photo by Joe Shlabotnik)

Paris is so dirty compared to the countryside. We have enjoyed our stay in the Loire Valley a lot more with its expansive grass and beautiful gardens. So far, Miso’s favorite spot has been Chateau Villandry. Chateau Villandry and Chenonceau allowed Miso into their gardens. To enter the chateaus, she needed to be in her bag or in your arms.

BEWARE of Chateau Royal in Blois and Chateau Chambord: Neither allows dogs at all (Chambord has recently changed their policy and no longer allows dogs). We were lucky enough to convince Chambord to keep her at the front desk while we toured the interior of the chateau. In order to enjoy Chateau Royal in Blois, we ended up staying the Hotel de France down the slope from the chateau for less than 50 euros. We left her in the room for 1 hour while visiting Chateau Royal.

How useful! I’m sorry that the last two châteaux Christie mentions ban dogs, but I’m thrilled that you can take your small dog inside (inside!!) the Château de Villandry and the Château de Chenonceau, and that you can walk your leashed dog around their gardens. The rest of Christie’s message is not so positive — I wonder if we too will encounter unfriendly dog owners when we visit Paris next month?

I’ve been boggled by the number of unfriendly French dog owners around. In both Paris and the Loire Valley, we have encountered only 3 friendly pet owners who allowed their pets to greet our dog. Everyone else seems to always drag their dog along and/or pull their pet to the other side of the curb to avoid us. I had envisioned a grand “social” event walking down the streets of Paris and small towns of Loire. I’ve been very much disappointed by the other pet owners. However, it has been great being able to dine indoors with my pet, boarding trains/buses and entering most tourist sites.

Thanks so much, Christie, for all of this helpful information — it’s so appreciated!

13 comments

  • Château du Petit Thouars

    Dogs are very welcome to accompany their owners to wine tastings at our château and vineyard in the Loire Valley, near Chinon!
    We would be more than happy to receive any Dog Jaunt readers!

    Best,

    Château du Petit Thouars
    in Saint-Germain-sur-Vienne (La Chaussée)
    France

  • Jennie

    One of my students and friends from my dog training club spends half the year in Paris and half the year in Washington DC. She has two fabulous little wire-haired dachshunds who are the best dogs ever. They have impeccable manners, as they must, as they go everywhere with her while in France.

  • Now THAT sounds really appealing to me. I fear that Chloe’s manners aren’t quite impeccable — we need to keep working on that, and on a way to live half the year in Paris….

  • Lys

    All Dog Lovers
    If you want your dogs to say “Hello” to other French dogs come to the Alps. We cannot walk down the strreet without being greeted all the time. One of my dogs is not so friendly and this can be a problem. Not only do the dogs say “Hello” but all the family from toddler to Granny want to join in. It is a dog haven.

  • zadig

    Hi again,

    great time last night in your website so I come back !

    The general idea about dog in France is that in Paris (or big cities like Lyon or Bordeaux) nothing is easy. But if you go in the Province it will be easier. For exemple in 2012 we went in Deauville, Honfleur, the Berry and the Jura.
    Deauvilles and Honfleur are two dogfriendly cities. Really.
    The Berry and the Jura they don’t have lots of tourist so I you ask nicelly you could visit the museums with the dogs.

    sorry for my english

    have a great day

    Sabine (and Zadig)

  • So glad you did!!! And your English is excellent — absolutely no need for apologies! Thank you for the info — to me, Paris seemed like a dog owner’s dream, because so many restaurants would let you come in with your pup (and in the U.S., there’s no hope whatever that a museum would say yes). The park situation is not quite as good, though, and those signs (no dogs here!) are disconcerting. It’s very good to know that outside the big cities, things are even easier in France for travelers with dogs.

  • zadig

    hey again
    I have a great new : I learn today that the Clos Lucé Castle (the place where Leonard Da Vinci died) is open for dogs. The park (a huge one) is ok for dog but also the castle (they have to be in a bag). It’s a great new if you plan to visit the Loire area.
    this is the internet website
    http://www.vinci-closluce.com/en/
    the information is in “prepare your visit” and after “useful informations”

    I have to plan a week-end there to try it !!

    Zadig (1 year today !)

  • Zadig

    Heli, it’s been a Long Time since my last visit but i’am currently in the Loire Valley with my dog Zadig. I Will write some articles about Amboise, the Clos Lucé and Chenonceau. For the first Time i Will translate my text. I hope this Will Help your Readers. Bisous.

  • zadig

    hey Dogjaunt, It’s Been a Long Time Since my last visit but …. Guess what ? I’ve Been in nearly all the Castles who allowed dogs in The Loire Valley. It was great fun . As Christie said Villandry is a “must to see”. We’ve been in Langeais Castle, Montsoreau Castle, Azay-le-Rideau Castle, Rivau Castle, Villandry Castle. France is vert dog friendly.
    Taxe care of you.

    Zadig

  • Fantastic, Sabine!! Please write a blog post about your adventures so I can link to it — or write one for Dog Jaunt? We’d love that….

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