Dog Friendly ~ Best places to stay and play on Lake Como

Dog friendly advice for travelling and staying on Lake Como.

Where is the best Dog Friendly place to stay on Lake Como?

Dog Friendly

Dog friendly needs a definition first: To some it means they can be there, be quiet, be stationary, not jump on beds or go upstairs in holidya rentals or drop hari anywhere, sti outside restaurants and shops and in reality, not exist! To others, its a come on in, we love dogs and dog friendly means exactly that.

Dog friendly and where to stay and play may also seem like a simple question, but is fraught with all manner of issues. Lake Como has so many faces and not all suit  everybody. Being dog friendly comes with considerations of course. There are certain parts of the lake that suit campers, some that are preferred by Germans, some very busy and some eerily quiet. Some people want to drive, others fly and some come by train.  Where you stay can really affect your holiday due to ferries, the timing, the expense or the things to do!

It depends on what you want, who you go with and what your needs are. We are running a series of blogs on Lake Como and the best places to stay, do and see. This weeks blog is about being dog friendly people those who travel with man’s best friend, their dog or often their dogs, plural!

More and more people are travelling with dogs and with boarding kennels comes real stress. New environment, barking, being left by their owner. There is more concern and with the science behind animal behavior coming to the fore, more people will keep their companions closer and not be parted.

This means that taking your dog around Europe or the world needs thought, preparation and management and forward planning.

Dog Friendly, Labrador Lake Como

Image supplied by Post Gazzette

Dogs Friendly on Lake Como

The first thing to consider is what you are going to do when you get to Lake Como and what are you going to do with your canine friend whilst there. Perhaps your pet is elderly and likes a calm collected and less energetic pace of life, or perhaps like you, they enjoy walks and the great outdoors.

If it is the latter, then Lake Como offers a great variety of hiking options, easy walks  to the more difficult ones for skilled and active hikers.  There are many paths that run between the villages and many that reach up to the mountains. These latter ones have recesses located at strategic points shelter to travellers who are passing through.  If you want an example of  the potential routes then the Via dei Monti Lariani is a six day hike from Cernobbio to Sorico or the the Sentiero delle 4 Valli which is a a three day hike from Breglia to Dasio Valsolda, or the Dorsale del Triangolo Lariono, a two day hike from Como to Bellagio.

The following is a list of dog friendly walks. Please make sure they are well behaved and on-lead where necessary.  The countryside is very clean and cared for, so take poo bags and dispose of correctly.

Beaches for Dogs

Your dog may love swimming and chasing balls! Don’t forget the Lake can be cold in the winter especially after the winter thaw. There are many places to allow your dog to play in the water, but many villages buttress up against the lake without a beach.  Bellano for example has plenty of beach space, but the Como waterfron for example is just that, a waterfront, with no beach.

The following are beaches you and your dog may consider. we cannot guarantee the seasonal allowances as these can change and you will need to check with your accommodation provider close by.

On the Eastern shore :

  • – Abbadia Lariana overlooks the lake is made of white pebbles and allows an easy access to the
  • – Mandello del Lario, further North a small typcial village
  • – Lierna has a  is a well known beach  well known for its natural beauty.
  • – Varenna (a golden triangle town) has a small beach frontage and well hidden small beach the south of the village.
  • – Bellano is a public beach, untouched but also accessible to people with disabilities.
  • Colico at the northern end of the Lake and being more of a flatter topography populr  for those passionate about water sports, sailing, surfing and kite surfing.
  • On the Western shore moving South:
  • – Domaso is a beach with a half sand and half grass.
  • – Gravedona
  • – Dongo is  avery popular beach
  • – San Siro has a small natural beach with a bottom made of small white pebbles.
  • – Menaggio one of the golden triangle town’s has Lerai’s beach.
  • – Cadenabbia has a Lido and a small free beach,
  • – Argegno a nice quiet beach: Stevigor, paved by pebbles and grass.


Dog Italian Entry Rules

Your pet needs to have a microchip, and

  • – Your pet needs to have had a rabies vaccination, after the microchip has been inserted.
  • – You should also have checked with the company you’re travelling with that they accept animals on the route you’re intending to take.

The European Union Pet/Dog Travel Scheme

In 2001, the European Union agreed the Pet Travel Scheme, whereby pet dogs  could be allowed free entry into any EU country as long as the required documentation was in order.  The requirements have changed slightly over time but the scheme is designed to allow dogs to accompany their family on holiday and to allow freer movement of labour.

What is a Dog (Pet) passport?

  • The Pet Passport allows animals freely to cross borders within the European Union.
  • This is a small, blue booklet, written in both English and in the language of the issuing country, otherwise identical in layout for every participating country. Each passport is unique to one animal, has its own identification number just like a person’s passport, and lasts for the duration of the animal’s life.
    • This passport records the dog’s name, family details, microchip number, the date and batch number of rabies inoculations and boosters, and the date and batch number of tick, flea and tapeworm treatments where appropriate. Each of these has to be signed off by a registered veterinarian.  The rabies vaccine sticker must be placed in the passport and also signed off.

Dog PassportIt records the dog’s name, family details, microchip number, the date and batch number of rabies inoculations and boosters, and the date and batch number of tick, flea and tapeworm treatments where appropriate. Each of these has to be signed off by a registered veterinarian and this is a good place to start registering for a per passport.  The rabies vaccine sticker must be placed in the passport and also signed off. The price of a passport and vaccinations etc can reach into the hundreds of pounds and so can kennel costs!

If you’re travelling to Italy with your dog from a country outside the EU, you will need a
European Community Veterinary Certificate for each pet travelling with you.  Your vet should have an up-to-date copy of this. The certificate details the animal’s and owner’s information together with microchip and vaccine information.  It must be completed and signed off by a registered veterinarian.

If you’re travelling from the USA, the certificate has to be endorsed by the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service. Check out
this page on the Department of Agriculture website which keeps all pet travel information updated. Your dog will also have to have been microchipped with a chip which is compatible with the ISO-11784 / ISO 11785 standard – your veterinarian will know about this. The anti-rabies vaccine must be given 21 days before travel if it is the first inoculation.  If a booster has been given before the expiry date of the previous vaccine, there is no need for this delay.
Your pet won’t need any tick or tapeworm treatment to enter Italy.

If you intend to travel on to the UK, a worming treatment must be administered by a vet

Going home or moving on

If you intend to travel from Italy to the UK, you need to visit a veterinarian before you leave for the UK, to have a worming treatment administered and signed off and to have your pet certified as fit to travel. The treatment must be given no less than 24 hours and no more than 5 days before entry into the UK.

For more information about visiting the UK with your dog or cat, take a look at the UK Government site

  • Regulations for travelling back home vary widely from one country to another.  Check with your veterinarian before you travel to make sure you know exactly what you will need to do.
  • If you’re travelling back to the USA this is particularly important, because regulations vary from state to state.  This article from the U.S. Department of Agriculture has updated information about every state’s requirements.

Useful Links

Regulations regarding taking pets from one country to another can sometimes change without notice. For this reason, my article should be regarded as general advice only.  Always check the information on your own country’s website, and discuss what’s needed with your veterinarian as soon as you decide to take your pet out of the country.


The site below promises to be an excellent source of information for dogs travels and dog-friendly cottages in lake como

Don’t forget to ensure your dog has the best food for the journey


Passpawt - Dog Cottages & Accommodation

dog friendly rentals

If you are looking “to do it yourself”, which is often easier with dogs then check out self catering at Lake Como Homes

Dog accommodation Lake como


dog friendly hotel

This is the Albergo del sole in Varenna in the background to the left of the picture in the snow!