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Do the Camino de Santiago with a dog

We organise trips for adventurers with their four-legged companions, offering a unique experience.

Being able to accompany your human family on this rural and endearing adventure will be a great experience for you and your pet.

The Camino becomes a perfect setting to strengthen the bond between you and your dog. Every setp you take together is an opportunity to explore new territory and enjoy the freedom of the great outdoors.

Routes of the Camino de Santiago to do with your dog

The most popular itineraries to do with a dog.

the Camino with pets

French Way with dog

Distance

116km

Stages

5 stages

Difficulty

3/5

Duration

6 nights

Camino de Santiago with dog

Portuguese Way with a dog

Distance

100km

Stages

5 stages

Duration

6 night

Difficulty

2/5

French Way with a dog

The French Way is the most popular route of the Camino de Santiago. Therefore, which has a greater number of infrastructure to accommodate pilgrims. Along the way we can find a wide range of hotels, hostels, guesthouses, cottages… By having a wider range, it will be easier to accommodate all those pilgrims who wish to do the Camino de Santiago with a dog. The more supply, the more possibilities to satisfy travelers of different profiles.

Moreover, taking this into account, it will be easier to adapt the itinerary to be able to do the Camino with a dog. For example, we must take into account the breed of our animal, and its level of physical condition. It is not the same for a young German Braque, full of energy and vitality, than for a Pug, more inclined to a calm and rested attitude. The former will be able to cover the usual number of kilometres in one stage (approx. 20), and even more! But for the second one, we will have to adapt the itinerary, so that he can follow it without complications.

On the French Way, having all the infrastructure mentioned above, it is relatively easy to design tailor-made itineraries. 20 kilometres a day is too much? No problem! We can divide stages in two, even three, and adapt the mileage to the needs of your dog.

They seem small details, but they should be taken into account when considering doing the Camino de Santiago with a dog.

Dog on the Camino de Santiago

Camino de Santiago with a dog from Sarria

The Camino de Santiago with dog from Sarria is undoubtedly the most popular alternative for those who decide to undertake the adventure. This is the busiest section of the Camino de Santiago, marking its last 100 km (the minimum necessary to obtain the Compostela). Therefore, it is relatively easy to find pet-friendly accommodation.

If, as mentioned above, 20 km per day is too much for your dog, the stages can be divided. For example, the stage from Sarria to Portomarín is 23 km. It is possible to divide it in 2, and spend the night in Morgade; or from Palas de Rei to Arzúa, which is 28 km, it is possible to spend the night in Melide. The same applies to the rest of the stages (something more complicated in other routes of the Camino de Santiago, where accommodation between stops is more limited).

Just keep in mind that if we opt for this option (splitting stages in two), it will take us twice as long to complete the route.

Another aspect to consider if we are thinking of doing the Camino de Santiago with dog from Sarria, is the time of year. Keep in mind that during certain months of the year (particularly in summer) this section gets crowded. Therefore, we always recommend booking well in advance, in order to be able to guarantee accommodation. Particularly if you are going to do the Camino de Santiago with a dog, as this limits the options available.

Portuguese Way with a dog

Both the Portuguese Way and the Portuguese Coastal Way are good alternatives to do the Camino de Santiago with a dog. Both routes have a sufficient number of pet-friendly accommodation, which allows us to guarantee that you can complete them with your best friend. At least the Galician part, from Tui to Santiago, or from A Guarda to Santiago.

We must bear in mind that these routes pass through small rural areas, with very limited urban centres. For this reason, it is possible that our accommodation is not in the centre itself. This is the case of Redondela, for example. The town centre hardly has any accommodation with private rooms with bathroom, so we will have to resort to other accommodation along the route, or to Arcade.

But if we approach the Camino with a certain flexibility, there will be no problem in completing it!

Dog on the Camino de Santiago

Primitive Way with a dog

What happens in the case of the Primitive Way with a dog is that it is a less prepared route in terms of infrastructure, and less accessible. For this reason, except in the large urban centres that the route crosses (such as Oviedo or Lugo), accommodation is limited in the rest of the points.

This is not to say that it is not possible to do the Primitive Way with a dog, but you should be open to new accommodation possibilities, if this is your intention. For example, you may have to spend several nights in the same hotel and use transfers to and from the hotel, or look for alternative accommodation (such as flats or private houses). Also, bear in mind that many of these accommodations close in the low season (usually November to March), so this route will require some extra planning.

Northern Way with a dog

If you are thinking of doing the Northern Way with your dog, the situation is similar to the Primitive Way. This year we have received several requests for this route, but unfortunately it does not have as many options as the French Way. What we can also contribute, in addition to what we mentioned in the previous section, is that there are rural houses along the Northern Way suitable for dogs. The problem is that they are full rental houses, so if you are only one person doing the Camino de Santiago with dog, the final price would be very high.

This circumstance is softened in the final stretch of the Northern Way, as the route joins the French Way. From Arzúa, we will not find so many difficulties to book pet-friendly accommodation.

Dog on the Camino de Santiago

How are our trips on the Camino de Santiago with a dog?

Being able to accompany your human family in this rural and endearing adventure will be a great experience for your pet.

Our trips include all the services you need to enjoy the Camino de Santiago together: Accommodation in a private room for you and your pet, luggage transport between stages, private transfers, travel insurance, 24h assistance, etc.

The routes we recommend for pilgrims with dogs are the French Way from Sarria and the Portuguese Way from Tui, as they are the two best suited for travelling with pets.

Dogs on the Camino de Santiago

Duration of the trip

It will depend on the type of experience you are looking for. We recommend routes with a duration of 5 stages and 6 nights.

Level of difficulty

Our tours for pilgrims with dogs on the Camino are designed so that pets and adults of any age can easily complete them.

Flexible pricing

Some travel services are flexible. You can add or remove services according to your needs. E.g. private transfers, private excursions, etc.

How is the accommodation for pilgrims and their pets?

Please note that not all accommodations allow pets. Therefore, at Galiwonders, we work with accommodations that allow our friends without any inconvenience. You just have to remember that there are certain basic rules of coexistence between people who travel without animals and those of us who love to take them with us.

NOTE: This package is not available for travel in September. From July 15th to September 1st on request. From October 31st to Easter only the French Way from Sarria and the Portuguese Way from Tui are available. Only one pet per room is allowed (no weight limit).

Twin room at the DP Cristal guesthouse in Sarria.

The Canine Credential (Perregrina)

The Asociación Protectora de Animáis do Camiño (APACA) promotes dog participation in the pilgrimage, offering since 2018 a canine credential, along with its corresponding certificate. If you book with Galiwonders, we send it to your home for free.

The credential lacks official character as it does not have the seal of the Catholic Church, but represents an advance to raise awareness among pilgrims about the abandonment and mistreatment of animals on the Camino de Santiago.

It works in the same way as the Pilgrim’s Credential, so you will also have to stamp it during your route. After filling in the corresponding details on their website, you must pick it up at the association’s headquarters, 7 kilometres from the centre of Santiago de Compostela. To do this, you must coordinate with the people in charge of the association via Whatsapp or a call to the number 604028306.

Canine credential

Services included in our trips to the Camino with dog

Accommodation

We provide you with standard accommodation in a private room with en-suite bathroom.

Half board

The Camino trips with dog include half board (breakfast and dinner).

Luggage transfer

A private driver will transport your luggage between the different stages.

Private transfers

We organise the transfers Airport - Starting Point and Santiago - Airport

Travel insurance

All our tours include travel insurance. Ask for info to know the coverage.

Route notes

You will receive a complete dossier with indications and information about the stages of the route.

Credential

On the day of your arrival you will receive a landyard at the hotel with your and your dog's credentials (optional).

24/7 assistance

Our emergency telephone number will be available to you 24 hours a day during your trip.

Tips and frequently asked questions if you are going to do the Camino with your dog

Is it possible to do the Camino de Santiago with a dog?

They say that, in today’s age, our pets are the new children. Many people at some point in their lives have made the decision to take in a new best friend: a dog, a cat, a tortoise…? Probably the most common, if we consider doing the Camino de Santiago with a pet, is with the dog. It can be difficult to travel with a cat for example, if it has not been accustomed from puppyhood. The cat is a very territorial animal that finds it very stressful to get on a means of transport. Let’s just say that they don’t like to leave their comfort zone.

However, the dog is a pack animal, used to walking among people. Being able to accompany his human family in this rural and endearing adventure will be a pleasant experience for him. In fact, as proof of this, is the term perregrino, already coined and increasingly present in the Camino de Santiago. Proof of this is that now even dogs can earn their Compostela, and there is even a canine credential. Both documents work just like a human pilgrim. This is an initiative promoted by the Asociación Protectora de Animáis do Camiño (APACA).

Paw and a human hand

  • 🔗 Stronger bond: walking side by side for miles creates a unique connection between you and your dog. Sharing the Camino experience strengthens the emotional side, creating memories that will last a lifetime.
  • 🏃‍♂️ Exercise and well-being: the Camino de Santiago is a physical challenge and having your dog by your side encourages you to stay active. You will both enjoy the opportunity to exercise outdoors, which contributes to physical and mental well-being.
  • 🧭 Exploring together: your dog is a loyal and curious adventure companion. Together you can explore new landscapes, discover picturesque spots and have experiences that will strengthen your bond.
  • 📵 Total disconnection: getting away from the daily routine and immersing yourself in nature with your dog allows you to completely disconnect. The simplicity of the Camino, combined with the company of your pet, gives you the opportunity to release stress and enjoy the present.
  • 🐶 Constant companionship: on the Camino, you will never be alone. Your dog’s constant and loyal presence provides companionship, emotional security and a sense of shared adventure that makes every day special.
  • 🗣️ Social integration: dogs are excellent social facilitators. As you walk, you can interact with other pilgrims who have also brought their furry companions, bonding and sharing stories.
  • 🥇 Sense of shared achievement: crossing the finish line of Santiago de Compostela with your dog is a shared achievement that reinforces teamwork and overcoming challenges together. It is an experience that will strengthen mutual trust.
  • 🌱 Celebration of nature: your dog will enjoy the freedom to run, explore and experience the natural environment. The beauty of the Camino becomes even more special when you share these moments with your canine companion.

Before embarking on this adventure, it is advisable to have a medical check-up, in the same way as for our animals. So you will know if everything is ready to do the Camino de Santiago with a dog, without major complications. The breed and age are also important when designing the itinerary. It is not the same for a young and active dog, than one of an older and calmer breed.

Dog on the Camino de Santiago

In addition, it is important that the dog has an identification tag or microchip and the official health card up to date. As for the means of transport, remember that if we are travelling in our own vehicle, the dog must be tied up with a harness with one or two anchors. We can also opt for a carrier, which is necessary if we are travelling with the dog on public transport.

Essential equipment

Carrying the right equipment is essential to ensure your dog’s comfort and safety during your trip. Make sure you have a sturdy and comfortable leash, a harness that avoids pressure on the neck and clear identification with your contact information. In addition, your pet’s documentation is crucial to overcome any eventuality. Here is a more detailed list:

  • Veterinary health certificate and rabies vaccination document: be sure to carry physical copies of these documents for any veterinary emergencies.
  • Identification certificate with microchip and vaccination record: key documentation to verify your dog’s identity and health.
  • Canine mackintosh: prepare your dog for any unexpected changes in the weather.
  • Quick-drying towel: specifically designed for animals, it makes it easy to dry your dog after rain or puddles.
  • Foldable water bowl: Made from waterproof fabric, this compact accessory is ideal for keeping your dog hydrated anywhere on the trail.
  • Food and food bowl: carry at least two kilos of food in ration bags.
  • Poop bags: show responsibility at all times, as you’ll be travelling through a variety of areas, both rural and urban.

Hydration

Make sure you carry enough water for both of you. Water sources can vary and it is essential to keep your dog well hydrated during your hike. Preferably use a collapsible water bowl, as this will allow you to control how much your pet drinks.

Food

Calculate the amount of food needed for each day. Carry pre-measured portions in bags to make feeding easier and avoid carrying too much weight. Remember to increase your pet’s normal food ration, as this will help to compensate for the energy expended during the walk.

Leash

Keep in mind that you must consider your dog’s adaptation to the distances of the stages. It is therefore important that you put him on the lead more frequently in the first few days to prevent him from using up all his energy in the first few hours of the day.

Pad care

Protect your dog’s pads with specific footwear for canine pilgrims. This is essential for hard or hot terrain and prevents injury. Also, apply a special pad cream at the end of each day to keep them moisturised and prevent injury.

If you still do not believe that it is possible to do the Camino de Santiago with a dog because it will limit you to visit some places, you have to know that you can find companies that have adapted their activities to be circumstances.

If, for example, you are thinking of doing a guided tour of Santiago de Compostela, from Galiwonders we propose an activity with an official guide who will take you through the city of Santiago de Compostela in the company of your dog. You probably won’t be able to go inside the buildings, but the guide’s explanations are so complete that you’ll be able to find out about every curiosity of the places you visit without missing a single detail. An experience for the whole family!

We must take into account certain factors when planning the Camino de Santiago with a dog. There are breeds that are more active than others, which will enjoy this type of experience more. Among the most active breeds, it is worth mentioning: the Labrador, the Braco, the Dalmatian, the Border Collie, the German Shepherd… Sometimes it has nothing to do with size, as Yorkshire Terriers or Poodles, despite being small animals, are considered very active. On the other hand, among the calmer breeds, it is worth mentioning the Shar Pei, Pekingese, Chihuahua, or even the Saint Bernard.

Just as when we take our dog for a walk, we know if he is looking forward to it and if it is too short, or if it is really too much, the same happens when facing the Camino de Santiago. If your dog is young, active and used to long walks, there will be no problem when planning a standard route. But if we are talking about a small breed, of a certain age, who does not enjoy long walks, doing the Camino de Santiago with your dog in this case would not be the most advisable. Nothing better than appealing to the owner’s own experience and, as always, to common sense 🙂

In Galiwonders we work with several accommodations to do the Camino de Santiago with dog, which admit our friends without any inconvenience. We just have to remember that there are certain basic rules to facilitate coexistence between humans traveling without animals and those who love to take them with us.

Just by checking or asking at the accommodation, we will get out of any kind of doubt about the behaviour with our dog. Although they will not always be able to access all the common areas, many accommodations have spaces where we can be quietly with our friend.

You will also find bars with this option along the Camino. In the warmer months it is common to find terraces where we can have a drink with our dog, while enjoying the sun and the summer breeze.

Also, if we want to give him a bath, for example, in some cities like Santiago there are dog washing centres. They are similar to laundromats, with bathtubs and showers so that our pets can freshen up and feel comfortable after a long stage.

Dogs on the Camino de Santiago

Below we will mention examples in each of the most emblematic stops of the French Way and the Portuguese Way, which are dog-friendly.

Dog-friendly accommodations in the last 100 km of the French Way

Sarria: DP CristalPensión Casa do Gallo Sarria, Pensión Casa Arilo,  Obradoiro, or Aqua Rooms Sarria.

Portomarín: Pensión Mar, Casa do Marabillas or A Fontana de Luxo.

Palas de Rei: Complejo la Cabaña, Casa Blanco or the Pazo de Laia.

Melide: Casa de los Somoza,  Hotel Carlos 96, or Casa Saleta.

Arzúa: Casa Costoya, Pazo de Santa MaríaHotel Suiza, or Del Peregrino.

O Pedrouzo: Pensión CompásCasa Rural O AcivroVila sen Vento, or O Muiño da Pena.

Dog-friendly accommodations in the last 100 km of the Portuguese Way

Tui: Ideas Peregrinas Hotel Alfonso I.

O Porriño: Hotel Internacional

Arcade: Hotel San Luis

Pontevedra: Hotel RúasHotel Galicia Palace, u Hotel Madrid.

Caldas de Reis: Pensión Caldas, Balneario Acuña, u Hotel Sena.

Padrón: Hotel Rosalía

Alojamientos dog-friendly en Santiago de Compostela

Below are some examples of dog friendly accommodation in Santiago de Compostela: Hotel a Tafona do Peregrino, Stellae Luscofusco, Hotel San Lázaro, or the Hotel Oca Puerta del Camino.

If this is the first time you are going to do the Camino de Santiago with a dog, from Galiwonders our recommendation is to start with the French Way. It is a perfect route for beginners, for all the possibilities of customization it offers. A gateway to the great adventure of the Camino de Santiago, which most pilgrims end up hooked. Other well-prepared routes to do the Camino de Santiago with dog are the traditional Portuguese Way, and the Portuguese Way of the Coast.

As in everything, experience is a degree. Once you are familiar with the dynamics of the Camino, you feel like preparing other routes that, a priori, may seem more complex from the organizational point of view.

How to book a trip to the Camino de Santiago with a dog?

Booking is very easy. All you have to do is fill in the form below indicating the dates you want to organise the trip with your dog and we will contact you to give you all the details and proceed with the booking.

Once you have confirmed your intention to travel, we will send you a payment link to your email for card payments or the bank details if you prefer to make a bank transfer.

To confirm the trip, a deposit of 40% of the total price of the trip is required. The 60% will be paid 40 days before the start of the trip (deadline).

Dog on the Camino de Santiago

Why book your Camino de Santiago with dog with Galiwonders?

Galiwonders is a travel agency specialising in trips to the Camino de Santiago. Our team has more than 7 years of experience organizing trips on the Camino de Santiago. And therefore we can guarantee that we will make this an unforgettable experience. Proof of this is that more than 2000 pilgrims make the Camino every year with us.

Your way. Tailor-made.

We will design an itinerary tailored to your needs, preferences and budget and book all the services for you. You enjoy the Camino.

We are on El Camino

Galicia is our home. We have travelled all the routes of the Camino and have direct contact with the service providers on the Camino.

We are travelers too

We speak several languages, have lived abroad and have years of experience in organizing trips for people from all over the world.

An unforgettable experience

Hundreds of pilgrims repeat year after year the experience of traveling with us. We want you to be one of them. And that is why we will strive to make your trip unique and unforgettable.

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