Dogs in Argentina Are Anything But Lonely

Written by: Dr. Katy Nelson

June 8, 2016

From the hustle and bustle of cosmopolitan Buenos Aires to the wide open spaces of breathtaking Patagonia, Argentina proved to me to be one of the most dog-friendly countries that I’ve ever visited. In a country that boasts of great wine and gorgeous vistas for humans, dogs also woofed their way with ease in the city and the countryside. Don’t believe me? This is what I saw.

Buenos Aires Dog Walkers
Walking around Buenos Aires’ Palermo District on my first morning in Argentina, a hip neighborhood that reminded me of a mix of Williamsburg, Brooklyn and the Mission in San Francisco, I was impressed to see a dog walker with eight dogs in tow. It’s a common sight to see these paseadores expertly handle even as many as 25 dogs along the streets of some of the wealthiest parts of the city.


As Incomes Rise, So Does the Pet Population
According to a GlobalPost article, as disposable incomes rise among the middle class in Latin America, more money is spend on pets, especially dogs. Many apartments in Buenos Aires allow pets, making it easy for people to have dogs.


Off-Leash? No Big Deal
Argentine dogs have serious street smarts when it comes to walking off leash. Sometimes, I’d notice a pooch proudly prancing along on the sidewalk with no cares in the world — no leash, no problem! On the busiest streets in Buenos Aires I didn’t notice this as much, it was more common in the less-crowded neighborhoods.

Warning: Watch out for dog poop! People aren’t as vigilant about picking up after their pooches. The stinky stuff is everywhere, like little bombs just waiting to explode on the bottom of your shoes.


Dogs Keeping Guard at a Local Restaurant
At a restaurant in San Telmo, an old neighborhood that hosts a popular weekend market, I saw the cutest and most dapper dachshund keeping watch in front of a restaurant. A sign inside the foyer of the restaurant read something like “Coco The Boss” — a fitting name for the little dog watching over his territory.


Where the Dogs Roam in El Calafate, Patagonia

El Calafate is a small town known as the gateway to the popular Los Glaciares National Park, home to the enormous Perito Moreno Glacier. Tourists arrive in droves in the warmer months to descend upon the town before and after their trip to the glacier. But it’s not just tourists that crowd the sidewalks and outdoor cafes, dogs of all sizes and coats roam freely through the streets of town.


Napping Doges Staking Their Claim
In El Calafate, I noticed that dogs tended to stake their claim by taking a nap in front of a shop or restaurant. Given that most of these dogs are strays, I was curious to see how the locals interacted with them and it seemed to me that they didn’t mind them at all.

Of all the places that I’ve visited, I’d never seen such a balanced interaction between strays and humans. Maybe it was just what I observed in the short time I was there, but it was nice to see these dogs well-received and well-fed.


Wine and Pooches in Mendoza

I couldn’t go to Argentina without visiting Mendoza, the wine capital of the country. After a long day of wine tasting and feasting on farm-to-table food in the Uco Valley outside of Mendoza, my husband and I headed back into town to grab a drink and noticed a cute pooch relaxing at the bar. The casual vibe of the place and the dog-friendly atmosphere made me enjoy my drink that much more!

If you’re planning a trip to Argentina, don’t go just for the excellent wine and juicy steak, go for the dogs. The Argentine pooches were definitely one of the highlights of my trip!

Written by: Dr. Katy Nelson

June 8, 2016

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