Many of our relocating clients are travelling with their four legged friends and we are often asked about where to find specific brands of dog food, the best local dog walks, do’s and don’t for dog owners in Bordeaux, recommended veterinary clinics and so on. Whilst this is, by no means, a definitive guide, as dog owners ourselves we thought we’d share some of our recommendations and experiences.
The Gourmet Woof
The BordeauxLife dogs are all fussy eaters (read spoilt!) and supermarket food just doesn’t cut the dijon with them. Duffy (a “too smart for her own good” Berger Picard) has finally decided that the Belgian brand Edgard Cooper is her preferred choice, whilst Wogie (a wise and wonderful Black Labrador) heads more in the direction of Lily’s Kitchen, interspersed with medium rare steak hache and the odd boiled chicken breast.
Neither of these brands are available in supermarkets (of course!). Edgard Cooper can be bought directly from the supplier whilst Lily’s Kitchen is often available at J'ai Plus de Croquettes - a wonderful, pet friendly store in Merignac or via Wanimo. Many garden centres have also started stocking the more “up-market” brands and your vet is also a good starting point but it is definitely worth shopping around to find the best price.
The Active Woof
Both the BordeauxLife hounds love a good walk. Wogie is a well trained, elderly gentleman and enjoys his daily walks around some of the local parks. The Jardin Public is lovely and has the added bonus of a dog run for some extra socialising. Parc Bordelais is perfect for a long walk but best avoided if your dog has a strong prey instinct. There are literally hundreds of rabbits there and a walk here with Duffy would result in an urgent appointment with the osteopath! Duffy’s favourite walks are in Parc Bourran where she can commune with the geese, or in Bois du Burck - both are in Merignac but top of her list is a trip to the beach (off-season only) - chasing sand is the best thing ever. We also love a walk along the Quay de Bordeaux, often with a stop for a little refreshment - for both dog and owner.
Almost all parks in Bordeaux have free poo-bags at the entrance but it’s always a good idea to carry your own just in case they run out as it’s never a good idea to get caught short!
The Social Woof
There are approximately 1 dog to 4 people in Bordeaux and this makes for a dog-friendly city. Many restaurants welcome our furry friends and are happy to provide a bowl of water and a shady spot. Our favourites are: Le Chien de Pavlov - a fabulous, traditional French bistro in the centre of town; Alma - perfect for a post-Quay walk; La Tupina - better to eat first and then walk off the calories! To be honest the list is loooooong. There are so many options but if you are planning to eat inside then it’s always good to call and check first.
The Knowledgeable Woof
Okay - so our “woofs” aren’t that clued up really but did you know that you can take your dogs on public transport (not categories 1 & 2 - sorry!). Trams, buses and even the Bat Cub boats welcome dogs.
Whilst we are always hesitant to recommend medical professionals - everyone has their own view on what they prefer, we are often asked about the availability of English speaking vets in Bordeaux. Cristina Escudero in Pey Berland speaks English (05 57 85 95 55) and Clinique Veterinaire Alliance also has a couple of English speakers.
In our experience, many boarding kennels in the area have not always lived up to our expectations, however, if like us, you see your dogs as an extension of your family then a drive out of town to Les Chenils du Marmandais where Sue and Lee look after your dogs as if they were their own is your best bet. Alternatively, signing up to sites such as Trusted Housesitters really is the next best thing.
If your woof needs more than a quick brush and scrub in the shower then J’ai Plus de Croquettes also provide dog grooming services and there are a few mobile groomers starting up around Bordeaux who will come directly to your house.
If you are planning a move to Bordeaux or the surrounding areas with (or without) your pets then please get in touch with us - we’ve been there, done that and would be delighted to help with everything from advising on current travel requirements; finding the perfect home for you, your family and your four-legged companions and everything else in between.
The team at BordeauxLife are beyond excited that our favourite restaurant opens on 11th June and we’re starting to dream. It’s a balmy evening and we are sitting at a table with friends and family (socially distancing bien sûr!), we’re sipping a chilled glass of rosé and soaking up one of the best sunset views in South West France. We’re looking at the menu - think local seafood platters and expertly prepared fish and anticipating the simple joy of eating something that has not been prepared in our own kitchen (we never want to see a pack of beef mince again - ever!).
Where are we? La C(o)rniche in Pyla sur Mer of course - a 2 hour round trip for us which these days feels like a treat in itself - a little taste of the freedom that has been missing from our lives since 17th March. La C(o)rniche is a hotel and restaurant on the Atlantic coast to the west of Bordeaux - a little slice of heaven on the edge of the largest sand dune in Europe.
Perhaps we’ll leave Bordeaux a little earlier than planned and take a walk along an almost deserted beach - Plage Petit Nice would be perfect. Fresh salty air and gentle waves. The sand beneath our toes and a paddle in the icy ocean is the perfect balm for feet that have forgotten what the word “pedicure” means!
Pleasures such as these are something we took for granted 3 months ago, never for a minute imagining that life was going to charge so dramatically. Our mental health has taken a beating and it has become increasingly tough as we move closer to seeing a light at the end of the tunnel. The world seems like a much smaller place now and focussing on local attractions without the stresses of air travel, in our opinion, is absolutely the way to go.
Where are your dreams taking you? A family picnic or a hotel spa? A walk on the beach or live concert? We’d love to know.
Blogs At BordeauxLife
A mostly light-hearted look at life in South-West France