I never realized how spoiled we are in the United States with the sheer size and amount of pet supplies stores until I moved to Italy—because once you have a dog/cat, shopping for it suddenly becomes THE MOST IMPORTANT THING YOU CAN DO HERE EVER. And of course, like most things are in Italy, finding a store that sells pet supplies in Florence can be quite difficult if you don’t know where to look.
In the week before getting to pick up Zola, my adopted pup from Puglia, I went on a mad dash search around the city to find everything I would need once I brought my girl home. Now, if you’ve never met me in real life you might not know this, but here’s a fun fact about me: I am obsessed with dogs. Like scarily obsessed—I’m that girl who will body block you in the sidewalk just so I can lean down and get slobbered all over by your hairless 80 year old German Shepherd just because I LOVE DOGS SOOOOOOO MUCH. Have you ever seen the old Bugs Bunny/Tiny Toon series character Elmira? That’s pretty much me in a nutshell whenever I see dogs. I just looooooooove them.
Anyways, it was vitally important that I get Zola at least ten toys, a soft fluffy bed, snacks upon snacks upon snacks, and a bright sparkly new leash for when she came home, so throughout the week I scoured the city (and the internets) for pet supply stores in Florence.
*Note: They do sell generic dry & wet dog food in Florence (the brand is called Bau) at supermarkets.
Without further adieu, I present to you The Top Pet Supplies Stores in Florence:
(updated Nov.15th, 2015)
Via Fra’ G. Angelico 22-24 | www.zoolandiamarket.com
Open Mon.-Sat. from8:30am-8pm, Sundays from 10am-1pm, 4-7:30pm
And the winner of the best pet shop in Florence goes to…..ZOOLANDIA! Not only is this place well-stocked & reasonably priced, it also has 4 different locations throughout Florence and stocks products for dogs, cats, birds, rodents & fish. This is where I came for all of Zola’s first things, buying a leather leash, harness, pee pads, a bed and pick-and-mix biscuits that are made with all-natural products. The people who work here are all really nice, and they even gave me an engraved tag with Zola’s name and my phone number on it for FREE once I told them I was adopting a dog. Although it’s a bit out of the city center (about a 10-15 minute walk from Piazza Beccaria) I still stop by every time I’m in that area just because it offers the most choice in terms of products. If you sign up for a Zoolandia card, you’ll get discounts when they have sales and a €5 coupon for each 250 points you accumulate.
2. Lo Zoo di Giovannino
Piazza Ghiberti 28r | Yelp website
Open Mon.-Fri from 7:30am-7pm (closed for lunch from 1:30-3:30pm), Sat. from 7:30am-1:30pm, Closed Sundays
This shop is small but nevertheless stocks up on pretty much all major pet supplies, plus has the added convenience of being next to the Sant’Ambrogio market and very centrally located. They carry a small selection of leashes and collars, grooming suplies, and flea medicine for both dogs and cats, as well as many different varieties of healthy pet food and treats. Bonus points for the cute old man behind the counter that gives Zola a treat everytime we come in to the shop!
Viale Francesco Talenti 137 | www.arcaplanet.it
Open Mon.-Sat. from 9am-7:30pm, Sun. from 9:30 – 1:00pm / 3:00 – 7:30pm
Arcaplanet is a chain of pet stores that is no different from a large Petsmart or PetCo or whatever abnormally large store you shop at back home. It has EVERYTHING and is awesome–the only drawback is of course it takes some time to get there. Easiest way from the city center is to take the Tram (Line 1) from the SMN train station and get off at Talenti stop, from there it is a short walk down the viale.
4. Spazio Animali
Via del Romito 20R | No website
Hours: 9am-7:30pm, Closed Sundays
This place is a little more out of the way than the others (behind the Fortezza & the SMN train station) but it actually feels like a pet store once you step inside. It’s got mostly everything you’d need, from leashes and harnesses to food bowls and squeaky toys and fluffy beds, plus a HUGE selection and variety of pet food (both wet & dry). If you’re looking for a more particular brand or product (such as diet-management food or for pets with food intolerances), I’d suggest this place first.
5. Piero Toilette
Viale Francesco Petrarca 90 | www.pierotoilette.com
Hours: Store 8:30am-1pm, 2:30-7:30pm/Groomers 8:30am-12:30pm, 2:30-6pm, Closed Saturday afternoon (and probably Sundays too)
Now don’t get me wrong, I like a good bathroom joke just as much as the next girl, but putting the word “toilet” in your store name is just bad branding (and no, you’re not fooling anyone with using the French version of the word—it’s still got the bathroom reference in it). I’ve never actually been inside this shop because a) I could never afford any of the things inside it and b) they probably have a bouncer working the door who’d never let anything as scruffy as Zola inside. It’s fancy, it’s French (probably) and it’ll cost you an arm and a leg. Go nuts.
6. Brilli/L’Angolo del Mercato Pet Boutique
Piazza del Mercato Centrale 23R | No website
Another centrally located (just behind the San Lorenzo Market) pet shop with most basic supplies you would hope to find, including a good selection of dog and cat toys and accessories (beds, sweaters, leashes, collars, etc.).