Entering and Exploring Malta with a Dog

There is nothing I love more than traveling – especially when it involves seeing my family and being able to take my puppy, Zaphira, with me. Due to my family living in Malta, as you may know by now, I tend to visit them ever so often. Traveling to Malta with a dog in general is rather easy – even easier, if it‘s a small dog (up to 8kg in weight) that you can take into the plane cabin with you. Zaphira has flown around 3 times with me to Malta already now, and is getting more and more used to plane rides. It calms me to know that she is less panicky now and I do not have to give her any tablets anymore (which I tried in the beginning to calm her down but did not feel was the right thing to do).

When entering Malta with a pet (cat or dog) it is of utmost importance to register the animal prior at the customs. Recently, this process has been simplified and can be done online here.

Likewise, you must see a vet around 3 days prior to entering Malta to confirm the dog is healthy (get a statement of good health) and it must be treated for worms (in the form of a tablet).

Once you arrive at the airport, you will be awaited by the customs to check that the above processes have been done and to verify the mircrochip number with the one entered onto the online form.

Discovering Malta with your dog is fairly easy when it comes to walking through the streets and visiting utmost touristy places. Dogs are allowed in most public spaces, given they are on a leash, and can run freely in certain areas. Yet, although people living in Malta love dogs, many of them are not used to having their dogs play with others. You will notice that they are kept rather tightly on leashes and are often even scared towards other dogs.

When it comes to Restaurants, one wants to call beforehand to see whether dogs are allowed. It seems that some do not allow dogs at all – not even in the outside areas, whilst others offer your dog their own chair to sit at the table with you. The same thing goes for hotels – make sure that you check online or by calling before booking any rooms.

Funnily enough, and in contrast to what we are used to in most other countries in Europe, dogs are allowed in supermarkets. That is, not all dogs. Big dogs usually need to wait outside and are not permitted. In case you have a small dog, however, no one will tell you to leave the dog outside by itself. Simply carry the dog around whilst you go grocery shopping!

The best seasons to visit Malta with you dog is anything from very late summer / early autumn up until mid-spring. Already in April, and most definitely in May, Malta reaches very temperatures already and walking with the dog for outside for hours is almost impossible and surely not recommended. If you don’t want your puppy to melt away in the sun, and likewise if you don’t want to sit around in the shade all day, the summer is not the best time to exploring Malta with any pet (nor without, as most Maltese that have the possibility leave the island as it becomes too hot)!

If any of you have any recommendations of where to best stay with your dog in Malta, do let me know – as I am still in the midst of further exploring the island; of course, with Zaphira. Likewise, I have planned quite a few trips this summer with her and am always looking for new places to explore that are dog-friendly. Up next with Zaphira is Munich! If you wish, I am more than happy to sharing some tips with you after my visit. Until then, I wish you all safe travels wherever you go! Xo

Vegan Falafel for the Win

Another week, another recipe! I surely do not want to bore you with recipes only on this blog, but if I am in love with something I need to share it. So here I am telling you about my rather newly discovered love: chickpeas! Who would have known that these little yellow fellows are so healthy, so filling, and can be used in so many recipes.

A new favorite recipe of mine is this vegan falafel recipe! It is so simple that it’s almost scary – so good that you cannot stop eating them and the preparation time takes around 10 minutes at max. Personally, I like simple recipes and things that do not take long to make after coming home (usually somewhat late) after work. Given this reason I made these falafel after work the other day and did not even add a side-dish. What I can recommend, though, is a cucumber salad (speaking of, I found a great recipes that I will share in the near future!).

For these crispy, little falafel, you need

240g (drained) & pre-cocked chickpeas
1 large onion
1 handful of fresh coriander
1 tablespoon cumin
2 tablespoons buckwheat (or any other) flour 
1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil
a hint of salt

What to do

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 250°C 
  2. add all ingredients into a food processor and mix until you get a smooth mixture (make sure it doesn’t become too smooth or else you will get a soup)
  3. take roughly one large tablespoon of the mixture and form each patty with your hand
  4. place them on a baking sheet and sprinkle (or paint) all patties with a light layer of olive oil
  5. bake until golden-brown for roughly 18-20 minutes

Et voila – within a couple of mintues preparing and baking, you have the perfect, healthy (and vegan) falafel ready.

Vegan, Sugarfree & Glutenfree Waffles

Sundays are probably my favorite weekdays. Why you ask? Simple – the week is coming to an end, I can sleep in, usually all household cleaning has been done, and I either go for brunch or make my own larger-than-usual breakfast at home! I have changed up my diet quite a bit these past few weeks – going from eating meat every day to eating completely vegan for a month. The idea behind it was to give my body a break from all the animal derived foods and seeing how my body would adjust to such a change of lifestyle. Although I have gone back to eating meat once in a while now since a week or two, I still try to eat plant-based most of the times these days. I believe everything should be done in moderation and as much as I enjoyed the vegan lifestyle I still do enjoy meat too much once in a while to giving it up completely. Perhaps that will change in the future – or not, we shall see. Either way: during my plant-based diet phase, I tried out several new recipes that were – obviously – vegan.

I am a huge fan of sunday-waffles! Previously, I would make waffles with standard recipes – which usually contained either eggs, butter or some other form of animal derived by-product. This time I went for an all vegan recipe and switched a few things up from the normal recipe I would have used earlier.

What you need (for 8 waffles)

1 large, ripe banana
1 tablespoon sunflower oil
150ml warm water
100ml almond milk with slight vanilla flavor (can use plain almond milk)
200g glutenfree flour (I used buckwheat flour)
2 teaspoons baking soda (glutenfree)

What to do

  1. get you waffle iron ready
  2. mash the banana and add it into a large bowl
  3. add all other ingredients and mix everything together until you have a smooth dough
  4. heat up the waffle iron once without any dough
  5. add two tablespoons of dough into each iron set (or however large your waffle iron is)
  6. let it bake the waffle until ready

This recipe is super easy, quickly done and barely needs any ingredients. Note that the waffles are not very sweet. If you do want it a little sweeter, I suggest adding a tablespoon of maple syrup or the like to the dough beforehand.

I topped up my waffles with some fresh blueberry “jam” which I made whilst waiting for my waffles to bake. Here I used ¾ cup of fresh blueberries, 1 tablespoon of agave syrup and 1 tablespoon of chia seeds and mixed everything up.

Et voila – time to enjoy a lovely little breakfast without having the guilt crawl up after indulging!