Australia, blogging

Dog Friendly Cafes and Bars

Unlike a lot of Europe, dogs are not welcome at all eating venues around Australia. The select ones that do welcome dogs, were so few a decade ago that I started a social media group to identify and share information about their location. It now has almost 9000 members. That is a lot of folks wanting to take their doggy with them to eat/have coffee.

Mostly the allocated dog friendly space at an Australian Dog Friendly Cafe is outdoors, without a fixed roof, if the venue is serving any kind of food. I do understand that dogs are unpredictable and can bark or become a nuisance. If this is the sort of dog you have, you probably would hang out at a park instead of a cafe.

Bearing this in mind, it was with much excitement that I attended Dalgety Public House located on the riverside fringe of the CBD. Not only did this Gastropub welcome dogs, they offered wide range of events, lunchs dinners, and weekend breakfasts. The meal we had was scrumptious and the Barista was a talented coffee artist who decorated our coffee crema with our own pet or animal of choice.

Here is some of her creations. Guess which one is my pup?

Are dogs accepted at cafes, pubs in your area?

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81 thoughts on “Dog Friendly Cafes and Bars”

  1. I only go to outdoor cafes and with my dog. In severe weather and rain, some cafes turn a blind eye and let in the dog as well. It seems odd how we love dgs yet seem to think they should not be where people eat. Public transport the same. In Europe dogs are allowed on trains and buses.

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    1. I know, Gerard. It is a bit silly that it is okay in Europe but we cannot have them here. Frustrating at times. Although many dog owners can be irresponsible and keep them dog unleashed. Being on the receiving end of an aggressive dog attack on my two dogs, I do wish owners would leasht their dogs in public spaces.

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              1. It is a wonderful experience. BB was an excellen mother, got into the bed to feed them and got out when she thought they had enough. I played with them, took them out and loved them to pieces. It was a sad experience to sell the babies, but I can’t look after all of them.

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        1. Fair comment about children and animals Sheri. The folks that are worried about sanitation issues should remember there are bugs that are good for us. Not Covid of course, but we need certain bacteria in our gut to digest food, and we have loads that live on our skin and help to keep us healthy. The bugs that live under our fingernails are probably way dirtier than a dog’s mouth.

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          1. Oh, I agree. We’re exposed to germs from day one and we Need to be for our immune systems to get stronger.
            And I know for a fact most animals are cleaner than some of the people we’ve known.. (and that’s not to speak of what the employees of of some of these places will do to your food.)

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            1. Eeew. I am not sure I want to think too much about the possibilities! One restaurant here was pinged for washing and re-using lettuce leaves for meals! They closed down shortly afterwards.

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              1. I should hope so! I’m sorry.. but hat’s absolutely disgusting. It’s really best we don’t think on it too hard.. that way madness lies.

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  2. I’m a dedicated cat person; but that don’t mean I dislike dawgs !
    In fact I like them a lot (especially staffies, I confess), and woudn’t tolerate for half a second the sight of anyone’s hurting one. I’m always happy to see them with their family members, as it seems to mean that they’re not barking dogs: imo, the dog-owners who leave their dogs behind and alone are those who deserve to be shot !
    Not only do the animals suffer from being entirely alone, but so do the grumpy old ladies living nearby who must listen to their bored barking, day and night ..

    Liked by 2 people

    1. It sounds like barking dogs left alone might be a familiar scenario for you, M-R. I am sorry and you are right, the dogs are not happy about being left all day. They lead very boring lives, and are at our behest to be there when we want them, yet they only have us, and not anyone or anything else. The least we could do is to be there as often as we can.

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  3. Wow! You started a group that now has 9000 members?? Extremely well done, and especially for such a cause. In Europe it’s not as easy as you say. It depends where you are. In Italy most – but not nearly all – establishments let you enter with a dog. They even have special dog trolleys in some big shops, but we have yet to use one since we don’t shop much. You and your dog can enter our local bakery, pharmacy, post office, pub, IKEA, but not any supermarket. In Rome we were quite often denied entrance to a restaurant with the dog, but many also allow them. In Slovenia, on the other hand, you cannot enter pretty much any of the places mentioned above. Some big technical shops let the dog in, and they advertise it as a specialty, and that’s about it. Quite a lot of restaurants and bars let you eat or drink outdoors with the dog, but there are still many who firmly restrict dogs. Maybe now things have changed. They are so happy to be open again that they would let anyone near. :p

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    1. I can understand that some places would not want dogs and some dog owners take advantage of them too much. However, I am surprised that Slovenia is quite strict and Italy less so. It shows there is no universal guidelines between countries and if you are travelling with a dog, you have to take your chances. The hardware stores here have just welcomed dogs. There was a dog attack within the first three weeks of the announcement so now they have to sit in the supermarket style trolleys provided, so I guess that restricts the size of the dog you can take in there.
      Yes the group has almost 9000 members and now facebook has changed my settings to accept new members automatically so that will elevate numbers even more.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. I am sorry to hear that Sadie is a bit unpredictable, but better to leave her at home, as dogs pick up on our anxieties and that resultant feeling of anxiety makes them become fearful. That is a worry. Albert sounds like he is socialised to eating out? How old is he compared to Sadie?

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      1. Albert goes almost everywhere with Marla. I don’t remember how old he is, but he is a mature dog. Sadie is two or three years old and still a bit rambunctious. It’s just as well we don’t take her to restaurants.

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  4. Such a great idea to start a Facebook group for dog lovers with dog-friendly establishments. I never had my own dog when I lived in Belgium, so I don’t remember the rules. But I do believe there is more tolerance towards them when it comes to cafes and restaurants.

    In the US, it is hit or miss, but when dogs are allowed, it’s only on patios. And sometimes not even when food is served, so this excludes quite a bit of restaurants. The town I’m currently staying in is very dog-friendly with dog bowls filled with water outside shops and surprise treats in Little Free Libraries or in front of real estate displays. We always take our dog with us, so – even before Covid – would only eat outside, at dog-friendly establishments.

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    1. It is great to hear that there are places sympathetic to the benefits of having your dog with you. Perhaps the rise of travelling nomads in motorhomes have nurtured this need? I am planning a trip away with my dog/s, but the MotH always tries to change my mind as he feels he is restricted in being able to go out at night to indoor restaurants, if they come with us. He doesn’t want the dog to bark or get distressed if they are left in the holiday accommodation on their own. My preference would be that the dogs stay at home if there is someone there to look after them. It is not always possible and if we don’t return home each night, the dogs feel distressed anyway.
      Having said all that, I think we will take them along.

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      1. Traveling with dogs (especially sailing) is much more challenging than without. But, in our case, we do everything as a family, so our dogs have always come first and we work around their needs. Somehow, this hasn’t prevented us from being nomads for eighteen years, despite the sacrifices. 🙂

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    1. Thanks Trent. There seems to be a need for this kind of information based on the requests for membership. I wasn’t aware until this post how unfriendly US venues are to pets. It is completely different to Europe in that sense.

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  5. I think many cafes with outdoor patios allow dogs here. I have mixed feelings about it (full disclosure: I don’t own a dog). If the dog is well-behaved and stays close to their group, it’s fine. But, I’ve witnessed the beginnings of dogfights and it can be really annoying or even frightening if the fight extends to areas occupied by others. Like you said, “If this is the sort of dog you have, you probably would hang out at a park instead of a cafe.” Sometimes I think dogs should be allowed, and certain people barred. 🙂

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    1. It is a thorny issue, Janis. Animals are unpredictable. The most well controlled dog could snap if given the right triggers. This is awful to witness and difficult to be around. I think it would certainly put you off wanting dogs around. I think the fact that it is not a universally accepted practice means that people and dogs are not used to it. You make a good point that makes me think it needs to be managed carefully – not open slather as people are irresponsible too and this means leaving dogs unleashed – which to me is quite terrifying if they are at a crowded cafe. If they refuse to put dogs on a leash, and some have, I just leave the premises.

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      1. Not sure about fixed roof versus sail versus open air. We were at Edgar’s in Ainslie (fixed roof outdoors) and there were dogs galore. We so rarely dine out that Indi doesn’t often have a chance to go. I think you could let your FB group know that dogs are welcome at most Canberra restaurants with some outdoor seating.

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    1. It is good to hear that some cafes are encouraging of dogs, Ineke. Perhaps confidence in this will grow in time. It is whether it is legal or not that sways a lot of establishments.

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        1. You highlight something else we need to think about, when allowing dogs in cafes, Ineke. The safety of the dog, safe from people and activities. Hot coffee spilt on a dog’s head would be extremely painful.

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  6. It’s such a fantastic idea, I love the coffee tops so clever & fun. Our little town has one healthy hippy shop on the main street that has tables outside & locals sit with their dogs. Along our river front, riverside markets, exercise classes & our SES mob have training days which is great. There used to be a beautiful old unused pub perfect river views. You could imagine how well a beautiful pet friendly café right there would have done. Now there is a shopping complex with a carpark with the best river views. Now the main street has empty shops as well as in this complex, did I mention they put in a movie theatre in the complex which shut down the beautiful old band box theatre that we could all afford. Silly council, poor thirsty locals & their pets.

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    1. It sounds like development in the community isn’t always in sync with what the locals want to do and want to have. What a shame. I reckon you would be a great manager at a dog friendly establishment.

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  7. How clever was your Barista! Yes, a few (not all) around us welcome pets in their alfresco areas, even putting out drinking bowls, or/and offering a doggie treat from a jar kept for the purpose. It cracked us up in the pubs in the villages in the UK to see how welcome dogs were,even into the main indoor dining rooms. One pub in St Braviels told one patron with his dog to take his pick of seats. The next person attempting to enter the premises had two children in tow. The publican raised his hand in the stop position and told the person, no kids allowed, adding, it’s not kindergarten. Had to laugh.

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