It's great to see lots of pubs opening their doors to owners and their dogs, but just how friendly are they to our four legged friends?
Well it really depends on the layout of the pub, facilities, the staff and of course the temperament of our dog. I always advice that for anxious or reactive dogs, pubs aren't the best place due to the restricted space and increased flow of traffic. However this can be overcome in some circumstances by a spacious beer garden or courtyard.
So I did a little research in my local area – find my blog post here – and was pleasantly surprised with the results.
Most pubs I visited had lots of space - meaning your best friend has a sufficient area to feel relaxed in taking the pressure off the hustle and bustle, particularly at lunch time. Most tables offered a safe haven and were spaced sufficiently apart. However in a few cases dogs were taking up extra space between tables, seemingly camouflaged within the carpet. With the likelihood of trips and falls being increased I would be worried about the dog's safety particularly at busier times. Most pubs offered an additional area outside where dogs had more space and even access to an area to do their business.
I was particularly impressed by one of the pubs which had several paintings of dog characters on the wall, adding character to the building and appealing to owners.
I was satisfied by the facilities on offer in every pub I visited, including a specific dog corner with water bowls, treats and a welcome board. I also noticed a treat jar placed on the bar counter. The staff didn't mind me taking a doggy bag home (from the Sunday lunch) and bringing a few of my own treats to keep the dogs occupied.
In most of the pubs I tried the staff went out of their way to make us feel welcome. Offering additional water bowls and asking numerous questions about my dog, they really seemed interested to hear more. They now recognise me on returning visits and most of all make my dog feel extra welcome.
My overall conclusion
Overall I feel that dog friendly pubs offer an option to enjoy your day out without the worry of leaving your best friend at home. After all, pet ownership should be mutually beneficial and what better way than doing so than spending additional time outside your home, strengthening the human-animal bond. However It is also important to remember that if your dog is simply overwhelmed, the pub may not be the best place and if you are going to introduce them, do it slowly, associating this new environment with good things.
Thanks for reading!