So you recently moved and were very surprised to notice that your local pub allows dogs. Immediately you thought this was a wonderful idea (and another reason to go to the pub…).
The next thought was how would your dogs react to other dogs close to you as, of course, they are very protective.
Being the responsible owner you are, you made a couple of trips to the pub, without the dogs, just to suss it out, of course. You quickly realised a couple of things:
- Of the four dogs you regularly saw, three roamed freely and one was on a leash. The couple of others that popped in from time to time were also on leashes.
- There were no fights, all the dogs seemed to get along quite well.
- Alarmingly, there were no “poo bins”, not that you saw any dog requiring its use, but what do you do if your dog has a little accident?
Well prepared, at least on the research front, you took the big step and took your dogs with…
About five minutes after sitting down you realised you made a huge mistake – your dogs did not react well to the new surroundings, they growled at everybody and seemed afraid of the two other dogs there. You decided to beat a hasty retreated before it became embarrassing, especially in a smelly way (you already smelled the tell tale signs of imminent solid depositing).
The above is loosely based on our own experiences and we had to decide whether to try it again or do we resign ourselves to leaving the dogs at home?
The first step we took was, of course, back to the pub a few evenings later. We then started chatting to the other dog owners (by this time we were on nodding hello terms.)
From these discussions and our general observations, we took the following steps:
- Firstly we had to come to terms with the fact that we were probably ten times as nervous as the dogs and they picked up on that, which made them more nervous and protective.
- We took the dogs back one afternoon when we knew that it would be quiet and there would be no other dogs
- Luckily we have a dog friendly park across the road from the pub, so we took the dogs for a nice long walk first. This gave them the opportunity to “do their business” before going to the pub (this is Cape Town and the park even have dedicated dog poo bins.) We have a little container of small poo bags permanently clipped to the one dog’s leash, with spares in our bags.
- A small packet of treats went with and as soon as we sat down, each dog got a few treats and a bowl of water was put down close to them
- Next time we took the dogs was early evening, again on a quiet night, but with at least two other dogs there. By now our dogs was over the excitement of a strange place and only had to get used to other dogs. Guess what, they all got along and the others even got treats from us!
- Keep your dog on a leash if it tends to wander off.
Like all things in life, a bit of planning and forethought goes a long way to alleviating stress, yours and the dogs’. Relax and enjoy the pub with your dogs! We made a lot of new friends as a result of our dogs being with us, take the opportunity!
As I mentioned, we are in Cape Town and we have an annual list of Ten Best Dog Friendly Pubs, but we are not the only lucky ones, see EatOut’s list below for a place close to you.
EatOut has a list of 65 dog-friendly restaurants:
Cape Town – 25
Jo’burg – 19
Pretoria – 13
Durban Area – 12
Winelands – 3
Some of our favourite pub dogs: