It’s time we let dogs into cafes and shops

Listen up dog haters! You're barking up the wrong tree if you think you can intimidate us dog owners into cowering at home because you don't like seeing us and our mutts at the local shops or cafes.

I'm afraid the genie is out of the bottle now … we're out (in numbers) and we're proud and expect to see more of us and our furry friends in future.

I firmly believe dogs should be welcome in shops and cafes and even hotels. Maybe cinemas too eventually but let's not get ahead of ourselves. Australia is still playing catch-up on the issue of dog emancipation.

I remember a few years ago arriving at a hotel at Whistler in Canada and the people next to us were checking in with their dogs. We loved that. A disclaimer though: we have a 11 year old Maltese Shih tzu called Sarge so I am biased when It comes to tolerance of dogs.

I still get surprised when people are offended by canines in cafes and shops. Bunnings has been quite progressive in letting owners turn up with their dogs. At their swish new store in Newstead I love seeing people turning up with their pups. As long as people are responsible about their pooches that works.

I was gutted to hear the story about the puppy injured on a travelator at Bunnings but that's an isolated instance. Mostly I see people carrying their dogs in or transporting them in trolleys which is cute.


Dog owners are keen to bring their beloved pooches with them on days out. Picture: Dylan Robinson
Dog owners are keen to bring their beloved pooches with them on days out. Picture: Dylan Robinson


I feel for the owner of the injured pup but I don't think it's any reason to ban dogs. Because as I often say, dogs are people too!

I'm only half joking.

The research is clear on the benefits of dog ownership on physical and emotional health. Dogs are treasured companions and members of the family and they greatly enhance the wellbeing of older folks or those living alone or struggling with mental health.

I'm not suggesting every shop or cafe should be dog friendly but in Brisbane there is now a network of places where pups are welcome and that's heartwarming.

Our local cafes in Brisbane's inner north are mostly dog friendly and that's been a boon to their businesses. As for complaints about people who have dog allergies it's pretty easy to just steer clear of pooches in Bunnings or elsewhere.

In Europe, the US and Canada they are way ahead of us when it comes to accommodating our fur babies. But we are catching up now and I think that's great mate, woof.


Originally published as It's time we let dogs into cafes and shops