Fabulous Fur Friends

Must Love Animals

Pets Welcome


This is an article written by Dr Jo Righetti from her blog http://petproblemsolved.com.au/blog/2010/10/about-dr-jos-blog/.  Jo is an Ausralian animal behaviourist.

My recent trip to Europe highlighted the difference between attitudes to our pets in public. Here in Australia we assume that pets are going to have negative consequences from appearing in public places and hence do not allow them in town centres, shops, beaches and so on, unless they are in specially designated dog areas. Cats – well we do not even consider them having an existence in public places.

The attitude in Europe is very different. Dogs are everywhere. They may not be actively welcomed in every public place but they are not prohibited. In many places they are welcomed. A sign outside a pub…

This sign was in the town of Alnwick, whose castle provides the inspiration for Hogwartz in Harry Potter tales. The fact that “Dogs Welcome” comes before the information on food served surely tells us that this is an important factor in attracting customers. Could it be that businesses that allow dogs within their premises do better than those than ban them?

In some cases, dogs being welcome is possibly to their detriment. Dragging a reluctant dog through the busy summer streets of Amsterdam did not look like a pleasant experience, especially for the dog. Perhaps canine art is a more preferable option in the city to the real thing.

Amsterdam dog sculpture

How lovely to see dogs romp with their owners through Scottish castle grounds and that water and poop bins are provided (Culzean Castle). And that it is not only dogs that are allowed on beaches but horses too.

Animals welcome on Scottish beaches

Of course, there are slightly fewer people on a Scottish beach in the height of summer than the Australian equivalent!

On the negative side, it is worrying to see so many dogs off leash as they walk the streets with their owners but how beautiful to see well behaved dogs like these. One dog is sitting patiently waiting on his owner who is having a coffee in the Amsterdam Nespresso store while another waits in line to buy coffee with his owner.

Nespresso Amsterdam – coffee dogs

No fights. No fear of disease spread. I even saw a cat politely weaving its way through the table and human legs of one restaurant. No hysteria about germs or allergies.

Maybe Australia we have a thing or two to learn about pets in public.

More holiday pet photos…

Streets of Amsterdam

Amsterdam Cat Museum (Katten Kabinet) 

Family cats


Author: Fabulous Fur Friends

My name is Kylie and I am passionate about animals and their welfare. My husband and I live in Bendigo, Australia and live with our three dogs - Rupie, Billie and Chelsea - all rescue dogs. I enjoy writing and aim to share health and welfare issues and updates as well as some short stories.

6 thoughts on “Pets Welcome

  1. I think I shall move there!

  2. I would love to pack up my pups and move to dog friendly Europe, I loved that dogs were welcome to join the family picnic on the grounds at Versaille, we saw them on trains (not in cages and treated as cargo) and yes, they were well behaved and often off leash.

  3. Yes, it’s a nice way to interact and have them as an integral part of the family. We lived in Germany for a while and often saw beautifully behaved dogs sitting quietly under the table at a pub while their owners had a beer – very civilised!

  4. England is pretty good for pets being allowed in different places. Our Mummy says she likes sitting in her favourite coffee shop with her family and having a wet nose press into her hand, asking for attention. Most places are dog friendly and those that aren’t are usually for good reasons. Maybe other countries should learn from us?


  5. Australia has a very high rate of pet ownership – 63% of the 7.5 million households in Australia own pets; Australia has one of the highest incidences of pet ownership in the world; 91% of pet owners report feeling ‘very close’ to their pet, reinforcing that pets are an integral member of the family unit, however constituted.
    Despite these statistics, Australian society in general is not very welcoming of pets in public places – we have a lot to learn from our English and European friends.

  6. Loved this post. i live in a very dog friendly town in So. Calif, where outdoor restaurants leave water bowls for dogs and in the nearby city of Santa Barbara there are restaurants you can dine with your dog that has a doggie menu. It’s so much fun to dine with our fury kids. And, see others out with their dogs. 🙂

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