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A dog’s dinner – eating out with your dog holiday cottages

Destinations

A dog’s dinner – eating out with your dog

Ellen Drowne 12 June 2024

Did you know that here in the UK, we love our dogs so much that 75% of dog owners want to find a way to take their dog on holiday with them? Not only that, but 79% of those people want to make sure that they go on holiday somewhere where they can eat out at pubs and restaurants that accommodate dogs, so they never have to be apart! Unfortunately, 37% say that they have difficulty finding dog-friendly restaurants and cafes where they can bring their pooches.

To help the nation bring their favourite family member along to dine out, we decided to dig into the UK’s culinary offerings and the areas in the UK that are the most accommodating to fluffy guests.

And if you're looking to explore some of the tasty areas outlined below, why not check out our full range of dog-friendly cottages?


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The UK’s most dog-friendly foodie destinations

A graphic showing the UK's best canine foodie spots

We looked at all the places in the UK that had a high number of dog-friendly restaurants, bars/pubs, cafes, bakeries, walking trails and pet shops and gave them scores according to how dog friendly each place was – after all, you wouldn’t want to take your furry family member on holiday with you to one of our dog-friendly cottages and find that there’s not much friendliness outside of that! 


1. Bowness-on-Windermere

Black and white dog licks his lips over a menu/ Bowness from Windermere

Bowness-on-Windermere is our number-one place for people to bring their furry friends on holiday! With a whopping 80 dog-friendly restaurants within 10 miles and three yummy bakeries that welcome dogs, your pooch will feel like a true VIP. Plus, with two pet shops in town, you'll have everything you need to spoil your four-legged buddy rotten. Whether you're strolling along the picturesque lakefront or hiking through the stunning Lake District countryside, Bowness-on-Windermere is a dog's dream come true!


2. Bakewell

Corgi under a cafe table/ Bakewell from bridge on River Wye

Bakewell is the ultimate puppy paradise for a holiday in the UK. With 72 dog-friendly restaurants where your furry friend can dine by your side, and 38 tail-wagging walking trails to explore, there's no shortage of fun for you and your canine companion. Whether you're munching on treats at one of the cosy cafes or sniffing out new adventures on the picturesque trails of the Peak District, Bakewell promises endless excitement for the whole family.


3. Llandudno

Golden Labrador looks at coffee and waffle in cafe/ Llandudno pier

With five dog-friendly bars/pubs where you and your furry friend can enjoy a refreshing drink together, and six pet shops to stock up on treats and toys, Llandudno in Wales is tail-waggingly good fun! Whether you're romping along the sandy shores of the beach or exploring the lush Welsh countryside, Llandudno offers endless adventures for pups and their pals.


4. Stow-on-the-Wold

Spaniel looks at pizza on table/ Pretty street in Stow-on-the-Wold

Stow-on-the-Wold is a perfect base for your holiday, with 11 dog-friendly cafes where you and your furry friend can grab a bite to eat, and four dog-friendly bakeries to satisfy those sweet cravings. Stow-on-the-Wold isn't just great for its dog-friendly eateries though; it's also nestled in the heart of the beautiful Cotswolds, making it an ideal base for exploring with your furry friend. The rolling hills, picturesque villages, and scenic walking trails offer endless opportunities for adventures.


5. Ramsgate

Happy dog sat on chair in cafe/Ramsgate from habour area

Ramsgate, a gorgeous seaside town on the coast of Kent, has 36 dog-friendly restaurants where you and your furry friend can chow down together, and six pet shops where you can spoil your pup rotten. But that’s not all – Ramsgate offers stunning coastal walks and sandy beaches where your dog can splash and play to their heart's content. Plus, Kent boasts plenty of dog-friendly attractions and accommodations too.

Sarah Pring, Digital PR Manager at Canine Cottages, said: “Food brings people together, and that shouldn’t have to exclude our canine companions. With our recent Canine Crunch report revealing that 37% of dog owners have difficulty finding dog-friendly eateries while on holiday, we wanted to showcase some of the best areas to visit with your pooch. We hope this inspires dog owners to discover some new culinary delights with their dog this summer.”


Toxic summer foods you should avoid giving to your dog

Terrier looking up at the camera with an open chocolate bar at its feet

We spoke to Dr Emma Scales-Theobald, who has a PhD in Veterinary Medicine and Science, on the foods you should avoid giving to your dog, even if you feel tempted to by those big puppy dog eyes!

Toxic foods for dogs

  • Chives and onions – These are part of the allium family which is toxic for dogs because they contain a toxin called organosulfides, which can harm your dog’s red blood cells.
  • Avocado and guacamole – These contain persin, which can cause severe vomiting and diarrhoea in your dog. The avocado pit can also be a choking hazard.
  • Chocolate – Chocolate contains a chemical called theobromine which is toxic for dogs. 
  • Grapes and raisins – These can cause liver damage and kidney failure.
  • Cherries, peaches and plums – The stones contain cyanide and are a choking hazard.
  • Coffee – This contains a stimulant called methylated xanthine which is too strong for a dog’s nervous system.
  • Ice cream – Ice cream made for people may contain sweetener xylitol, which is toxic to dogs. Ice cream can also potentially cause a stomach upset in dogs because dogs are commonly lactose intolerant. Therefore, it’s best to seek out dog-friendly ice cream for your dog instead of sharing yours.
  • Raw potatoes – These contain solanine, which is toxic to dogs.

Dog looks at bone-shaped treat

It’s worth double-checking the ingredients of treats from dog-friendly bakeries and cafés to make sure they don’t contain anything your dog might be allergic to.

Puppacinos can be fun for dogs to enjoy but many dogs are lactose intolerant and puppacinos can be high in sugar. In small quantities and moderation, these can be enjoyed, and milk products may be fine for your dog. But it might be safer to opt for a vegan alternative, such as oat or soya whipped cream.

Dangerous foods for dogs

  • Cooked bones – Your dog might enjoy chewing on a raw bone but watch your dog doesn’t get hold of any cooked bones because these can splinter and cause internal injury.
  • Corn on the cob – These can be a choking hazard for your dog and risk blockages in their intestines.
  • Kebab sticks – Dogs try to eat these whole, which can cause internal injury and intestinal blockages if eaten.
  • Bacon – This is very high in salt and can therefore cause pancreatitis in dogs.

Tips for eating out with your dog

A husky looks over the side of a table at the food on offer

Bringing a long-lasting chew/treat, such as a yak chew or LickiMat, or an enrichment toy, such as a puzzle feeder, will help to keep them entertained. This will also build up a positive association with being at these places.

Providing a blanket or travel bed for your dog to lie on will also offer some guidance and reassurance. This can help them know it is time to rest and where to rest, and will smell like home for them. Reward your dog for lying in place and slowly extend the time between treats to reward your dog for being calm. You could also use calming products, such as calming treats or calming collars to help them to stay calm.

two small dogs on a walk in town

Another tip is to visit these places after taking a long walk so that they are more likely to want to rest and they may go to sleep while you eat.

If your dog is reactive, it can be difficult to get out, but depending on your dog and their reactivity, there may be ways to help them cope with visits to cafes or restaurants. For example, a small reactive dog may feel happier and safer in a travel case/bag while you eat.

It might be possible to get a table away from other dogs, for example, a table in a secluded and quiet spot in a corner. Getting a table outside may help your dog’s reactivity so they don’t feel trapped, as well as potentially providing them with more space and possibly some distractions.


Methodology

A corgi looks at the camera while his paws rest on open textbooks

This campaign ranks locations in the UK that would be good for a holiday with your dog. To do this, six different factors were used. Once the data for the factors was collected, the factors were then normalised, to provide each factor with a score between 0 and 1. If data was not available, a score of 0 was given. The normalised values were then weighted and summed, to give each location a total score out of 10. The locations were then ranked from highest to lowest, based on their total scores.   

The factors used were:

  • Dog-friendly restaurants – The number of pet-friendly restaurants for each location and nearby areas, on Tripadvisor within 10 miles. (X2 Weight)
  • Dog-friendly bars/pubs – The number of pet-friendly bars/pubs for each location and nearby areas, on Tripadvisor within 10 miles. (X2 Weight)
  • Dog-friendly cafes – The number of pet-friendly cafes for each location and nearby areas, on Tripadvisor within 10 miles. (X2 Weight)
  • Dog-friendly bakeries – The number of pet-friendly bakeries for each location and nearby areas, on Tripadvisor within 10 miles. (X1.33 Weight)
  • Dog-friendly trails – The number of dog-friendly trails near each location, as listed on AllTrails. (X1.33 Weight)
  • Pet shops – The number of pet shops listed within a 5-mile radius of each location on Yelp. (X1.33 Weight)

All of the factors were indexed with a high value getting a high score, and a low value getting a low score. All data is correct as of 03/05/2024. The ranking data shown is a compilation of multiple data sources and may not be representative of real life. All data is accurate with regard to the sources provided.

Emma Scales-Theobald PhD MSc

Emma Scales-Theobald PhD MSc

A canine behaviour and nutrition consultant who provides regular expert advice to Canine Cottages on the subjects of canine health and behaviour. She holds a PhD in Veterinary Medicine and Science from the University of Surrey, as well as an MSc in Animal Behaviour from the University of Exeter.

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Disclaimer: Whilst every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information at the time of writing, please ensure you check carefully before making any decisions based on the contents within this article.

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