Little else can divert your dog’s attention when it has set itself upon a collision course with a bowl of delicious grub, or some tasty left-over scraps! For your hound, it’s all about the food; they are most probably an unrivalled expert in the field, a four-legged gourmet that can sniff out a good meal half a mile away if the wind is blowing in the right direction. So, when it comes to seeking out the best dog-friendly places to eat when on holiday, Scotland is a sensational wonderland of culinary delights. Let us give you a helping hand in finding some things to liven up your taste buds. For even more great places to chow down with your pooch, why not go out for a dog's dinner at the UK's most dog-friendly pubs or the UK's most dog-friendly cafes?
Our guide is not only a list of great dog-friendly spots to eat, but it’s also a primer to point you towards some interesting Scottish delicacies too. Why go on holiday and try out the same old food with your dog? A vacation is all about change and the land of Scotland has some seriously interesting and mind-boggling (in a good way) meals for you to try out. Expand your dog’s gourmet repertoire with some of Scotland’s most famous dishes.
You don’t have to eat out every night either. Some of our dog-friendly properties have exceptional kitchens which are a haven for those of you who love to cook. If you are a gastronome that loves to get involved and try your hand at concocting some of the local delicacies yourself, stay at one of our holiday homes across Scotland. We have properties large and small, rural and urban for you to unwind at the end of a day of touring with your lovely four-legged buddy.
Our favourite dog-friendly pubs in Scotland
If your dog is a pub dog, then this Fort William pub is a very good choice. While away the afternoon and evening in the bar supping a pint of fine ale or if you’re in the spirit, treat yourself to a whisky. There's no better place. Dogs are very welcome to sit at your feet or sprawl out in the cosy bar. Meals consist of hearty Scottish fare with several national favourites on the menu.
Why your dog will love it: There's plenty of space to sprawl out and rest their paws in the bar after a long walk.
Stay at: Appin Apartment | Sleeps 2 dogs, 2 humans
Perth is a superb choice for a dog-friendly holiday, and this pub is close to many of the best dog-friendly attractions like Scone Palace. Based at a converted, 200-year-old coaching house, the Pitcairn Green Inn is now a thriving country pub that offers a good range of country fare. The daily menu is made up of local, fresh and seasonal food consisting of the best Perthshire produce. Also, wade into their impressive collection of real ales and extensive range of malts. Dogs are made to feel very welcome in the bar where there is a nice atmosphere.
Why your dog will love it: This place is a very good example of a quaint Scottish pub, perfect for relaxing and also perfect for a snooze with a lovely garden too.
Stay at: Rockdale | Sleeps 2 dog, 4 humans
Brewdog pubs have sprouted up all over the world, but we love the one in Aberdeen, as it really does welcome dogs inside. Specialising in craft ales and all kinds of beers from around the globe, this is a great spot for the connoisseur. So, if you are in Aberdeenshire and fancy a cool one with the hound, this is a good bet. In the daytime, there's lots of room for the hound to unfurl and there's a solid menu of pub food and bar snacks to share with them too - if you love a burger and hand-cut chips with your ale of choice, this is the one.
Why your dog will love it: Dogs love chips and the range of beer is so wide, you may even encounter one brewed especially for them too!
Stay at: Milton Burn Farmhouse | Sleeps 10, 2 dogs
Our favourite dog-friendly cafes in Scotland
You and your dog will be pleasantly bewildered by the quirky decor at Bulland's Coffee House in Milngavie. There are teddy bears stuck all over the ceiling but we don't know why? But if you love bears in strange places, this is the cafe for you. Friends to dogs and their owners, this cafe is a brilliant choice for a spot of lunch, tea and cake. You can fortify yourself here if you are preparing to walk the West Highland Way on your holiday to the area.
Why your dog will love it: There's lots to see, and the staff are mad about dogs. Some lucky hounds even get a sausage!
Stay at: Loch Earn Lodge | Sleeps 2 dogs, 2 humans
Set in lovely landscaped gardens, the historical Forse of Nature House has a lovely dog-friendly cafe for you to refresh yourself at. Set with fantastic views across the grounds, this is great idea for a pit stop if you are travelling to John O'Groats, Wick or Thurso. For a light lunch and an afternoon tea it’s just perfect for you and your dog to regain your composure and take in the surroundings of this exceptional country house and park.
Why your dog will love it: If you have an older dog or a puppy, Forse of Nature is a delightful spot for a civilised walk with your dearest and best.
Stay at: Bulchatton Cottage | Sleeps 2 dogs, 4 humans
With two branches of this Glasgow cafe and bakehouse to choose from, we thoroughly recommend you stop in at one, or both. With a really enticing menu, it's definitely a good choice for those that have spent the day padding around the brilliant sights of Glasgow. Fill up with one of their warming meals, which range from mixed grills, gourmet burgers, exquisite baked goods and confectionery. Walk off your meal in the Kelvingrove Park or along the banks of the River Clyde. There's so much to see and enjoy in Glasgow.
Why your dog will love it: The staff genuinely love dogs and welcome them as one of the family, so if your hound is peaceful and sociable, this is the spot for you.
Stay at: Argyll View | Sleeps 1 dog and 2 humans
A quick guide to Scottish cuisine
Head to the Rockpool in Cullen in Morayshire for a seafood dish called the Cullen skink. Described in The Guardian by Felicity Cloake in 2012 as, “possibly the world’s finest fish soup,” this dish is a cosy winter warmer. It contains smoked haddock as its primary ingredient, not shin of beef, as the name might suggest to foodies. Vegetables like potatoes, leeks, onion and chives are the other constituent ingredients and there are some variations on the recipe (some chefs poach the haddock in milk).
Said to be smokier and heartier than chowder or bisque, this is a must-taste curio for the intrepid. Fish averse soup fans should also try a more well-known cock-a-leekie. Cullen is a where the dish originated but you can find it all across the country and it’s a speciality in a few places in England too! The Rockpool welcomes dogs also.
Stay in: Eastertown-of-Mayen | Sleeps 4 dogs, 8 humans
Well, you can’t go wrong with an establishment that has the name of the dish you are looking for above the door. Dog-friendly too, The Cranachan and Crowdie pub in Edinburgh is a great place to try Scottish whiskies and other dishes. But if you are a dessert kind of person, the cranachan is something of a legend in these parts, consisting of a dash of Scotch, whipped cream and raspberries, cranachan is a sweet alcoholic treat for the discerning diner.
It’s most popular around April and the summer when fresh raspberries are growing. Created to cleanse the palette between nips of whisky, this is something you’ll want to keep to yourself and let your hound enjoy something else, like a dog treat from your stash.
Stay in: Roslin Chapel Cottage | Sleeps 1 dog, 2 humans
Lorne sausages are square. Sausages with a straight edge conjure up visions of Mr Funny’s (from the Mr Men’s) daily breakfast don’t they, but yes, Scotland is the land of the square sausage patty. It’s definitely a thing up here. Like us, dogs won’t mind what shape the sausage arrives on the plate, but it is a point of curiosity as it’s not widely known that a sausage can still be named as such even if it isn’t cylindrical in shape. Where in Scotland can you get the best breakfast (with geometrically minded sausages) for you and your pooch?
We’d say The Ship Inn at Elie in Fife is a good bet for a smashing breakfast with Lorne sausage. A great view too!
Stay at: East Neuk by the Sea | Sleeps 1 dog, 4 humans
Dog’s don’t eat chocolate but we do. Whether or not we should eat chocolate bars that have been deep-fried is something we should all ponder. The notion that someone thought it was okay to make chocolate bars even more of an unhealthy prospect is also quite crazy. But the fact remains, somebody somewhere did invent this weird creation.
What does it taste like though? To find out, head to your local chip shop when you are on holiday. Most takeaways offer this challenging addition to the world’s most lethal confectionery. Save your dog some chips and some batter from your fish whilst you question your sanity and tuck into the weirdest dinner chaser you’re likely to find.
Bertie’s restaurant in Edinburgh is known for its deep-fried Cadbury’s Crème Eggs! You can now also buy deep-fried pizza and jelly babies! Mars Bars, Yorkies, Kit-Kats, Twix, Picnic and Flake can all be found under a layer of crispy batter at your local chippy too. Yummy!
Stay at: The Cooperage | Sleeps – 1 dog, 2 humans
Not forgetting the vegetarian, this hot favourite originates from the Scottish Borders. Its odd name is something of a mystery unlike the ingredients which share a lot in common with bubble and squeak or colcannon. Potato, cabbage and onion make up the bulk of this traditional dish which can be served as a side or a main course. It’s a winter favourite served piping hot by a fireside. A wayfarer’s favourite as its something that can be slow-cooked and be waiting for you when you arrive back in your holiday home after a long trek with the dog. Dogs will love licking out the pan for scraps afterwards by the hearth! Cosy.
A good place to try rumbledethumps on the menu is at The Bridge Inn in Ratho. A great little dog-friendly pub next to the river with a lovely view. There’s a great terrace for summer visits and a roaring fire for the winter.
Stay at: Deagh Mhonandh | sleeps 2 dogs + 4 humans
Are you brave enough to try these?
When you and your dog are on your eating odyssey in Scotland you may want to try some of these other staples of the nation’s diet.
- Haggis: A popular dish that consists of mincemeat with herbs traditionally served in the lining of a sheep’s stomach or nowadays, sausage casing.
- Neeps and tatties: A mash up of turnips (or swedes) and boiled potatoes in butter.
- Potato scone: In England these are known as potato cakes, but have pretty much followed the dinosaur into extinction below the border. A mixture of potato and flour and cooked on griddle. Delicious.
- Savoury scones: Resembling the scone serving with a Devonshire cream tea, except they have cheese and other savoury ingredients in. Served as a side to soup, here and there.
- White pudding: You’ve heard of black pudding, well in Scotland they have white pudding too. White pudding is made from pork mince, cereal, herbs, spices and bacon and unlike black pudding, there’s no blood. You can also find it in the north of England in Lancashire and Northumberland.
- Harry Gow’s Dream Rings: Half a doughnut filled with whipped-cream? Sounds luscious doesn’t it? Harry Gow is an ever-expanding chain of bakeries and this invention has gone berserk since it was launched. Get involved.
- Arbroath smokies: Fish smoked after an elaborate process that dates back centuries. Find out more here.
- Stovies: A car crash of a shepherd’s pie served like a stew/casserole – a lovely combination of potatoes, vegetables and other delights. Another winter warmer to combat those crisp Scottish evenings.
- Tablet: For those with a sweet tooth, this is the Scottish variation of fudge!
There are also national brands of familiar favourites; eating in Scotland isn’t quite as big a leap into the unknown as a trip to France or Spain for instance. You can find out more about dog-friendly Scotland in our other guides too.
Stay at a dog-friendly holiday cottage in Scotland
Why not stay in a dog-friendly cottage with your hound when you visit Scotland? Our collection has holiday homes the length and breadth of Scotland from The Highlands to the islands, the Scottish Borders, the Cairngorms and beyond. Whether you are looking for a quiet retreat with your hound or an extended family break in the city, we have the perfect dog-friendly property for you.
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.