Finding dog friendly places to visit is not always easy. There are hidden gems in every city that you and your pug will want to visit from pug meets to dog cafes, beaches to bars, events to shops and a whole lot more. Discover the top 10 dog friendly places to visit: Melbourne, Australia.
Where there’s a pug, there’s sure to be another, and another. Eventually a grumble is formed, and you have Pugwood – the essential weekly pug playdate, hosted in Elwood Park. Pugwood is just one of the many pug groups in Melbourne, meeting every Sunday (weather permitting) at 10am, for one hour of sniffing, running, lazing and, err… humping (!). Pugwood started way back in 2000, and has since gained sponsorship from Royal Canin, who provides treat samples each week, and cool merchandise around Christmas time. The human community have their own Facebook page (close to 2000 followers), which is great for asking questions, and sharing pics of their loved fur babies. There’s no better place to gain pug knowledge, or introduce your new little bundle of fur joy, to this friendly group.
Brighton Dog Beach
Summer is on the way in Australia, so various parts of the Melbourne coastline will soon be marked with thousands of tiny paw prints. At selected beaches, dogs can run leash free all year round on the beach, and take a dip in the water, should they feel the urge. Our beach of choice is the Brighton Dog Beach, located in the Melbourne suburb of Brighton. This large area of beach is totally fenced to ensure your pup doesn’t get too excited, and run far into the horizon. The beach is clean, and forms many smaller puddles to run through at low tide. Olly always finds a friend or two to (skinny) dip with here.
There’s a big difference between dog friendly cafes, and Doghouse Australia, who have pitched themselves as being a “human friendly” dog café. It’s a dog’s life here, with a huge variety of treats and beverages to really pamper your pup. Doghouse Australia has a number of small, gated enclosures to allow the guest of honour to freely roam around while they enjoy their own doggy lunch, without the dangers of other hungry tummies muscling in on their lunch. Olly tested out the Kangaroo Muffin while sipping a Doghouse specialty – the puppachino – and the verdict? It’s definitely a four paws up experience! There’s a selection of sandwiches, rolls and beverages for the human counterparts, should our best friends decide to let them join in on the fun. Well, if they’re paying…
Leonard’s House Of Love
If beer and chicken is your thing, then look no further then Leonard’s House of Love. This converted house to bar venue allows dogs to freely walk into the bar, and out to its breezy beer garden. Everyone is so friendly, and always willing to provide free pats to all their furry patrons (not to mention some bonus treats of bacon to those lucky enough). The menu boasts a great selection of friend chicken cuisine, just like they cook in the US. There’s cheesy fries, and hot dogs, too, along with a huge selection of beers that is sure to get the humans “relaxed” enough to keep those chicken treats coming. Leonard’s House of Love is located on Chapel Street, Prahran.
Pugwell – Pugoween/Pugmas
Pugwell is another pug group looking after the Camberwell and surrounding suburbs, however, this group has something that the others don’t have – Pugoween! Towards the end of October, pugs from all corners of Melbourne come together in fancy dress in what is one of the biggest pug spectacles of the year. Whether scary, creative, or just plain weird, Pugoween has it all. The event gets bigger every year, with raffles and stalls raising funds for various pug rescue groups. Olly is particularly excited this year, as he will be trying for his third “Best Dressed” award. We know we should move over and let someone else win, but who doesn’t love a three-peat!? Check out Pugwell’s Facebook page for details of this years’ event.
JB Hi-Fi – Chapel Street
In many parts of the world, it seems dogs are allowed just about anywhere. Olly’s dads were amazed in America to see dogs allowed in department stores and on planes! Australia is a little stricter when it comes to dog-friendly retail (boo!), which is why we just had to include JB Hi-Fi on Chapel Street, Prahran. While the entertainment industry moves towards online and streaming, many still prefer to buy physical CD’s and DVD/BluRay’s, and what better way to grab the latest releases than with your pup by your side. Dogs are most welcome here, with most of the staff here familiar with Olly’s sense of fashion. The only thing missing here is the movie section featuring horses – so the dads know which movies NOT to buy. I’m sure all pugs owners know exactly what we mean.
Miss Drew’s Bakery and Dog Cafe
If you feel like taking a drive down to the Mornington Peninsula, approximately 1 hour south of Melbourne, then you cannot pass up a chance to visit Miss Drew’s Bakery and Dog Café. Hidden within a cluster of small stores within Tyabb Packing House Antiques, this café is certainly worth the drive for delicious dog treats and beverages. Olly took on the Kangaroo Meat Pie, with a dainty Pugichino, with not a crumb gone to waste. There are also cupcakes, cookies, and for the more hardcore pup, beef flavoured beer! This café is for dogs only, humans are tolerated, but there is a human-friendly café right next door, if they feel left out. Afterwards, take a little walk to browse the antique and craft stores nearby.
Humans love their music festivals, but the guilt of keeping their pooches at home all day while enjoying the sun, the beer, and music is almost too much to bare? Well, worry no more, as Dogapalooza comes to Melbourne for a third year on November 12th. It’s a festival of music, food trucks, stalls, competitions, and most importantly, doggy dancing as pups across Melbourne revel in this great event. Raising money for Oscar’s Law, this festival includes a dog wash, a VIP area, and an off-leash arena for the friskier pooches! Tickets are selling fast – and has sold out for the past two years – so get in quick.
It always comes as a surprise to many living in Australia that dogs are allowed to travel on Melbourne’s Metro Trains network (Brisbane and Sydney do not allow this, which has made things difficult when we have travelled). Melbourne prides itself on its public transport system, so why shouldn’t man’s best friend get to enjoy the service? The guidelines of Metro Trains’ allowance of pet travel is that dogs should be muzzled at all times, however, provided your dog is under total control, it seems to not be a practice that is necessary with all the dogs we have seen travel. Olly is an old hand at train travel, and loves the extra pats that come his way from Melbourne commuters.
Behind every hard working tradie, there’s an equally hard working dog, but when it comes to buying the right tools for the trade, poor Rover has to stay at home. A few years ago, hardware giant, Bunning, made the controversial decision to allow dogs into their warehouses. Dog bites! Dog poo!! The complaints on what could be ran rampant. However, since the policy has been in place, very little has been heard, which means everydoggy must be behaving themselves. If anything, people seem to love seeing our pups helping to buy the best hammers to help hang our doggie portraits, or find the perfect plant (a.k.a. dog toilet) for the garden. Dogs should be leashed and muzzled, or safely rested in a trolley (mats are provided).
Enjoy exploring all of the best dog friendly places in Melbourne, Australia. If you know of another hidden gem for dogs to take their humans in Melbourne, be sure to let everyone know in the comments.
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- Top 10 Dog Friendly Places to Visit: Melbourne, Australia - October 9, 2017