Where are dogs allowed?

Dogs Not Allowed
We can have more dog friendly environments if we are more responsible dog owners


I find it more and more frustrating and difficult to have days out with my dog, and allow him to be a full member of the family’s every day activity, when there are hardly any places in UK that canines are allowed access to.  UK does not allow dogs entrance to shops retailing in any category of merchandise, supermarkets, shopping centre, and of course in food serving premises – not unless of course your dog is a service dog in their line of duty.  Some pubs allow dogs in their courtyards or gardens, provided you consume and sit outside – which is not best conducive of custom, given the inclement British weather.

I love to help mum with the food shoppingYet, when I travel to Europe I cannot believe my eyes when I see dogs allowed in supermarkets, coffee bars, patisseries, and even quietly sitting down at their owners’ feet whilst their family enjoys a tasty meal in restaurants!


Why are dogs not allowed in shops?

The answer lays on health and safety reasons, for hygiene purposes.  Also, I suspect, as dogs are of different size and level of excitement, the law cannot afford to risk attacks to humans or merchandise.  It all makes sense.  But then does that mean that many other countries in Europe at least, such as France, or Italy, are less health and safety conscious? Do more attacks on people take place, or does more stock get ruined as a result of your dog urinating on it?


Dogs love to be part of the family

I strongly believe dogs are best behaved when part of their big pack.  It’s the rule of the pack that Cesar Millan centres his dog training on – we are our dogs’ pack, their family, and when surrounded by their family and made part of their family activity, our dogs will behave, regardless of age and size.  The way I see it is like when you take your babies out to the shops – they are on their best behaviour, mostly as the curiosity of the surrounding takes over their attention and distracts them from playing up and showing off, as in fact they would do when in the house.  With dogs it is the same – as much as some may find this offensive, I do believe dogs are like toddlers.


So, what’s the best way forward?

It is somewhat interesting what the Kennel Club advises with regard to allowing dogs in shops and food supplying premises – likewise, it is worth reading about their recommended ‘petiquette‘ before we embark on introducing our dog into society and in public spaces.  What a lot of businesses do not realise is that there are a lot of dog owners out there who could join the ranks of their client-base, if they were allowed within their business premises.  Every dog owner that cannot access premises is potential loss of business.  Then again, possibly business managers could adopt the approach of allowing dogs in, unless they start misbehaving, in which case dog owners may be asked to leave.  Remember, like with children, if a dog misbehaves, it is because the handler does not have the situation under control – it is never the dog’s fault.



  1. // Reply

    Great blog. It certainly is sad when a person cannot bring his dog with him into places like a supermarket or restaurants, especially if that dog is part of his family. But I can still understand why some places doesn’t allow dogs especially in restaurants. Is it allowed to bring dog with you anywhere in the US?

    1. // Reply

      I have just done a bit of research regarding the law in the States about dog access to public places and with your question you helped me shutter to pieces the land-of-dogs dream I had about US. It appears that the law is very similar to the one of UK, in so far that businesses have only got an obligation to allow service and guide dogs into their premises. However, where it gets worse than in UK is that the business has religious connections where dogs are not accepted, then the owners can refuse access to service dogs too. Like in UK, I suspect, ultimately access remains at the discretion of the owner/manager of the premises, where unfortunately dog owners are left with the onus to search for dog friendly premises before starting off on a journey. The good thing is that, with the wider advent of the internet, the job of finding dog friendly places is now made much easier!
      I hope this helped, but by all means leave more comments if you have more questions. Giulia 🙂

  2. // Reply

    What a great article! I live in the U.S. and there are very few places that we can take our dog to, though we try to take him as many places as possible and to follow “petiquette” while we are out. When my husband and I got our first dog we were living in Germany temporarily and were stunned at how many places allowed dogs. We also appreciated all of the people there who took the time to explain the social expectations people had of us and our dogs while we were out in public. We have tried to remember those lessons now that we are back in the U.S. and are pleased when people compliment us on our dogs behavior. I feel its important to take him out and let him see new people and experience new things. Otherwise he is going to get bored and unruly! 🙂

    1. // Reply

      First of all, sorry for the delay in getting back to you Angela – had one of my ‘under the weather’ attacks yesterday. Now, I couldn’t agree with you more Angela, the more experience of socialisation your dog has, the more well behaved he/she becomes, as they learn to become less excitable with humans and other dogs alike and as they also learn by example by other calmer canines. I just don’t understand if it works for most of Europe, by, the sound of it, why it shouldn’t work in UK or the States. But I feel at least with UK, there’s still a loooong way to go before making Britan more open to dog access.
      Thank you ever so much for your comment and your interest in a subject which I really feel strongly about. Giulia 🙂

  3. // Reply

    Indy (& Giulia),

    Great post!

    I live in the US, and work in a Brooks Brothers clothing store. Our manager is a dog owner, and so we allow “well behaved dogs” in our store.

    I agree totally that the behavior of the dog is a reflection of the owner. My brother’s dogs know that there is no “leader of the pack,” so they would jump on the table (they were Springer Spaniels), climb into the dishwasher (to lick the plates), and sleep anywhere they like. They couldn’t understand how, after being with the dogs for only a few hours, they would obey me, when they ignored them! But I let them know I ranked above them.

    I hope you take great care of Giulia, and have a great time!


    1. // Reply

      Oh dear, I feel a bit guilty after reading your comment, as I think I spoil our Indy, though possibly not to such lengths as your brother does with his dogs. Then again, my husband is the stronger pack leader and the situation is balanced up. Yes, definitely Cesar Millan would not be best pleased with me, but it’s very difficult not to start treating these little ‘urns like your own babies!!
      And yes, if only there were more bosses as lining as yours, I think the world would be a better one – surely if as a dog owner I wanted to go to a bookshop, I’d sooner go to your shop rather than a non dog friendly one, and the maths for your business is done!
      But thank you for taking your time going through my posts Roger, and for sharing your thoughts with us, really much appreciated. Giulia 🙂

  4. // Reply

    I agree with your opinions here. I believe that once a dog is clean and well behaved, he or she should be able to go to public places with their human family members.

    There are different rules all over the world and I hope that one day there will be a common rule that accepts this logical idea.

    Let us see what happens in the coming years, especially in the UK and the US.

    Thanks for your post, Giulia.


    1. // Reply

      Thank you, Jason, for taking your time to go through my crazy blogs and ideas. But, like you by the sound of it, I’m an idealist about our canine friends, as I believe with more responsible ownership the world could all be more dog friendly, as dog give humans so much in love and loyalty. But thank you once again 🙂

  5. // Reply

    Thanks for a good article.
    I also have wondered why we can’t take our animals inside supermarket, shops, restaurants a.s.on. I asked once and the feedback was of healthy reasons. I am getting a dog in the future, and my dog have to spend time in the car, while I shop. I live in Norway by the way. I would have loved to take him with me when I shop. And as you say, the dog is part of the family.
    I agree if a dog misbehave it’s never the dogs fault. I also watch Cecar Millan and his dog philosophy. I like the idea of letting dogs who behave well being allowed to visit supermarkets, shops, restaurant.

    1. // Reply

      I couldn’t agree with you more Tove, if the dog is well behaved, then he/she should be allowed in shops. In passing and for future reference, when you do get a dog, if you need to go shopping to places where dogs are not allowed, then I suggest you leave the dog at home rather than locked in the car. This is dangerous for 2 main reasons: it can encourage dog theft, but also your dog could suffer with cold in winter, or the very dangerous heat stroke in the summer ?? Thank you for reading through my post. Giulia ?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *