Dogs out on the Town

Have you ever found yourself in town with your dog and feel very limited as to where you can go? Or do you avoid going into town because you know you can’t take your dog? Or, if you don’t feel safe tying your dog up outside a shop you’re sort of stuck?

You might have seen that I have made a pledge to find dog-friendly “perfect for paws” places to go in Tunbridge Wells each week. Last week I wrote about a local National Trust property, Scotney Castle.

But when in town, its always a shame why more places can’t welcome well-behaved and clean dogs. Apart from areas where food is prepared, there is no law as to whether dogs can’t go inside a commercial premises, it is up to the proprietor’s discretion. Most people are really surprised when I tell them that there actually are places that you can go inside, (yes inside!) with your dog.

I have come across a few places other than pet shops in Tunbridge Wells that do let you shop, eat and enjoy the town with your pooch!

Cath Kidston will let you wander round with your dog, as will Joules, Trevor Mottram, White Stuff, Fat Face, Susie Watson Design. I have been told that Waterstones and Millets also allow dogs in their shops but I haven’t tried them out myself.

If you want to go somewhere to eat with your dog its a bit more tricky. The Ragged Trousers in the Pantiles welcomes dogs inside, although slightly outside the centre of town the Beacon is very dog friendly in the bar and terrace area only. The Hub Cafe in Grosvenor & Hilbert Park also welcomes clean dogs inside, this is a life saver when the children want an ice cream or a drink and it means that we often go there. I’m sure there are more so let me know if there are!

If your dog is clean and well behaved it is worth asking if they are allowed in. After all it all helps support the local economy which is in all our interests. If you’re on Twitter or Instagram use the hashtag #perfectforpaws.

There are some organisations trying to raise awareness of this issue. CAMRA are trying to find some good examples of where businesses have seen an increase in profits since becoming more dog friendly. Do you know any local ones?

The Kennel Club has teamed up with and is currently running Dog Friendly week this week (24–28 July) to encourage and reward businesses to welcome dogs and their owners. They have also published a “petiquette” guide to make sure that dog owners behave responsibly (see link below). So let me know how you get on in Dog Friendly week!

Petiquette: tips to ensure your dog is welcome in …

Petiquette: tips to ensure your dog is welcome in businesses and public spaces

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