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Dog-friendly Ireland: Enjoying events together

Dogs are social animals. They instinctively want to be part of the pack, and they also want to go out and have fun with their pack. Taking your pet out to dog-friendly events in Ireland is a fun way to enjoy the summer.

Your dog loves to go out and about with you, but not all venues and events are suitable. But happily, you can find events geared for dogs and their humans to enjoy together.

While your dog is social and probably likes to explore new places, events can sometimes be overwhelming. For the first few dog-friendly events you attend, be prepared to stay for a short time in case your dog gets nervous. After a few short events, he’ll learn it is fun and safe to go out with you.

National Dog-Friendly Ireland Day 2018

Dog’s Trust is organizing their first Dog-Friendly Ireland Day on June 22, 2018. This isn’t one specific event, but a promotion of dogs joining their humans in public for more than walks. If you’re bringing your dog to an event or venue that welcomes dogs, you can register on the Dog’s Trust website. The goal is to encourage venues to welcome dogs along with their owners. Giving it a one-day try can show that many dogs can be as well-behaved as humans and that allowing them to join the fun can be a good thing for everyone.

If your favourite local pub, café, cinema or other venue is participating, Dog’s Trust is encouraging you to go along with your dog and post photos on social media with the hashtag #DogFriendlyIrelandDay. Food hygiene regulations have been updated so that now it is up to the owner of a restaurant or café if they permit dogs. More of them are discovering that it really isn’t a problem for our canine friends to join us.

Things to Do with Your Dog

Walks are the obvious public event for dogs, and June 10th will see the annual Walk for Greyhounds in Dublin and Galway. All hounds are welcome to join in and promote greyhounds as pets. Dogs must be on lead and owners are advised to bring their own water for their pets. This isn’t the only organized walk for any means! Sunday, May 27th is the first Bark in the Park walk in St. Anne’s park in Clontarf, Dublin. Organizers promise dog training demos and games as well as a fun day out for your pack.

Canicross is a fun pastime for athletic dogs and owners. Instead of going for a run with your dog on her usual lead, you can join others for a cross country run using a special waist belt and elastic lead so the dog’s pulling doesn’t yank the owner’s arm. Curious? Canicross Ireland is having an event the weekend of June 8th in Corkagh Park on Naas Road, Clondalkin, Dublin.

But what about those damp, cold days when a walk just doesn’t appeal? You could curl up on the couch and watch a movie with your dog… or you could bring her to a dog-friendly cinema night. Lighthouse Cinema in Dublin had their first dog-friendly screening in March, showing Isle of Dogs, of course. It appears to have gone well, so maybe we’ll see more dog-friendly cinema events.

Many things have always been dog-friendly, provided owners behave themselves and clean up. You don’t have to be confined to your own neighbourhood when walking your dog. You can go window shopping together or hiking in a park. Some gardens such as Belvedere House and Gardens in Mullingar, Co. Westmeath are quietly dog-friendly. You can stroll around the grounds together and then stop in the café. Do bring your own dog treats and water bowl. Always check in advance to be sure that the place you want to visit will welcome your dog and see what their rules are.

When you go to dog friendly summer events, you need to bring a few basics to keep your dog happy and comfortable. Your dog always needs fresh, clean drinking water. Dog-friendly events should supply water, but to be on the safe side, it makes sense to bring your own along with a dish. If you are going to be out for a few hours, bringing food or at least a few treats will not only ward off hunger, it will mean you have a powerful distraction at hand. If your dog is young or new to events, having a reward lets him know when he is doing well. Dog-friendly does not mean your dog can run loose, so you’ll need his lead. And of course, any time you go out with your dog you need poop-scoop bags.

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