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  • Pets at the Pub drawing crowds as RSPCA pushes to include dogs in public places.

    28 February at 17:26 from atlas

    Australia has the third highest level of pet dog ownership in the world and, as the puppy love spreads, so has the push to include them in all aspects of life.

    A new event in Adelaide called Pets at the Pub has been drawing hundreds of dog owners and their pooches to pet-friendly venues around the city.

    It brought 300 people to the National Wine Centre in Adelaide on Sunday.

    According to RSPCA event organiser Josie Sullivan, the event is not just about unleashing the fun and having a wag. It is also about promoting pet-friendly places in Adelaide and surrounding suburbs.

    She hoped the event would encourage the community to include dogs in more public spaces.

    "In other countries, European countries, dogs are really part of people's lives and we would love to see that being promoted more in Adelaide and Australia-wide as well," she said.

    The charity is not lobbying for more dog-friendly venues but Ms Sullivan said the potential economic benefits had businesses wagging their tails.

    "I've probably had about 20 to 30 venues approach us about having a Pets at the Pub," she said.

    "I think when people start to see what a beautiful experience it is — to get out there on the weekend with your dog — I think other states will pick it up as well."

    A recent survey on pet ownership by the Australian Institute of Medical Science found a "significant lift" in the number of dog owners who saw their pooches as family.

    George Thomson said his dog Archie should not be confined to the dog parks and the backyard but should be free to tag along with him to the café.

    "He's a big part of our family and he goes everywhere with us," he said.

    "We just go out everywhere to restaurants.

    "We won't go anywhere if we can't take the dog."

    Kylie Moir said she often sought out dog-friendly food venues as well.

    "We always take Delilah to pet-friendly cafes so we're always in search of new places that let us bring her along."

    The National Wine Centre did not always allow dogs but sales manager Chelsea Hopper was attracted to the idea of hosting more pet-friendly events on an annual or biannual frequency.

    "We haven't really decided yet but we'd definitely like to incorporate this in our gardens again," she said.

    Dog-friendly business Little Bang Brewing Co was the first venue to host Pets at the Pub, which attracted about 300 people and 80 dogs.

    "There was certainly enough hair for 70 or 80 dogs the next day because we had sort of tumble weeds of hair blowing through the place afterwards," owner Ryan Davidson said.

    He said he would be barking mad not to host another event.

    "There's definitely been a considerable amount of people who've been attracted to this place purely because they can bring their dog," he said.

    Companion dogs are allowed in outdoor dining areas under Australian food safety standards but it is up to shop owners to decide whether or not their venue was pet friendly.

    Urban planner Fiona De Rosa said the hospitality industry had "welcomed dogs into bars, cafes and pubs in Adelaide" over the past five years but more planning was necessary to better incorporate them into businesses and the community.

    "We can design buildings that cater for dogs," she said.

    "It might be putting water bowls out the front of the shop. It might be having different entrances, back entrances.

    "Some cafes … will have the open window which faces onto the street so that you can still get your coffee but you can still remain with your dog as opposed to leaving your dog tied up and going in."

    Written by Samantha Dawes ABC NEWS  28th February 2017


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