They say that ‘a dog is for life and not just for Christmas’, but we can all safely say that can definitely extend to ‘a dog is for life and not just for lockdown’. According to The Kennel Club, one in four dog owners admitted impulse buying a pandemic puppy and the Dogs Trust has warned that up to 40,000 dogs could be at risk of abandonment as we return to normal life.
So what about you? Will your boss let you bring a puppy that pees all over the floor into the office? How will you go clubbing with your dog or eat in fancy restaurants? Will you be able to get on the tube or order an Uber? It almost sounds more difficult than having a child… So here’s some top solutions to help you and your pooch live life to the full.
Where are the mutt-friendly restaurants?
Okay, so it’s looking all easy at the moment. You can rock up to any restaurant safe in the knowledge that your dog will be chilling on some outside patio space or pavement. But what happens when we’re all allowed back inside again? Have you thought about that?
No, we thought not. So we’re hunted out the finest establishments across London that not only welcome dogs of all shapes and sizes they even have their own sets of crockery prepared.
Take Drake & Morgan over at the renovated area around Kings Cross. They have special bowls for your furry friends, so you know they’ll be welcome to a dog-friendly dinner in the evening.
Meanwhile, over at The Egerton, they’ve gone the extra mile with a dedicated Doggy Afternoon Tea… yup, you heard that right. Trot on into the drawing room, and they’ll be served up chicken and beef meatloaf, homemade dog biscuits and doggy ice cream. There’s also VIP grooming, dog walking services and custom-made pet beds in case they get bored. Oh and there’s a human afternoon tea too.
Over at M Victoria Street, it’s almost (read: definitely) like they’ve taken it a step too far. They have an entire brunch dedicated to you and your pup with dedicated menus. Every Saturday they will be throwing a spectacular three-course brunch menu. For humans, you can expect mouth-watering dishes including shakshuka, steak and eggs and a pancake Stack, and four-legged friends can look forward to chicken jerky three ways, biltong risotto and peanut butter cookies – bone appetit!
Four-legged friends can look forward to chicken jerky three ways, biltong risotto and peanut butter cookies – bone appetit!
Every dog joins Nestlé’s PAW (Pets at Work) programme and gets its own 'passpawt'.
How can I persuade my boss a dog is a good idea?
The likelihood is that your boss probably got a lockdown dog, so the best course of action is to slowly encourage your boss to bring their dog into the office. Then you’ll have an excuse to bring yours in. You can also bandy about research that proves that canine colleagues seriously improve staff wellbeing and productivity. They help with depression, anxiety, and stress. Basically, you’re doing everyone in the office a favour. This should mean immediate promotion.
Failing that, just say that your doggy daycare couldn’t make it and the last option you had was to bring it in. Just make sure it’s well-trained. You don’t want to bring the computer system down with a misplaced pee, or lose the company accounts in your dog shredder. And you probably also don’t want to get fired.
The safest option, however, might just be to look for a new job. Drastic, we know, but sometimes you’ve just got to put your dog first. About 8% of employees in the UK are allowed to take their dogs to work, according to research by Reed.co.uk, so you’ve got to do some work to sniff out the right company.
Take Nestlé for example, they’ve allowed their employees to bring their dogs into their City Place headquarters near Gatwick since 2015. According to The Guardian, apparently around 56 staff have chosen to go through the company’s three-step ‘pawthorisation’ process, which involves a detailed questionnaire about their dog’s habits and behavioural evaluations by an independent dog specialist. The dog then joins Nestlé’s PAW (Pets at Work) programme and gets its own ‘passpawt’.
According to Nestle, these are the benefits:
1. 34% increase in happier and healthier staff
2. 30% of people got to spend more time with their dogs
3. There was a 28% increase in socialising
4. 26% people felt more encouraged to do physical activity
5. 20% of employees felt less likely to suffer from depression
6. 17% of people had a reduction in blood pressure and cholesterol levels
7. 14% of people reported an increase in engagement and motivation
8. 10% of people found it helped break the ice when talking to senior staff.
Other notable dog-friendly companies in the UK, include: Amazon, Google, Ben & Jerry’s, Next Model Management, Firebox, the Blue Cross, Pets at Home and the Dog’s Trust. And Hubble have outlined which co-working spaces are dog friendly, including specific WeWork and Airspace locations in London.
Finally, one more angle to go for is to do a test run on ‘Bring Your Dog To Work Day’ on 25 June this year. Good luck.
Where can I go on holiday with my furry friend?
Right, so now that we’re not part of the EU a few things have changed around the rules for taking your pet on holiday. As long as you follow the rules, you can take up to five pets (five!? who is taking FIVE pets on holiday!?). The rules say that: there’s a special certificate rather than a pet passport you need to take; your pooch will need to be microchipped; and they will need to be vaccinated against rabies and must be tapeworm free.
Great! But actually we’re still not allowed on holiday yet… So instead, here are some dog-friendly staycations.
Cliveden House in Berkshire is truly set up for a romantic weekend away for you and your pet. You’ll be given a dog-walking map of the estate along with waste bags and treats for your pooch. Then, when you’re both exhausted from the walk you can head back to the hotel for a gourmet meal from the The Astor Grill’s special canine menu.
Next up is, the glamorous Lygon Arms in the Cotswolds. The hotel has partnered with Le Chameau (makers of the finest Wellington boot) to create two dog packages from £80 a dog. On arrival they’ll get a Le Chameau tweed dog bed and ceramic bowl (which you can take home) and you can sign up to The Ultimate Dog Escape, a ridiculously indulgent spa experience. This includes a hair cut and wash, a nail clipping and some sort of facial. The final cherry on the cake is a spritz of Jimmy Chow or Jean Paw Gaultier perfume… yes, we’re quite serious.
Stay a little closer to home at The Kensington. The hotel’s It’s A Dog’s Life package includes a stay for two people, as well as a pooch. The latter will get a dog bed, blankets and water bowls for a little extra comfort. The same goes for The Athenaeum Hotel & Residences which has a VIP Package, for Very Important Puppies. Furry guests can expect treats (both wearable and edible) from Stately Hound, as well as a complimentary meal from the Mini Bar(k) menu, including roast chicken or steak tartare.
The final cherry on the cake is a spritz of Jimmy Chow or Jean Paw Gaultier perfume... yes, we're quite serious.
Who can provide extra help with dogsitting?
The first option is to bribe your neighbour. Send treats, bake cakes, wave to them everyday, take their bins out… win their trust. Then eventually, spring it on them that your dog needs looking after for the next week while you go on holiday.
If that doesn’t work, simply sign up to Borrow My Doggy. This is a great platform that connects dog owners with trusted local people. You can palm off your dog for walks, playtime, or overnight stays. First, meet up for a ‘Welcome Woof’ to get to know each other and ensure your pooch is going to a good place and then ta da! You basically have child care on tap.
Can my dog go on public transport?
Luckily for you, TfL is dog-friendly. What’s more, they’ll let your four-legged friend on all London buses, trains, Tubes and trams for absolutely free! Which is a small cost saving in the light of the fact that you probably paid £3,000 for your pup. However, they have to be kept on a lead or in a crate at all times, and, of course, be on their best behaviour.
Be careful of escalators though… You don’t want paws or fur getting trapped. Which is why the Blue Cross has come up with a dog-friendly map to show you which has steps for your pooch.
You can also get Ubers, but the general rule here is that it’s up to the driver as to whether they consider your dog a suitable travel companion. You just need to message them when they’re on their way to ask if it’s okay.
What’s the best doggy daycare in London?
Worse comes to worse and you can’t take your dog anywhere. The best thing for it? Doggy day care. There are so many options in London now you know your pooch will be in good hands. There’s the City Paws Club, Buddies, Dog Daddies, London Woof, and Bark & Birch – all of whom provide doggy day care, training, dog hotels, walking… the lot. Most of them also provide a pick up and drop off service so you don’t have to life a finger.
However, if you think your pampered pooch deserves the best of the best, then you should sign it up to The Kennel Club. It’s essentially a private members’ club with dogs at its hearts. The Kennel Club has enjoyed the Royal patronage of the Monarch ever since the Club’s inception in 1873, and was formally opened by Princess Anne, a regular visitor to the Club herself. It contins a library with the most complete historical body of canine related literature in the world and a gallery of pet portraits. There’s also a club room and restaurant for relaxing in. It’s not so useful as a day out in the field for a dog, but it has more perks for the human.