It's doggy date night as ban on pets in restaurants is lifted

The ban remains in place where food is being prepared or stored

It's doggy date night as ban on pets in restaurants is lifted

Image: popeyethefoodie/Instagram

Updated 15:50

Animal lovers can now dine out with their dog after a rule banning them from restaurants  was lifted.

The law banning cats and dogs in restaurants and cafés was introduced in the 1950s - but has now been repealed.

The Food Safety of Ireland (FSAI) has confirmed the move -  however, the law remains in place where food is being prepared or stored.

Lauren Kelly, who owns the doggie-friendly 'Dockyard No. 8' restaurant in Bray, welcomed the FSAI announcement.

"Dockyard has always been dog friendly," she said. "We have been very lucky in that we have an outdoor area that is covered and heated."

"Dogs have always been welcome there.

"But people were not always aware of it. As much as we posted on social media - our own dog Hercules has his own Instagram page and he has loads of followers - sometimes people are still surprised to learn that their dogs are welcome."


Car snoozes #naptime #sleepy #puppysnuggles #bulldog #bullysofinstagram

A post shared by Hercules (@herculesoftheharbour) on

The best small country in the world to be a dog

In a statement, Dog's Trust Ireland said it was "optimistic that this progressive step will be instrumental in helping Ireland to become more Dog Friendly."

The charity's executive director said:  "We have seen an increased appetite for dog owners wishing to be accompanied by their four legged friends when visiting cafés and restaurants, as well as a growing desire for food business owners to allow dogs on site."

"This positive change supports our mission to help make Ireland the best place in the world to own and be a dog and we hope it will pave the way for other industries to adopt similar Dog Friendly practices."

Owner's discretion

The decision on admitting pets remains at the restaurant owner's discretion, so it is still worth ringing ahead before taking your doggo to dinner.

Paul Froggatt, chairman of the Dog Friendly Association of Ireland and co-founder of Pupp Café in Dublin, said he worked with the FSAI to bring about the new changes:

We asked these people in Dublin if they were for or against eating their dinner with dogs and cats:

The change brings us in line with many EU countries, but doesn't affect the rules for guide dogs or assistance dogs which will continue to be allowed on all premises.