If like us, you prefer your dog to most humans – it’s a common affliction – yet you yearn to travel as often as we do then I’m sure you’ve come up against a recurring conflict of interest; saying goodbye to your fur ball as he or she howls in disbelief at the thought of you leaving them behind for even twenty minutes.
In an ideal world, dog-lovers would bring their four-legged friends with them everywhere they go, but sadly, the majority of establishments have always preferred to run a ‘two legs only’ policy. Thankfully things are a-changing and more and more places are beginning to cater to our needs. After all, the dog is as much a part of the squad as we are.
We’ve been doing some Travel Two research and have compiled a list of the best dog friendly spots on this fair isle. Some are places you can spend a whole weekend in, others are places you can swing by to spoil you and your mutt.
1. The Twelve Hotel, Barna, Galway
Leaving aside their dog-embracing nature, this place is ten minutes from Galway City as well as being situated super close to the Aran Islands. It’s a boutique hotel and they go to as much effort to make your dog feel welcome as they do you. Its always been high on our list of must-stay spots out west.
Web: The Twelve Hotel
2. The Fumbally Cafe, Dublin 8
Hotels are one thing, but dog friendly cafes are a little harder to come by. I suppose some people believe that this makes sense, not being overly enthused about the idea of mixing food and dogs etc. when in actual fact they’re just cat people underneath it all. The Fumbally are not only big dog fans but their culinary offerings are second to none.
Web: The Fumbally Cafe
3. The Cake Cafe, Dublin 8
Specialising in incredible cakes (like you couldn’t have guessed) though their egg and soldiers breakfast holds the key to our hungry hearts – The Cake Cafe is another welcoming retreat where you and your mutt can chow down without feeling like you’re disturbing the peace
Web: The Cake Cafe
4. Castlemartyr, Grange, Cork
If your dog is a complete diva like mine and demands luxury with sprawling grounds to explore/mark their territory then there’s nowhere quite like Castlemartyr Resort. Here, your dog has free reign of their very own garden (with a patio door from your own suite). A little on the pricy side but sure we’re worth it and all that.
Web: Castlemartyr Hotel
5. The Dublin Flea Market, Dublin 8
Arguably one of Dublin’s most unique happenings, this flea market takes place on the last Sunday of each month. They’re all about vintage finds, retro furniture, second-hand bikes and general odds and ends but they also serve up some incredible nosh and coffee. Best of all though, they welcome the bow-wows with open arms.
6. Frank Ryans, Smithfield, Dublin
A real spit-on-the-floor style joint. If you happen to be out walking your pooch and you get a goo for a pint, you know the kind that no amount of walking will cure, then stop in here and you won’t need to leave your dog tied to a lamppost outside. We’d never do that by the way cause we’re actually sound.
Web: Frank Ryans
7. Rathmullan House, Rathmullan, Donegal
If it’s a wee trip up North that you crave, this 4-star haven will be just the ticket after a long drive as it’s ridiculously gorge and possesses an old world charm. The grounds are equally as stunning and not forgetting it’s close proximity to the beach. All in all your dog will probably refuse to go home.
Web: Rathmullan House
8. The Mustard Seed, Ballingarry, Limerick
This gem is located just a short drive from Shannon airport and not far from the picturesque town of Adare. Set on acre after acre of rolling Irish countryside, this spot is all about the R&R for you and your dog. Plus their food is out of this world; the ultimate chance to recharge the batteries.
Web: The Mustard Seed
9. Ballyvolane House, Castlelyons, Cork
Anyone who’s been to Ballyvolane will likely have been wooed by its charm and feel compelled to return time and time again. It’s so much more than a B&B and no stone is left unturned in their quest to make you feel comfortable and super chilled. The house itself is amazing but they also specialise in glamping and, yep, your dog is as valued as you are.
Web: Ballyvolane House
10. Pupp Cafe, Dublin 8
As you can probably gather from this list, Dublin 8 is the dog-loving hub of the capital and it’s all in the name with Pupp. A dog friendly cafe and boutique just a few minutes stroll from St.Patrick’s Park, which also welcomes dogs of every shape and size. Your furball will be spoilt for choice in this neighbourhood.
Web: Pupp Cafe
10 (+1). MVP Bar, Dublin 8
I know, I know. This list is meant to be 10 of the best but I almost forgot about MVP which is weird because it’s probably the one I frequent most with my very own little chicken nugget. Did I just say that out loud, scarls. Anyway, what’s not to love about being able to have a pint, a pie and your pooch by your side.
Web: MVP Bar
Where have you been that’s dog friendly? Let us know below so we can spread the word.