How To Spot A Dog-Friendly Cafe In Australia

Looking for a dog-friendly cafe near you? In this article I’ll share with you the easy way to find them.

With an estimated 4.8 million pet dogs in Australia, dogs are the most common pet. We love them, but we all know that owning a dog in an Australian city can be difficult. There are many places in cities where dogs aren’t allowed, such as every indoor area of a food business.

The reason for that is the State Food Act, which outlines that live animals are not permitted in areas where food is handled. Business owners may decide to allow pet dogs in outdoor dining areas, but they don’t have to. Exceptions apply for assistance animals, as they must be allowed in all areas open to customers. 

So, long story short, if we speak of a dog-friendly business, it means that the business owner lets you bring your pet dogs to the outdoor dining area of the business. Even if a business is known to be very supportive and dog-friendly, allowing dogs indoors is not a legal option due to the State Food Act.  

So how can you spot a dog-friendly cafe? In this article, we’ll show you how!

Do they have an outdoor area?

If not, chances are it’s not a dog-friendly cafe.

Can you spot a water bowl?

A dog-friendly cafe will usually have a water bowl (or two!) for their four-legged customers.

dog in a dog-friendly cafe
Image: Alison Pang on Unsplash

Check their Instagram!

Dog-friendly cafes often like to share photos of their furry customers on their social media.

See a section for dogs in the menu?

Many dog-friendly cafes like to include a few items for dogs into their menu. Think puppuccinos, dog treats, and doggie ice cream!

Do they have staff who are happy to see dogs?

The best way to tell if a cafe is dog-friendly is by checking the staff’s attitudes. If they’re happy to see your dog, chances are it’s a dog-friendly cafe!

How else can you find a dog-friendly cafe?

If you want to do some research before leaving the house, you can try the following:

  • Browse popular hashtags on Instagram to see where other pups are going. Most big cities have one dedicated to their areas, such as #dogsofsydney or #dogsofperth
  • Open Google Maps and type in “dog-friendly cafe”. You’ll get results based on keywords from reviews. So, if someone reviewed a cafe and mentioned that it’s dog-friendly, it will show up on the list.
  • Type “dog-friendly cafe” + “your city” into Google search, and check out the articles from online magazines that pop up in the search results.

We have a few articles to help you find dog-friendly cafes too that you might like:



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