If you’re looking for a dog-friendly restaurant that will cater to both you and your pup, you’re in luck. While it’s traditionally been challenging to find restaurants that allow pets to dine-in, dog-friendly dining is a trend that’s quickly gaining traction in the UK – so your options are expanding every day!

Dog-lovers have spoken, and they’re no longer happy to leave their loyal companions out of the action. In response, many restaurants, including some of the UK’s biggest restaurant chains, are embracing dog-friendly policies.

It’s a move with mutual benefits. Dog lovers no longer need to choose between wining and dining with friends and family or quality time with their beloved pooch. For restaurants, it opens the door to a growing segment of the population who are eager to get out and about with their dogs!

Dog asleep in restaurant

The Rise of Dog-Friendly Dining in the UK

In recent years, we’ve seen UK restaurants increasingly embracing dog-friendly policies. But what’s causing this welcome change in attitude?

Well, for one, it’s good for business! Dog-lovers represent a huge and previously untapped customer base. While there was already an upwards trend in dog ownership in the UK prior to the pandemic, Brits really embraced pets as a source of comfort during lockdown. And even though we can thankfully leave the house again now, we’re attached to our pooches! Why would we want to leave them at home while we dine?

Savvy business owners have realised that making their premises dog-friendly removes a barrier for dog-lovers to come out and enjoy their offering. It also makes diners likely to stay and relax for longer (read: spend more) at the venue, since they don’t need to worry about getting home to check on their loyal companion.

Plus, dogs are adorable! What business owner wouldn’t opt-in for a free morale boost for their staff?

Benefits of Dog-Friendly Restaurants

For dog owners, the benefits of choosing a dog-friendly venue are obvious. What could be better than kicking back with a good meal and a glass of wine with your furry best friend right there at your feet? No need to worry about whether your dog is lonely, bored or driving the neighbours mad with barking at home, and no need to rush off early to make sure they’ve been watered and fed.

The perks of dog-friendly restaurants are just as great for your dog! Most pooches love nothing more than being by your side and in on the action. And if it’s a busy, dog-friendly restaurant, the chance of meeting other dogs is high, which is great for socialisation. At the very least, your pup is sure to get some pats from adoring waitstaff.

For businesses, opening the door to dogs is a great way to guarantee patronage from the dog-loving community – whether it’s owners looking to dine out with their pets, or other customers who delight in getting a glimpse of another table’s cute companion while they dine.

Considerations for Dog Owners in Restaurants

As more restaurants embrace dog-friendly policies, dog owners have a responsibility to ensure that their dog is well-behaved and not disturbing other patrons. No one wants their meal interrupted by a barking, boisterous dog, no matter how much of an animal-lover they are!

Always check the restaurant’s website for their dog policy before showing up. Most premises specify a few rules and boundaries that you’ll need to respect while you’re there, such as keeping your dog on a leash or not allowing them to sit at the table. Other restaurants only welcome dogs outside, not inside, or they might request that you leave your pooch at home during peak service.

poodle dog sitting in restaurant

Dog Friendly Chain Restaurants in the UK


Noodle-fiends rejoice – Pho prides itself on being a dog-friendly restaurant chain! Your pooch is welcome inside and out at all restaurant locations across the UK, according to this (very cute) Insta post!


Lounges welcomes dogs at some locations, at the manager’s discretion. Where dogs are allowed to join you, they ask that your pooch is kept on a leash, with four paws firmly on the ground at all times (sorry, no cuddles at the table!) You can check out Lounges’ Canine Code of Conduct on their website.


Good news for fans of Bill’s laidback vibes – your pooch is welcome to relax at their restaurants too! Just make sure they’re well-behaved, as per Bill’s dog-friendly policy.

Boston Tea Party

Of course the UK’s ‘most ethical café’ is open to pooches! All Boston Tea Party locations are dog-friendly – just make sure your pooch stays off the furniture.

Gordon Ramsay’s restaurants

Gordon Ramsay restaurants’ are a bit of a mixed bag in terms of dog-friendliness, with dogs welcome at select restaurants only. At some locations, dogs are allowed outdoors only. To be safe, we recommend you check the Gordon Ramsay website for their dog friendly restaurants before attending with your pooch.

Pizza Express

Pizza Express does not have a blanket rule as to whether your dog can join you at its restaurants. Some locations allow well-behaved dogs to accompany you, provided the restaurant has an outdoor seating area that you can access without passing through the indoor restaurant. However, this is up to the location manager’s discretion, so always call ahead to be safe.


Gaucho is definitely on the dog-friendly end of the spectrum, but they do have a relatively extensive list of rules and restrictions that you’ll need to follow if you choose to bring your pooch! For example, dogs aren’t permitted to attend restaurants after 6pm, and you can only bring one dog per person. If you’re looking to meet some fellow dog lovers, check out Gaucho’s dedicated Doggy days, held at various venues across the UK every month. See the Gaucho website for their full dog policy.


If you’re after tasty and authentic Indian cuisine that you can enjoy in the company of your four-legged friend, you can’t go past Mowgli. Every Mowgli location is dog-friendly – in fact, dogs are encouraged at this family-friendly restaurant chain! According to their Instagram feed, if your dog manages to win the hearts of the floor staff, it might even get a mention on the end-of-night report.

Can I take my dog to Wagamama?

Unfortunately, Wagamama is not dog-friendly, and you can’t dine with your dog either indoors or outdoors (unless your dog is a registered assistance animal, of course). If you’re after a dog-friendly alternative for your noodle fix, try Pho, which welcomes dogs at all its UK locations!

Are dogs allowed in Nandos?

Bad news for dog-loving Nando’s fans – Nando’s UK is not dog-friendly. Pooches are not welcome to join you in any part of their restaurants, whether indoors or outdoors. Of course, guide dogs and other assistance animals are allowed at all venues, as per UK law.

Is Subway dog friendly?

Subway restaurants don’t have an explicit policy on pet-friendliness in the UK. However, anecdotal reports suggest that Subway is not a dog-friendly chain, meaning you can’t dine in with your dog. If you’re unsure, we suggest calling the specific Subway location you plan to attend ahead of time to avoid disappointment.

two dogs sitting outside a restaurant

Tips for Dining Out with Your Dog

The fact that many restaurants are adopting more relaxed and dog-friendly policies is great news for animal lovers! However, it’s important to be a conscientious and responsible dog parent to ensure that you, your pooch, the restaurant staff and other diners are all able to have an enjoyable time. Below, we’ve pulled together our top tips for making dining out with your dog safe and relaxing for all.

Check online or call ahead

Some restaurants and chains have a clear dog policy on their website, which often provides important information about your dog’s visit. Some restaurants only allow dogs outside of peak times, for example. But if you’re not sure whether a venue is dog-friendly or not, it’s always a good idea to call ahead. You don’t want to wind up being turned away after you’ve made all the effort to get there!

Keep your dog on a lead

Even if your dog is well-behaved and used to roaming free, restaurants can be busy and chaotic places. Avoid getting under anyone’s feet by keeping them on a lead while you’re dining.

Stay off the furniture

Don’t let your dog place its paws on tables or chairs – you might be fine with this at home, but the staff and other diners might not agree. Consider bringing a blanket or cushion from home if your dog is used to creature comforts.

Bring your own water

Many dog-friendly venues will happily provide water for your pooch, but since dehydration is a serious risk for dogs it’s always best to be safe and bring your own bowl and water, especially in warmer months.

Bring entertainment

Chatting over a tasty meal might be the highlight of your weekend, but it’s less fun for Fido! Consider bringing a favourite toy or a long-lasting treat (just steer clear of anything with a pungent aroma) to keep your pet occupied while you dine.

Respect other staff and diners

Your fellow restaurant-goers are out to have a good time, just like you, and the waitstaff have a job to perform. While most people love being in the vicinity of a cute pooch, no one wants to be barked at or jumped on at a restaurant. Make sure your dog is quiet and respectful of others’ personal space.

Consider your dog

Bringing your pup along for a dining experience might sound fun and exciting to you, and many dogs would agree; however, for some dogs, being in a noisy, crowded environment and asked to sit still for an hour is a nightmare. It may sound obvious, but it’s important to consider whether a restaurant experience is right for your dog, or if they’d be happier keeping the couch warm for you to return to. If you do choose to bring your pooch along, make an exit plan ahead of time for if you notice your pooch is showing signs of distress.

Dog-Friendly Restaurant FAQs

Are there any restrictions for dogs in restaurants?

There are no UK laws that dictate whether dogs are allowed in restaurants. Each restaurant can set its own rules, so it’s important to check online or call ahead to find out what the restrictions are at any given venue. Some restaurants are entirely dog-friendly, while others only allow dogs in certain areas or at particular times of day.

How do I find dog-friendly restaurants near me?

The best way to find dog-friendly restaurants in your local area is to search online. With the upwards trend in dog-friendly dining, many restaurants will proudly advertise their pooch-friendliness! You can also check out our dog friendly city guides for location-specific recommendations.

Can I bring my small dog inside a restaurant?

Some restaurants allow small dogs to be brought inside, while others will request that your pooch is kept to outdoor dining areas only. Other restaurants have a strict ‘no dogs’ policy. It’s always a good idea to check the restaurant’s website for a dog policy or call ahead before you arrive with your pooch, no matter its size.

Are dogs allowed in outdoor seating areas of restaurants?

Many restaurants in the UK allow dogs to dine with you in outdoor areas, but some restaurants have strict no dog policies, even if you’re dining outside. Make sure to check the restaurant’s website or call ahead of time, to avoid being disappointed if you and your pooch are turned away.

What should I consider before taking my dog to a restaurant?

Before taking your dog to a restaurant, it’s important to confirm that the venue is indeed dog friendly. You can usually check this online via the restaurant’s website. If in doubt, call ahead. Keep in mind that some venues only allow dogs outdoors, or at certain times of the day, so you may need to plan around restrictions.

You should also consider your dog’s temperament – restaurants can be loud and busy places, which not all dogs enjoy. For everyone at the venue to have a good time, you and your dog included, your dog will need to be able to remain calm, quiet, and well-behaved for the duration of your meal. If you’re not quite there yet, consider building up to a full dining experience with some socialisation training and trial runs at quieter venues for shorter time periods first.

How can I ensure my dog behaves well in a restaurant setting?

Basic socialisation and etiquette training is the first step to ensuring your dog remains well-behaved in a restaurant setting. There’s a lot going on at a dining venue, with new smells, sounds and sights for your pooch to take in, and new people and dogs to meet.

If you’ve never taken your dog to a restaurant before, it may be a good idea to approach these elements in small bites, building up to a full dining experience. Make sure your dog is well-socialised and comfortable around new people, then move on to new dogs. Next, you might consider bringing your pooch along to grab a takeaway coffee, before moving on to the next step of sitting in at a venue, first outside, then inside.

On the day of the outing, make sure your dog is comfortable by taking them for a good walk beforehand to get out any sillies and allow them to relieve themself. Then, make sure to set them up with a water bowl, a comfy pillow or blanket, and a toy or chewy treat to keep them entertained while you wine and dine.

If you’re indulging in a particularly leisurely lunch, consider taking a few breaks to allow your dog to stretch their legs and relieve themself. It’s also a good idea to have an exit plan if you notice your dog showing signs of distress or overstimulation.

And of course, always follow any restaurant-specific guidance in terms of keeping your dog on a leash or off furniture. The best way to ensure that more restaurants adopt dog-friendly policies is to show them how well it works, and that means not making a nuisance of yourself!

dog on a lead sitting outside restaurant

For dog-lovers in the UK, the increase in dog-friendly dining is a welcome and growing trend. Now that more and more restaurants are jumping on board, you’ll have no trouble finding a venue that’s more than happy to cater to you and your pooch! If you’re planning a trip or looking for dining options in your local area, check out our dog friendly city guides for inspiration.

Note that the restaurant-specific dog restrictions discussed in this article apply to pet pooches only. UK legislation requires restaurants to allow service dogs (such as Guide dogs and certified emotional support animals) access to all restaurant premises. That means it’s against the law for them to turn you away or refuse service.

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