Dogs Trust

Dog Friendly Ireland

Dogs in Food Serving Establishments

We welcome FSAI clarity around dogs being permitted in food serving establishments.

We are pleased that the Food Safety Authority of Ireland (FSAI) has today clarified the rules surrounding dogs being permitted into food premises, meaning that it is now at the discretion of the food business owner whether or not they wish to allow dogs in their premises.

Paragraph 22 of Regulation 25 of the Food Hygiene Regulations 1950 has now been revoked meaning that dogs are now allowed into food premises such as restaurants and cafés if the business owner so wishes, provided that proper procedures are in place to prevent dogs from having access to areas where food is prepared, stored or handled, as per EU regulations

Earlier this year, we launched our Dog Friendly Ireland campaign, which highlights the small but effective changes that can be made in many different aspects of public life in an effort to make Ireland more accessible to dogs and their owners.

Recent research carried out by Behaviour and Attitudes for us shows that 36% of households in Ireland have a dog. Up until now, many of these dog owners across the country have been unable to include their furry four legged friend in many of their daily activities, such as going for a coffee or grabbing lunch. This research has also shown that public attitudes are changing and people are becoming more open to incorporating dogs into everyday life including allowing them into cafés, public houses, workplaces and on public transport. These significant changes by the FSAI will not only be welcomed by current dog owners but will hopefully encourage people to become dog owners, now that they can include a dog more in their daily lives.

Executive Director Suzie Carley said: "I am pleased that the FSAI have provided clarity regarding the rules surrounding dogs being permitted into food serving establishments, meaning that dogs will now be allowed into food premises at the business owner’s discretion. We are optimistic that this progressive step will be instrumental in helping Ireland to become more Dog Friendly. 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."

For more information on the FSAI regulations see here

For the Statutory Instruments on Food Hygiene (Revocation Of Certain Provisions) Regulations 2017 see here

Dogs Trust Ireland - Dog Friendly Ireland campaign

The Dog Friendly Ireland campaign encourages simple but effective changes to many different aspects of public life, in an effort to make Ireland more accessible to dogs and their humans meaning those who currently own dogs will have more choice about where and how to include their furry friend in to their daily lives. These simple changes could also remove obstacles currently preventing people from getting a dog, turning their dream of owning a dog into a reality.

Just over 36% of households in Ireland have a dog. This is much higher than our closest neighbours in the UK, where dog ownership only stands at 24%. But despite this, the UK, along with many more countries across Europe, provides significantly more dog-friendly services and venues, allowing people to include their furry four legged friends in their daily lives. Dogs Trust wants this to change.

We want to make Ireland the best country in the world to be a dog and that is why we are launching our Dog Friendly Ireland campaign. We look forward to the day when dogs are an accepted passenger on public transport, a welcome visitor in the workplace, and a regular customer in most cafes across the country.

In 2016, we rehomed 854 dogs in Ireland. We believe this figure could significantly increase if Ireland were to become more dog-friendly, as responsible dog owners would be in a position to involve them more in their daily routines. At the moment, restrictions in workplaces, cafes, hotels and on public transport do very little to encourage potential adopters to welcome a furry friend in to their life.