It’s true that pets make us feel better and now science* is backing it up. There has been astounding research to prove that pets can help improve our mental health and wellbeing. With this is mind, why wouldn’t we want to take them everywhere? In this article Jessica Varley, Pet Happiness Officer at Petcircle.com.au takes a look at the hottest pet-friendly places in Sydney including beaches, parks, cafes and dining.
Off Leash Beaches
Not all beaches allow dogs to run free unleashed, yet those that do are bound to be your dog’s wonderland. Here are our top picks for off-leash friendly outings:
Sirius Cove in Mosman sits nestled just around the corner from Taronga Zoo. This beach offers the perfect spot for your dog to swim. If your dog isn’t a strong swimmer the level of sand is constant for at least 50 meters before getting deep, so you don’t have to worry about the risk of having to rescue your pooch.
Manly Lagoon behind North Manly[link] beach is both dog and child friendly. With a playground opposite the lagoon for the kids, the water inlet is a great place to let your dog splash about. Save your own swimming for Manly beach and make sure to give your dog a good wash after their swim in the lagoon.
Green Hills Beach in Cronulla is Sydney’s only ocean fronting dog friendly beach, let your dog catch waves and play fetch up and down the long strip.
Off the Leash Parks
There’s nothing worse than being fined at your local park for your unleashed canine companion - so here are a few of our top choices. You can also visit City of Sydney for a more comprehensive map.
Marks Park in Tamarama not only offers a stunning view of Bondi and the south coast but is also a great spot for your dog to socialise. Marks Park is where the who’s who of dogs run and play.
Centennial Park is arguably the best park for dogs in Sydney, offering great ground for your dog to run, run and run.
Sydney Park in St Peters is also dog central. It’s a great place to bring the kids with a simulated road zone where they can ride their scooters and bikes. There’s also a quaint café for any post-play refueling.
Image source: "Centennial Park Sydney 2" by J Bar - Own work. Licensed under CC BY 2.5 via Commons
Wining and Dining
The Winery in Surry Hills caters to dog owners with their courtyard. It can get relatively crowded on a warm sunny day so if you own a large breed dog – it’s probably best to leave them at home.
Arcadia Liquors in Redfern is a trendy place for a post-work-pooch drink . It's completely dog friendly and has an extensive cocktail, drinks and food offering.
There’s nothing better than brunching on the weekend and having people approach your dog and tell you how adorable it is – here are our top picks:
Gnome Café on Crown St in Surry Hills offers high foot traffic with a good chance for your dog to socialise if you find an outside table. The coffee and food are top quality but if it’s too busy browse around; Four Ate Five is also dog friendly and just across the road.
The dining area of the Little Marionette in Balmain is actually the adjacent park. Order your food at the hole in the wall and it will be delivered to you and your pooch on the grass.
There’s a new phenomenon happening in Sydney that is the cat café. Head to Sydney Cat Café in Surry Hills to enjoy a cup of coffee and a cuddle with their super cute cats.
The vast majority of markets in Sydney are pet friendly with some having a more pet orientated spin than others. Stall owners at Marrickville markets actually cater to dogs with homemade doggy treats. One stall’s offering looks so tasty it could be mistaken for human consumption!
The Best Bed
Perhaps you want to book special night out in Sydney and just can’t come to terms with leaving your pets at home on their own? The Sebel Pier One offers luxury accommodation and pet pampering. For $60 pets can also experience the high life with their own bed and special treat for their night of pampering.
Although some places maintain a strict policy on having pets indoors, it doesn’t hurt to ask if they have an outdoor pet-friendly area. It’s also a good idea to arm yourself with a few treats and a collapsible dog bowl, just in case you end up enjoying your outing a little longer than expected!