One of the best things about owning a dog is that you've always got an enthusiastic companion for adventures! Taking your dog along can be difficult when you live in the city as many pubs and beaches don't allow pets.
We caught up with Car Next Door member Chris, owner of the popular Sydney doggy day-care service Dog Royalty, to get the lowdown on getting out and about with your four-legged friends.
"I come from the U.K., where you can take your dog on the bus," says Chris.
"When I arrived in Australia I was surprised to see how limited people were in terms of travelling with pets. For a lot of people who don't own a car, you can only take your dog as far as it (and you) can walk. This makes it hard to get to new parks, to the beach, or to socialise with other pet owners and dogs."
"The unique thing about our doggy day-care service, Dog Royalty, is that we pick the dogs up from the Owner's home and drop them back again - so even if people don't own a car, or don't have time to do the driving, their dog is not stuck at home all day."
Chris noticed that a lot of his clients were having trouble getting out to see the huge 1000 square metre Dog Royalty playground for themselves - and were stuck with the same old selection of local dog walks - because they didn't have a car.
He recommends that they join Car Next Door to get access to a range of pet-friendly local vehicles to hire.
Here are a few of Chris' favourite dog-friendly destinations for a fun day out with your pup:
Vic on the Park Hotel
Our favourite dog-friendly pub in Sydney's Inner West, with a great deck and outside area where pups are welcomed with open arms, and a huge graffiti mural stating as clear as day that dogs are welcome! Their menus and food are fantastic, and they run doggie raffles on a Sunday with all proceeds going to Maggie's Rescue dog charity.
Bicentennial Park, Glebe
We always enjoy a walk at the dog-friendly park with the stunning background of the Anzac Bridge and the CBD. Follow the path around the waterside or go off piste in the huge family-friendly park. Walk all the way to Blackwattle Bay and look for the signs where the park is off-leash at all times and there is even water access for some doggy paddles, which our dog Calley loves!
A Dog Royalty favourite for the great parklands and off-leash area which is very popular with local dog owners. The park hosts some fantastic dog festivals and events and even has a great coffee stand operating on weekends which is a godsend for an early morning dog walk with great city sunrise views
Rose Bay Dog Beach
We love venturing to the Eastern Suburbs for a picturesque beach walk, with a view of the Harbour Bridge in the distance. Our dogs are always exhausted after a play in the water and sand, so a great recommendation for tiring out active dogs! The foreshore allows dogs to be off-leash between 3:30pm and 10:30am so it’s an early morning or late afternoon spot, perfect to avoid the midday sun in the summer.
Silver Bay, Kurnell
Another favourite roadtrip is down south to Silver Bay in Kurnell, to the well-known dog beach where the areas between the third and fourth jetties are off-leash 24/7. Calley loves frolicking in the sand and water and we love grabbing a fantastic light lunch at the super chilled Cook@Kurnell (weather permitting).
For a mix of off and on-leash walking, park at Yarra bay car park for some off-leash park runarounds, before wandering around La Perouse point with pups on-leash to see the views of Bare Island Fort and grab a Bear-shake from the Bare Grill & Cafe if you dare (they are huge!). If you visit on a Sunday you might be lucky enough to catch the Snake show too if you're game.
Chris' top tips for taking your dog out in the Car Next Door
- Check for pet-friendly cars by using the search filters.
- Pack a well-fitting safety harness (available from your local pet store or online) and seatbelt clip, or use a crate. Don't risk your or your pet's safety by letting your dog loose in the car while you're driving.
- Just because it's pet-friendly doesn't mean the owner wants it covered in pooch prints and hair! Make sure to take some old towels or blankets, or a purpose-designed seat cover, to keep the seats or boot clean.
- Chris always keeps Windex and a wipe in his own car to clean any nose prints or lick-marks off the windows. If you're travelling, a pack of cleaning wipes may be easier to stash in your bag.