We have teamed up with Tourism Northern Ireland and Visit Belfast to provide information about facilities and businesses throughout the city that will offer a warm welcome to both you and your dog.
We're aiming to provide an enjoyable experience for residents and visitors when exploring Belfast and a number of businesses recognise many people want to bring their pets with them.
If you own a business and want to display the ‘We are dog friendly’ sticker, you can pick one up from the Visit Belfast Welcome Centre. Businesses who want to be included on the dog friendly website listings should contact Visit Belfast and Tourism NI for more information.
Food safety guidance for dog-friendly businesses
Food safety legislation doesn't stop dogs being allowed in public areas of food premises. However, dogs aren't allowed in areas where food is prepared, handled or stored. Food Hygiene Ratings won't be affected if businesses follow guidelines to prevent food contamination.
Food businesses must have procedures in place to prevent dogs contaminating food or food utensils and should know the following:
- Dogs are not allowed in areas where food is prepared, handled or stored.
- Staff should not touch dogs or handle materials that have been in contact with dogs.
- Food staff must wash their hands immediately if they have direct or indirect contact with dogs.
- Restrict dogs to certain parts of the premises.
- Materials or objects that have been in contact with dogs, including dog bowls, should not be brought into food areas and should not be cleaned in food equipment or utensil sinks.
- Any dog fouling must be immediately and thoroughly cleaned with disposable materials and disinfectant. This must be followed by thorough staff handwashing.
Good practice for dog friendly restaurants
- Ask customers with dogs if they are there for drinks only or drinks and food and seat them accordingly. Make sure there is room for the dogs to sit or lie comfortably in without causing an obstruction or creating a tripping hazard – this will protect both the dogs and customers.
- Ensure owners are informed of the house rules for dogs on premises, these may include that dogs are:
- never left unattended
- kept on a lead at all times
- only allowed in certain areas of the premises
- the responsibility of the owner at all time.
- Have dog bowls available for water and food.
- Have dog food available to buy.
- Have procedures in place for cleaning up accidents.
- Know that food staff, including waiters, shouldn't handle dogs or materials that have been in contact with dogs. All staff must wash their hands immediately if they have any contact with dogs.
- Keep the number of dogs that can be in the premises at once in mind. The Dogs (Specified Maximum) (Belfast) Order 2012 is a good guide for the number of dogs one person can reasonably control at one time.