Over the last year more and more restaurants and pubs are welcoming our four-legged friends, but getting there with a pooch in tow can still present a challenge for many. In February TheJournal.ie spoke to a number of public transport companies, with mixed results:
Not taken in Ireland...
When travelling within Dublin taxis are often more convenient than public transport, so we thought we'd try to identify a few dog-friendly companies to help customers navigate the city with their canine companion.
Neither myTaxi or Uber enable you to specify that you have a dog when booking, and in our experience it's pot luck whether you get a driver who will let in even small dogs. Because of this, it's probably easier to go old-school and call a taxi company. We called around, and managed to find two pet-friendly companies in the vicinity of Pupp:
Both companies said their pet-friendly policies extend only to small dogs, and we're yet to find a company that will accept large dogs. If you're looking to book a taxi be sure to let them know in advance that you have a dog - maybe with a bit of sweet-talking they might allow a well-behaved larger dog, though it will very much depend on the driver (and your persuasion skills).
Slowly but surely the city is becoming more dog-friendly, and any company that's interested in making the transition can join the Dog-Friendly Association of Ireland (www.DFAI.ie) for help and advice.
Since their introduction to the Pupp shop K9 Connectables have quickly become a firm favourite, so we thought it might be interesting to find out more about the unique Irish startup. The Pupp team recently sat down to chat to lead designer James McIlvenna about how the concept came about.
In a nutshell, what are K9 Connectables?
The idea with the K9 Connectables series of toys is that you stuff the dog’s favourite food and treats inside and connect them together. The dog can smell the food but has to break the connections apart to get at it.
Established dog toys are quite rudimentary – they have a hole in it and you put treats in it. K9 Connectables are essentially dog toys 2.0, and work with your dog’s instinct to hunt and work for food, challenging them to unlock the treats inside. Unlike other food filling toys you can increase the difficulty level as your dog gets better at the game by connecting more together.
What were the main changes from original design to final product?
Our first designs were so basic... kind of like most dog toys today! They were simple shapes with different sized holes around them to put treats into but I wanted to make something better, or more evolved that would challenge dogs more than your average toy with a hole in it. So the idea of connecting toys together came pretty quickly which we thought would also satisfy dogs primal instincts to break things apart.
Some of the many iterations of K9 Connectables
Would you have any advice for budding Irish entrepreneurs going through a similar process?
Test and test again. We were lucky that we had someone on our team that has expertise in 3D printing so we made literally hundreds of prototypes that we tested on every dog on the street and showed them to experts and trainers. Don't be afraid to talk about your idea and get feedback all the time. We are still learning about our products and working all the time to improve them.
At Pupp we've been very careful to set the standard high for dog-friendly cafes in Ireland. For anyone interested in developing toys, what kind of regulations might they need to think about?
We chose the British standards for children’s toys as there are no safety standards for dog toys. K9 Connectables are made from the same durable Thermoplastic Elastomer material as teething rings.
Thanks James! Final question - What's next for K9 Connectables?
We have a kibble / dry dog food dispenser, rope toy and tug toy that will all connect into the full range. We are also looking at Mini K9 Connectables for the small and toy breeds under 8kg in weight.
James, his wife Lauren, and Connectables mastermind Sandy
K9 Connectables are available to purchase on the Pupp website here, or pay us a visit to see them in the flesh. If your dog has been enjoying K9 Connectables let us know! Drop us a note in the comments, or chat to us on Facebook or Twitter.
This Valentine's Day (14th February) we thought we'd do something a bit different, so will be hosting our very first singles night! Join us for an evening of dog-friendly speed dating, where you can meet some fellow dog-lovers, enjoy drinks and nibbles, and potentially meet the partner (and pooch) of your dreams! Full details and tickets are available here, book now before they sell out.
97% of scientists agree that dogs make people more attractive
When we created Pupp we hadn't anticipated the unique atmosphere, and the buzzing interaction between tables. Dogs are a fantastic social enabler that get people talking, so we thought it might make a great ice-breaker for speed dating.
Our Valentine's Day singles night is for people first - only a few dog spots are available - so come along to meet some new people, pet some cute pups, and have a laugh in a cozy and casual environment.
For more fun events be sure to follow us on Facebook, or subscribe to the Pupp email newsletter at the bottom of the page.
PAW Patrol is a media phenomenon, with almost every child in Ireland following Ryder, Marshall and the gang on their adventures. We're delighted to announce that on Saturday 21st January Pupp will be hosting our very first PAW Patrol themed breakfast event!
Join us from 9.30am to 11am for a family-friendly breakfast with lots of fun for little fans:
The whole family (including any canine members!) are welcome to come for a hearty breakfast, great coffee (maybe just the grown-ups), and lots of fun.
Entrance is FREE, and table reservations are highly recommended. Drop us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org, or call 01445 45 42 to book. We're only a little cafe, so the PAW Patrol event is for dining customers only.
January is a great time for new beginnings, resolutions and all round good intentions. To celebrate January, (yes you heard us right, celebrate!) we have come up with a little incentive to help dust off those walking boots and bust any back-to-work-blues.
Instead of driving to Pupp, try one of the below walking routes - enjoy a lovely scenic stroll through some of Dublin's most beautiful areas, and get a free coffee as a little reward! Simply post a photo or two of your walk to Facebook, and tag Pupp in the post.
We've handpicked the routes to highlight some of the great attractions Dublin has to offer. Give it a go, it's healthy and it's free (ticking the box for two resolutions at once!), and you can bring your pooch!
Phoenix Loop (4km to Pupp, 4.2km return)
Park up at Phoenix Park Lord's Walk, then walk through the park towards the Liffey. When you get to the river take a stroll down the quays, maybe even take a snap on one of the historic bridges. Head down Francis Street until you get to St Patrick's Cathedral, then just short stretch of Clanbrassil St until you reach Pupp! For the way back, why not try the back roads to the Liberty Church, then up by The Guiness Storehouse and the Parish of Saint James. Head back over the Liffey and up through Phoenix Park to Lord's Walk again!
Bushy Park to Pupp (3.9km each way)
Start at Bushy Park in Terenure, and head up Terenure Road through Harold's Cross and over the canal. You'll pass the Church of Our Lady of the Rosary on your right, you can get a photo in Harold's Cross park, and can even stop by MVP on your way back for a well-deserved drink.
Ranelagh to Pupp via Grand Canal (2.2km each way)
From central Ranelagh head up past the LUAS stop to Grand Canal, then enjoy a leisurely walk along the water to Harold's Cross. Take a right and head over the junction at Leonard's Corner to a warm coffee waiting for you at Pupp!
Kenilworth Square to Pupp (2km each way)
Park up at Kenilworth Square, then stroll up Harold's Cross Road to Harold's Cross Park. From their continue on past the canal and onto Clanbrassil St, Pupp will be on your right.
Dublin Castle to Pupp (1.4km each way)
From Dublin Castle head up to Dame Street and admire Christchurch Cathedral (a great spot for a photo!), then stroll down the hill towards St Patrick's. A short stretch of Clanbrassil St and Pupp is on your left!
Sound good? Get walking and get snapping! As ever be sure to follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and The Pupp Blog for more dog-friendly ideas. If you want to stay informed you can also sign up to our newsletter at the bottom of the page.
The Pupp team are just recovering from our Halloween Pupper Club evenings - two booked out nights of spooktacular fun!
With the festivities behind us it's time to announce the winner of Dublin's most prestigious, acclaimed, sought-after award - the Halloween Pupper Night best dressed dog!
Competition was fierce, with points awarded for originality, costume design, and of course, humour! We had a whale of a time judging the entrants, and plenty of giggles on the night.
Some notable entrants:
Oscar the Wonderpup
Does my bum look big in this? I think I look hot!
Brave souls coming as skeletons to a dog-friendly cafe - lucky none of the other pooches spotted a bone to nibble on!
Mookie and Toby weren't able to make it, but that didn't stop them getting dressed up.
Picking our favourites was far from easy, but we had to make a decision. Coming in bronze, the fairest of them all - Puca the Samoyed as Snow White!
In second place, only just pipped to the post, was the McEniff family and their dynamic duo:
And the winner, bagging a Nina Ottosson puzzle toy, a Tasty Bone Tough Enough dog chew, and a €20 voucher for Pupp, is Rio the Retriever and his Addams family! No other costume made us laugh quite as hard, and Rio's modelling skills were second to none:
Gomez, Morticia, and Rio The Retriever as Cousin Itt
Congratulations to all of our entrants! We hope you enjoyed the night as much as we did :)
Want a ticket for Pupp's next evening event? Invites go out to the Pupp mailing list, sign up using the link below if you'd like to be first in line. See you there!
Today we're delighted to reveal one of the projects we've been working on behind-the-scenes at Pupp for a little while now - the Dog-Friendly Association of Ireland!
The DFAI is a community of businesses dedicated to making Ireland more dog-friendly.
A number of our friends (below) have already joined us, and we're now opening up membership to any businesses or organisations based in Ireland.
Membership is free, and provides access to a pool of shared resources like pre-written policies, training materials, networking opportunities, and more. Thinking about opening a dog-friendly restaurant? We have hygiene procedures from Pupp that you can copy for your business. Considering allowing employees to bring their dogs into the office? Read the pet policies of some of Ireland's top employers for inspiration. Need advice on the implications of allowing dogs on your premises? Talk to existing dog-friendly businesses about their experiences.
An early learning from Pupp
Encouraging Ireland to become more welcoming to dog owners was a big reason for starting Pupp, and by creating the Dog-Friendly Association we hope to share our learnings and help other businesses open their doors to our four-legged friends. Allowing dogs onto a premises can be hugely rewarding, though businesses need to fully consider the implications of doing so. With a network of supportive businesses and best practices from those that have done it already, we hope that responsible dog-friendly businesses can thrive in Ireland.
More information about the Dog-Friendly Association of Ireland is available on the DFAI website. If you'd like to become a member you can sign up here, or you can stay up to date with dog-friendly news by subscribing to the Pupp newsletter at the bottom of this page.
Dogs come in all shapes and sizes, and we want whatever you buy to be comfortable and well fitted for your pooch. Sizing can often be confusing, with manufacturers using different standards and metrics. At Pupp we list all our sizes in cm's so you can find the perfect fit.
Neck: Measure right around the neck, allowing enough room to slide 2 fingers in for comfort
Chest: Measure right around the body around the deepest part of your dog's chest, usually just behind the dog's front legs.
Neck: Measure right around the neck, allowing enough room to slide 2 fingers in for comfort
|BREED||AVERAGE NECK SIZE|
|BULLDOG AMERICAN/ ENGLISH||45.7-61.0cm|
|JACK RUSSELL TERRIER||25.4-35.6cm|
|OLD ENGLISH SHEEPDOG||45.7-61.0cm|