With the weather as it was (that is to say, unusually hot for Dublin!), we made a trip out to Howth this weekend. This presented me with the perfect opportunity to scope out the Dog House, a dog-friendly tea room and restaurant that I’d heard of from a friend.
Howth is a super place to bring your dog, with lots of great walking spots around- Deer Park, the cliff walks, walks along the pier for those who require flat surfaces, and of course, the beach. I usually bring my dogs to the Hole-in-the-Wall end of the beach, which is often a little less busy than the end closest to the Dart station. When the tide is out, you can walk right the way around from the hole in the wall to the Dart station.
The Dog House is situated just to the right of Howth Dart station if you take the main exit through the ticket office. It has both outdoor and indoor seating. Dogs are only permitted in the outdoor area but it is spacious, covered, well-sheltered and cosy, with the air of a trendy youth hostel!
There was background music (easy listening, nothing offensive!) and some general restaurant-related noise, but none of it uncomfortably loud for my own rather sensitive human ears. Although dogs’ hearing is better than ours, I suspect that the level of noise here was no greater than what you might find in a lot of houses.
There are couches and arm-chairs, many covered with throws. Dogs are allowed on the chairs and sofas, so no need to bring your own dog bed here!
The layout is quite good and even if there were a number of dogs in there, it would be easy to maintain a comfortable distance. A lot of the seating areas are in little hubs, so the furniture and other customers would form natural barriers for dogs who didn’t want to be too close to others.
Water bowls are provided, and when I asked our server about snacks for the dogs, he told me they have little bowls of chicken in the kitchen fridge, should they be required by the canine clientele.
I also enquired as to whether there’d been any issues with people complaining about the dogs. I was told that some people did grumble, and request that the dogs be asked to leave, but they were informed that the dogs were allowed, and would not be asked to leave. So nice to see the canines maintained equal standing in this fine establishment!
So, in short, paws out of 5:
Local walks: 5
Dog-friendly layout: 5
Creature comforts: 5
Doggy drinks and snacks: 4 (losing a paw only because it wasn’t apparent that doggy snacks were available, and it seems a travesty for any dog to miss out on a bowl of chicken!)
Staff dog-friendly: 5
NOTE FOR NERVOUS DOGS: If you have a nervous dog, avoid the seats by the main thoroughfare. If you move to the back of the restaurant there are some seating areas back from this where your dog might be better able to relax.