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September 2018

Allowing dogs on public transport could replace millions of private car trips in Sydney every year!

Allowing dogs on public transport could replace millions of private car trips in Sydney every year!

by Dr Jennifer Kent

Allowing dogs on public transport could replace millions of private car trips in Sydney every year!

Many of us like nothing better than to navigate our city and our lives with our dogs. But if you live in Sydney these excursions are unavoidably car bound as dogs are not allowed on Sydney buses and trains. In fact, a University of Sydney study of over 1250 Sydney dog owners estimates that there are approximately 2.4 million dog-related trips in a private car carried out in Sydney each week.

There are more than 1.5 million dog owners in Sydney. Together we can make our voices heard and improve Sydney’s public transportation to be more suitable for the modern urban lifestyle. 

The survey, published in an international transport journal, examined a series of popular activities that people do with their dog. We looked at the regularity of trips such as a taking the dog for a walk; visiting dog parks, beaches or other recreational areas; going to dog friendly cafés, dog friendly pubs/bars or the shops; and visiting family, friends or the vet. Then we looked at how often these trips required a car.

You need a car to own a dog! 

We found that, on average, people walk their dog twice or more a week, however in 25% of cases, a dog walk actually began with an outing in a car. Now, any Sydney dog-owner will know that not everyone is lucky enough to live a walkable distance to an off-lead dog park. This knowledge is confirmed by the data – in fact of the more than 75 per cent of dog owners who go to a recreational area twice or more a week, 45 percent go by car.

While many of these trips could be considered ‘discretionary’ (although if you’re anything like me having my dog accompany me to a dog friendly café, dog friendly bar or family gathering is anything but optional!) some trips with dogs are not simply made at the caprice of gallivanting dog-owners. For example, the survey found that dogs visit the vet, on average, two to three times a year, and these trips are also very car-dependent. In fact, almost 14 percent of people said that since dogs are not allowed on public transport it had prevented them from taking their dog to the vet.

Allowing dogs on Public Transport is the answer in Europe!

Our results indicate that enjoying and caring for a dog in Sydney – a practice proven to have positive health benefits – is a relatively car dependent affair. And this is unnecessary.

A policy solution would be to allow dogs on public transport in Sydney. Although the restrictions vary between modes, overall our approach to allowing dogs on public transport in this city is a default “no”. Dogs (other than guide dogs) are entirely banned on Sydney trains, and on buses they are only allowed at the whim of the bus driver and if wearing a muzzle. CLICK HERE TO SIGN THE PETITION ALLOWING DOGS IN PUBLIC TRANSPORT!

Predictably, our survey of dog owners found that an overwhelming 95 per cent favour allowing dogs on public transport. More than half indicated they would do more activities with their pup if they were allowed, and 20 per cent said they’d even consider getting by without one of their cars if this policy was in place.

With this in mind, we went on to investigate the policies of dogs on public transport across major cities in Europe and Australia.

All European cities allowed dogs on public transport, while most cities in Australia did not. The policies did vary with limits on the dedicated areas of the train, tram or bus, peak hour travel and the size of dog. Most cities charged a fare at a concession or child price. Zurich went one step further to offer an annual travel card for dogs!

So why is Australia so restrictive? We are a country with one of the highest dog ownership in the world!

Team Pupsy on the road

Of course, it might be saying something about the way we think about dogs in public in Sydney. But, somehow, I don’t think that is all that is going on here.

Australia has one of the highest rates of dog ownership in the world, and we are slowly becoming more lenient with allowing dogs into and around pubs, bars and cafes, albeit only outdoors. I propose that it says more about the way we view public transport in Australia.

The public transport infrastructure and networks in Sydney are planned and operated as though they should only be used for predictable and ‘clean’ trips – such as the journey to work, or a trip to the city. But in reality, our lives are made up of ‘messy’ trips – we go to the hardware store, pick up children and groceries, go to the dentist and, of course, travel with our dogs.

For these types of ‘messy’ trips in Sydney, most of us still need to use a car. This is why we all find ourselves sitting in traffic every Saturday morning, and struggle so much to predict what traffic will be like from day-to-day. And dog owners, purely through circumstance and not choice, are adding to this problem.

Olive travelling to park

In short, car ownership and use is something transport planners want us to leave behind for the sake of sustainability, health and liveability in our cities. If we are trying to reduce car use, understanding some of the intricate activities, which lead to car dependence, is really important – we need to plan for the mess. How? Well, it might include changes to timetables, or making the interior of our trains and buses more amenable to those carrying groceries or travelling with kids. A relatively quick initiative, however, would be to allow people to take their dogs on Sydney’s public transport.

 

 

There are more than 1.5 million dog owners in Sydney. Together we can make our voices heard and improve Sydney’s public transportation to be more suitable for the modern urban lifestyle. 

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Dr Jennifer Kent is a University of Sydney Research Fellow in the Urban and Regional Planning program at the University of Sydney. Jennifer’s research interests are at the intersections between urban planning, transport and human health and she is widely considered one of the leading urban planning scholars on healthy built environments in Australia. Jennifer publishes regularly in high ranking scholarly journals and her work has been used to inform policy development in NSW and Australia. Thanks for the guest blog, Jennifer!


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Sydney’s Best Inner City suburbs to visit with your dog!

Sydney’s Best Inner City suburbs to visit with your dog!

Even if you live in Sydney perhaps on the outskirts, a visit to any of these Inner City suburbs is an exciting delight and can provide a welcome change of scenery exploring many of the world famous landmarks!

However a weekend away in Sydney is not complete if you can’t take your furry friend! Luckily Sydney is becoming more dog friendly and you have plenty of accommodations available for you and your pup in this beautiful coastal city.

We have listed the best dog friendly accommodations for you with activities and dog friendly places within walking distance.

You can find the full list of dog friendly accommodations in Sydney here!


Central Sydney

Central Sydney is host for some of the most amazing dog friendly hotels in Australia. We can guarantee both you and your pup will have a truly amazing experience at these fantastic, centrally located dog friendly hotels.

Stroll through the Rocks district, hang around at Circular Quay or maybe go for a walk at the Domain while enjoying the sweet harbour breeze.

Although you are in the centre of the city, you can still find great off lead dog parks to walk and play with your pup. As a matter of fact, only Lane Cove and North Sydney councils provide more off lead dog parks than City of Sydney. Or how about treating your dog with a Puppy Pale Ale at the All Hands Brewing House at Kings Wharf?

The Langham Sydney is proud to be the only dog-friendly accommodation amongst Sydney’s luxury hotels, offering your dog the renowned 5-star service, just as you’d expect for yourself. Dog sitting and dog walking services are available on request. Dogs of all sizes are welcome to stay at The Langham with the additional pet fee of $120 per night!

Find out more about Langham and book a luxury weekend with your pooch now!

 

Pier One offers a stunning dog friendly accommodation in the heart of Sydney’s famous Rocks district. No need to bring any of your dogs accessories, they have it all covered from bedding to water and food bowls and even mini bar filled with doggie treats! Small and medium size dogs (max 20kg) are welcome with an additional $90 pet fee per stay!

Find out more about Pier One and book a luxury weekend with your pooch now!

 

Dog Friendly Places in Central Sydney:

  


Surry Hills

The vibrant suburb of Surry Hills is full of bars, cafes and restaurants and many of them are very happy to see your furry friend joining you for a drink or meal. There are plenty of small off lead dog parks in the neighbourhood for you to choose from with Prince Alfred Park being the largest and most popular one.

Little Albion is a superb boutique hotel in the heart of Surry Hills. There are several dog off lead areas right next door and plenty of dog friendly bars and pubs close by. The Carrington can even organise your pups birthday party in the private indoor setting if that’s your pup’s cup of chicken broth! Little Albion Guest House boasts a north-facing rooftop garden/terrace, sunken lounge, 2 unique event spaces and both a 24-hour honour bar and host service. Pooches of all sizes are welcome with an additional $50 pet fee per dog!

Find out more about The Little Albion and book a vibrant city weekend with your pooch now!

 

Dog Friendly Places in Surry Hills:

   


Eastern Suburbs

Both iconic Bondi Beach and stunning harbour side areas in Rose Bay offer some great outing opportunities for you and your pup. Climb up to Marks Park in the morning for an off lead play with your dog and continue to Bronte on the coastal walk for breakfast at one of the many cafés which are all dog friendly outside. Head back to Bondi and visit the Bondi Markets or maybe have a drink at Bucket List or Bondi Beach Public Bar. There is an array of dog friendly accommodations to choose from and we have handpicked a couple of absolutely stunning homes to stay with your dog.

Luxe Beach House is a stunning retreat for couples and their dogs! Home away from home with all features and appliances you and your dog might need for your weekend away! Bondi Beach is only 5-10 minutes flat walk away and plenty of hip cafes and bars are only a short stroll away. However far enough in case you are after a relaxing and quiet time by the private pool. Pooches of all sizes are welcome without extra cost!

Find out more about the Luxe Beach House and book a luxury weekend with your pooch now!

 

High end Lux with views delivers exactly what is says on the tin! Stunning views over the iconic Bondi Beach. Apartment has a stylish decor and kitchen is equipped with European high quality appliances. There is no additional dog fee, however guests are requested to check their dog’s (size and number of dogs) suitability upfront with the host!

Find out more about the High End Lux and book a luxury weekend with your pooch now!

 

Dog Friendly Places in Easter Suburbs:

   


Inner West

Growing in size and popularity, the Inner West dog population is also increasing rapidly. There are more than 30,000 registered pups in the area and it is very pleasing to see the area is welcoming this with open arms. There are more than 40 designated off lead dog parks, lots of cafes and pubs that demand you to visit them with your doggo! And we should not forget to mention that the Inner West has become the Craft Beer Brewing central of NSW. There are plenty of different breweries to choose with all of them having one thing in common, PUPS ARE WELCOME!!!

After some sniffing and digging we managed to get a sense of some great looking dog friendly holiday homes for you to choose from.

The Loft at Waterloo is a very private 1 bedroom residence for you and your dog. It’s located in a rare free standing building in Waterloo and offers you all the necessities you need including towels, unlimited Wi-Fi and even espresso pods for the early morning fix. Dog off lead park, Waterloo Park, is only few small pawsteps away! Dogs can stay without additional fees, however guests are required to pre-approve their pets with host at the time of booking!

Find out more about The Loft and book a city weekend in Inner West for you and your pooch now!

 

Jessica’s Coze Terrace is conveniently located in the heart of Alexandria. This beautifully decorated apartment allows you and your dog to have a relaxing weekend in one of the fast growing modern Sydney suburbs. Guests are requested to confirm the suitability of their dogs and any associated fees with the host at the time of booking!

Find out more about Jessica’s Coze Terrace and book a city weekend in Inner West for you and your pooch now!

 

Have you ever visited Newtown and thought, hmmm would be nice if it was a bit closer? If so, have you ever thought of turning it the other way around? One of the most vibrant suburbs in Sydney has plenty of accommodation on offer and some of them are luckily dog friendly. Stylish Villa Rochford might be the answer for you and your dog!

Find out more about the Rochford and book a city weekend in Inner West for you and your pooch now!

 

Dog Friendly Places in Inner West:

 


North Shores

North Sydney is one of the most dog friendly councils in Sydney. They offer more dog parks per dog than any other council in Sydney. They also have a great track record of having one of the lowest number of dog attacks in NSW. Walk along the harbour from Lavender Bay to Bluesy Point or all the way to Waverton Park and breath in the salty ocean breeze, while your dog can enjoy the various off lead dog parks along the way.

Moving further east towards Mosman and Balmoral you can find some well-hidden doggie secrets. Sirius Cove and Clifton Gardens are great off lead areas with swimming access and stunning million dollar views of the harbour.

The Greens bowling club is a great family hangout in the dog off lead area at St Leonards Park.

Dog friendly accommodations are a little harder to find on the North Shore but there are a few pawsome places out there.

Alegria is located in the prestige suburb of Mosman. Beautiful and stylish interior design of this weatherboard Victorian House makes you want to just lift your legs up and chill out! And there is nothing wrong with that. You pup is probably very keen to join. This dog friendly home provides you with all the luxury you are looking for.

Find out more about the Alegria and book a luxury weekend with your pooch now!

 

Glenferrie Lodge is an all time favourite amongst dog owners! Great location in Kirribilli is only moments away from sights and dog parks. Bradfield Park (under the Harbour Bridge) is one of the most unique dog off lead parks in Sydney. The Lodge also has a fenced yard for your pup to stretch legs and sniff around. Dogs of all size are welcome with an additional $30 fee per night!

Find out more about The Glenferrie Lodge and book a city weekend with your pooch now!

 

Dog Friendly Places in North Shores:

 


Paddington

Centennial Park has the largest dog off lead area in Sydney. Most of this central park is off lead and cafes within are very dog friendly. Millions of people visit Centennial Park every year but did you know you can actually stay there over night with your dog? We don’t mean camp in the park but stay in style @ The Residences Centennial Park.

The central suburb of Paddington is right next door to Centennial Park. This energetic suburb provides everything from great shops on Oxford Street to restaurants and cafes to pubs and bars. Luckily for us dog owners, many of these places welcome your dog with open arms, which makes Paddington one of our favourite spots. The Hughenden in Woollahra next to Paddington is not just an ordinary dog friendly hotel. You can even book High Tea for your dog at their restaurant!

The Residences @ Centennial Park is a unique way for you and your dog to experience the Centennial Parklands. The original residences of the park superintendents and rangers are located inside one of the most amazing dog friendly parks in Sydney. Most of the area is off lead and cafes inside the park welcome your pooch to have a coffee / brekkie with you!

Find out more about The Residences and book a city weekend with your pooch now!

 

The Hughenden is one of the most dog friendly hotels in Sydney! They don’t just provide accommodation for your dog but also different pampering services such as “Doggie High Tea” are available. Located in the vibrant surroundings in Paddington, why don’t you take you dog for a walk to one of the many traditional dog friendly pubs in the area.

Find out more about The Hughenden and book a city weekend with your pooch now!

Dog Friendly Places in Paddington:

  

 


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The Ultimate guide to dog friendly Northern Beaches!

The Ultimate guide to dog friendly Northern Beaches!

Edited by: Ella Holgate

It’s the weekend, and your dog has been looking forward to it as much as you have. There is nothing our furry companions like more than discovering new dog friendly places and spending time with us. We at Pupsy want to inspire you to go and explore beyond the familiar corners and smells and make some pawsome everlasting memories!

Sydney’s Northern Beaches offer plenty of dog friendly places for chilling out and exploration alike. We have listed our favourite dog friendly spots for you to build your day trip. We guarantee you and your pup won’t be disappointed.

Check out our other Dog Friendly Guides for further inspiration:

Dog Walks & Off Lead Dog Parks

If you and your dog are keen for a longer exercise walk, Narrabeen Lagoon Trail is the place to go. You can walk around the entire lagoon while taking in beautiful scenery and plenty of fresh air. The walk is 8.4km long and it will take 2-3 hours to do the entire loop. You can also choose just one part of the trail and walk back the same way if you’re short on time or your pup isn’t the most energetic. There are a couple of picnic spots with water stations, but it’s always best to come prepared. Make sure you begin the walk with water for both of you, and you’ll be able to refill on the way.

Also bear in mind that about half the trail is exposed, so can get very hot during summer. What you’ll notice is that the trail has a very friendly atmosphere. Joggers, hikers, leisure cyclists and families with small kids on bikes all enjoy the area. It can get a bit crowded sometimes, but we have found that everyone is respectful and accommodating, so no need to worry about feeling intimidated in any way by all the traffic.


Rowland Reserve in Bayview is one of the most amazing off lead dog parks in Sydney. It has a large grass area to run and chase and easy access to the beach to go for a swim with your pooch. Fresh water is always available at the puppy drinking fountain, and there are trees at the edge of the park if you need some shade. It is very popular with locals and you will always find a lot of playmates for your dog. During the weekends you’ll often find dog wash services and even a mobile cafe. There is a dedicated parking section of the large car park for dog park users, and limited parking on the street.


If you want to get some exercise done while taking your dog to the off lead park, South Mona Vale Headland is the place for you. This dog off lead area right behind Mona Vale Hospital has a rather steep hill, perfect for you to do some uphill walking / running, while your pooch is having a blast with his/her new mates. There is also a large flat area at the bottom of the hill to go and have a rumble with your furry friend.

Find all other dog parks and beaches in the Northern Beaches.


Dog Friendly Cafes & Restaurants

After all that playing and running at the park, it’s time to refuel. Most cafes allow your dog to sit outside with you for a coffee but if you are after a super chilled atmosphere for both of you head “beyond the bends” to one of these soulful dog friendly cafes.

Sit and relax at the Boat House Palm Beach with your pup while enjoying the uninterrupted Pittwater views. You won’t get these multimillion-dollar views anywhere else, unless you own a waterfront weekender of course! The breakfast menu has a selection of classics with a healthy twist, while the lunch menu is seafood focused.


The Sneaky Grind as its name suggests, is not the easiest place to find, which makes it locals’ favourite in Avalon. It’s a Surf Shop / Café with some of the most dog friendly staff you will come across, and your pooch is likely not going to be the only dog having coffee with their human parents at this chilled hidden gem.


Forage Wholefoods serves undoubtedly one of the best coffees “beyond the bends” and their all-organic food menu makes The Forage Wholefoods a unique experience in the Northern Beaches. The covered dog friendly deck is always filled with Clareville locals (including Jennifer Hawkins!) enjoying a morning coffee or healthy lunch. They also have an organic food store next door which sells bread and other healthy essentials.

Check out other dog friendly cafes in Sydney.


Dog friendly bars

It is simply impossible to write about dog friendly places in the Northern Beaches without including The Newport. This iconic establishment has always welcomed dogs of all kinds to join their human parents. Dogs are allowed everywhere in the venue and The Newport even organises events for their furry regulars. If you are after a lazy afternoon with your pup, this is the place to be.


There is more to the dog friendly Northern Beaches than Newport. Mexican inspired bar/restaurant Alma Avalon welcomes you and your dog at their covered front deck to have a drink and some snacks while watching the lazy Avalon beach life rolling by.


If you are a beer enthusiastic, then your visit to Northern Beaches is not complete without visiting the dog friendly Modus Operandi Brewery. While your pup has a sniff and play with Stout (the local brewdog), you can explore the selection of beautifully crafted local beers. Modus Operandi also runs their own kitchen in case you feel hungry after the day’s events.


Nomad Brewing Co. is another great dog friendly brewery located further south in Brookvale. Choose from 11 different beers on tap; your pup will be satisfied with his/her own bowl of H2O.

Check out other dog friendly pubs, bars and breweries in Sydney.

SIGN UP TO PUPSY NOW!

Find dog parks near you or discover new places to sniff on Pupsy!
Choose from dog friendly accommodation, pubs/bars, beaches & wineries  just to name a few…

Unleash other pawsome (and free!) Pupsy features for your dog:

  • Find new mates for your dog & send friend requests | search by council, breed or age
  • Check in to places so your dog’s friends know where to find you
  • Save your favourites and write reviews to help other dog owners
  • …and many more

Pupsy is the furriest community on Earth dedicated to make all our dogs feel special!