A guide to the Southern Highlands with your dog

Southern highlands dog guide

Over the years more and more homes are welcoming a dog into their family, which means more people are looking for ways to include their furry family members in their day to day life and more travellers wanting to bring them along on day trips and holidays.

I have compiled a list of the dog friendly cafes, pubs, parks, walks, swimming spots and a local list of vets, boarding kennels and diy dog wash locations.

Dog Friendly Bars & Cafes

Allumer Coffee & Eatery

Located in the main street of Bowral, Allumer cafe have some tables and stools out the front where you can sit with your furry friend while enjoying a morning coffee or maybe an afternoon treat.

Allumer bowral

Artemis Wines

Located outside of Mittagong in a town called Woodlands, Artemis Wines welcomes your dogs out on their deck which has plenty of shade so your dog can rest easy while you enjoy a glass of wine.

Artemis wines

Boston 107

‘The Boston’ is located in the heart of Mittagong in the stand out building covered in ivy. There is a Beautiful courtyard where your dogs are welcome by your side while you enjoy a morning coffee or delicious brunch.

Boston 107

Burrawang Village Hotel

This dog friendly pub is located in the small country village of Burrawang. Beautiful views, amazing food ( I recommend the pork belly) and your dog by your side. What more could you want!

Burrawang hotel

Glass Cafè

The Glass Cafè is located at the entrance to Mittagong. A lovely courtyard out the back allows your dogs to enjoy your company while you enjoy the amazing food they serve here.

Glass cafe

Gumnut Patisserie

Gumnut Patisserie is very popular among locals and travellers. They have 3 shops throughout the region and you can even take your furry friend along to sit with you at both the Mittagong and Berrima locations. Mittagong have tables and chairs outside on the grass and Berrima a lovely courtyard with more seating. This is a must stop over on your trip!

Gumnut Patisserie

Kookabar Cafe

The Kookabar Cafe is located in Bowral near the lovely Corbett Gardens. Head over here and your dog will enjoy sitting with you out the front where they offer mats to sit on, water bowls and might even find a treat or two or three offered.

Kookabar Cafe

Lil Piggy

Lil Piggy is a recent opening in 2021 in the heart of Mittagong and they are already a big hit amongst the locals. With delicious food and friendly service you can’t go wrong, but it gets better, with a lovely courtyard that accommodates your furry friends and they even have their own pupachinos and treats to enjoy.

Lil Piggy

Magpie Cafe

Located in the small town of Berrima, Magpie Café loves welcoming your furry family members in their front garden. This is a great place to enjoy your morning coffee, before venturing off on a walk along Berrima River.

Magpie cafe

Raw & Wild Cafe

Located in the heart of Bowral, this is a gourmet dog friendly café which offers delicious natural food for you and even a menu for your dog! This is a great place to head to after a walk along the nearby Cherry tree walk.

Raw and wild cafe

Scottish Arms Hotel

Located in East Bowral this is a beautiful beer garden with an inside restraunt. Your pups are welcome in the courtyard with plenty of shade to lounge around and water bowls offered. Amazing food and Scottish beers are to be enjoyed here.

Scottish arms hotel

Shaggy Cow cafè

Located in the heart of Mittagong, the shaggy cow is popular among locals. Dogs are welcome in the courtyard and front tables.

Shaggy cow cafe

Surveyor General Inn

Surveyor General Inn is located in Berrima. A piece of our History being the oldest continuously run inn. Dogs are allowed inside the front bar as well as outside so you pup can certainly feel at home resting by your side.

Surveyor General hotel

The Royal Hotel

Located at the entrance to Bowral, Dogs are welcome in the beer garden on the side of the pub. Great food and friendly atmosphere. Locally reffered to as ‘The Royal’, you’ll find this place popular eccspecially on weekends.

The royal hotel

Wt 1331

Nestled away in the stunning Corbett plaza in the heart of bowral, a new bakery brings the authentic taste of Beirut to the highlands. Delicious flatbreads and treats to enjoy while you pooch joins you in their outdoor seating area as well as the undercover tables. Water bowls are provided as well as hooks at the entrance so you can safely tie your pup up while you go inside.

Wt 1331

Dog Friendly Accommodation

Coming soon…

Dog Friendly Hikes & Walks

The Southern Highlands is full of adventure for you and your dogs. There are many walks that are in the national parks so be sure to check before you venture out. Here is a list of dog friendly walks that I have come across. Please note dogs must be on leash for all walks.

Berrima Riverside Walk

This easy walk runs alongside the Wingecarribee River. Your dog can even take a dip in the river but be sure to keep them on leash. Click here for more information.

Bong Bong Common

Starting point located in Burradoo at Cecil hoskins reserve, this walk has stunning countryside to take in and is along side the Bong Bong River.  The track is fully paved and if followed to the end is 4.35km to railway road. You can turn around at any point to make the walk shorter.

Box Vale Walking Track

The Box Vale track is by far one of my personal favourites. There are quite a few different tracks that take you throughout bushland behind Mittagong that were once used for coal mine access. A lot of history is here and so much to see including a tunnel through a large rock wall and boulder cuttings. Click here for more information

Cherry Tree Walk

The Cherry Tree walk is a popular walking track right through the suburbs of bowral starting at Bowral Pool and leading to east bowral where you’ll find the the botanic gardens. The walk starts with 526 cherry trees that were planted in memoriam of those that dies in the Vietnam war. For the most stunning experience, visit in spring when the cherry blossoms are in full bloom. The walk in total reaches 4.7km following the path all the way to the botanic gardens or turn around at any point to head into town.

Gibbergunyah Reserve

Gibbergunyah is a lovely walk in Bowral through a protected reserve. Kangaroos, wombats and echidnas can be seen. There are 2 entrances and multiple circuits ranging from 1km to 2.5km each. Click here to see more information

Mt Gibraltar Reserve

‘The Gib’ as its locally known is a fantastic hike to the top where you have 2 viewing platforms to see over the towns of Mittagong and Bowral. There are many different starting points and tracks to follow. Click here to find out more…

Off leash dog parks

The Southern Highlands has a small array of off leash dog parks for your dogs to enjoy safely and contained.

Follow this link for more information and location of our dog parks.

Off leash dog parks

Remember these general rules…

  • Always have full control and constant supervision of your dog.
  • Pick up any waste after your dog.
  • Give space to those around you and always be mindful of dogs that are of a significant size difference.
  • Never be in control of more than 4 dogs in any public space.
  • Do not take unvaccinated dogs to the park.
  • Desex your dog or do not take females in heat to the park.
  • Do not bring food into the park.
  • Do not bring small kids into the park.
  • Keep a harness or collar attached to your dog and carry their leash with you.

Veterinary Clinics

We have some amazing veterinary clinics here in the Southern Highlands. Click on the photos below for Contact details and further information


Mittagong vet hospital
Ironmines Vet Mittagong
Highlands vet hospital


Alcorn st vet
Bong bong vet
Bowral vet hospital

Moss Vale

Mossvale vet hospital
Southern highlands vet


Bundanoon vet

Boarding Kennels

We have a few options for boarding kennels here in the Southern Highlands as well as a nearby kennel in Wollondilly. There are listed below, click on the photos for more information.

Kelston kennels
Berrima kennels
Dogue retreat
Bargo kennels

Dog Wash Locations

Petbarn Mittagong

Highlands Vet Braemar

We know Pets Bowral

This list may not be all there is to offer and will be updated accordingly as new information is shared or found. I hope this assists locals in their daily lives with their pets and visitors with planning their trips 🙂

Have you been to any of the above businesses? Be sure to leave a review on Google to help others in their choices!

Why hire a professional pet sitter?

Southern highlands pet sitter

Everyone is aware of their options when it comes to their pets care. The local boarding kennel, your neighbour, a family or friend and those many free house sitter websites that you’ll find in a Google search but what alot of people don’t think about or consider is a professional pet sitter/dog walker.

The benefits that come along with hiring a professional pet sitter are amazing and make them well worth the money. Having only 1 pet, our pricing is usually not much cheaper than a boarding kennel however the benefits of having them stay in their own home is worth it. Now if you have multiple pets this is where the benefits just keep adding up!

In only 1 year of buisness I have heard many times comments like… “oh that’s too much money just for you to feed my dog” or “the kid next door will walk my dog for $10”.

If you want someone to spend 2 minutes at your home and throw some food out and leave, im sorry to say but im not the right person to help you and your better off going with one of the other options mentioned. I believe every animal deserves love and attention, exercise, a clean environment and fresh water daily. Wether these jobs are requested or not they are included in my base pricing and you won’t receive less.

When paying a professional pet carer, yes our prices are higher than the kid next door but you are paying for someone that engages in the buisness as their main or only occupation rather than as a hobby.

Professional pet carer’s like myself come with plenty of reassurance that others, most of the time, do not. Such as police checks, insurances, first aid training, qualifications, experience and knowledge.

Clients of S & N Pet Services also have extra reassurance outside of pet care such as home security, chores and maintenance. You won’t come home to garden beds dying of thirst, your garbage bins full, soggy mail piling up in the letterbox or to find your home has been broken into.

Convinced yet?

Any questions or queries at any time are encouraged and I would love to have a chat with you 🙂

Keeping your pet comfortable during the winter months

Dog during winter

Everyone knows that when its cold we put on more clothes, wear gloves, put the fire on and other measures to keep warm. We care for all our family members and make sure we are all warm if going outside. But not everyone thinks about their pets.

A general thought process is that ‘oh they have fur that keeps them warm’. Well no not necessarily. Inside animals will certainly be more susceptible to the weather, so if going outside should be dressed accordingly. Some outside animals are more acclimatised to the elements and can handle more extreme weather however there is a point when its too much. But what is that point?

Well some studies show that when the outside temperature feel reaches below 7°c than that is when your animals start feeling uncomfortable. Personally this is when i put my dogs coat on if the night temperature is forcast to reach this. If the temperature is due to drop even further, eccspecially below 5°c I bring my dog inside.

Bringing animals inside is not always an option. So if your animals have to be outside than you can do things to make sure they are protected, like the following:

Dog during winter
  • Dressing your animal. Obviously your dog isn’t going to keep a scarf on 🤣 but you can buy your animals a coat or jumper to put on when outside. I personally like the weatherbetta coats that are waterproof. So if your dog is like mine and decides sitting in the rain is a great idea than at least they stay dry.
  • Maintain grooming. A lot of owners think that just because its winter its best to leave their fur to grow to keep warmer. Well this is not the case. Your dog will actually hold onto their body temperature better if their coats are kept healthy and well groomed
  • Provide adequate shelter and bedding to protect your animal from the wind and rain. Just like us, animals appreciate a warm blanket or bed to lay on and an enclosed area like a kennel or stable with a roof to be comfortable and safe.

Walking your dog in the cold weather

Its really important to continue to exercise your dog even during the colder months, but extra precautions need to be taken to protect them. Eccspecially your dogs paws. Here are some tips to help you do just that…

  • Trim the hair between your dogs toes. When its icy or even snowy its important to keep this hair short. If ice or snow builds up it will become uncomfortable or even painful for your dog to walk.
  • Wipe clean and moisturise your dogs paws on your return home. This can help stop your dogs padd from cracking when they become dry and this cam be extremely painful.
  • Walk only on paths not through the snow or icy grass. You want to avoid as much as you can the possibility for your dog to lay down in the snow or icy grass. A dogs stomach has very little fur and they can become very cold very fast. This can lead to hypothermia very quickly and with not much warning.
  • As above keep them warm with coats, jumpers and even little booties made eccspecially for dogs.
  • Monitor your dog for signs that they are too cold…
    1. They are shivering to try and keep themselves warm
    2. Ice is forming in their fur. This means their body is struggling to maintain their body temperature enough to melt anything on them.

Stay safe, stay warm and stay healthy this winter!

Help! My dogs an escape artist…

Escape Behaviour in Dogs

Some dogs have extreme escape behaviours. They jump, dig and chew their way through fences, doors and gates that we put there to keep them safe in our yards.

Escape behaviour in dogs is a common problem but it can be fixed, however it takes time and patience as its not a quick fix.

Obviously building higher fences and reinforce the base and ground with chicken wire is the go to. However, it is essential that the reason behind the dog’s escape behaviour is changed as well.

There are 7 reasons why your dog may feel the need to escape.

  • A  lack of mental stimulation will make the dog want to go explore. Enrichment is a must!
  • Lack of physical exercise. Your dog has too much energy and no way else to use it.
  • Lack of companionship. Dogs are pack animals and a lack of affection and company can encourage your dog to go searching for some.
  • It may be a sign of separation anxiety. Eccspecially if they are trying to escape right after you leave home.
  • Some breeds have a keen sense to hunt. So if you have possums, rabbits or any other wild animals living near your fence line you might find they do anything they can to get to them.
  • A  friendly neighbour who supplies treats over the fence is an attraction for a food orientated dog and encourages them to escape.
  • A male dog can sense a female on heat in the area, his natural instinct will be to find her at all costs despite being desexed at times.

These are some recommendations to stop escape behaviour in dogs

  • It is essential that the dog is well exercised daily if possible.
  • Make the yard the dog’s favourite place to be by feeding, training and playing outside as much as possible.
  • On top of a 1.5m fence build an extension that tilts inwards at the top at a 45-degree angle keeping the fence at 1.8m per nsw legal requirement.
  • Provide interactive toys and games to keep the dog’s mind active and busy.
  • Supervise the dog when he is outside when you can and use distraction tactics when the dog tries to escape to discourage the  behaviour.
  • Secure gates properly with bolts or padlocks, a clever dog can soon learn to lift a latch and this also helps deter theives.
  • Remove any garden furniture and strong low tree branches away from fences that can be used as an aid to climb.
  • Insert strong chicken wire at the base of fences at a 90° angle bolted to the base of the fence and brought down and across the ground, out at least 1m under ground to prevent digging.
  • Don’t use the outside area as punishment when the dog misbehaves or he will associate the yard with the feeling of abandonment.
  • Go to obedience classes to teach the dog basic commands, eccspecially stay and a solid recall.
  • Neutering a male dog should reduce the desire to escape.
  • Keep the dog inside or crated if loud noises like fireworks or thunderstorms are expected
  • Keep the dog indoors when you leave the house if necessary. Only leave for short periods or take him with you if able to.

Personal Experience of Escape Behaviour

My girl rotweiler Xena escaped a fair few times. Even went to the length of getting out than turning to dig the hole bigger to help my larger dog join her.

Our house had the chicken wire around all the fence lines except for one small area beside the garage and of course she found that.

We were unable to use the same technique in that spot so i started to provide my dogs with larger iceblocks full of treats during the summer and winter they got treat ball toys full and kong toys with peanut butter. I also had a box of toys that every day I would switch out which ones they were given to change it up a bit.

This gave her much more mental stimulation and mostly eliminated the issue. Along with a couple of extra walks a week and burying their waste in the holes to deter the digging she never escaped again.

Just in case your dog does escape, make sure that he is chipped and wears a collar with your phone number attached so he can be brought home safely asap if found. Keeping and managing your dogs escape behaviour is not only important for your dogs safety but the safety of others and their owners. If all of this advice fails than seek a great trainer in your area for help.

Thanks for reading!