Is Portobello Scotland's most dog-friendly place?

PORTOBELLO'S sprawling sandy beach, long promenade and public parks are guaranteed to set tails wagging.

Martha O'Hanlon with her dog, Maggie, at Portobello beach. Picture: Phil Wilkinson
Martha O'Hanlon with her dog, Maggie, at Portobello beach. Picture: Phil Wilkinson

The area also boasts a dog-grooming salon, a treats bakery aimed at a canine clientele, plus numerous pubs and cafes offering a warm welcome to four-legged visitors.

And so it may come as no surprise that pet-lovers have claimed the popular seaside destination may well be the most dog-friendly place in Scotland.

Tom Ford, who runs Crumbs of Portobello which sells dog treats from a van on the Promenade, is among those who believes the beach resort merits its growing reputation as a pooch paradise.

He said: “Portobello absolutely has to be one of the most dog-friendly places in Scotland. The prom is full of dog-walkers on any given day.

“Some are strolling along in a leisurely fashion and others are professional dog-walkers. All the businesses put dog bowls out with water.

“It is such a long beach and the dogs can run free and in the water, making it the perfect place for them.

“I have got two dogs myself and – before we opened Crumbs five years ago – we would come here to walk them.

“Portobello has the benefit of cafes and bars so you can get something for yourself as well as for your dog.”

Among the many businesses catering for dogs is the newly opened Harry’s Treats, a thriving dog bakery and Joanne’s Dog and Cat Grooming, both on Portobello High Street.

And according to Rhian Matthews, who set up Dugs and Pubs – a dog-friendly guide to pubs, shops, hotels, dog walks and days out – Portobello has 14 dog-friendly establishments.

Sarah Tupper, a professional dog walker and pet sitter who runs Doggie Ventures, which was established in 2007, said Portobello was “up there” with the most dog-friendly places in Scotland.

She added: “You can go along the promenade with your dog and all of the pubs along there are dog-friendly.” Paul Marsden opened dog bakery Harry’s Gourmet Treats last month on the High Street after carrying out market research in the Portobello area.

He had been making the treats in his city flat and decided on this as a prime location.

He said: “I think it is the most dog-friendly place in Scotland and we are getting really good support from all the locals.

“You have got the beach and you have pubs like the Espy where you can take dogs.”

Paul supplies 36 premises, including Edinburgh Castle and various pet shops, as well as selling at festivals, shows and farmers’ markets.

The newest product on sale is a dog yoghurt which is packed with fibre and vitamins.