Pub takes the lead to welcome dogs with special menu and canine beer
CUSTOMERS ARE lapping up the service at The King Stag in Bushey. Ever since opening five years ago, the pub has served every canine visitor a bowl of water and biscuits — on a plate, with a serviette. “The owners loved that we cared as much about their dog as we did about them,” says David Warren, King Stag’s owner. “So we thought how we could make the experience for dogs and their owners even better. We started a doggy menu, which includes a home-made burger or sausages and they can have a dog beer from Snuffles.”
Dogs were becoming as much regulars in the pub as their owners and some dogs even pulled their owners towards the pub if they were walking past, as they knew they would get a dog biscuit. “One of our neighbours had a beautiful Labrador puppy called Maple,” says Warren. “Every time she escaped, her owner knew exactly where to find her, she was in the pub. “
King Stag holds a dog walk on the last Sunday of every month, at 10am. Dogs and owners meet at the pub for tea and coffee and then go for an hour-and-40-minute walk across the local Woodland Trust site, finishing back at the pub. This is one of Warren’s favourite parts of owning the pub — “a real community walk that brings all ages together”. Many stay for a drink or Sunday lunch at the end of the walk.
Warren and his wife enjoyed having dogs in the pub so much that in July 2016 they became the proud owners of Charlie, a border collie rescue dog from Heathlands animal sanctuary in Hertfordshire.
In 2017 they held their first charity dog show. “We had so many dogs enter we couldn’t fit them all in the parade ring (something we have taken into account for this year’s dog show on August 26). Having dogs in the pub has really bought people together and got them chatting, whether they are dog owners or just like a scruffle with someone’s else’s beautiful dog.”
Many of the staff are also dog owners and in 2016 King Stag won a prize as “most dog-friendly pub in the East Of England” (it was runner-up in 2017).
If bringing four-legged friends, book a table in the dog-friendly area, or just turn up to be seated in the newly refurbished garden, which has waiter service on most nights.
Dogs would pull their owners into the pub for a biscuit’
Bark snacks at The King Stag