Gourmet Pawprints is a business started in 2013 that offers dog-friendly winery and vineyard tours around rural Victoria like Mornington Peninsula, Yarra Valley and Daylesford. The stops along the guided tours, which come in full or half day, are all dog-friendly and may include wine and cider tastings, morning tea, a walk along an off-lead beach, ball play and a gourmet lunch.
This is one of Australia most loved dog-friendly businesses and when talking exclusively to Gourmet Pawprints’ owner, Kerry Watt, she says, the business came about after she did not want to leave her own four-legged friend at home.”Dogs are part of your family, which means they go with you where you go. If people work full-time they want to be with their dogs on weekends.” With Gourmet Pawprints, the best part is “getting to enjoy a fabulous outdoor lifestyle with people who love to spoil their pooches” and “meeting great people who love their dogs.”
Watt says, “For a dog lover you are severely restricted in Australia where you can take your dog. In the US and Europe dogs are part of the fabric of society. They are in hotels, pubs, restaurants, trains and buses.” For example, one of her biggest challenges was attempting to source a 50-seater bus: “I made about 50 calls to find companies that would accept dogs. They’ll take blokes on bucks’ parties but not so many take dogs,” she says.
When asked if Australia should encourage more dog-friendly facilities, Watt says, “Yes with proper education about how to interact with dogs and an understanding of dog behaviour”. And we totally agree! There is plenty of time for pooches to socialise and play on Gourmet Pawprints tours but Watt makes sure that there is no anti-social behaviour. All dogs on the tour must be desexed and vaccinated and of course, friendly and well-trained both on and off leash.
You can find more about Gourmet Pawprints at: http://gourmetpawprints.com.au