The Paw Grading Program® is a registered Trademark and Copyright.


Taking the Hotel star rating system provided by local Tourist Board authorities across the UK and Ireland, the Paw Grading Program® provides a PAW (Pets Are Welcome) grading to dog friendly venues, based on the facilities and services they provide for dogs and their owners.

Dog Friendly venues across the country all provide facilities and services, but as patrons it is difficult to know what to expect at a venue and what they offer for our dogs during a short break or overnight stay.

The PAW Grading, will provide consistency and a quick reference guide to dog owners, enabling them to make informed decisions about their trips to dog friendly venues.

Businesses can now apply for their grading online, via the links below, enabling them to self-certify their property on an evidence based submission.




PAW Grading Program® Rating criteria

Dog Friendly NI and the Dog Friendly Guru are at the forefront of innovation and standards in Dog Friendliness across the country. No rating system for dog friendly venues previously existed in the UK/Ireland/Europe.  There are dog welcome schemes but none that actually determine the quality of facilities and services provided by a venue.  Facilities for  dogs and their owners vary greatly.  Some venues allow dogs inside, some are outside only.  

The creation of the PAW Grading Program® has established a set of criteria for venues.  It also pulls on current legislation to provide guidance to venues, in relation to animal welfare, and also addressing the Environmental Health issues. Each venue that wants to embrace their dog friendly services can opt to have an audit carried out, based against the criteria.  Venues will be awarded a Bronze, Silver or Gold rating with Gold being the top accolade.  Service users will then know in advance what is to be expected when they research their upcoming trips and stays at a venue.

Registered businesses with a PAW Grading, will be awarded a certificate as part of the process, along with social media and blog post about the accolade along with PAW Graded listing on the website.

Having a PAW Grading will provide businesses with an excellent marketing tool, and instantly appeal to dog owners wanting to use their facilities.  It will be a sign of Quality and a Recognition of their commitment to providing services that meet the needs of their dog owning customers.  

The PAW Grading Program® can only be delivered by the Dog Friendly NI.

Bronze PAW Grading Award

Silver PAW Grading Award

Gold PAW Grading Award

Lusty Beg Island

Gold PAW Rating in County Fermanagh.

Marine Hotel

Gold PAW Rating in Ballycastle, the Causeway Coastal Route.

PAW Rated properties