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Why this Swedish restaurant is launching a dog menu

Dogs sniffing hopefully at cafe tables are a common sight the world over, but in Sweden one restaurant chain is serving up a dedicated menu for canines. Complete with imitation beer.

Why this Swedish restaurant is launching a dog menu
Forget ice cream, hungry Swedish dogs can now drink beefy beer. Photo: Maja Suslin/TT

Man's best friend can now chow down on cod or organic beef at Avenyfamiljen in the western city of Gothenburg, with non-alcoholic “dog beer”, made from beef stock, set to be added to the menu from July.

“For a couple of years we've allowed dogs into our restaurants. The next step was to offer water bowls, and now we also offer a special dog menu,” restaurant boss Tobias Hamberg told AFP.

“Most dogs prefer the beef, and they usually take their meals on the floor near to the feet of their owners.”

Like a few other eateries around the globe that offer up pet treats, Avenyfamiljen and two other restaurants from the same chain are hoping the move will attract custom from diners who just can't bear to leave their furry friends at home.

Doggy meals at Avenyfamiljen, which the restaurant buys ready-made from a company in Stockholm, will set the owner back 50 kronor ($6).

The goal is “to attract a new kind of guest, ones who can't leave their dogs for more than an hour at home,” said Hamberg.

“Food service is a very competitive market. We always need to find a new ways to make competitive offers for our customers. At the moment we just allow dogs. But who knows. In the future we might build restaurants just for animals,” he joked.

Avenyfamiljen isn't the first Swedish eating establishment that has attempted to break into the dog market.

In 2015, dog lover Magnus Rosengren launched a food truck specifically for pets, giving Stockholm's hipster dogs the chance to eat high-end take-outs. 

Whether the dogs subsequently grew beards and started wearing flannel is not yet known. 

ANIMALS

Outrage after Malmö council officers shoot aggressive swan dad

A swan living on a canal in central Malmö was shot dead by professional hunters on Sunday night, just weeks before the birth of his eight cygnets.

Outrage after Malmö council officers shoot aggressive swan dad
A swan studies its reflection in Malmö's Pildammsparken. Photo: Jakob Nilsson-Ehle/Flickr
The male swan or 'cob' signed his own death sentence earlier this year, when he attacked a group of children near his nest close to Malmö's police station, causing several of the youngsters to fall into the water. 
 
“I understand that people are upset about this. I'm upset myself. I conserve nature. I don't usually kill things,” Ola Enqvist, a nature conservationist employed by Malmö's local government, told The Local. 
 
“All male swans defend their nests of course. But this swan was particularly angry. He attacked everybody who passed by, and people were afraid.” 
 
One local resident, Martina Andersson, told the Sydsvenskan newspaper that she found the decision “extremely upsetting”. 
 
“They were a real feature of the area,” she said of the swans. “He is only protecting his mate from the canoeists who paddle by, but it doesn't do anyone any harm.” 
 
 
Enqvist said two hunters had been granted special police permission to use a firearm and had then both shot the swan simultaneously to ensure he was killed instantly. They carried out the shooting late on Sunday night to minimize the risk of passers-by being alarmed. 
 
Enqvist said that to his knowledge the city authorities had never before had to put a swan down. 
 
“This was the first time it's happened, and I hope the last,” he commented.
 
As for the swan's mate, he said he hoped she would be capable of hatching and nurturing the eight eggs in her nest alone.  
 
“We think and hope that she will be able to bring up the children. She is the one in the nest, not the male, so we hope she will manage to do it herself,” he said. 
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