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Dogs Welcome

Updated on September 26, 2011

Dog-friendly businesses are best placed to gain access to our pockets, according to a survey by the Kennel Club

When business isn’t booming, how do you lure punters through the door? By appealing to their four-legged friends. Results of a Kennel Club survey suggest that however far the FTSE falls, the “paw pound” is holding up nicely.

Dog owners are more likely than most people to patronise local shops, it seems, and 6 per cent more likely to take holidays in the UK. Their holiday spending is also higher than average, though not everyone is keen to secure their custom. More than half the owners surveyed said they would spend more if shops were dog-friendly, and one in five would take more UK holidays if their dog was welcome (more than a third thought that this wasn’t true now).

With eight million dogs in the UK, that’s a lot of owners sitting on their hind legs, waiting to be patted. So who bothers to make a fuss of them? The Kennel Club has an annual competition to find out, inviting the public to nominate dog-friendly enterprises in several categories.

On the high street, best of breed is Metro Bank, with hundreds of dog owners praising the supply of water bowls, dog biscuits and even bandannas in branches. “We’re thrilled to win this award,” said Craig Donaldson, the bank’s CEO. “Our mantra is, ‘Dogs Rule’.” If he had a tail, it would be wagging.

Others on the winners’ rostrum include Laverock Holiday Cottages in Egglestone, Co Durham, which has a 120ft “dog agility area”, and Low Nest Farm in Keswick, Cumbria, where they provide heated kennels and a canine crèche for guests. At Pet Works in Hurstpierpoint, West Sussex, staff are allowed to bring their dogs to work “to promote a calm and productive environment”.

In these recessionary times, the message is clear: if the next person through the door happens to be accompanied by, say, a Great Dane, smile warmly and give them both some space. The one without the studs in his collar could be your best customer.


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    • Seeker7 profile image

      Helen Murphy Howell 6 years ago from Fife, Scotland

      I've been to a couple of holiday cottages in the North of Scotland that are for pets and their owners - it is wonderful!!! There is such a great atmsophere of tolerance and friendliness between everyone!

      I also agree 100% with larry71 - I can't stand people who carry their dogs around with them and dress them up in really stupid clothes! Dogs have legs to be used and secondly they are beautiful as nature intended them to be without the dumb 'human' clothes put on them. Dog coats for the winter are fine as is the dog shoes for some of the mountain search and rescue, but that's it!

    • larry71 profile image

      Larry 6 years ago from Illinois

      Ah yes. The idea of having our pets in more places is appealing. To us as pet owners. But sadly enough most don't allow them. And for good reason. Not every one is pet friendly, not only shop owners and managers but other patrons. Some have allergies, who is to blame if we take our pet into a shop and someone has an alergic reaction and requires medical attention? Does the shop pay for the medical attention or the pet owner? Too many variables to this. As much as I love my dogs, I know they are safe at home when I'm out and about with no need to worry. If I go to the park or a walk around the neighborhood or visit friends and family having them along is one thing, I'm not going to risk taking them to a shop of any sort and put them at risk of God knows what. Dogs have legs, and feelings, I personally despise people who carry any pet in a bag or purse. The animal isnt an object. If it's out with you let it walk. Or leave it at home. It's not an object to get attention for it's "master". It's a companion with physical need to exercise not be toted around like an infant.

    • mary615 profile image

      Mary Hyatt 6 years ago from Florida

      I love to take my little Schnauzer with me shopping, but she is not welcomed in many places! Wish more places were "pet friendly". Good Hub.

    • thranax profile image

      Andrew 6 years ago from Rep Boston MA

      I would love to be able to bring my aunts dogs out to eat with us and not have to leave at home or in the car. I see the issue with this is that the businesses will need to clean more, there could be customers afraid of dogs ( I only seen 2-4 of these people and they had to be the funniest people I have ever seen reacting to a dog), and the dog could knock things over - trip waiters/waitresses - or even eat other customers food (like jumping on tables or chairs).

      Its not a horrible idea though!


    • Nature by Dawn profile image

      Dawn Ross 6 years ago

      Wonderful! I can't wait until the US starts making more businesses dog friendly. We have a few and some restaurants with outdoor patios are starting to allow pets, but we still have a long way to go. I would love to be able to take my dogs to more places.