- 42 per cent of dog owners worry they will be forced into
overcrowded 'dog parks'
- Almost one in three say their area underperforms when it comes
to dog friendly credentials
- Businesses are losing out on the 'hound pound' as more than
half of dog owners say they would use local shops and services more
frequently if they were dog friendly
- Kennel Club launches its Open for Dogs Week (30thSeptember to
4thOctober) to encourage businesses and workplaces to reap the
rewards of trialling a dog friendly policy
Almost half of Britain's dog owners fear they could become
marginalised by society and forced into restricted areas, as more
and more places are clamping down on dogs and their owners across
The Kennel Club has found that man's best friends aren't
necessarily being treated as such, and has released the results of
a survey of over 2,000 dog owners[i] for the launch of its Open for
Dogs Week this week. The survey found that 42 per cent of dog
owners in the UK fear that they will be forced into a small number
of overcrowded dog-friendly parks as local authorities close their
public spaces to dogs by issuing draconian dog control
Since the start of 2011, the Kennel Club has formally responded to
more than 70 dog control order consultations, indicating a decline
in the number of places which welcome dogs. Almost one in
three dog owners say that their area performs under par when it
comes to its dog friendly credentials and 40 per cent say that the
attitude towards dogs has got worse when it comes to places to go,
meaning dog owners face frustration when trying to take their dogs
out with them for the day. A quarter report that shops that were
previously dog friendly are now less so, and almost one in five say
the same of pubs.
This is a worrying trend which is likely to have a knock on effect
for Britain's businesses, many of which may suffer a loss in
business and miss out on the valuable so-called 'hound
pound'. Kennel Club research has shown that dog owners are
almost twice as likely as those without a dog to regularly visit
their local shops and stores, with a quarter saying that they
frequent them, and more than half of people with dogs would be more
likely to use local shops and services more frequently if their
dogs could go with them. In addition, dog owners were found
to spend 22 per cent more a month on eating out and drinking in
pubs and restaurants than non-dog owners, meaning that dog friendly
businesses are reaping the rewards.
Lee de Villier, who runs the Old Sergeant pub in Wandsworth, South
West London, said: "Letting dogs into the pub has been nothing but
good for the business for us. Both our dog owning and non-dog
owning customers love it and it has improved the atmosphere of the
place as a whole.
"Being dog friendly helped us to secure the award of Best
Community Pub in the Great British Pub Awards in 2012, as we
consider dogs to be an integral part of the community, as many
people do. We get lots of positive feedback from customers
and often get people enquiring about the pub on Twitter because
they have heard that we are so dog friendly."
Caroline Kisko, Kennel Club Secretary, said: "It is a worry that,
as more places ban dogs, more often than not unnecessarily, owners
around the UK will be pushed into restricted areas with their pets
which just won't be big enough to cater for the demand.
"We refer to dogs as being man's best friend, but as a country we
don't seem to be showing this, as we increasingly turn our backs on
dogs and stop them from spending time with their owners when out
and about in public.
"An increase in dog bans and places becoming less dog friendly
gives way to a whole new set of issues, including putting dogs'
welfare at risk as owners are forced to leave their dogs in cars,
or tied up outside shops and pubs, putting them at risk of being
frightened or stolen.
"The Kennel Club wants to see the UK being as faithful to dogs as
they are to us, and we are encouraging businesses and workplaces
across the UK to open their doors to dogs for the week to
experience the many wonderful benefits that being around dogs can
Open for Dogs Week is dedicated to encouraging businesses and
workplaces across the UK to trial a dog friendly policy and to
experience the many wonderful benefits dogs bring, which include
raising levels of serotonin, the so-called 'happy hormone',
increasing workplace productivity, and appealing to a potential new
market through the millions of dog owning households in the
To find out more about Open for Dogs Week, or to join in, visit www.openfordogs.org.uk.