As part of the Kennel Club’s campaign to encourage businesses, workplaces and open spaces to welcome man’s best friend, Be Dog Friendly Week offers the perfect opportunity to trial a dog friendly policy. The Week runs from Monday 18th until Friday 22nd July and enables business owners and managers to discover the many benefits of allowing dogs in to their buildings and places to visit.
Caroline Kisko, Kennel Club Secretary said: “With one in four UK households now owning a dog, there has never been a better time for establishments to embrace our canine companions. The Kennel Club has lots of information and advice available to ensure that the introduction of a dog friendly trial policy is a great success, and we hope that businesses will then decide to become dog friendly on a permanent basis.”
Studies have shown that being dog friendly not only benefits our four-legged friends and their owners, but also the businesses themselves. A recent survey found that 72% of dog owners would go on more trips within the UK if they were allowed to bring their dog along, which could generate an additional £5 billion for the tourism industry.
Dog friendly public places such as bars, restaurants and hotels have found that their guests have an improved overall experience for a number of reasons including furry friends encouraging social interaction between customers. In a survey carried out by the Kennel Club, a staggering 96% of people said that an atmosphere was improved once dogs were present, and four out of five companies said that business had improved as a result of expanding their customer base to include canines.
Notable benefits for dog friendly workplaces include improved morale and attendance – 90% of employers surveyed noticed a positive change in the working environment after allowing dogs in the office, and reduced stress levels for workers – the presence of dogs has been proven to help lower people’s blood pressure and elevate ‘happy hormones’. Half of all businesses also noticed a decrease in absenteeism.
The Be Dog Friendly campaign, now in its tenth year, aims to break down barriers for man’s best friend by encouraging more businesses and public spaces to welcome dogs. As part of this, the Be Dog Friendly Awards recognise businesses and places to visit that go the extra mile for dogs. The awards are held in association with dogfriendly.co.uk. Each year the public nominate and vote for their favourite dog friendly places across ten categories including best Town/City, Great Outdoors, Pub/Bar, Day Out and High Street.