Craig Williams MP Shows Support for Local Dog Friendly Businesses

As Be Dog Friendly Week comes to an end, Craig Williams MP and Winston the Welsh Springer Spaniel today visited The Birchgrove pub, a dog friendly business that could be in with a chance of winning the Be Dog Friendly Awards 2016.

The Kennel Club’s Be Dog Friendly Awards is a competition that recognises and rewards innovative businesses and outdoor spaces that welcome four-legged visitors. Craig and Winston stopped by the historic pub to find out why the venue decided to be dog friendly.

Speaking during his visit, Craig said: “I’m supporting dog friendly businesses because they are a great way of creating a better atmosphere in the workplace. A dog is part of the family and when they are at work with their owner it reduces stress and anxiety levels for both owner and dog. A dog can also encourage social interaction between customers who wouldn’t normally chat to each other. I sometimes take Winston into my constituency office – he’s pleased to be with me and gets on great with my staff!”

The Birchgrove is a long established business with a reputation for a great range of cask ales and many screens to watch live sport on. One of the canine clientele also enjoys the live screens as he can support his football team, Manchester City.

Manager Tim Reynolds said: “We all know that a lot of men use ‘I’m taking the dog for a walk’ as an excuse to nip out for a couple of pints. We are lucky that we are able to welcome dogs into the bar, most of them are better behaved than the human customers and generally smell better too!”

The Be Dog Friendly campaign includes the awards and the annual Be Dog Friendly Week (18th-22nd July), and aims to break down barriers for man’s best friend by encouraging more businesses and public spaces to welcome dogs.

The Be Dog Friendly Awards 2016 are held in association with, the UK’s leading directory with over 32,000 entries, including dog-friendly hotels, cottages, pubs, beaches, camping and caravan sites.

Public voting for the awards opened on 1stJuly and runs until 30thSeptember. The winners will be announced during a prize-giving ceremony in London during October. Any dog owners in Sussex wishing to nominate a business or space can do at and each person that votes will be entered in to a prize draw to be in with a chance of winning £500 towards a dog friendly holiday or a runners up prize of tickets to Eukanuba Discover Dogs or Crufts 2017.