Should Your Business Become Dog Friendly?

Be Dog Friendly, supported by, is a campaign run by the Kennel Club which aims to reward and encourage businesses and public places across the UK to adopt a dog friendly attitude towards the nation's 8 million dogs.

Whether you are a firm whose employees can benefit from the reduced stress levels that dogs help to create (1), or a business (such as a pub, restaurant, hotel or high street shop) who can benefit from the improved atmosphere that dogs foster - you are encouraged to get on board!

Benefits of being dog friendly for workplaces

It has been proven that firms will have a more productive and efficient workforce if they allow dogs into the office. Benefits include:

  • Reduced stress levels - People have been proven to have lower blood pressure and to cope better in stressful situations when dogs are present. (2)
  • Stroking a dog is proven to elevate the production of happy hormones, serotonin and dopamine, which in turn lowers blood pressure and reduces stress.
  • Increased creativity and productivity - It is well know that workers are more productive and creative when they take short breaks and get fresh air during the working day. Dogs encourage otherwise sedentary workers to take these breaks.
  • Improved morale and attendance - 90% of employers who allow dogs at work say they have noticed a positive change in the working environment since allowing dogs in to work. Half of all businesses noticed a decrease in absenteeism, 56% said that dogs had improved work relations and 67% said that having a dog at work had improved staff morale.

Benefits of being dog friendly for public places

Public places, from hotels and restaurants to pubs and caravan sites, have found that their business improves and that their customers have an improved experience when dogs are allowed into their premises. Benefits include:

  • Improved social interaction - Dogs encourage social interaction.
  • They are a talking point and get workers in a firm or customers in public venues socialising and interacting
  • Improved atmosphere - In a survey carried out by the Kennel Club 96 percent of people said that the atmosphere of a place was improved when dogs are present.(4)
  • Improved business - Not only will workplaces that allow their employees bring dogs to work experience the benefits of a more productive workforce but public places that allow dogs into their premises will encourage further trade. There are 8 million dogs in the UK. Research carried out by the Kennel Club found that four out of five businesses say that business has improved as a result of expanding their customer base to dog owners.(5)


1.Blair Justice, PhD, a psychology professor at the University of Texas School of Public Health and author of Who Gets Sick: How Beliefs, Moods, and Thoughts Affect Your Health. The study found that dogs can increase levels of serotonin and dopamine in people - nerve transmitters that are known to have pleasurable and calming properties.

2. Karen Allen's study, from State University of New York at Buffalo, cited in on line paper, Therapy Dogs in the Long-Term Care Environment by Steve Reiman, President of Therapy Dogs of Vermont. This research has proven that dogs reduce stress levels and lower blood pressure. She found that stockbrokers with hypertension who adopted a cat or dog had lower blood pressure readings in stressful situations than did their non-pet-owning counterparts noticed a decrease in absenteeism, 56% said that dogs had improved work relations and 67% said that having a dog at work had improved staff morale (3).

3 An NOP survey carried out by the Blue Cross.

4 Kennel Club survey Out and About Survey of 1,000 people in July 2008

5 Kennel Club Business Survey of 181 businesses in July 2009.


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