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Dog-friendly Britain?

8th May 2017 Print

Dogs have always been man’s best friend. However, with the growth of doggy products and shifting attitudes, dogs have become far more than just pets in recent years — they’re part of the family. But just how dog friendly is Britain? Here, dog food retailer and grain free dog food specialists, Feedem, looks at the stats behind dog-friendly Britain:

Green spaces

We all know that dogs love the great outdoors — but which UK city best caters to our canine companions? Research carried out by Esri UK has found that Scottish cities are the go-to destinations for doggy day trips, as they have a greater proportion of green space.

49.2% of Edinburgh is green space, while Glasgow has 32%. In terms of English cities, Bristol (29%) and Birmingham (24.6%) are leading the way. It’s bad news if you’re planning a visit to Liverpool with your pooch though, as just 16.4% of the city is green space.

Clearly, Britain has plenty of outdoor places for our dogs to explore, even in city centres. Throw in a stellar coastline — including 199 Blue Flag beaches — and plenty of rolling countryside, and it’s clear that Britain’s dogs are well catered for.

Dog-friendly pubs

The British love a pub — and, as the figures show, so do our pooches! According to data from Google Trends, search interest in ‘dog friendly pubs’ has grown steadily since 2012. Now, an average of 9,900 people search for ‘dog friendly pubs’ each month — compared to just 1,900 who search for ‘romantic restaurants’.

There are 5,000 dog-friendly pubs listed on Doggie Pubs, although this number is likely to be much higher in reality as the list is curated. An increasing number of businesses are becoming dog friendly to cater to a wider audience.

A 2016 Kennel Club survey found that after introducing a dog-friendly policy, 71% of businesses gained new customers. 50% of guests visited for longer too, as their dog wasn’t at home or tied up outside. Not only does the move help to introduce more customers to your business, it has also been found to increase customer and staff interactions by up to two thirds.

Dog-friendly shops

With the exception of pet shops and independent stores, dogs are largely excluded from the British high street. However, what you may find surprising is the number of premium retailers who welcome pooches to their stores.

For example, the Bond Street branch of Fenwick’s department store will welcome any breed of dog no matter their size, as long as they are kept on a leash. Likewise, iconic London store Harrods welcomes dogs but only on the fourth floor (Pet Kingdom), providing you can present up-to-date vaccination cards. However, you won’t be able to browse the rest of the store with your dog, but you can leave them in the pet crèche! 

Dogs at work

Some employers even allow their employees to bring their dogs to work. June 24th is national Bring Your Dog to Work Day, with many businesses across the country getting involved. However, Britain’s workplaces aren’t just dog-friendly on this day — 8% of UK employees are allowed to take their dogs to work all year round.

Clearly, whether it’s work, rest or play, Britain is a dog-friendly nation. As our love of four-legged friends continues to grow, so will the number of facilities where our dogs are welcome.