Has It Become Important For Businesses To Be Dog Friendly?

importance dog friendly businesses

The number of establishments allowing dogs in cafes and bar in Britain has increased so much over the last couple of years that some places have even introduced dog birthday parties. There are even individual cafes dedicated to the sole presence of cats and dogs, despite some of the more traditionalists frowning upon it. 

With the help of Hogs Head Inn, a dog friendly pub in Alnwick, we take a look at how the UK’s hospitality sector has been affected by the inclusion of our canine friends. 

In previous years, you may have been abroad to mainly European countries such as France or Spain and realised that the inclusion of dogs in caf├ęs and bars is somewhat common, whereas back home in the UK, adamant local business owners kept a stern foot on the ground when it came to allowing our furry friends through their doors. 

The opposition of pets in establishments is more of a culture issue rather than legal. There is no law that states dogs can’t enter premises, as long as they don’t enter places where food is being prepared and cooked. It is more a business / franchise policy that has been enforced. As of 2017/18, 26% of the UK’s population have a dog in their household, which is approximately 8.2m, followed by cats at 18%, so just over one in four families own a dog which is a massive chunk of money to gain from a business perspective. 

A survey by the Kennel Club of the UK hospitality industry found that 97% of all dog friendly businesses stated that our canine companions have added value to their business, directly or indirectly. 

The Science Behind Our Love For Dogs 

Dogs can benefit more than financial aspect of a business — dogs are also known to improve the atmosphere of a place as well as reduced stress levels of workers. Dogs also act as a lighthearted conversation starter between workers and customers which creates a community atmosphere especially in places that require face-to-face customer service, and this is essential in a pub atmosphere as a meeting place for social interactions, so the inclusion of a dog is bound to go hand in hand. 

It has also been found that stroking a pooch increases the production and release of serotonin and dopamine, also known as the happy hormones, which as a result, lowers the blood pressure allowing a more calming output. 

For Marketing Purposes 

The presence of dogs can be a welcoming sign to passersby, signaling openness and friendliness. Marketing can go a long way in attracting potential customers to walk through the front door. Placing quirky, dog-friendly signs outside could also be a useful technique to attracting a family that would’ve otherwise carried on walking. 

As mentioned earlier, Brewdog, the appropriately named brewing company from Scotland, have taken the combination of dogs and marketing to a whole new level. Not only are all 36 of their bars in this country and internationally dog friendly, last year they launched a ‘bespoke party service for our four- legged friends’, even launching a beer made for dogs, by boiling down carrots and bananas into a brew fresh on site. 

Important Points 

If you decide to let dogs on your premises, there are some obvious considerations you should think about, as not everyone loves and appreciates dogs as much as others! 

If your business isn’t independently owned and is part of a franchise or chain of businesses, it would be wise to double check your insurance policy, as having dogs present could invalidate your insurance policy. 

Consider where on your premises dogs are allowed to wander, for example, having a dedicated eating area solely for restaurant purposes where dogs aren’t allowed in, keeping hygiene as clean as possible. 

Some people can be allergic to domestic animals, so providing plenty of signs are situated within the premises that warn customers, businesses can’t be liable for any reactions and you should be fully equipped for inspirational animals and customers to integrate as they please!

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