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We love dogs: KC awards dog friendly places

A pub that hangs Christmas stockings out for its four-legged punters; a Tearoom that’s been described as a ‘haven in an anti dog area’ and a B&B that provides dog agility equipment for its guests are amongst the winners of the Kennel Club’s annual Open for Dogs awards.

The eight winners, in seven different categories, were nominated by their customers on account of their dog friendly credentials, in Kennel Club’s second annual competition. The categories were Somewhere to Eat, Somewhere to Drink, Somewhere to Sleep, Somewhere to Holiday, Somewhere to Visit, Somewhere to Work and Other. The proud winners received their prizes at Discover Dogs, which took place on 14-15 November at Earls Court.

And it seems that more and more businesses are following the lead of the Open for Dogs award winners and recognising the importance of reaching out to the nation’s 8 million dog owners.
According to research conducted by the Kennel Club businesses are claiming that the key to business success comes in the unusual shape of our four-legged friends. A staggering four out of five businesses claim that their dog friendly policy has helped them to draw in more customers in difficult financial times.1

The Kennel Club has also found that 95 percent of people think more businesses and locations should be Open for Dogs, and that dogs improve the atmosphere of a place2, and 77 percent think that dogs help to reduce stress.3

Speaking about the Open for Dogs Awards, Caroline Kisko, Secretary for the Kennel Club, said: ‘We have been really impressed by the wide range of services and facilities that are being provided to make dogs and their owners feel welcome, since launching the Open for Dogs Campaign in 2006. Our aim was always to help make places more friendly towards dogs and their owners and this competition really highlights the crème de la crème.’

And the winners of the Open for Dogs competition agree that being kind to their doggie customers, is helping them to achieve good business results. Keris De Villiers, manager of the Nightingale pub in Balham, which won the Somewhere to Drink award, can testify to this.

She said: “These aren’t the kindest of times for the Great British Pub but our business is definitely booming as a result of being dog friendly because dog owners provide a massive customer base. And the other customers love having the dogs around – after all pubs are social places and dogs are great conversation starters – so it’s a win-win situation.

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