Warning over ‘unnecessary’ dog bans
The Kennel Club has found that man’s best friends aren’t necessarily being treated as such, and has released the results of a survey of over 2,000 dog owners for the launch of its Open for Dogs Week this week. The survey found that 42 per cent of dog owners in the UK fear that they will be forced into a small number of overcrowded dog-friendly parks as local authorities close their public spaces to dogs by issuing dog control orders.
Meanwhile almost one in three dog owners say their area underperforms when it comes to dog friendly credentials.
The Kennel Club has launched its Open for Dogs Week (30th September to 4th October) to encourage businesses and workplaces to reap the rewards of a more caring attitude to dogs – more than half of dog owners say they would use local shops and services more frequently if they were dog friendly.
Since the start of 2011, the Kennel Club has formally responded to more than 70 dog control order consultations, indicating a decline in the number of places which welcome dogs. A quarter of dog owners surveyed report that shops that were previously dog friendly are now less so, and almost one in five say the same of pubs.
However, Lee de Villier, who runs the Old Sergeant pub in Wandsworth, South West London, said: “Letting dogs into the pub has been nothing but good for the business for us. Both our dog owning and non-dog owning customers love it and it has improved the atmosphere of the place as a whole.
“Being dog friendly helped us to secure the award of Best Community Pub in the Great British Pub Awards in 2012, as we consider dogs to be an integral part of the community, as many people do. We get lots of positive feedback from customers and often get people enquiring about the pub on Twitter because they have heard that we are so dog friendly.”
Caroline Kisko, Kennel Club Secretary, said: “It is a worry that, as more places ban dogs, more often than not unnecessarily, owners around the UK will be pushed into restricted areas with their pets which just won’t be big enough to cater for the demand.
“We refer to dogs as being man’s best friend, but as a country we don’t seem to be showing this, as we increasingly turn our backs on dogs and stop them from spending time with their owners when out and about in public.
We refer to dogs as being man’s best friend, but as a country we don’t seem to be showing this. The Kennel Club wants to see the UK being as faithful to dogs as they are to us
“An increase in dog bans and places becoming less dog friendly gives way to a whole new set of issues, including putting dogs’ welfare at risk as owners are forced to leave their dogs in cars, or tied up outside shops and pubs, putting them at risk of being frightened or stolen.
“The Kennel Club wants to see the UK being as faithful to dogs as they are to us, and we are encouraging businesses and workplaces across the UK to open their doors to dogs for the week to experience the many wonderful benefits that being around dogs can bring.”
Open for Dogs Week is dedicated to encouraging businesses and workplaces across the UK to trial a dog friendly policy and to experience the benefits dogs bring, which include raising levels of serotonin, the so-called ‘happy hormone’, increasing workplace productivity, and appealing to a potential new market through the millions of dog owning households in the UK.
Find out more about Open for Dogs Week here.