“Who Welcomes the Canines?” Towns Vie in National Dog Awards for Increased Dog-Friendly Recognition

This year’s DogFriendly Awards Competition, managed by https://www.dogfriendly.co.uk, has seen a surge in participation in its Town category. Urban areas across the UK have been vying to be named the top dog-friendly town, drawing an unprecedented number of votes.

The award winners were revealed in a grand event on 29th November 2023 at the Kennel Club’s London premises, with Katie Thistleton from BBC Radio 1 hosting. The DogFriendly Awards include 17 distinct categories, where dog-friendly businesses aim to garner the most votes from their patrons and followers, all competing for the esteemed “Most Dog Friendly Award”.

This year, the Towns Category generated significant buzz. Several towns enhanced their dog accessibility, initiated campaigns for clearer “dogs welcome” signs, and motivated more establishments to accommodate canine visitors. Girvan, located in the Scottish Borders, triumphed in this category, receiving more votes from dog owners than other finalists, Bury St. Edmunds and Eastbourne.

Girvan’s reaction to their victory was, “We are absolutely delighted to have won the category of most dog-friendly town. Local businesses and attractions have worked really hard with us this year at Go Girvan to welcome furry visitors to Girvan.”

The Awards, conceived 11 years ago by DogFriendly’s founders, Steve and Linda Bennett, who are avid dog owners, reflect the growing trend of integrating pets into everyday life. Steve Bennett stated, “Our dogs are part of the family and when we go out, it is only natural that we want our dogs to come along too. Businesses are recognising the value of welcoming dogs into their businesses, including many shopping centres around the UK, such as Friars Square Shopping Centre in Eastbourne, winners of the most dog-friendly shop category”.

Research from Melton Mowbray Town Council indicates a strong correlation between dog-friendly policies and business success: “those who own dogs are almost twice as likely to regularly visit shops and businesses that welcome dogs”, and four out of five businesses that did so reported improved business.

With over 12.5 million dogs in the UK and more than 21.4 million people living with a dog, the business case for attracting dog owners is clear.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *