It’s the moment we’ve all been excitedly tail-wagging for! We’re ready to announce the national winner of the first ever DogBuddy Dog-Friendly Pub Awards.
Meet the national winner
The DogBuddy Pub of the Year 2016 is (drumroll!) the Hand in Hand in Wimbledon, London.
Before we reveal how the Hand won, here’s a quick reminder of what the Dog-Friendly Pub Awards was all about. Earlier this year, we discovered that finding a dog welcoming pub to enjoy a drink with pals and your pooch isn’t always as easy as you might think. Our survey of UK dog owners revealed that although 70% of the UK’s dog owners search for dog-friendly pubs, 1/3 Britons struggle to find dog-friendly pubs and nearly 1/4 dog owners left a pub that wasn’t dog-friendly.
We wanted to help flip those stats on their head – and started sniffing around for the UK’s best dog-friendly pubs.
How did the Hand in Hand do it?
Our judges were bowled over by the Hand in Hand’s dog-friendly credentials. The pub team has certainly mastered the basics of welcoming dogs. Our judges were looking for publicans who offer a warm welcome to their dog-owning customers, provide water bowls indoors and out, advertise that they’re dog-welcoming, have shaded areas in the garden to keep dogs cool in hot weather and indoors space for dog owners to eat a meal with their dogs by their side.
The Hand in Hand goes even further than the basics! There are also treats available behind the bar, quiet space for dogs to enjoy some nap time away from noisy humans, and there’s even space for humans to eat their pub dinner without dogs around, for those people who prefer meal time to be dog-free.
A popular pit-stop for thirsty walkers enjoying the leg stretching offerings of Wimbledon Common which is just a tennis ball’s throw away. Walkers can leave muddy boots by the doors and warm by the fire in winter. The pub team make good use of this nearby space for walkies, organising charity dog walks, helping to raise thousands of pounds for the Blue Cross.
We spoke to Hand in Hand top dog Christine, who, it’s fair to say, was overjoyed to hear the news. “We were absolutely blown away, ecstatic, excited, proud and every other term you can think of to describe being super happy. There were screams of delight and jumping around from members of staff”.
So successful is the team’s dog-welcoming policy that regulars keep coming back – the staff are on first name basis with dogs from the local community, as well as with their owners. And if you’re wondering how good the beer is, real ale enthusiast Andrew makes sure that great brews are central to the Hand’s human beverage offering. So, this really is the perfect spot for a pint with your dog in tow.
Hat’s off to a well-deserved win to the Hand in Hand… or should that be the Hand in Paw?