This August we’re launching the Dog Friendly Pub Awards to find the most pawsome dog-friendly pubs in the UK.
And we want your help. We’re asking dog owners and sitters to nominate and vote for their favourite watering hole – who better to decide! Voting closes on 31st October, after which we’ll announce 12 UK regional winners as decided by voters, and our panel of judges will decide the pub that will receive the enviable title of Best Dog Friendly Pub of the Year.
What makes a pub ‘dog-friendly’?
Ask anyone what springs to mind when they think about the UK and we bet that they’ll respond with “great pubs” – after mentioning the Queen and tea, probably. Yes, we are a nation of bar-propper-uppers, ale-quaffers, pub-quizzers and fireside chatters. If there’s a more British way to spend an evening than down your local watering hole we can’t recall…
Aside from enjoying a swift half pint after work, or a beer or two with our Sunday roast, we’re also a nation of dog lovers, with around 9 million dog-owning households in the UK.
It shouldn’t be surprising then that these two interests – dogs and pubs – often coincide. With most dog owners seeming to prefer socialising with their pups than without. In fact; 3 in 4 Britons would rather spend an evening with their dog than without and 40% of us would bring our dog out on a date or a night out with our pals. And we wholeheartedly approve – dogs are sociable creatures who are bound to be more wingman than third wheel.
However, despite our dual love for taverns and tail-waggers, it seems that’s not as easy as you might think to find a dog-friendly pub in the UK. Our research of over 2,500 dog owners reveals that 1 in 3 of them struggle to find a suitable pub and 1 in 4 have left a pub because it wasn’t dog-friendly.
So, what is this elusive dog-friendly ‘X-factor’ that makes pubs a pleasant place for pooches to visit?
What do dog owners look for in a pub?
Pub landlords, take note! Our recent survey of UK dog owners discovered:
- 60% of dog owners said that having a water bowl for their dog was very important, which just goes to show that we want to ensure our pups can quench their thirst while we sip a cold beverage of our own.
- 14% of dog owners said that dog-loving pub staff was an important factor and 14% also said that having outdoor space was important.
- 10% said that freebies like dog treats or toys to play with were very important to them (well, their dog).
When asked what else dog owners looked for in pubs to visit with their pooches, dog owners had the following suggestions, to name just a few:
- Signage to advertise the pub is dog-friendly
- Warm welcome for owners and their dogs
- A dog food menu
- Special bins for dog poo and even complimentary poo bags
It’s probably not surprising that discerning pub visitors often do their research before heading out to a pub with their dog in tow. In fact, 70% of UK dog owners research dog-friendly pubs before paying a visit, so it’s important that pubs list up to date information on their websites and social media.
Go the extra mile
Whilst putting out a dog bowl isn’t too complicated, there are impressive pubs out there who’ve gone the extra mile to make dogs and their humans feel welcome in a pub. We’ve heard tails (sorry) of pubs with dog snacks, plenty of dog bowls and beds, and even special doggy beer!
Have you got a favourite watering hole you’ve visited with your pooch? Search for the pub and vote, or nominate if it’s not already in our directory. And may the best pub win!