We came up with the Dog-friendly Pub Awards with a mission in mind: to find the UK’s best dog-friendly pubs.
But sifting through all of the UK’s 3,500 UK dog-friendly pubs is no mean feat! That’s why we need your help – to nominate, vote and spread the word! We’ve also lined up a panel of expert judges – if you missed our interview with Ed Bedington, don’t worry – you can catch up here.
Now it’s time to meet our second judge! Put your paws together for Lisa Richards, who has possibly one of the best jobs ever – she’s a science officer at the RSPCA.
DogBuddy: If you could pick one breed to own for the rest of your life what breed and why?
Lisa Richards: I love dogs of all shapes and sizes so it’s impossible to pick one breed! Also, all of the dogs I’ve known have been individuals with their own personalities and quirks. So, I’d choose a dog who enjoys being active and loves going on long walks, but also enjoys curling up watching a film with me on a Sunday afternoon.
DB: You’re in the pub with some mates. Everyone’s bragging about how great their job is. What are the biggest bragging points for your job?
LR: I get to spend time with dogs every single day in our office! And I get to do a job that every animal lover dreams of when they’re young – I’m very lucky that I’m able to help protect animals from cruelty and help owners keep their pets happy and healthy.
DB: What dangers lurk in your average pub that a doggy publican would need to be aware of and remove? How can they do this?
LR: Some human foods (and beer!) can be dangerous to dogs, so providing dog treats at the bar means that they can still be included in the fun, but without the risk to their health. And a bowl of fresh, clean water is essential so that they can have a drink too!
DB: What’s the hardest part of having a dog-friendly pub and how could this be improved or made easier?
LR: That’s a tricky one, but I’d think that it might sometimes be difficult for doggy publicans to keep both the dog owners and the non-dog owners happy. Some people may not want to share their pub with a dog, so this could be helped by having separate dining areas for guests who may be afraid of, or allergic to dogs. That way, everyone can enjoy the pub.
DB: What’s your reaction to the stats from the DogBuddy dog-owner survey? (70% of the UK’s dog owners search for dog-friendly pubs, 1/3 of Britons struggle to find dog-friendly pubs and nearly 1/4 of dog owners left a pub that wasn’t dog-friendly)
LR: It’s clear that being able to take their pets to dog-friendly pubs is really important to a lot of dog owners. This is great, as dogs are sociable animals and if they’ve had the right experiences growing up they can really enjoy our company – so it’s great that owners want to include their dogs and spend more time with them. And with around 26% of homes owning a dog, it’s worthwhile for pubs too!
DB: What’s your reaction to this image?
a) “Aw, a puppy in a glass”
b) “Ew, a puppy in a glass”
c) “Great, now I have to clean another glass”
d) “Mmm… dog hairs in my beer”
LR: I can completely understand that many people would see that image and go “ahhhh!”. Part of my job involves looking at things from a dog’s perspective, so I look at images in a slightly different way! The flip-side of seeing cute, fluffy dogs dressed up or presented in a way which is intended to amuse people is that they’re viewed as ‘little people’ or accessories, rather than dogs with feelings and we sometimes forget to consider whether the dogs will be enjoying themselves as much as we are!
Thanks, Lisa! Along with Ed and Richard, she’ll be picking the overall winner – the official DogBuddy Dog-friendly Pub of 2016. Has your local pub got serious dog-friendly game? Give it the best chance of being crowned the winning pub by casting your vote and getting your friends involved.
Watch this space for our next judge interview – coming soon!