Research from The Kennel Club has found almost half of owners are worried about a lack of dog-friendly public places – a trend the club has called “worrying”.
A new survey by The Kennel Club (KC) has revealed almost half of Britain’s dog owners fear they could be forced into restricted areas with their pets as more public places clamp down on canines.
According to the survey of more than 2,000 owners, 42% are worried they will be forced into a small number of overcrowded dog-friendly parks as local authorities close their public spaces to dogs by issuing what the KC calls “draconian” dog control orders.
According to the KC, since the start of 2011, the club has formally responded to more than 70 dog control order consultations, indicating a decline in the number of places that welcome dogs. Almost one in three dog owners, meanwhile, say their area performs under par when it comes to dog friendly credentials and 40% say the attitude towards dogs has got worse when it comes to places to go. A quarter also reported shops that were previously dog friendly are now less so, and almost one in five say the same of pubs.
The KC says this “worrying” trend is likely to have a knock-on effect for Britain’s businesses as KC research has shown dog owners are almost twice as likely as those without a dog to regularly visit their local shops and stores. More than half of people with dogs, meanwhile, said they would be more likely to use local shops and services more frequently if their dogs could go with them. In addition, dog owners were found to spend 22% more a month on eating out and drinking in pubs and restaurants than non-dog owners.
KC secretary Caroline Kisko 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.
“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 trend has led the club to launch its Open for Dogs week this week (September 30-October 4), which is dedicated to encouraging businesses and workplaces across the UK to trial a dog friendly policy.
“The KC wants to see the UK being as faithful to dogs as they are to us,” said Ms Kisko. “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.”
For more information on Open for Dogs, visit the campaign’s website.