“Opening Doors to Paws” – National Dog Awards Spurs Competition Among High Streets for Dog-Friendly Status

Last Updated on: 18th December 2023, 05:59 pm

The annual DogFriendly Awards Competition, operated by https://www.dogfriendly.co.uk, has witnessed a record-breaking number of votes in its Town category, with multiple urban centres enthusiastically competing to be recognised as the UK’s number one town for dog owners.

The award ceremony, held on the 29th November 2023 at the Kennel Club in London and hosted by BBC Radio 1’s Katie Thistleton, celebrated winners across 17 categories. Businesses contended for the prestigious “Most Dog Friendly Award” by securing the highest number of votes from customers and followers.

In particular, the Towns Category drew considerable attention this year. Several towns improved facilities for dogs, launched initiatives for more visible “dogs welcome” signage, and encouraged businesses to host canine guests. The Scottish Borders town of Girvan clinched the top spot, outvoting other finalists like Bury St. Edmunds and Eastbourne, thanks to its dedicated dog owners.

On their achievement, Girvan expressed, “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.”

Founded 11 years ago by DogFriendly’s Steve and Linda Bennett, long-standing dog owners themselves, the Awards aim to integrate dogs into more aspects of public life. Steve Bennett remarked, “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”.

Melton Mowbray Town Council’s research supports the benefits of being dog-friendly: “those who own dogs are almost twice as likely to regularly visit shops and businesses that welcome dogs”, and 80% of businesses that did so noticed a positive impact on their trade.

Given the presence of over 12.5 million dogs and more than 21.4 million dog cohabitants in the UK, the incentive for businesses to attract dog owners is evident.

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