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Discussion Starter · #1 ·

What really makes a hotel dog friendly? There are thankfully more and more hotels that welcome dogs and this can only be a good thing for us dog owners but what makes the difference between a business that tolerates dogs and one that is truly dog friendly? As with all hotels it can be the small touches that can make the difference between an acceptable stay with your dog at a hotel and a welcoming one. Some of the dog friendly ideas we have seen include;

• An area for dog walking close to the hotel and if this is not possible a map with local walks or beaches that are in close proximity;
• Access to some of the hotel’s public areas. Dog owners do recognise that some visitors may not want to eat with dogs in attendance but allowing them in the bar area is a good start. There are no regulations stating that dogs are not allowed in areas where people are eating, it is up to the business owners discretion and it makes a difference not being restricted to the bedroom area and feeling like a second class citizen;
• A list of places that welcome dogs in the local area (or in Scotland check the website We Welcome Dogs - Home). Suggestion for information dog owners may be looking for include dog friendly pubs and beaches;
• Some hotels have dog walking or sitting services so you can go out without the pooch, safe in the knowledge that they are being cared for in your absence;
• Some very dog friendly hotels have even started doggy food menus where you can choose a special meal for your pet. Others have also provide dog biscuits and even a water bowl for your dog. (for those owners who are a bit forgetful and don’t remember to bring their pooch’s own bowl);
• Detailed information on the hotel website on where your dog can go. Some hotels have dog policies on their websites and whilst some of these may have a list of do’s and don’ts, it provides dog owners with clear information, so they can make an informed decision on whether this is a hotel suitable for them and their dog.

There are many more initiatives but as the pet tourism market is a growing one I hope that hotels and other businesses recognise that doing that little bit extra can turn their establishment from a place that tolerates dogs to one that is truly dog friendly.

Hotel owners take note, you will not regret becoming properly dog friendly, dogs and their owners are very loyal to each other and therefore will also be very loyal to the places that welcome them. In conclusion, this will result in the all-important repeat visits that hotels seek, as dogs and their owners will be loyal to the places that really are dog friendly
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