Today, 21st June, is #DogFriendlyIrelandDay, and it also happens to be #BringYourDogtoWorkDay. Listen to this podcast to find out more.
Ireland is becoming more dog-friendly
The demand for more dog friendly services is increasing across Ireland, with 42% of those surveyed stating they would be happy to eat in a café, pub, restaurant or other venue which served food and allowed dogs on a lead. This is a 10% increase since the clarification of legislation in this area.
(The Food Hygiene Regulations 1950 was revoked in 2017 meaning that dogs are now allowed into food premises such as restaurants and cafés if the business owner so wishes, provided that proper procedures are in place to prevent dogs from having access to areas where food is prepared, stored or handled, as per EU regulations)
44% of dog owners indicated that they would be more likely to holiday in Ireland if there was increased dog friendly accommodation was available and almost half of all adults surveyed would be happy to stay in a hostel, hotel or holiday home if they allowed guests to bring their dogs, a 10% increase on the previous year.
On another note, there is an ongoing issue with people being declined accommodation because they have a pet, or even being forced to rehome a pet because their landlord will not allow this. These policies overstate the property issues caused by pets, and disregard the huge benefits gained by humans by having pets close to them.
Reasons why it’s better to allow dogs to mingle more with human activities & society
- Dogs provide a source of social support for humans. Increased social support has been associated with lower levels of depression and higher self-esteem.
- Dog owners walk on average 79% further per week. Exercise has been proven to boost the release of ‘happy hormones’ in the brain.
- Petting a dog has been proven to reduce stress, whether you are the dog’s owner or not.
- Many have suggested that being able to bring your dog to work improves work / life balance and it is often viewed as a great benefit for employees
- Dogs are really social creatures and love to be included in their owners activities. They love being out and about with their owners enjoying new and fun experiences.
- Dog owners can also make monetary savings by not having to pay for doggy day care or a dog walker while they are out of the house.
- Dogs are a social lubricant and increase the frequency of conversations amongst friends, colleagues and strangers.
- A huge part of becoming a well socialised dog is experiencing a wide variety of social situations. So what better way to contribute to a country full of well rounded, socialised dogs than allowing them frequent access to more venues and pleasant social experiences?
The only precautionary note is that care needs to be taken to allow for the minority of people who cannot or choose not to share space with dogs. This includes people who are fearful of dogs, and people who are severely allergic to dogs. Businesses and other public areas need to cater to these people too, providing dog free areas, or clearly explaining their policy on dogs so that people are not accidentally placed in situations close to dogs that they do not wish to be in.
Tips for dog owners visiting a dog friendly establishment
- Be sure your dog is confident being out and about and around strangers and other dogs.
- Build up to all things new and unfamiliar slowly, so as not to overwhelm the animal.
- Make sure your dog is toilet trained and you have a good supply of poo bags at all times. Don’t forget to bring them out for regular toilet breaks!
- Ensure your dog is up to date on all their vaccinations, has been wormed and is flea free.
- Make sure your dog is kept on a lead at all times and that you don’t leave them unattended.
- If you have to step out, ensure you have a designated buddy to watch over them while you do.
- Make sure your dog has access to a fresh supply of water: pop up transportable bowls are a great idea
- Bring plenty of treats and something to chew on, preferably non-squeaky, to keep your four-legged friend entertained.
- Consider bringing an item from home that your dog is familiar with to help them settle, such as a bed or a blanket.
- Share a photo of yourself and your pooch in your Dog Friendly location using #DogFriendlyIrelandDay.
Questions from listeners about pets
This week, Pete answered the following questions about pets:
- I have a 10 year old Collie Labrador cross with arthritis. Will CBD oil help her?
- Is there anything that can be done to stop a Labrador shedding so much fur?
- Our vet has recommended CCL surgery for our lame dog. Is this expensive?
- My friend has a one year old puppy who snaps. Can anything be done? He has already broken the skin on one person.
- Our Rose is a rescue dog and she gets very restless and anxious when we go out. Is there anything we can do to calm her down?
Listen to the podcast by clicking on the play button below.