Publicans would be barking, perhaps, to ignore the evidence compiled by dog walking and sitting service DogBuddy.com.
Almost two thirds of dog owners (64%) say they search online to find a pub worth visiting with their dog.
Even more (67%) are put off visiting a pub if it’s not dog-friendly, and almost a quarter (24%) have gone as far as to leave a pub because it doesn't welcome dogs.
Dog-Friendly Pub Awards
The research, which surveyed 3,000 dog owners, coincides with the launch of the second annual Dog-Friendly Pub Awards.
Last year, the Hand in Hand, Wimbledon, south-west London, had the competition licked and came out as top dog.
Without paws-ing for thought, assistant manager Christine Blackman embarked on a tail of what the award meant for the pub.
“It’s been a great marketing tool,” she said. “We use the DogBuddy Dog-friendly Pub Awards badge on social media and our website.
“When people phone up to make a booking, they often ask if they can bring their dog so we always make sure to tell them we’re actually the most dog-friendly pub in the country.
“We even have customers coming here just to dog-spot. Sometimes there’s a dog at every table, which is lovely to see.”
Clearly, then, not an award to be sniffed at.
Blackman’s tips for keeping a good dog-friendly pub are making sure all staff are passionate about dogs, keeping dog-friendly snacks available, and taking an interest in every dog that pulls its owner through the door. Take an interest in the owner as well, by the way.
The research found that simple measures like keeping a water bowl (34%), being friendly and making a fuss of the dog (27%) and having customers who know how to behave around dogs (20%) are top the list of things dog owners value the most.
Voting for this year’s award opened on 26 August 2017 – which happened to be National Dog Day – until 29 October, and nominations are open for pubs all over the UK.