Is Scotland Dog Friendly?
Britain and Scotland prides itself on being a nation of dog lovers but are we really as dog centric as we claim?
I travelled in South and Central America as well as throughout Europe a few years ago and one of the things that struck me was that dogs are allowed in a lot more places in other countries than they are in Britain. From a King Charles spaniel in a high end department store on Parisís left back through to a terrier in a Buenos Aires butcher! Why are we so reluctant to let our dogs get out and about and visit businesses? Are Scottish and British dogs less well behaved than their foreign counterparts? Is it our perception that dogs should not be near food? Is it our allegedly stringent health and safety laws? Or have we self-imposed restrictions on ourselves for no apparent reason? There will always be people who are not keen on dogs but the majority of the population like dogs, whether they own one or not. Whilst researching businesses for my We Welcome Dogs website We Welcome Dogs - Home
and smartphone app I found that some businesses were under the misapprehension that health and safety laws stopped dogs being allowed in eating establishments. The official line, according to the Food Standards Agency, is that dogs are allowed into premises that serve food at the discretion of the owner, as long as they are prevented from going into areas where food is prepared, stored or handled.
Whilst I realise that not every food premises would be suitable to have dogs in I do think there should be more places which welcome dogs in Scotland. Ultimately, in the current tough economic climate you would think that business owners would welcome an opportunity to open up to a new and prosperous market. So vote with your feet (and paws) and if you know of a dog friendly cafť or pub make use of it and let us know here at We Welcome Dogs, so we can share with other dog owners and letís really
make Scotland a dog friendly country!