Monday, 2 May 2016

and ponders on "friendliness"

Dog friendliness to be exact. You may have noticed a certain doggycentric slant to my posts. Since Dogstarke came to live with us back in 2012 she has become a very important part of our lives.

Who could resist this smile?

And so she comes with us when we travel. I heard a piece on the radio recently reporting how hotels were responding to the demand for pet friendly holidays. I know I've been on my soapbox about this before but it didn't really chime with my idea of what  dog friendly means. High up on the list of things were special dog menus and beds. Now I don't know whether we are exceptional but DogStarke fares best when she eats her regular diet, which we always take with us and her own blanket and bed to make her feel at ease. Dog spa treatments got a mention too...DogStarke likes to seek out her mud and seaweed fixes herself and hates grooming, so not much appeal there.


So what do I look for?

1) Friendliness, to people and pets. I think if you can't be friendly to customers then really you shouldn't  be in the business.

2) Somewhere to walk. It doesn't need to be a massive garden but that is a plus. It's good when rooms have suggestions for local walks too.

3) A bin for the inevitable waste. One very nice inn we've visited several times not only has no bins on site, there  are no waste bins in the village. But if you do fail to find a bin that is no excuse for leaving little bags around the place. Take it away!

4) Having an eating area and some public space accessible to dogs and their owners. It's not really friendly if poor dog has to be locked in the car when their people leave the room, and very unwelcoming to non drivers.

5) A sensible supplement for cleaning, because, well rooms should be thoroughly cleaned after every guest, dog or human.

Everything else is just window dressing.

DogStarke on her travels

And for our part we dog owners should abide by certain minimum standards of behaviour.

1) Always pick up your dog's waste.

2) Clean your dog, wipe their paws etc after those lovely muddy walks and...

3) Don't bath your dog in the hotel bathroom, that just spoils things for future guests, I know of a least one formerly dog friendly hotel that throw refuses dogs because of this. Many hotels/inns in country areas offer outside taps/towels. Use them.

4) Don't allow your dog on the beds/furniture even if they are allowed at home.

5) Keep your dog under control and don't let it wander about, not everyone is a dog lover.

6) Have fun with your dog, go for walks, play.  A happily tired dog after a great day out with its people will be more likely to settle down for a snooze under your chair.

have ball, happy dog

Well I've just finished booking a short break  at various dog friendly places, I'll let you know how we all get along.

Marina x

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