Home » “Dog Friendly” vs. “Dog’s Welcome”

“Dog Friendly” vs. “Dog’s Welcome”

Dog on restaurant patio

Do you know what can make a regular shopping or dining experience extraordinary? A furry friend by your side. More and more businesses have been allowing dogs on their premises, recognizing the benefits of being pet-friendly. However, simply being a “Dog Friendly” business is not enough. We love the business who are “Dog’s Welcome.” We don’t think it is enough for a business to just simply be “Dog Friendly”. A business that goes that extra mile for dogs make it a more pleasant visit for us humans & our furry friends.

Businesses Who Create a “Dog’s Welcome” Environment

For a business to truly reap the benefits of having dogs welcomed into their business, it’s important that they create a “Dog’s Welcome” environment. But what exactly does this mean? It means that they go beyond simply allowing dogs through the door. A “Dog’s Welcome” business takes measures to ensure that dogs feel welcomed and comfortable in their space. This can include having designated areas for dogs to rest, providing water and treats, and making sure that the environment is safe for furry visitors.

When a business does this, they will not only attract more customers, the “Dog’s Welcome” environment will also boost morale and productivity among employees. Studies have shown that having pets in the workplace can decrease stress levels and increase job satisfaction and productivity. Plus, who doesn’t like to break in their day by seeing all of our cute dogs!!! Happy employees will only improve our experience as a customer!

It is easy for a business to be “Dog’s Welcome” instead of just being “Dog Friendly”. The business just needs to focus on the dogs safety, comfort, and happiness while they are in their establishment. The business can provide water and treats for dogs. When your dog is offered a treat, it makes all of us smile, especially your dog. A designated area for the water and treats will create a calmer environment for customers who don’t have dogs AND it will also show dog owners that you care about their furry friends. These simply gestures will create a positive experience that will encourage repeat business.

Something else a business can do is create a special area for dogs to rest. This will allow for your dog to relax and make them feel more at home AND it will also give you a chance to browse through the business without worrying about your dog. A designated area can be a corner with a cushion or a small rug, or it can be a separate room altogether if there is space.

Our Experiences

As Maze & Nyx take different adventures with us, we have really noticed the difference between these two types of businesses. One day we asked if a business was “dog friendly” and the response was, “as long as they don’t break something”. This was disheartening as we didn’t feel welcome at all and we had our dogs glued to our side the whole time and stayed maybe 2 minutes because we were so uncomfortable.

On the flip side, we love visiting the Black Lab Brewery (blog link) or the Old Flame Brewery (blog link) which is always such a wonderful experience. Both establishment have a huge jar of treats and a water bowl. The Black Lab Brewery usually has lots of dogs visiting with their owners that Maze & Nyx love saying “hi” to.

Wooden sign that says Black Lab Brewery

The Black Lab Brewery covers all of the “Dog’s Welcome” gestures as they also have that safe space we talk about above. They have a alcove in the wall that has a comfy dog bed for any dog that just wants to have some quiet time. Both of these establishments are very “Dog’s Welcome”.

We have also visited some very “Dog’s Welcome” shops in Huntsville. We were so impressed we listed the establishments that were dog friendly but added the spots that had treats and water and had a very “Dog’s Welcome” environment (blog link).

Maze, a red lab dog, in the Muskoka Bear Wear store in Huntsville.
Maze in the Muskoka Bear Wear store in Huntsville

People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel. Hopefully, more businesses will make their business a place where dogs (and their humans) feel welcomed and appreciated.

Suzanne Diamond
Suzanne Diamond

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