Wherever you are in the world, the impact of COVID will have changed life in ways we never thought possible.
There have been positives and things that have been inexplicably hard.
But one thing we all know as dog lovers is that dogs have certainly made the various lockdowns more pleasurable. And so, so many people took the opportunity of being at home to welcome a new friend into their lives.
So, what will happen to our dogs post-pandemic? Will the world be more dog friendly? Or will things be harder for dog owners as the world opens back up?
While we have benefitted from spending significantly more time with our dogs, there is a huge concern that many dogs will develop separation anxiety when things return to normal.
In the past, it may have been routine to leave our dogs alone for longer periods and to send our pups off to dog walkers or doggy daycares while we’re away. However, with many dog walkers and daycares now at capacity, and a new appreciation for maximum time with our pups, do we want to return to old routines?
There is an increase in desire from dog owners to take their dogs with them to work, run errands, and to couple up with our hounds for social events like meals and drinks with friends.
The main consideration for business owners on whether they will allow dogs is down to the behaviour of the dog and the impact on their business.
The American Pet Product Association discovered that only 4% of dogs in the U.S. attended dog training.
A lack of training can make it more difficult to peacefully take your dog with you for a coffee, a meal, or a visit to your local bar. And dogs who can’t settle or who cause a scene are likely to make businesses resistant to welcoming our four-legged friends.
Dog training business, City Sit Stay, offers online dog training to help your dog nail attention around distractions, jumping up, and impulse control. These skills can help your dog to be a welcome visitor at any dog friendly establishment as they will be able to settle and keep their paws on the ground during your visit!
If we want more places to consider being dog friendly, we need to train our dogs to be welcome customers.
When businesses welcome well-behaved dogs, there are many benefits. And as so many companies lost revenue during the pandemic, there is an opportunity for changes that could positively impact on their recovery.
Increased revenue as dog owners tend to buy additional add-on items for their dogs
If your local coffee shop was dog friendly, paws up if you’d be buying a pupacinno and a dog biscuit for your canine companion? I think that’s a resounding yes from us City dog owners.
Mental health boost for staff and customers
The sight of a well-behaved dog makes most people’s hearts well up with joy. Dogs positively impact on our mental wellbeing. So having dogs as regular customers is good for everybody!
Elevated sense of community
Dogs create conversation and encourage connection between your human customers, building a stronger sense of community.
The presence of dogs increases the number and length of people’s conversations with others in the community.
Jenkinson et al. 2010
Boosted customer loyalty
Dog owners really appreciate dog friendly establishments and will be likely not just to be return customers but to shout about it to all of their dog-loving friends.
A unique selling point
As businesses compete to win loyal customers to boost their revenue, having a unique selling point helps a business stand out from the crowd.
Being a dog friendly establishment encourages dog owners to spread the word about your business. And word-of-mouth marketing is priceless.
So many dog owners who acquired their canine companions during lockdown are anxious about their return to work. Whether down to the cost of hiring a dog walker or pet sitter, or simply bec
ause they don’t want to spend that time away from their dog, there is a desire for more dog friendly working arrangements.
83% of dog owners said being allowed to bring their dogs to work gives them greater company loyalty.
Banfield Pet-Friendly Workplace PAWrometer™ survey
But in welcoming dogs into workplaces, their training and the setup are critical if we want to do so successfully. Your dog needs to be able to settle in the presence of other dogs in order for them to be welcome office companions.
Employers will only continue to be encouraged to consider pet friendly working arrangements if it doesn’t negatively impact on productivity and the working environment.
There is plenty of evidence to suggest that dogs in the workplace reduces stress and boosts morale. But, of course, that’s only the case if Fido isn’t running wild in the office and creating chaos!
I think we all have experienced plenty of Zoom calls that our furry friends have gatecrashed.
While this may have been acceptable (and fun) while working from home, the office environment may not welcome the continuation of doggy invasions on conference calls when we’re back to ‘normal.’
The most influential thing we can do to increase the possibility of the world becoming more dog friendly is to train our dogs to be well-mannered members of society.
This is not just important for visiting shops, restaurants and cafes, but for life! Our dogs benefit from training and learning good manners, and so does the reputation of dogs as a whole.
When your dog is well trained, everything is more enjoyable. Your dog is welcome at friend’s houses, to visit family, and hopefully at a few more local establishments too.
If you’re interested in training your dog to settle in distracting environments and to better their impulse control so they can resist the urge to bark at the dog in the opposite corner or to grab the muffin off the table, then check out my online dog training classes here.
Online dog training does work. In fact, it works incredibly well. Learn more about training your dog online here
And if you’re a business or employer who would like some advice on how to successfully welcome dogs into your business, then please get in touch. We would be delighted to help.