Shops, restaurants and businesses taking part are encouraged to display a Dog Paw sticker in their window, so dog parents, and their furry friends know they are welcome.
So far more than 50 businesses have taken part, including independent and national companies such as Barclays Bank and Clarks. Wallingford, well known for its excellent Independent shops, has seen the benefits and taken on the campaign with great enthusiasm. With over 26% of us being dog parents, businesses can see the benefit from a higher footfall when dogs are welcomed, as people walking into town with their dogs can visit shops, and dine at their favourite restaurants.
Le Clos wine bar & French restaurant was one of the first to welcome the idea. Other restaurants such as Shellfish Cow also see the value, and display the Dog Paw sticker with pride. Most pubs have signed up and many even have dog-friendly rooms.
The vast array of shops taking part include the lady’s clothes shop First Edition; lifestyle shops such as Raspberry Tart and also The Lamb Arcade – an Aladdin’s Cave of antiques. The shops you would also expect in a market town are also behind the campaign including shoe repair shops, newsagents, florists and hardware stores.
Joe Quilter, one of the founders of the scheme and a dog parent to Bramble, a Cockapoo said: “After a visit to North Norfolk and seeing written signs in shops inviting dogs into their premises, I thought it not be a great idea to have a standard Dog Paw Sticker for my town so local people and visitors know they are welcome with their dogs.
People don’t like to ask, as they don’t like to be refused entry, so this takes the issue away.
I’m also a big supporter of local business, and thought this is a win-win for both dog parents and our fantastic shops, restaurants and businesses.”
Joe also mentioned the security aspect and went on to say “One in 20 dogs taken are outside shops, and I just don’t want anyone living or visiting our town to ever suffer this experience.”
Since starting the campaign, other towns and villages have signed up to the campaign including Goring, Streatley, Didcot and Pangbourne, and the Dog Paw Sticker is in print again to the reach further afield than the founding town.