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2021 could be the Year of the Dog?

The reality of people working from home during lockdown has led to a huge surge in families getting a canine companion. Although, in 2020 the need to find dog friendly places with your new pet was suppressed by reduced travel, 2021 could be a very different year. New dog owners will be looking more than ever at stay-cations and places to visit and stay where their dog is welcome.

DogFriendly is the UK’s largest directory of places to visit with your dog and each year it runs a National DogFriendly Awards Competition celebrating the most dog friendly businesses. In its ninth year, votes for the competition are from real dog owners recommending places they have visited with their pets . This culminates in a grand ceremony announcing the winners.

This year it was a virtual ceremony via Zoom, but just as exciting for the 48 finalists who attended across the main categories from Cottages and Self Catering, to Pubs and Restaurants to a range of dog services, including Groomers Walkers and Trainers. The ceremony on 5th December was hosted by TV and Radio presenter Katie Thistleton (CBBC and Radio 1) who is huge dog lover herself.

The finalists watched the whole of the ceremony from their homes and winners were delighted when the gold envelopes were opened and it was announced that they had won. A great accolade for any business going that extra mile for doggy visitors and their owners.

As part of the voting process, dog owners were able leave a review on the place they were recommending. These can now be seen across the DogFriendly website on many of its 52,000 places to visit. In 2021, as we hope for reduced restrictions and more travel opportunities, those looking for the best places to take their dogs can be assured that DogFriendly provides a great resource for a large range of dog welcoming plays to visit, stay and play…

It is certainly worth a special trip to some of the winners in the Awards competition….

Camping and Caravaninng
WINNER: Blue Hills Touring Park, Cornwall

Clubs and Associations
WINNER: Canine Massage Guild, Birmingham
Cottages and Self Catering
WINNER: East Ruston Cottages, Norfolk

Days Out
WINNER: Canine Dip and Dive, Suffolk,

Groomers
WINNER: Short Bark and Sides, Surrey
Hotels and B&B
WINNER: Inn on the Coast, Portrush, NI

Kennels and Homeboarding
WINNER: The Hayloft Pet Services Dog Hotel, Worcestershire

Pet Shops
WINNER: Scampers Natural Pet Store, Cambridgeshire

Places to Eat
WINNER: Bijou of Lytham, Lancashire

Pubs
WINNER: The Three Tuns, Hertfordshire

Rescue Shelters
WINNER: PAWS – The Protection of Animals in Wales Society, Clywd

Shops
WINNER: Cardies, Hertfordshire

Sitters
WINNER: Dogs and Divas, Greater Manchester

Trainers
WINNER: The South Shields Dog Trainer, Tyne & Wear

Vets and Well Being
WINNER: Operation K9 Ltd, Yorkshire

Walkers
WINNER: Fetch Dog Walking and Training Ltd, Norfolk

The DogFriendly Awards are run by DogFriendly Limited () and this year was supported by WOOF&BREW, The DogFriendly Magazine and The DogFriendly Online Shop.

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