UK more unfriendly to dogs - survey
The UK is Europe's least accommodating country towards small dogs, according to new research.
More than half (52%) of the 7.3 million dog owners in the UK agreed that, when compared with our European neighbours, Britain falls behind in the dog-friendly stakes.
One in three (32%) French and 40% of Belgians agree.
The study of more than 3,000 dog owners across the UK, Germany, Italy, Spain, France and Belgium was carried out to explore European attitudes towards dogs, with findings revealing that perceived levels of dog-friendliness within retail and hospitality are considerably lower in the UK than in any other country.
Findings show that only 6% of British retailers open their doors to small dogs, when there are 5.4 million dog owners in the UK who state they would go to more cafes, shops and other retailers if they felt their dogs were welcome.
The traditional British pub has always been a home from home for many dog owners and a welcome pit-stop while out walking. However, almost three quarters of dog owners (73%) state they do not feel welcome in pubs with their dogs, meaning pets are left in cars, outside or at home alone.
The sentiment extends to cafe culture, as only 7% of dog owners agree they feel welcome to spend time relaxing with their dog in coffee shops - compared with a quarter (26%) of dog owners in Germany.
The research was carried out by Cesar, which has launched the Paws in Places campaign to encourage dog owners to spend more quality time with their dogs and to raise awareness of the issue of closed door policies towards small dogs.
Dog lover and model Jodie Kidd said: "We love our dogs in the UK and consider them part of the family. I've got three dogs and I would love to be able to spend more time with them. Unfortunately, like many other dog owners, I don't always feel welcome with my dogs in a number of establishments."
The top five spaces and places that UK dog owners believe they should be allowed to spend more time with their dogs are public transport (61%), bars and pubs (52%), hotels (46%), cafes (43%) and small shops (42%) respectively.