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Survey: Demand for Dog-Friendly Services and Products Grows


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Rebecca Schönbrodt-Rühl from Pixabay

With dogs increasingly being considered part of the family, businesses and communities have a greater opportunity to increase dog-friendly services and products, especially in travel and tourism, according to a survey sponsored by SpotOn Virtual Smart Fence.

While 86 percent of dog owners feel welcomed at the homes of friends and family with their pets, 37 percent said it is too inconvenient to travel with their dogs and have skipped a trip because of the difficulty. In fact, 59 percent of dog owners said they’ve never stayed overnight in a hotel with their dog and only 13 percent always travel with their dogs for overnight stays, according to the survey.

Additionally, while almost all dog owners enjoy walking, 48 percent rely on parks and recreation for outdoor activities with their dog, the survey revealed.

“These responses indicate a major opportunity for hotels, airlines and others in the travel and pet industries to bring products and services to market that alleviate some of the complications of traveling with pets,” said officials from OnPoint Systems LLC in Bedford, N.H., the company behind SpotOn. “Hotels and airlines could take cues from Holiday Inn, Hilton Hotels, Best Western, Marriott, Delta, Jet Blue and American Airlines, identified by dog owners as the best hotels and airlines for traveling with your dog.”

Other survey findings:

·       98 percent of dog owners consider their dogs to be members of the family.

·       50 percent of dog owners say their dog sleeps in a family member’s bed, and an additional 32 percent have their dogs sleep in a family member’s bedroom.

·       82 percent of dog owners worried about their dog’s safety when out of sight, and 56 percent say they expect caregiver texts, photos and/or emails about their dog when they are away from home.

·       71 percent of dog owners said they are generally nervous about their dog’s safety, and the biggest concerns stem from nearby cars and traffic, the potential for another dog to hurt their dog and their dog running away or getting off leash.

·       60 percent of dog owners are not comfortable letting their dog off leash in unfenced areas. Related, 39 percent said their dog always comes when called, and only 19 percent consider their dog excellently trained.

As for regional stats, 71 percent of New York dog owners noted that they have access to amenities such as dog parks, outdoor areas and dog-friendly stores and eateries. The San Francisco-Oakland-San Jose area, Washington D.C. and Houston round out the top dog friendly metro areas.

Dog owners in the South are the least nervous about their dogs getting off leash, with only 27 percent worried about the possibility, according to the survey. However, dog owners in the Northeast tend to be significantly more concerned with cars and traffic, with 39 percent of dog owners in the region worried about their dogs getting off leash versus, and the survey found 29 percent of dog owners were concerned in other regions.

The survey was conducted by ResearchScape International and includes responses from more than 1,500 respondents nationwide.

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