Island’s dog-friendly pubs bite back to climb ranks in national competition

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A search for the region’s best dog-friendly pubs has, inexplicably, failed to register a single hostelry on the Island.

When the “leaderboard” was sent to the newsdesk here at the IW Observer, that did not seem right.

The Island is absolute haven for both locals and tourists who prefer to have a pint with man’s best friend being welcomed too.

DogBuddy, Europe’s leading online home dog boarding, day care and dog walking community, is the outfit behind the search for the top boozer for dog walkers.

Landlady Vicky Hartley with dog Buddy outside the Buddle Inn – photo by Jon Sheath.

And when we queried their findings, DogBuddy told us that three pubs, The Buddle, at Niton; The Duke of York, Cowes, and The Wight Mouse, Chale, had been nominated but not enough votes had been cast to get them on the top-ten leaderboard. If you would like to change that, you have until Sunday, October  28, to register your vote.

Vicky Hartley, landlady at The Buddle Inn, is proud of her pub’s reputation as am oasis for dog lovers and their four-legged friends.

“We accept dogs in all areas of The Buddle, inside and outside. We have a jar of dog tidbits on the bar and also sell healthy dog treats, hand made on the Island by The Pet Bistro. They are edible for humans, too, and aree 100 per cent healthy ingredients.

“We also have dog bowls with water on hand for the pooches and we get dogs of all shapes and sizes in here including a cockerpoo and a 16-week old labrador pup. We have our own dog too, Misty, a cavachon bitch, so we practice what we preach.”

Over at the Duke of York, Cowes – also a bed-and-breakfast – landlady Sally Cass, said: “When people ask if we allow dogs I usually say that we much prefer dogs to people most of the time! Not strictly true – but usually makes owners smile.

“We replaced our fabric sofas with leather ones, ideal to wipe down when dogs sneak up. We allow dogs in all areas including the restaurant and can direct owners to nearby exercise areas for their pooch.

“Regarding dogs in rooms, we have never had a dog steal towels, tv remotes or hairdryers so I never really see the problem. We offer doggie towels if needed, additional bed covers and we provide dog treats on the bar, doggie bowls of water inside and out.”

With recent research showing that pubs nationwide are closing at a rate of 18 a week – and Island pubs have been hit by a spate of closures recently – DogBuddy says that being dog-friendly is increasingly important for the pub trade.

It seems that dog owners are also helping to keep the UK pub trade alive. A survey of 3,000 dog owners showed that 95 per cent visit the pub, and over a quarter of them (26 per cent) say that they pay a visit to a pub more than once a week.

Nearly two thirds (64 per cent) of dog owners will search online for a dog-friendly pub before making a visit, and 67 per cent are put off visiting a pub if it’s not dog-friendly. Nearly a quarter (24 per cent) of dog owners have left a pub because it’s not been suitable for their dog.

Now DogBuddy is encouraging pubs across the country to embrace ‘paw power’ and welcome not just two, but four-legged customers too.

Voting is open now. Voting closes on Sunday (October 28). Anyone can vote for their pub by visiting dogbuddypubs.com or take a look at the current leaderboard at dogbuddypubs.com/south-east-leaderboard.


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