A large number of studies have shown the various social and physical advantages with dog-friendly environments, both for the visitors/employees and the businesses themselves. Below we have summarised just a few of the reasons to make Ireland more dog-friendly.

Benefits For Businesses

Attract New Customers

Over 49% of households in Ireland own a dog, which is an enormous pool of potential customers. A 2016 study found that 91% of pet owners in Ireland identified their furry friend as part of the family, so pet-friendly environments are very much in-demand. Considering and catering for dogs offers a unique selling point to differentiate your business, and pet owners are often willing to travel further if they know all members of the family will be welcome.

Additional Revenue Streams

Much like children, pet parents love to spoil their fur babies. 40% of Irish pet owners purchase gifts for their pets on special occasions, as well as a continuous stream of treats and toys to keep them occupied. Dog-friendly businesses can maximise the revenue potential of each customer by up-selling pet products and services, in addition to the offerings available to their human guests.

Employee Wellbeing

As mentioned above, dogs in the workplace can be hugely beneficial to employee wellbeing. Healthier and happier employees leads to higher productivity, less absenteeism, longer employee retention, and overall a great place to work!

Being dog-friendly can also be a great selling point for recruitment, enabling your business to attract top talent (particularly from Europe where people may be more accustomed to their dog accompanying them everywhere). It's no coincidence Forbes' list of the top pet-friendly companies features a number of the world's highest ranked employers.

Improve Social Media Content

Dogs make for great social media content, be it their cute snoozing faces, awkward sleeping positions or general awesomeness. Their photos and videos are sure to inspire and brighten up your news feed.

Benefits For People

Be Happier

Dog owners are less likely to suffer from loneliness, anxiety and depression. Just making eye contact with your dog increases the amount of Oxytocin ‘feel good hormone’ levels in both of your brains!

Let’s face it, dogs can be downright hilarious with their doggie shenanigans and there’s nothing better in the world than a good belly laugh to lift your spirits.

Improve Health & Fitness

Dog ownership makes us fitter and improves our physical and mental health as we have to regularly exercise our dog to fulfil their needs.

Regular daily exercise can lower the risk of cardiovascular disease, increase your life span and can protect against a multitude of chronic health problems.

Children of dog owners are also less likely to develop allergies, asthma and eczema and have a stronger immune system.

Lower Stress

Studies have shown found employees who brought their dogs to work experienced lower cortisol and stress levels throughout the work day, reported higher levels of job satisfaction, and had a more positive perception of their employer. In fact, simply petting a dog lowers our heart rate and blood pressure.

Ensuring your dog gets regular toilet breaks will get you up from your desk and you may even find your colleagues offering to take your dog outside. There’s also the added benefit of you not having to wonder what your dog is up to while you’re at work!

Having your dog at your work place can even help you bond with your co-workers and improve teamwork as they stop by your desk to give your dog a rub or a treat and spark up a conversation.

Meet New People

People are often more likely to chat to you if you are accompanied by your dog - frequenting cafes, coffee shops and restaurants that are dog-friendly can have a positive effect on your social interactions and make visiting such places alone fun rather than potentially daunting.


Psychological effects of dog ownership: Role strain, role enhancement, and depression. K M Clarke Clein, 2010.

Friends with benefits: on the positive consequences of pet ownership. McConnell AR & Brown CM et al, 2010.

Get Healthy, Get a Dog, a Special Health Report from Harvard Medical School, 2015.

Oxytocin-gaze positive loop and the coevolution of human-dog bonds. Nagasawa et al., 2015.

Preliminary investigation of employee's dog presence on stress and organizational perceptions. Barker et al., 2008.

Study: Office Dogs Reduce Work-Related Stress. J McDermott, 2012.

Healthy Pets, Healthy People. Center for Disease Control & Prevention USA.

World Heart Federation.

Effects of dog ownership and genotype on immune development and atopy in infancy. James E Gern Et al., 2014.

Ireland's largest pet ownership study: here's all the facts you need to know. The Independent 2016.

Here are the 12 most pet-friendly companies. Forbes 2016.