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Mine’s a pint of lagrrrr! TripAdvisor-style site for dogs is a hit

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A dog lover has set up a TripAdvisor for pooches and businesses are realising they would be barking mad not to sign up.

When Rhian Matthews got a puppy she wanted to take him to the pub with her, but found it ruff going finding bars that allowed entry to Lhasa Apso, Bailie. So she and partner Kevin set up a website Dugs Welcome listing dog-friendly establishments near their Edinburgh home. Now more and more places around the country are allowing entry to our canine chums as they see potential in the pooch pound.

As well as pubs, lots of restaurants, cafes, shops and hotels are hanging up the welcome sign, rolling out the dog bed and having a chew or two on standby to keep customers’ tails wagging.

“We found a couple of dog-friendly pubs in our area and felt the information should be shared, so we started the website,” explained Rhian.

“Next we found some shops and cafes allowing dogs and as the website grew, businesses began to get in touch with us to ask if they could be added.

“We receive requests every single day, not just from Scotland but all over the UK and even bars in Spain, Canada and America.

“We had stickers made so proprietors could put them on their doors and windows. Places are offering more for dogs, like bowls of water and treats.

“In this climate, businesses are looking for bums on seats, and if you’re taking your dog a walk and want to stop for a drink and maybe a meal, it makes sense to let dogs in.

“There’s a myth that dogs can’t go into places where people are eating, but that’s not the case.”

It’s free for businesses to be listed on the website, but they can also pay a yearly fee for a premium listing which provides them with better coverage.

Rhian and Kevin have listed some dog etiquette tips for owners taking their pooches to pubs or eateries, such as: exercise it beforehand, keep it on a lead, keep it off furniture, never take it indoors if wet and make sure they don’t growl or bark excessively.

Rhian has her hands full looking after her and Kevin’s 18-month-old daughter, Seren, and keeping the site up to date.

They also organise pop-up events promoting Dugs Welcome and have a range of merchandise like doggy bandanas.

“We have more than 20,000 followers on Twitter and people are sending us info on places all the time and photos of dogs in pubs.

“We would love to grow the site even bigger and get more places involved.”