If you’re a property owner or a business owner, there’s always something new to think about. Until recently, you probably never thought you’d have to consider whether your customers, employees, or commercial tenants could bring their pets on to your location.
How things have changed. Enter “pet friendly” into a search engine today and you’ll generate numerous listings of retail outlets, employers, and even dining and hospitality establishments that allow— and even invite — pets to accompany their owners. Some restaurants even add pet fare to their menus.
The trend toward pet-friendly business practices is grounded in several factors:
For most practical purposes, the pet-friendly movement is about accommodating dogs. Dogs are the most common pet in the U.S., comprising about 90 million canines in more than 60 million households that account for nearly half the population of the country. 3 One study claims that dog ownership has jumped 29% in the past decade, far faster than the overall growth in households. 4
Most dogs by nature need to get out of the house and socialize to thrive. House cats, the second largest category of pets in the U.S. 5 , remain indoors for long periods more easily. Cats are, therefore, much less likely to be seen in commercial establishments, although some establishments feature roaming cats as part of their attraction.
Other animals — such as birds, reptiles, and domesticated rodents — are even less of an issue for commercial establishments, but it is not uncommon to see a patron enter an establishment with a parrot perched on his/her shoulder or a snake draped around his/her neck.