Friday, June 14, 2024
CEOWORLD magazine - Latest - CEO Agenda - 5 Reasons being dog friendly is very good for business

CEO Agenda

5 Reasons being dog friendly is very good for business

Babboe Go

A few years ago when I was looking to rent a house for the first time in 30 years, I was unsuccessful for the first 6 houses I applied for. I couldn’t understand it – I ran my own successful business, I had money in the bank, and great references. But again and again I was knocked back as being an unsuitable tenant. Time was running out – I had 3 weeks until my property settled and it was 4 weeks until Christmas – if I did not secure a house quickly things were going to get ugly. I finally realised after the 6th disappointment that what was holding me back was the fact that I own a dog. And while a landlord can’t unreasonably refuse a tenant with a dog in Australia, there are any number of excuses they can give in declining a rental application without mentioning the dirty word – ‘dog’.

And so, I loaned my dog out on a semi permanent basis to my dad and low and behold, suddenly I was in demand as the perfect tenant.

This would never happen in France. Because the French are dog crazy. Dog crazy in a way that we in Australia are not. And while you may boo me as you read this and proclaim vehemently that you love your dog more than life itself – which may be true – having just spent a week in France, at best I would describe Australians as ‘dog friendly’. We simply do not compare with the French and their passion for le chien.

But it goes beyond just being a dog lovin’ nation – the French completely understand the business value of the pooch. Here are 5 reasons why being dog crazy just makes good business sense:  

  1. Dogs are allowed on planes 
    On my flight from Paris to Clermont I spied a small white dog in a carry bag and an owner with 2 boarding passes. The dog had a better seat than me. The flight attendants coo’ed over the pup, as did our fellow travellers. I was not sure what would happen if the dog needed a wee (or worse) – but happily this was not tested. I am also not sure whether the dog counted as hand luggage, but as there was a 6 kilo limit on the size of dogs allowed (do they put them on the scales at checkin?), I am assuming that this dog met the Air France criteria for canine travel. To be very fair the dog did not make a sound and for all intents and purposes it could have been a stuffed toy. And yet it was not.

    In Australia while pets are technically allowed to travel in the cabin, it is up to each airline as to whether they allow pets. Virgin has recently flagged it will allow small cats and dogs on certain domestic routes, subject to regulatory approval which they hope to gain within the next 12 months. Smart – given 70% of pet owners surveyed by Virgin stated they would travel with their pets of they could and 57% stated they would fly more regularly if the service was a reality.

  2. Dogs are allowed in restaurants. Actually inside the restaurant.
    If your dog is virtually a member of your family and you want to dine out as a family, then I guess you are going to choose a restaurant that welcomes the 4 as well as the 2 legged guests. The French have absolutely no problem with this. At all. The restaurants we ate at fell over themselves to accommodate the dog that dined with us. Fellow diners did not bat an eyelid. In fact, they loved it. The dog curled up under our table, was provided with a bowl of water sans haste and behaved beautifully. Other dogs arrived at the restaurant. The dogs greeted one another with a friendly sniff and then returned to their respective owners as our fellow guests laughed delightedly at them. It was all very civilised.

    This could not happen in Australia where restaurants must comply with the Food Standards Australia New Zealand which prohibit dogs in kitchen and indoor dining areas, with the exception of service animals.

  3. Dogs are allowed in hotels. In. Hotel. Rooms. I kid you not. 
    The French like to holiday with their dogs. I am not talking specially catered for dog and owner holidays here. The dogs just come along on the vacation – regardless of the destination. We spent 3 nights at the Perle de Re Hotel on the idyllic Ile de Re and our dog was most welcome. There was a $20 per night doggie surcharge – and people were lining up to pay it. There were several other canine guests coinciding with our stay and all of the dogs were well behaved and a hell of a lot less annoying than the toddler in the room across the hall.
  4. Dogs travel on bikes.
    Ile de Re is an island off the west coast of France and its main form of transport is bicycles rather than cars. Everyone rides a bike. And every third bike we saw had a specially designed carriage which hooked onto the front of the bike to accommodate children or – you guessed it – dogs. This of course makes sense, if you take your dog on holidays with you it is very unlikely that you are going to leave it in the hotel room alone with the crying toddler. A dog in a carriage attached to a bike is literally a show stopper in France – for this dog crazy nation it does not get better than this. And of course, the dog carriage came at a premium price. Business was booming at the bike hire shop.
  5. Dogs are allowed in church.
    Even a church we visited was happy for the dog to accompany us up the bell tower to look at the view – for a dog fee. The dog was even issued a ticket.

Everywhere we went in France the dog that travelled with us was by far and away the star attraction – in fact, he has his own Insta account  - you can check him out @golden_brothers_ao (you won’t be the only one, he has tens of thousands of followers).

It seems that dogs and dog loving businesses are good for business. As a business owner who may also be a dog lover, if this all sounds too good to be true – maybe its time to make the move to France. I can assure you that your application for a rental will only be refused if you don’t have a dog.

Written by Kate Christie.
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CEOWORLD magazine - Latest - CEO Agenda - 5 Reasons being dog friendly is very good for business

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Kate Christie
Kate Christie is the Founder and Director of Time Stylers. She is a renowned Time Management expert, international Speaker, and best-selling Author. Kate offers consulting services to businesses of all sizes, government departments, and C-suite executives. Her expertise lies in helping clients achieve intelligent time management, maximize productivity at home and work, and retain top talent by implementing effective time management strategies.

Kate Christie is an Executive Council member at the CEOWORLD magazine. You can follow her on LinkedIn, for more information, visit the author’s website CLICK HERE.