Hotel group ‘pupgrades’ its service as hipster dog craze sweeps the capital

London’s latest obsession for ‘social petworking’, is leading to a rising number of small dogs accompanying their owners on business trips.

In response, a pioneering hotel chain is allowing guests to bring their pets. For an additional £10 per night, dog owners can book their dogs in for a stay at all of easyHotel’s venues. To assist dog owners that can’t bear to leave their pets behind, the group is also trialling a new deluxe ‘pupgrade’ service for pets. For an additional charge, guests can request an orange ‘pet yurt’, an orange ‘chewvet’, a bone on arrival and a small ‘Minibark’ fridge stocked with gourmet pet snacks and drinks. Snack options on the menu include treats developed by Michel Roux and a bottle of ‘Pawsecco’, a nonalcoholic dog food jus that can be poured over a dish.

Small dogs are becoming a fixture in offices and coffee shops throughout the capital, with particularly high concentrations in the tech and marketing communities of Shoreditch. Muhammad Manan, operations director at easyHotel, said: “In the past, I’ve had requests for pets of all shapes and sizes, including on one occasion a horse. Unfortunately, due to headroom considerations, a small lift and limited availability of straw we had to turn that request down, but we’ll always do our best to make a pet feel welcome.”

Studies indicate that dogs can have a positive effect on productivity and lower the stress levels of employees. A 2010 study by Central Michigan University found that having a dog in the office improved collaboration. Another study from the Virginia Commonwealth University School of Business, found that animals in the workplace make work feel more satisfying. easyHotel’s network of locations has grown significantly this year, as has demand from business customers, with new hotels opening in Birmingham, Manchester and Liverpool. Further openings are scheduled for the next 12 months.

Benefits of being dog friendly

In Kennel Club research, four out of five businesses said that trade increased as a result of welcoming dog owners and their dogs. The Kennel Club’s Dog Friendly campaign aims to reward and encourage businesses and public places across the UK to adopt a dog friendly attitude towards the nation’s 9.4 million dogs. Dogs are often regarded as man’s best friend, but unfortunately don’t always get treated as such, with dog owners finding it difficult at times to go to shops, restaurants and other places with their four-legged friends. If you are not currently running a dog friendly policy, there are lots of resources on www.thekennelclub.org.uk/bedogfriendly. You can join over 32,000 businesses and public places by listing your dog-friendly venue on www.dogfriendly.co.uk.

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