It's not for everyone, but many licensees are finding being dog friendly is an effective way to improve footfall.

One of those that welcomes dogs of all shapes and sizes is The Butchers Arms in Headington, Oxfordshire.

Punters with pups are warmly welcomed into the pub where treats await the dogs at the bar.

Manager Megan Josephy said: "The owners have three dogs themselves. If they want to go to a pub it's one of the first things they are checking. The dogs love it. They love getting out and about and meeting new people and smelling new things.

"It's a good bit of advertising for us. Some of the dogs bring the owners to the pub rather than the owners bringing the dogs. There are places where you can sit outside with the dogs but that's no help in the middle of winter when it's freezing and you want to sit inside and warm up.

"It's been a major bonus for us to be able to be one of the few dog friendly pubs in the area."

 

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There are several local parks near to the pub where people go to walk their dogs and then pop in for a coffee, a pint or a glass of wine afterwards.

Staff also spoil the dogs by feeding them a sneaky bit of chicken.

"If we keep feeding the dogs chicken, they will bring the owners back," added Megan.

"I think it works. We have regular dogs as well as regular customers. The dogs will spend the evening curled up in the corner with their owners. We know them on a first name basis.

"We seem to get a bunch of people with really well behaved dogs. We are always really excited when a new dog walks through the door."