Scottish Borders Town Girvan Named UK’s Most Dog Friendly Town as Competition Heats Up

This annual Dog Friendly Awards Competition (run by has had an unprecedented amount of votes in its Town category with several urban centres  competing enthusiastically to become the No.1 UK town to bring your pooch.The winners were announced at a lavish ceremony on the 29th November 2023 at the Kennel Club’s London offices and hosted by Katie Thistleton (BBC Radio 1). The DogFriendly Awards competition has 17 Awards categories and dog friendly businesses compete to receive the most votes from their customers and followers in their efforts to win the coveted “Most Dog Friendly Award”.


This year, much of the excitement surrounded the Towns Category with several towns improving dog accessibility, running campaigns to introduce clearer “dogs welcome” signage, while encouraging more businesses to open their doors to doggy guests. Girvan in the Scottish Borders was crowned the winner of the category with more votes secured by its dog owners than the other finalists, Bury St. Edmunds and Eastbourne.Girvan said of their win: “We are absolutely delighted to have won the category of most dog friendly town. Local businesses and attractions have worked really hard with us this year at Go Girvan to welcome furry visitors to Girvan.”


The Awards were set up 11 year ago by DogFriendly Founder, Steve Bennett and wife Linda, who have been long time dog owners themselves. Steve commented: “Our dogs are part of the family and when we go out, it is only natural that we want our dogs to come along too. Businesses are recognising the value of welcoming dogs into their businesses, including many shopping centres around the UK, such as Friars Square Shopping Centre in Eastbourne, winners of the most dog friendly shop category”.


Research undertaken by Melton Mowbray Town Council found “those who own dogs are almost twice as likely to regularly visit shops and businesses that welcome dogs” and four out of five businesses who opened their doors to dogs say that they noticed an improvement in business.With more than 12.5 million dogs in the UK and more than 21.4 million people sharing a house with a dog, the appeal for businesses to attract dog owners is obvious.