Are Milngavie and Bearsden Scotland’s dog-friendliest places?

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The search is on to find Scotland’s most dog friendly places, as the Kennel Club launches its Open for Dog Awards 2013.

Now in its seventh year, the competition aims to find the businesses, towns and public places across Scotland and the rest of the UK that open their doors to dogs, with a special prize-giving to be held at the prestigious Discover Dogs event at Earls Court in London on 9th and 10th November.

With over 8million dogs in the UK, and around one in four households owning a dog, the Kennel Club’s Open for Dogs campaign, in association with Dog Friendly, aims to break down barriers for man’s best friend by encouraging more businesses and public spaces to welcome dogs through their doors.

The Open for Dogs website lists over 28,000 dog friendly days out, businesses and places to stay across the UK and Europe, allowing Britain’s dog owners to spend more time with their four-legged friends.

There are seven nomination categories - Somewhere to Stay, Somewhere to Eat, Somewhere to Drink, Somewhere on the High Street (including shops, banks, travel agents etc), Somewhere to Visit, Somewhere to Camp, and a category for the Most Dog Friendly Town.

The Kennel Club will also be selecting a Special Recognition award winner, for a business or place that offers dog friendly services in a fun and unique way. Last year’s Special Recognition winner was the glamorous Hair by JFK hair salon in Edinburgh, for their dedication to man’s best friend.

Caroline Kisko, Kennel Club Secretary said: “The Open for Dogs Awards is the perfect opportunity for dog owners, and indeed non dog owners, across Scotland to put forward their favourite local dog-friendly haunt.

“Research has found that having dogs around can lower stress levels and boost the supposed happy hormone, serotonin, so it is no wonder that people enjoy the company of man’s best friend even when it’s not their dog.

“The Kennel Club campaigns for the rights of dog owners to go out and about with their dogs up and down the country, and as a part of this actively encourages businesses across the UK to open their doors to dogs and experience the many benefits that this will bring, which includes tapping into the large dog-owning market for the so-called ‘hound pound’.”

The competition runs until October 4, and winners are determined by a public vote. Vote for your favourite dog friendly places across Scotland by filling out the short nomination form at www.openfordogs.org.uk

Ten lucky people who make a nomination will win tickets to Crufts and Discover Dogs, both organised by the Kennel Club.