By Marina Sacht
Businesses are embracing four-legged friends — using them as mascots, for security, employee perks, team building, creating a friendly workplace and to appealing to pet owner clients.
It isn’t just local companies that are going to the dogs. Ladysmith City Hall is pet-friendly and CAO Guillermo Ferrero is often seen with his beautiful German Shepherd by his side.
Big companies such as Amazon and Google have brought pets into their workplace. Dogs at work embody the “tenacity, loyalty and all-round playfulness of their company culture” was how Meghan Casserly corporate communications manager at Google put it.
They also help break the ice and lead to a deeper relationship between you and your customer. Other benefits is stress relief and team-building with friendly socializing at the office. Businesses that accommodate customers with pets can tap into a market of other like-minded pet owners.
Are customers going to be less inclined to use your business if you are not pet friendly – probably not.
But there is a downside. Along with being pet-friendly comes the risk of injury, allergies in the workplace and damage to surroundings. Setting up boundaries, policies, hygiene and controlling the environment is key to having dogs and people coexist.
Like all things in business, you have to weigh the good with the bad and make your decision based not only on your business but your personal relationship with animals.
Regardless of choice, a business that doesn’t recognize the importance customers attach to their pets does so at their peril.
The following are businesses who are “pet-friendly.” They welcome your pet and often provide fresh water and treats. Just make sure you ask as individual businesses differ.
49th Parallel Printers – Our customer greeter Diz would like us to let you know that, yes, 49th Parallel Printers is definitely pet-friendly!
Antique Addict – Pets are always welcome in the Antique Addict. In fact, we insist they are not left outside in hot or cold weather. There is always a bowl of freshwater at the door. On hot days we are air-conditioned and pets are welcome to come in and cool off! “Cathy loves dogs and might meet and greet the customers’ dogs before she asks the customers if they require assistance,” laughs Paul.
Beyond The Usual – pet-friendly
Black Door Décor – pet-friendly
Chemainus & District Chamber of Commerce and Visitor Centre – We allow all dogs inside our Visitor Centre, we offer them treats and we have a dog water dish outside at all times.
For Pet’s Sake – We do the best baby talk. We allow well-behaved pets on a leash inside the store. Freshwater available and treats on request. We are also a kitten rescue.
Forget Me Not – Pets are welcome on a leash or in arms at all times. Water and treats upon request.
Kiwi Cove Lodge – We have a Pet-Friendly guest room, fresh water and lots of open space and waterfront for playing fetch.
Ladysmith Marina by Oak Bay Marine Group – They offer freshwater. Please keep dogs on a leash at all times. Help yourself to doggy bags in case of an accident.
Ladysmith Visitor Centre & Chamber of Commerce Tourism / Community / Business Services – Pets are allowed to accompany their owners inside with fresh water and treats available. Brochures of Ladysmith Parks and Trails with off-leash pet areas.
Layman Financial Services – We have three dogs at our office, and other than a couple of people, most of our clients love to visit with them,” says Elaine Layman. Mickey is the newest addition, joining Asper, and Cooper. They are poodles and Golden Lab doodle.
NikkiDesigns – NikkiDesigns offers custom window coverings, bedding, table linens, bath linens and clothing, specializing in using natural fabrics like linen and hemp. Invites clients to check out some of their new products including wool bed pillows, brass and copper home accents, felted wool Christmas ornaments, merino wool throws on her website at www.nikkidesigns.ca Or stop by. Small pets that don’t shed are welcome.
Pemberton Holmes Ltd. Van Isle Real Estate – Water and treats on request. Pets welcomed inside. You may meet Bella & Charlie.
Purple Pigeon Treasures Gift Shop
Pets are allowed in the shop, lower level items are less breakable. Freshwater and treats by request. We have a small dog named “Little Bit” who is in the shop regularly and she is very shy and is still getting used to the new environment.
Robson O’Connor Law Offices – The Ladysmith First Avenue office is definitely pet friendly with three Chihuahuas holding court with lawyer Paul Nettleton. Bambi is nine years old and came from a dog rescue group in Arizona. The idea to adopt a dog was inspired by Paul’s daughter when they were travelling in Mexico. Bambi paved the way for two more rescue Chihuahuas Bugsy and Pixie. Bugsy was living in an unsuitable home with pit bulls, and Pixie had belonged to an elderly couple who had passed away leaving her needing a home. Paul says the dogs love going to work. They have their own office with blankets and treats.
“They love to interact with clients. They provide welcomed stress relief, changing a formal meeting to a more informal setting. Having the puppies at the office is very therapeutic and relaxing.”
Royal LePage Nanaimo Realty Ladysmith – You are welcome to bring your pets into the office with you. Freshwater upon request. We always have a realtor on-site to assist you with any real estate questions you may have. Please don’t feel you need to leave your pet in your car to come in and enquire. And we don’t want you to feel like you can’t come in and enquire because you have a pet in the car.
Sandpiper Gardens & Glass – Leashed pets are welcome into our indoor and outdoor areas. Fresh water and doggy treat upon request. Sandpiper is located in a very walkable location in Chemainus, close to downtown and the beach.
Silvermine On Chemainus – Very dog-friendly, a big bowl of water and treats onsite.
Waypoint Insurance – We allow pets in the office and have a water dish and treats for them.
Restaurants with dog-friendly patio and fresh water
- Plantitude Kind Food Restaurant 250-924-1201
- Ma Maison café 250-732-6096
- Ironworks Creperie 250-912-0064
- Maple Lane Cafe & Catering 250-246-1028
To be added to our Pet-Friendly Guide and get a Pet-Friendly decal contact TAKE 5 info [at] take5 [dot] ca or 250-245-7015 or the Ladysmith Chamber of Commerce.