Notts couple set up website of dog-friendly places to visit

A NOTTS couple have set up a website for dog owners to share and recommend dog-friendly places.

Louise Dolan and husband Simon Howgill, of Upper Broughton, have created RoverRecommended, to help dog owners share experiences and recommend places to visit with their pet.

Ms Dolan, 37, said the inspiration came from their own dog, Holly, a five-year-old border collie cross.

"Holly's a rescue dog and she had a very bad start in life."

"She's quite nervous and we hated leaving her at home on her own, so we started to try to find places where she could come with us."

"Other dog owners were often surprised when we told them the places that we went with Holly."

"We realised dog owners needed an easy way to find out about dog-friendly places, so we set up RoverRecommended.com."

The site lists pubs, hotels and attractions across the country that welcome dogs.

Places are categorised by county, and there is a "what's near" button to help owners find dog-friendly places in the area.

Pubs listed in Notts include the Rose and Crown, in Cotgrave, and The Full Moon Inn, Morton.

The site went live at the start of January, and Ms Dolan says they have already had good feedback.

"We've been researching for the website for a couple of years and we've tried to cover popular holiday destinations like Cornwall and the Cotswolds, so that people know that they can take their dog with them."

"It's early days, but we're part of a dog agility club and people there have been telling us how useful they find it."

"Pubs in the area have also told us that they've noticed an increase in the number of dogs going in."

The website welcomes recommendations and reviews from users and offers free business listings.

Ms Dolan, a quality manager for Boots, said she wanted the website to be a source that dog owners can trust.

"It's free to use, it's easy to use and no money changes hands, so there's no vested interest."

"We want dog owners to feel like they can have faith in the advice we give."

"We want the site to grow and expand and we want people to contribute their thoughts and recommendations."

Mr Howgill, 41, is a software engineer, who works on the technical side of the website.

He said: "This website is not about making money, it's about having more fun with your dog."

"These places need to be reliable and give good information about what makes them dog-friendly."
Published in The Nottingham Evening Post 22/01/11