RIVER RYAN, N.S. — A local dog lover is compiling a list of dog-friendly businesses in the Cape Breton Regional Municipality so that people won’t be tempted to leave their furry friends in a hot car during the summer months.
Hannah McIlveen, owner of Open Arms Boarding Kennel and Daycare in River Ryan, said so far she’s compiled a list of more than 100 businesses throughout the region that welcome customers visiting with their canine companions. She believes it’s important to get the information out to dog owners with warmer temperatures on the horizon.
“People are always asking me if I know of any cool places to go that they can take their dog, a lot of people want restaurants where they can eat out on the patio and stuff like that,” McIlveen said.
“It’s never safe to leave a dog unattended in a car, especially this time of year it starts to become a true concern and even five minutes can be extremely dangerous.”
She said she looked around to see if anyone else had already compiled a similar list but found nothing available.
“I thought maybe I could crowd-source it a little bit and do some calling around myself and try to come up with something that could hopefully sustain us over a few summers and added to and supplemented as new businesses open,” McIlveen said.
She cold-called businesses, went through business directories and consulted Google maps looking for businesses.
Dog owners are often looking for new places where they can take their pooches, she said. The response to the idea of a listing of dog-friendly businesses has been overwhelmingly positive, McIlveen said.
“More people than I thought went out of their way to message me and say, ‘Yes, we even have treats for them, everyone’s welcome, bring them on in,’” she said.
As for those who may ask why people don’t just leave their dogs at home, McIlveen said some animals suffer from separation anxiety and owners don’t like to leave them at home alone because it is stressful for the dog.
“Anytime they’re able to bring the dog with them, it’s better for the dog and it makes the owner feel better,” she said. “It’s frankly just kind of fun to bring your dogs places, it’s enriching for them, it’s good to get them socialized, especially if you have a puppy and you want to bring them out to meet strangers.”
The list isn’t online yet, but McIlveen said she hopes to have it up on her business’s Facebook page and on its website this weekend.
For more information or to pass along information about a dog-friendly business, visit https://openarmskennel.wordpress.com or https://www.facebook.com/openarmskennel, text message or voicemail 902-577-0808, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or Instagram direct messaging @openarmskennel.