As French residents are encouraged to take holidays in France this summer post-Covid-19, a website is helping dog-owners plan holidays with their pets, sharing dog-friendly listings around the country.
Emmène ton chien (Bring Your Dog), launched by Sophie Morche, has around 100,000 monthly visitors – known as “Wouafers” – who search the site find to dog-friendly places to visit in France, as approved by other members.
Ms Morche says visitors can share places that have made their dogs “really welcome” in France. Dog-friendly establishments are then given a rating from 1-4 on the website’s “Qualidog” scale, depending on how positive users’ experiences have been.
Information provided on the site includes how many dogs can be allowed into a dog-friendly establishment at once, what size dogs are welcome, and whether services – such as bowls and dog pads – are provided. It also answers questions such as which campsites allow dogs in onsite restaurants, and which holiday cottages have dog-gardens.
Five years ago, Ms Morche adopted her own dog and quickly found: “Finding dog-friendly places wasn’t simple. Often you don’t know what the welcome will be like when you go somewhere. My dog is a member, and a full part, of my family. There are about 18 million people in the same situation [in France], and we shouldn’t apologise for wanting to go on holiday with the whole family!”
As well as accommodation and restaurants, emmenetonchien.com includes popular destinations in France, such as tourist sites and physical activity centres. It also has listings for activities specifically for dogs, such as agility courses and even dog massages.
For places that want to improve their “Qualidog” rating, the site also offers advice on how to better welcome dog owners.