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Dozens of dog-lovers support new tourism guide aimed at lucrative “hound pound”

Katie McCandless Thomas, right, with her Lhasa Apso, Baxter being served a drink (of water!) by barmaid Olivia Watson.
Katie McCandless Thomas, right, with her Lhasa Apso, Baxter being served a drink (of water!) by barmaid Olivia Watson.

Dozens of dogs took over a Perth music venue at the weekend to help launch a new visitor guide aimed at establishing the region as Scotland’s dog-friendly capital.

The Fair City’s Green Room welcomed more than 100 dog-lovers and their four-legged friends for its first Puppies and Prosecco event.

Tickets for the gathering, which offered pooches cake, specially-made treats and even a pop-up photo booth, sold out within hours. All proceeds will go to local dog rescue charity, Perthshire Abandoned Dog Society (PADS).

Katie McCandless Thomas with her Lhasa Apso, Baxter looking at the new Dog Friendly Perthshire website.

The Sunday session saw the launch of a new website, Dog Friendly Perthshire, which hopes to secure the area a bigger slice of the £4 billion pet-friendly tourism market, or hound pound.

Katie McCandless Thomas said the guide grew from a popular Facebook page, set up in 2015.

As a long-time resident of Perth, she and her loyal Lhasa Apso Baxter are on a mission to promote the region as the Dog-Friendly Capital of Scotland.

The new guide will list all local cafes, restaurants, accommodation and shops which welcome dogs. There will also be regular blogs about recommended places to stay, walk and eat with your dog.

The ideas has been applauded by VisitScotland and Perth and Kinross Council.

Caroline Warburton, regional leadership director for VisitScotland, said: “With beautiful spacious parks, scenic woodland walks and a host of dog-friendly cafes, restaurants and shops, Perthshire is a pedigree destination for dog owners.

“The launch of this brand new website will highlight the region’s wonderful tourism offering for both visitors and their furry friends.”

Baxter is following in the paw prints of other high profile “ambassadogs” such as VisitScotland’s own George the retriever who tours the country visiting pet-friendly attractions.

Emma Rae, one of George’s owners, said: “George is a big fan of Perthshire, especially walks around the Loch Leven Heritage Trail and the Birks of Aberfeldy.

“He loves to explore the forests and discover the dog-friendly cafes in Crieff and Perth.”

She said: “We hope the new website will inspire many people to explore the region and organise their next adventure.”

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