Pet insurance provider Bought By Many has revealed that up to 840,000 dogs are expected to join the mass commute as people return to work this summer.
This follows research that revealed that almost one in five (19%) dog owners are now planning to take their pups into work with them, as employers become more flexible about dogs in the office. And of these, 37% are planning to commute with their four-legged friends via public transport.
However, concerned about their journey, 77% of owners say public transport lacks suitable facilities for their dog and over half (53%) are worried about their canine commuting companions feeling anxious on public transport. With this in mind, Bought By Many has teamed up with leading dog trainer and behaviourist, Oli Juste and transport design practice, PriestmanGoode, to design a more dog friendly train carriage..
The vision includes…
* A safe covered space for the dog to rest in, with acoustic material to shield from the noise of the commute
* Further safe space under passenger seating – suitable for small and large dogs
* A cooling mat for warmer days
* Water refill and treat area
* Amenity area
* Water bowl area
Oli Juste, dog expert and behaviourist, said: “Trains and buses, particularly during busy rush hours can be stressful for dogs, especially for those who haven’t been socialised in crowded environments because of lockdown. With more dogs expected to join their owners on the commute, we need to consider how we make the experience as comfortable as possible. The dog-friendly train zone is a way of exploring how we can create the optimal environment for them.”
Steven O’Callaghan, senior insurance product manager at Bought By Many, said: “The world of work has changed dramatically over the past year and many dog owners are now thinking about how to balance looking after their dog with the return to the office. For many owners, leaving a pet at home alone or organising doggy day care can be stressful and costly, so improved commuting options as well as flexibility from employers about allowing different commute times to avoid peak rush hour and dog-friendly offices will be welcomed by thousands of pet parents up and down the country.
“We have reflected the needs of these owners in our policies so they are covered at home, on the commute or in the office.”
Kirsty Dias, managing director of design agency PriestmanGoode, said: “We’re delighted to have worked with Bought By Many on visualising the perfect pup commute. We see an opportunity to rethink the design of carriages to create an environment that is comfortable and stress-free for dogs, as well as their human companions. While some of the ideas, such as special cooling mats on the floor, are specifically designed to ensure the dog’s wellbeing, we have also implemented other ideas that have a variety of functions and can benefit different users. For example, flip up seats create more space for not only large dogs, but also passengers with prams or wheelchair users. It’s about ensuring flexibility and making sure that the future of the daily commute is comfortable for all passengers, both human and canine.”