Nov. 25, 2022

What it Means to be “Dog-Friendly” with Beth Miller | The Long Leash #69

What it Means to be “Dog-Friendly” with Beth Miller | The Long Leash #69

What does it mean to be dog friendly? It’s not just a pat on the head or a treat in the pocket.

Every dog-loving human has their own idea about what being dog-friendly means. For some, it’s the neighbor who switches to non-toxic snail bait. For others, it’s a dog water bowl in front of a business, or a grassy dog park in an otherwise quiet neighborhood.

But some humans have bigger ideas, like creating dog-friendly architecture and dog-friendly legislation. Dog-friendly school curriculums and dog-friendly business models. How do we include human's best friend in our life design efforts?

Beth Miller, the founder of Wagtown, joins us to talk about the macroeconomic and health benefits of dog-friendly planning. Her non-profit helps communities define what dog-friendly means to them … and then become more dog friendly.

In Miller’s world, dollars follow dogs. Creating more dog-friendly spaces impacts economic development, business growth, housing markets … and even our own lifespans, which are longer when we share them with dogs.

Wagtown has been involved in many dog-friendly planning projects. Beth shares how they changed patio laws for the state of Ohio in a “Pups on Patio” campaign. Wagtown also assisted local law enforcement officers in building a working relationship with community dog walkers. Listen and be inspired to create a more dog-friendly future for all humanity!

Episode Links


This episode is sponsored in part by EverPup and BarkBox.


0:00 Introduction

1:36 What does it mean to be dog-friendly?

3:12 Dog friendliness desert

4:50 Dog friendliness is a factor of location

8:29 What is Wagtown?

13:22 Interviewing 600 people

14:25 What to consider when building a new dog park

19:22 Building dog friendly spaces

20:26 The economic benefits of being dog-friendly

21:00 Pups on patios

27:19 Future of a dog-friendly society

29:09 Dog walkers working with law enforcement

30:52 Outro

About Dog Podcast Network (DPN)

DPN is the first of its kind. A podcasting network as devoted to dogs, as they are to us. Our mission is simple: entertain, inspire and inform. We will improve the quality of life for dogs and the people who love them.

Check out Dog Podcast Network for other dog-adjacent shows:

Dog Edition: our flagship show where a global team of dog-obsessed journalists and storytellers feature news, in-depth reporting, analysis, features, and interview segments

Dog Cancer Answers: which offers vetted advice from real veterinarians who answer your questions about dog cancer

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Beth MillerProfile Photo

Beth Miller

Wagtown®️ Founder, SMART Dog Park™️ Creator & President

Beth Cherryholmes Miller

Beth Cherryholmes Miller is founder and CEO of Wagtown and creator of the SMART Dog Park™. After 30 years in the ad agency world, six in parks and recreation, and a lifetime of working with and championing dogs, Beth took at leap of faith — in herself, and in the power of dogs. (Believing in the dogs was the easy part.) In 2016, she brought along her experience with parks & recreation communications, strategic planning, advocacy, marketing, PR, training and teaching, public speaking, and brand development, and chased after a dream…

“Wagtown was created to empower national movements that improve animal welfare. Through a nonprofit organization that works with communities to become more authentically and responsibly dog friendly. As an economic driver and community builder, dog-friendliness expertise will become a part of where we live.”

She has since conducted more than 700 interviews across the country and beyond, amassed the nation’s largest dog-friendly research base, and become a sought-after subject matter expert, award-winning animal advocate, speaker, and author.