Why we created PetFriendly.hr?

My name is Filip.

I am one of those animal lovers  who always takes his pet with him wherever he goes. It was Sunday, 19th October 2019, a beautiful sunny day which I wanted to spend in the countryside with my girlfriend and our pet. Before leaving on a trip I wanted to find a cozy place to rest and have lunch after a day filled with activities. There was a big problem. I have spent almost two hours calling restaurants in Samobor, near Zagreb, simply to find a pet-friendly place. That two hours were pure nightmare – we didn´t find a restaurant we could visit with our dog and we were pretty angry with the situation. That is when I decided to create PetFriendly.hr in order to make our vacations, weekends and everyday life a little bit more simple. This website is a place for all animal lovers who simply want to find cozy places in Croatia which they can visit with their pet, without fear of being rejected on-site or losing time trying to find restaurants, pubs, bars and other places in which pets are welcome.

The focus of this project is to centralize pet-friendly places and provide relevant information for local and tourist pet owners. We are hoping to achieve two goals – raise pet-friendly awareness at local service providers and build a community around pet-friendly initiative. The importance of becoming more and more pet-friendly is clearly illustrated in the rising number of pet owners. Based on several analyzes made in 2018 on pet owners in Europe, around 80 million European households own at least one pet, and from that number, at least 24% are dog owners. Around 60% of Croatian households own at least one pet. Going a little bit more in-depth with numbers as follows:

European Union: around 65.609.000 dogs

All Europe Countries: around 85.184.000 dogs

Dog Numbers by European Countries:

Austria – 827.000

Belgium – 1.315.000

Bulgaria – 740.000

Czech Republic – 2.000.000

Denmark – 595.000

Estonia – 210.000

Finland – 810.000

France – 6.950.000

Germany – 9.400.000

Greece – 660.000

Hungary – 1.180.000

Ireland – 450.000

Italy – 7.002.000

Latvia – 260.000

Lithuania – 550.000

Netherlands – 1.520.000

Norway – 470.000

Poland – 7.600.000

Portugal – 2.100.000

Romania – 4.000.000

Russia – 17.500.000

Slovakia – 900.000

Slovenia – 290.000

Sweden – 880.000

Switzerland – 505.000

Turkey 1.200.000

United Kingdom – 9.000.000

…and rising. (source: FEDIAF.org)

Croatia is a tourist-oriented country, so the conclusion is quite simple. Being pet-friendly environment for service providers in Croatia shouldn˙t even be a matter of discussion. It is time to start welcoming whole families – pets included – everywhere they go.