A CWMBRAN-BASED entrepreneur who created a website likened to Trip Advisor for dog owners is preparing to roll it out as an app.

Adele Pember, 30, launched the website dogfuriendly.com, which allows dog owners to search for businesses that welcome dogs, in January 2018.

The website has gone from strength to strength with support from Natwest’s Welsh entrepreneur accelerator programme, with an app version of the website set to be launched in the autumn.


Mrs Pember, who grew up in Ebbw Vale, said she came up with idea while out with her dog in Cardiff.

“I’ve had dogs my whole life,” she said. “Like many dogs, mine suffers from separation anxiety. I would struggle to find places where I could go with my dog.

“The turning point was when I was in Cardiff with my dog, out in the tipping rain. I was living in Cardiff at the time, and was still 30 minutes from home. I wanted to find somewhere in the city centre where we could find shelter.

“I was huddled in a shop front on my phone looking for a dog-friendly café. I couldn’t find anything.

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(Adele Pember's website helps dog owners find dog-friendly businesses. Picture: Tom Harper.)

“When I got home, I started writing a list of all the places in Cardiff that were dog friendly.

“It started out as a blog, and people would get in touch saying it needed to be something bigger.

“My husband is a web designer by trade, so we developed the blog into our own website.”

The website initially just covered dog-friendly businesses in Wales, before expanding into Scotland, and then England.

Dog Furiendly now has more than 100 ambassadors submitting information from across the world, with some as far afield as the USA and Japan.

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(Dogfuriendly.com helps dog owners find businesses which accommodate their canine friends. Picture: Tom Harper.)

Mrs Pember said the community feeling developed by the website’s users has inspired her to expand into organising Dog Furiendly events.

“Our users are engaging and interacting with us all the time,” she said. “It’s a real community.

“Now, we are focusing on organising events. We have done pub crawls and parties – all where you can bring your dog along. It brings the community closer together.

“The events are a big part of what we are doing now. We are currently organising a pride party in Cardiff at the end of the month, which will be a lot of fun.”

Mrs Pember said the support she has received through the entrepreneur accelerator programme has helped her business immeasurably.

“The Welsh entrepreneur accelerator programme with Natwest has been integral to growing Dog Furiendly,” she said.

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(A dogfuriendly.com event in Cardiff. Picture: Tom Harper.)

“The mentorship has been amazing. Every time I need a sounding board to bounce ideas off or needed some advice someone who be there to help.

“It’s been the best experience ever. Now I’m coming towards the end of my programme, I feel so much more confident with that side of my business.

“I grew up in Ebbw Vale. There wasn’t really much there in terms of support. Having access to this programme from Natwest has been a massive help.”

Siwan Rees, Natwest entrepreneur acceleration manager in Wales, said: “Adele’s success as an entrepreneur can inspire other women to follow her lead and launch their own business.

“We’ve been really proud to support her on her journey with Dog Furiendly.

“The concept of the business is fantastic, but it is Adele’s drive and passion that has made the website the success it is and we’re looking forward to helping her achieve even great success.”