Last week’s blog talked about having pets (your own) around the winery. This week I am expanding the theme to talk about your guests bringing their own animals to the winery.
The blog elicited great comments from wineries telling me stories regarding their own pets and visiting animals. One winery mentioned that, during a large event, their winery cat, an animal that loved being a part of action, wandered into the event area. While the cat sidled through the crowd, a guest tripped over him. Fortunately, the person was not hurt, though, as he fell onto concrete, it could have been a disaster.
Another winery that allowed dogs, cats and once, even a duck into their tasting room had to stop the practice due to, as the winery, succinctly put it, “Two dogs, two unobservant masters, one nip and the threat of insurance cancellation.”
No winery wants its insurance cancelled because a visiting animal (or your own) injured another animal, or a guest.
If you are considering allowing visiting pets into your winery, check with your insurance company first, to find out if you need additions to your policy. You might also want to make sure that your insurance covers any damage your own pets may inflict on visitors (animal or human).
It’s not only insurance you have to consider. What are the government restrictions (city, county, state) that may prohibit allowing pets on the property? As they say, ignorance of the law is no defense, so better to find out first.
Also consider health department regulations if you allow animals into the tasting room. Whether you serve food or not, there may well be a list of laws regulating pets in the area.
By and large, the U.S. and Canada are pet-loving countries, which means there are lots of positives to allowing pets on your property. However, there are also negatives, some of which we have talked about in this blog. Do your due diligence before you adopt a pet-friendly policy, as it’s easier not to start than to cut of a benefit once people are used to it.
A tip of the glass from me to you!