All over the world, pets have become an essential part of the family, and Costa Rica is no exception. More and more people are choosing to have a pet and taking it to stores, restaurants, cafeterias, and everywhere.
For businesses, this has meant having to adapt their spaces and redesign their strategies to make their commercial establishments more attractive and pet-friendly.
The Technical Standards Institute of Costa Rica (INTECO) has issued some guidelines to certify businesses as “Pet Friendly.”
First, a Pet-Friendly business is one where pets are welcome and allowed to stay in their facilities. They treat pets kindly and have designated areas and services for their overall wellbeing.
This means that being a pet-friendly establishment goes beyond just allowing pets to enter the establishment.
Is it worth it to be certified as a Pet-Friendly Business?
The pet market is in accelerated growth, both nationally and internationally.
In Costa Rica, UNIMER conducted a study in which 70% of participants revealed that they have animals in their homes. Also, 92% of respondents are in favor of pet-friendly housing projects.
This certification can be a differentiating element for a business. It can also make it possible to gain market share thanks to the confidence it generates with customers and consumers who love animals.
INTECO has designed a program in which educational centers, public institutions, hotels, restaurants, transportation, residential and condominiums, banking and commerce, health centers, offices, public and private events, theme parks, and clubs can obtain a Pet-Friendly Certification.
The Pet-Friendly Certification guarantees that businesses comply with the necessary conditions to admit pets into their facilities. It also certifies that there has been a process to verify safety, quality, and cleanliness protocols to ensure everyone’s enjoyment.
INTECO’s program comprises two areas of evaluation:
- Legal: the entity will check that the business has the operating permits up to date and complies with the country’s environmental and animal welfare legislation in force, according to the activity being carried out. It will also verify whether the business complies with current legislation on the organization’s legal and employee safety issues.
- Administrative (quality): The quality guidelines of the Pet-Friendly program’s services will be reviewed; an adequate communication system and the promotion of education as a preventive tool for the respect of the environment will be reviewed education, as well as exercising the proper control of pet registration in the facilities; facilities in services; and that the organization is involved, undertakes strategies and actions aimed at collaborating with animal welfare.
The process isn’t too long; there are four main steps:
- Preliminary assessment
- Corrective actions
- Technical verification
- Issuance of Certificate
At www.inteco.org, business owners can find all the information needed for this process.