How To Visit a Restaurant With Your Dog

April is nearly here, and that means patio season is quickly approaching. Whether you’re eating lunch, grabbing a cup of coffee, or sipping on a cocktail – having your pup able to lounge next to you is a major bonus.

I’ve been fortunate enough to dine with my pups on patios, decks and rooftops across the country. Along the way I’ve picked up a few invaluable tips to help make the experience an enjoyable one.

First, remember that not all “dog-friendly” designations are created equal. Whenever possible, choose destinations which you know will welcome your pup with a smile. not a grimace 

Sit strategically. I always try to pick a table against the rail and to have my pups sit on the side of the table away from where the waiter will approach. 

Attend dog-specific events. A number of local bars/restaurants in my area host “Yappy Hours” or similar events. These types of events are an excellent chance for your dog to practice their restaurant manners in a welcoming environment

So welcoming, they even rolled out the red/green carpet for us!

Get your dog in order before you get your order in. Prior to any restaurant visit, I like to make sure my dogs are well-exercised and ready to relax. I also make sure they have fresh water and something to chew on

Sometimes I’ll bring an antler for the dogs to chew, and sometimes they have a five-star meal. Either way, the trip is always more enjoyable if I take the time to get my pups settled first

Be polite! I consider dog-friendly patios a privilege, not a right. As such, I make every effort to ensure Eko and Penny are well-mannered guests who don’t disturb the staff or any other patrons 

It takes a bit of effort and thought to add your dog to your restaurant reservation, but the reward is well worth it

And in my experience, if your party includes a courteous and cute pup, waiters always seem to pay special attention to your table. Not a bad deal!

22 thoughts on “How To Visit a Restaurant With Your Dog”

  1. I love places that welcome dogs. My sensible 6 year old dog is a pleasure to take out now he has learned to lie down beside me when I’m eating. Your post made me remember the training required to reach our current calm! I hope you and Emily and the pups have a lovely patio season. Patio season never really stops over here. We can eat outside even in Winter although it can sometimes be a bit chilly. My favourite cafe used to provide blankets and hot water bottles before they installed outdoor heaters.

  2. Ah big city life! My daughter lives in Raleigh NC and talk about activities for dogs! in the last month, she has taken her two (Adoni and Zeus, lab and belgian malamoix) to an easter egg hunt (for dogs ), participated in the ST Paddy’s Day Parade, dog days in downtown (including contests, food trucks, give aways) and something that was a bar hop but was for people and dogs. The bar hop thing had different activities at each place for the pups…think it was called a pup crawl. If it’s about dogs, they are there! She has hers so well trained she can walk them together on one leash with a tether. God I can only hope…one say …one day. Unfortunately I live in a one stoplight town that has one grocery store, one bank, and a Hardees. So uhm, yeah, even if my two could accomplish something like that…nowhere to go. Sounds awesome! I love rural life but can certainly see some perks of big city living. Eh, you know what? I would be happy just to be able to walk my two at the same time! Maybe a post on the barriers and tricks of getting 2 dogs under control in public in the future? I know I would love it.


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