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 agree completely with bring something exciting to chew on! Bonus if it takes the whole meal to devour. We usually try to bring a towel or blanket with us so we can tell Atlas “go to your mat” if he starts getting a little squirrelly! We also keep a caribiner on his leash so we can tether him to keep our hands free.

  2. In Germany we always went out to eat with Mom, but here, the places are so limited and most dog friendly patios are overrun with dogs (many ill mannered) which isn’t real fun, so we don’t really go out to eat with her anymore. You guys can have our spot on the patio 😉

  3. Wow that is so cool having all those dog friendly eating out options – not so flash here in NZ – some al fresco cafes allow it but it is more they don’t have a choice due to their location but still you guys are well ahead of us there.


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