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March 29, 2016

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,
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!

Comments for How To Visit a Restaurant With Your Dog

  1. I would love it to visit a restaurant with Easy… think we have to train it a little how to be a nice guest in a restaurant… our first try with a street cafe failed and we had a coffee to go and a dripping ice cream cone in the car :o(

  2. Piglove says:

    Squeals. This is so cool. It is getting that time of the year that we can bring our pets to restaurants. Yesterday, mom to Houdini to the Apple Store with her. She said they had a blast together. XOXO – Bacon

  3. I am working hard on my restaurant manners. Mom and I are waiting patiently for the patios to open. Maybe this year she’ll get to finish her food!

    Love and licks,

  4. Kismet says:

    These places welcome dogs with good manners. Eko is in-but Penny???????

  5. Jan & Rusty says:

    Rusty is way too friendly to sit quietly around other people or dogs. He feels it’s mandatory that he introduce himself to everyone. “Hello, my name is Rusty. What’s yours?” So we dine out together by driving by the food dispensing window of our favorite fast food place. Then we go home, I eat the fast food, he eats his food. Well, ok, he gets an occasional fry. Works much better for us this way. Otherwise he’d get too many fries from all the new friends he makes.

  6. Kismet says:

    I just saw something. If dogs can allow their 2 legged friends to accompany them, that means we birds can go with a dog.

  7. There are a few in our neighborhood too which Sam enjoys ‘noshing’ at but mostly for all the attention he’ll garner from passers-by.

  8. coastingnz says:

    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.

  9. Emmadog says:

    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 😉

  10. realappetite says:

    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.

  11. Donna says:

    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.

  12. fredrieka says:

    they are talking about doing this in Michigan. Hope so.

  13. Wendy says:

    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.

  14. Great tips, I haven’t dined with my pets yet at a restaurant.

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