Taking your dog with you to a restaurant? Here are things to remember.
1. Make sure the restaurant is dog-approved
No one should ever just try to head into a restaurant with their dog unless they know the venue is friendly to pets, but hopefully you already know that and have found several places with outdoor eating areas that Fido can enjoy. This may seem like a no-brainer, however not all restaurants with outdoor seating are pet friendly. Be sure to research restaurants that allow pets before you head out. It is also a good idea to call the restaurant ahead of time to ensure that there is enough seating available for you and your pooch. Today’s technology lets you take it even further than that, though. With sites like dogfriendly.com, it’s easy to not only find places that allow pets, but welcome them with open arms. How do you think your dog would like being served his own doggy meal?
2. Avoid barking
Barking dogs will be asked to leave. If your dog barks at people or dogs, it’s best to keep him at home. Some dogs are uncomfortable in fast-paced environments even if they’re dog-friendly places. They end up hiding under chairs. Movement can scare some dogs too, especially when guests or servers walk toward your table. If, at any time, your dog becomes fearful, worried, stressed or vocal, ask your server to box your meal up to go. It’s the right thing to do for your dog.
3. Wear them out
If your pup is full of energy when you arrive to eat, getting them to sit still is going to be a lot tougher. They have to get that energy out somehow, and if they’re not extremely well-trained, it’s likely to manifest itself in barking, pacing, whining, or other bad behaviors. Keep this from happening by taking a long walk before going to the restaurant or making a pit stop at the dog park before you eat. This way, your dog will be ready to plop down and rest while you enjoy your food.
4. Keep your dog on a short leash
When dining at dog-friendly restaurants, keep your dog on a short leash that’s preferably 4 feet long. Short dog leashes prevent dogs from bugging nearby guests while they eat, snatching fallen food crumbs from nearby tables, or jumping on tables and servers. While it’s tempting to tie your dog’s leash to your chair or table, it’s best to attach it to yourself instead.
5. Start small
Start small with your pooch. First take your pup to a coffee shop or bistro during a day and time when the establishment is not busy, and go for a short visit. If she can handle this, try going somewhere a little more crowded or for a longer time.