Dog-friendly restaurants seem to be everywhere these days. And with the weather getting warmer, you might be tempted to enjoy a meal with your pup. But what are the expectations for your dog? Is your pooch well-behaved enough to go to a restaurant? Here’s proper etiquette for dog-friendly restaurants.
Practice Good Manners
Before going to dog-friendly restaurants with your animal, practice good manners with your pooch. Your dog should be able to patiently sit or lie down next to you for extended periods of time, even when there are plenty of distractions nearby. Practice basic commands with your pooch, including “sit,” “stay” and “down.” You need to be able to guarantee that your dog won’t jump on anyone or pull on their leash while at the restaurant. This may take a lot of practice!
Bring a Leash
Even if your dog has a tendency to stick to you like glue, it’s necessary to leash your pup at a restaurant. You never know when they might be tempted by a small child or plate of nachos and wander off. Bring a leash that’s short — something less than 6 feet will do the trick. This leash will prevent your dog from bothering other restaurant patrons and servers. It will also keep your dog from jumping on tables and waitstaff.
Bring a Water Bowl
Some restaurants offer water bowls to dogs during your meal. However, it’s a good idea to bring one with you just in case. Dogs get dehydrated easily, particularly in warm weather. Put the water bowl under your table so it’s not in anyone else’s way and ask your server for a glass of water to fill it. Be sure to refill it regularly on warm days!
Sit Somewhere Quiet
Try your best to find a seat that’s somewhere quiet. Anywhere that’s free of other restaurant patrons and not in a high-traffic area will work well. You want to find somewhere for your dog to sit where they won’t be in the way of servers. It’s good to remember that not everyone is a fan of dogs. They might be afraid or allergic. Plus, your dog is less likely to stir if they’re somewhere quiet.
“Talkative” dogs will not fare well in a dining setting and it is best to leave them at home. If your dog has a tendency to bark, whine or growl, we do not recommend bringing them to a dog-friendly restaurant. These dogs are likely to be even more noisy in a restaurant due to the hustle and bustle. And if your normally very quiet dog ever becomes vocal at a restaurant, box up your meal and leave. It’s not fair to other patrons if you stay and ruin their meal.
Keep Your Dog Distracted
We highly recommend bringing something to keep your dog distracted. Opt for tough chew toys or toys stuffed with food that will keep your dog entertained. You don’t want your dog getting bored and bothering other restaurant guests!