Pet-Friendly Dining Out
By Craig Davis, CEO and Chief Happiness Officer at Vet-Organics.com
Dining Out with Dino: How to Do It with Ease
Going out to dinner may be a favorite human pastime, but doing so with a dog can be trickier than expected!
Many dogs may bark, whine, beg, or otherwise turn your eating out experience into a miserable night out.
Here are some tips and tricks to make it a fun time for everyone.
Like a Boy Scout, Aways Be Prepared!
A little appetizer in the tummy?
It’s always a good idea to start the night out right, and make sure your dog is well-fed before they come out to dinner with you. If they have a full stomach, they’re much less likely to whine or try to steal food from the table.
After all, you wouldn’t like going out to a restaurant full of good smells if you were starving and couldn’t have any, and we bet neither would your dog!
Tuckered Out Means Less Trouble
Another good pre-restaurant tip, especially for a hyperactive dog, is to wear them out a little with a long walk or play session. If they have fun and expend some energy, they’re more likely to sit or lie still while you enjoy your meal.
Know the Terrain & Make Sure the Welcome Mat is Out
Perhaps the most important step prior to heading out the door is to know where your dog will be welcomed. Some restaurants have policies against accepting dogs, and in some places it may be against the health code.
However, you can look online ahead of time to make sure the place you want to go to will welcome your furry friend.
Finding Pet-Friendly Dining
Sites such as DogFriendly.com are great for this. DogFriendly.com provides a worldwide guide not only to restaurants, but to other pet-friendly places such as hotels and beaches! Simply click on the state you’re in for the interactive U.S. version.
Another great option for finding places to go with your dog is BringFido.com. In addition to a list of dog-friendly restaurants and tips on travel, it also offers a list of top 25 US cities that are rated overall dog-friendly, so you can browse for a new vacation spot! The website allows people to post and view pet-related events by region as well. And BringFido also has an active Facebook page with giveaways for those into that sort of thing.
Table Manners for Your Pup
Water, water, everywhere…
Once you’ve chosen your restaurant, travel there with a water bowl so your dog stays hydrated. This is always a good tip for traveling with an animal, but at a restaurant you can take the opportunity to refresh them after that long walk from earlier!
Some restaurants will be pleased to provide a water bowl for your dog, as well as potentially a dog treat, but don’t rely on it! They should, however, always bring water if requested, just as they would for a human guest.
Once at the restaurant, be sure to observe good etiquette for the other diners’ sake. It goes without saying, but never let a dog on the table or chairs, or let them eat off of plates, unless specially provided. And make sure your dog is always leashed, for both their safety and the safety of the waiters carrying hot plates.
Reward Hospitality: Tip Generously…
Finally, remember the waiters and be sure to tip generously, especially for extra acts of kindness– it makes the whole restaurant more likely to allow dogs back if it’s a good experience for them as well as for you and your canine friend!