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Eating Out with a Dog

Dog at outdoor restaurant

Want to eat out with your dog? Fortunately, you are allowed to bring a canine friend to some restaurants that have an outdoor setting. However, eating out with your dog is a unique sight to behold and is guaranteed to turn some heads. Here’s everything you need to know about going to a restaurant with your dog.

How to Dine Out with Your Dog?

Not every restaurant accommodates pets, however, dogs eating with their owners outside restaurants is a common sight in Manhattan. This practice becomes more common in the months of summer. You can almost always see dogs on sidewalks outside restaurants, sitting underneath tables. The following are some guidelines that you must follow while eating out with a dog.

Make Sure that the Restaurant Allows Dogs

No Dogs Allowed sign in a restaurant

It’s important to ensure that canines are welcomed at a restaurant, before visiting the place. NEVER rely on the information you get from others about this matter. Instead, call the restaurant ahead of time and ask if they have a dog-friendly policy. If the restaurant you chose allows pets, visit it without your dog to check it out.

Make sure that the tables are large enough for your canine to sit underneath comfortably. Similarly, there should be ample space between the tables to prevent crowding. Many restaurants have limitations on where people with dogs can dine. Mostly, canines are ONLY allowed in outdoor or patio areas.

Visit the Restaurant at a Less Crowded Time

Outdoor Seating at a restaurant

Ideally, you should dine out with your dog when the restaurant is not crowded at all. You can call and ask the restaurant for this information. Dogs are usually peaceful in less crowded areas and it’s highly inadvisable to take your pet to a house-full restaurant. This is because he/she may get nervous and annoy others with excessive barking.

Take Your Dog for a Walk

This can help in ensuring a peaceful dining experience because tired dogs don’t make much noise. Your dog may even take a short nap while you finish your meal. In this way, you can control the excitement of your pet as he/she will feel more content with the meal. An overly energetic dog is more likely to run around, causing trouble for everyone.

Feed Your Dog before Leaving for a Restaurant

Pug eating from blue bowl

This may seem counter-intuitive at first, but it is a good idea to feed your dog a full meal before taking him/her to a restaurant. A hungry dog is much more likely to beg for food and act out. Contrastingly, a well-fed dog will show little interest in your food, allowing you to eat without any problems. Before leaving your home, feed the dog, take him/her for a walk, and then head to the restaurant.

Teach Your Dog Basic Commands

Make sure that your pup is well-trained or trained enough to listen to basic voice commands. It is easier to control a trained dog in a restaurant-like environment that is filled with distractions. On the other hand, taking an untrained canine to a restaurant is asking for trouble.

You can start with basic voice commands, such as sit, leave it, and/or stop. This will allow you to keep your pet away from the tables of other people.

It is also a good idea to take your dog’s water bowl with you while dining out. He/she may get thirsty at the restaurant and finding an appropriate bowl on the spot can be an issue. Likewise, you can also take some treats with you. Your dog will listen to you better if you have his/her favorite snacks ready!

Leave Aggressive Dogs at Home

Dachshund showing aggression towards human hand

This is perhaps the most important point on this list. If you have a dog that tends to behave aggressively, NEVER take him/her to a restaurant. Such canines will act aggressively towards other people or animals that can cause a lot of embarrassment. Therefore, eating out with an aggressive dog is a recipe for disaster. Do your fellow diners a favor and leave your furry friend at home.

A Leash is a Must

Always keep your dogs on a leash inside the restaurant. No matter how trained, well-behaved, and angelic your dog is, he/she needs to stay on the leash. You can never know when he/she may see a smaller animal and starts chasing it.

DON’T tie the leash to a table or chair because they are usually not sturdy enough to hold your dog. A suitable alternative is to use a waist leash to keep your hands free to eat. You should also adjust the length of the dog’s leash to keep it comfortable for your pet. However, it shouldn’t be too long because the people (especially waiters/waitresses) walking around can get tripped over it.

Don’t Let Your Dog Sit on a Chair or Table

Small dog sitting in chair at table..

Your dog sitting on a chair or table may look cute, but many restaurants have strict regulations against this practice. This is because a dog sitting on a chair can knock over things and damage the restaurant’s property. That’s the reason why even small dogs aren’t allowed on tables or chairs. It’s best to contact the restaurant before visiting to get proper guidelines.

It is always a good idea to keep your dog busy while he/she is at the restaurant. An effective way of keeping him/her occupied is the use of toys, puzzles, and treats. If you decide to use toys, try to pick ones that are not noisy. Squeaky toys will be an annoyance for other diners.

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