Pets are family, and when we venture out, they should be able to join us. That includes bringing them to pet-friendly restaurants.
Although pets are not allowed inside establishments that serve food due to health code laws, many restaurants have pet-friendly outdoor seating and welcome four-legged guests to accompany their pet parents. However, there are a few tips pet parents should heed before and during dining with their pups to ensure an enjoyable dining experience.
1. Know the restaurant's pet policy: 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 there is enough seating available for you and your pooch.
2. Socialize your dog: It is important your dog is well-socialized and comfortable with people, other dogs, and potential crowds. If your pup does not react well to these situations, she may be better off at home until she's ready.
3. Ease into it: Start small with your pooch. First, take your pup to a coffee shop or bistro during a day and time when it's not busy (and for a shorter visit). If she can handle this, try going somewhere a little more crowded or for a longer time.
4. Exercise your pup: Make sure your pup releases all of his pent-up energy before you leave for the restaurant. This will help your pet be calmer in a social setting.
5. Bring another person: To make your dining experience more pleasurable, it is helpful for another person to accompany you and your furry best friend. If you have to go inside the restaurant for some reason or step away to use the restroom, this person can watch your pup as you do so.
6. Stick to one dog per pet parent: Do not bring a pack of dogs to the restaurant. Although a restaurant may be pet-friendly, it is not a dog park.
7. Bring a water bowl: A few restaurants may provide a special water bowl for your pup, but it is always smart to bring your own portable water bowl. It is in violation of health codes for pets to use the restaurant's dishware, so do not allow your pet to lick your plate or silverware.
8. Potty beforehand: Have your pet relieve herself before you go into the restaurant. No one will be happy if your pup does her business on the restaurant floor.
9. Practice good table manners: This goes for you and your pup. Your pup should be sitting or laying down next your chair at all times. Your pup should be calm and should not wander and disturb other guests. Remember, your pet should be on a leash at all times and should not be allowed to sit on your lap or at another chair at the table.
10. Be courteous of other patrons: If your pup is being loud or unruly, take her out of the restaurant so she does not disturb the other guests. People who are not used to being around dogs may find your pooch's boisterous antics much more of a distraction than you do.
TripsWithPets.com is a premier pet-friendly travel guide providing online reservations at more than 30,000 pet-friendly hotels and accommodations across the U.S. and Canada. When planning a trip, pet parents go to TripsWithPets.com for detailed, up-to-date information on hotel pet policies and pet amenities. TripsWithPets.com also features airline and car rental pet policies, pet-friendly activities, a user-friendly search-by-route option, as well as pet travel gear.