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 that 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 that there is enough seating available for you and your pooch.
2. Socialize your dog
It is important that 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 staying 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 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.
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 to be more calm 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 a restaurant. Although the 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 restaurants 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 lying down next your chair at all times. Your pup should be calm and should not wander or disturb other guests. Remember that your pet should be on a leash at all times, and she should not be allowed to sit on your lap or on 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 is the premier online pet friendly travel guide -- featuring online reservations at over 30,000 pet friendly hotels & accommodations across the U.S. and Canada. When planning a trip, pet parents go to TripsWithPets for detailed, up-to-date information on hotel pet policies and pet amenities. TripsWithPets also features airline & car rental pet policies, pet friendly activities, a user-friendly search-by-route option, as well as pet travel tips.