Is Your Dog a Polite Dinner Guest?

When the weather warms up, everyone seems to want to get outside and dining al fresco is a great option to relax and enjoy the outdoors. Here are some tips for eating out with your canine best friend.

Be Our Guest?

Not every dog will enjoy eating out in a public place- and that’s totally fine! Be realistic about your dog’s characteristics- food fixation, reactivity, and nervousness are signs your dog would be happier at home

•  Call ahead to confirm that your restaurant of choice allows dogs- a patio is not a guarantee, so ask them directly.

•  Consider dining off-peak hours- there won’t be as much hustle and bustle, which will help your dog be calmer.

•  Feed Fido before you head out. A full pup is less likely to be tempted by all those tasty tidbits around at a restaurant.

•  Bring your own water bowl- health code prohibits pets from using dishware used for human guests. Include a non-disruptive toy like a stuffed Kong to keep them occupied, and you’re set up for a great outing.

Stay Out of the Doghouse

•  Be aware of your dog- Keep him leashed, close by, and out of main walkways to keep him and others safe- no one wants to accidentally step on a puppy dog tail.

•  Speaking of leashes, hold yours or have it securely attached to your waist- Patio furniture is no match for an excited pup, and it will likely go with them rather than holding them back.

•  Paws on the floor- Your pup needs to stay on ground level, no matter how cute she looks sitting at the table.

•  Always consider how your dog acts around other dogs before heading out to the patio. Some dogs don’t have the best manners when food is involved and if there are other dogs present. If your dog has a tendency to resource guard, this problem could be heightened in an environment where there is food and unknown (or known) dogs.

What if your dog is acting up? Sometimes even a normally relaxed dog can get too excited at a restaurant. You can try going for a stroll with your dog or having her perform a simple trick she knows to distract her. If that doesn’t help her relax, you may need to opt for a doggy bag and continue the revelry at home.

Being a considerate patron will ensure you and your fellow diners enjoy themselves, and that your furry friend will be welcomed back!

Contributed by Kara Ribeiro

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