Dining with Your Dog: 6 Things to Remember When Going to a Restaurant

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Dining with Your Dog: 6 Things to Remember When Going to a Restaurant

Dining out with your beloved pup is a great way to spend time together. It also makes the experience of eating out more fun since you’ll have your furry friend as your dining companion. Fortunately, many establishments have adopted pet-friendly policies, and restaurants are starting to accept canine diners. If your pup loves accompanying you on various trips outside the house, dining at a pet-friendly restaurant may be an experience you’ll both enjoy.

However, it’s important to be considerate of other diners and to observe certain rules of etiquette when dining with your pup. Even if your pet is adorable, other diners might find them a nuisance if they keep barking or are allowed to wander and beg for food. It would be more challenging to enjoy your meal when you’re busy controlling your pup. So the next time you plan to visit a dog-friendly dining spot, be sure to keep these things in mind so that the experience can be a pleasant one for you, your dog, and other diners. 

Pack Your Pet’s Water Bowl

Some dog-friendly restaurants provide water bowls for the canine guests, but don’t count on this. It’s better to play it safe and bring a customizable folded travel bowl so your pup has access to water. This portable pet water bowl is usually constructed from lightweight materials, so it can easily be carried in your bag. Also, bringing your dog’s own water bowl reduces the risk of your pet catching a disease from parasites that may lurk in communal water bowls.

Feed and Walk Your Dog before the Restaurant Visit

Before going to a restaurant, make sure you feed your dog and take them for a walk. Taking a hungry dog to any dining establishment may not be a good idea, as the smell of food can be too tempting. This may cause your pet to jump onto your or another customer’s table to access the food.

Walking your dog before the restaurant visit allows them to release any pent-up energy, which will help them stay calmer in social settings. The activity also gives your dog the opportunity to relieve themselves, so you won’t have to worry about them having an accident on the restaurant floor.

Bring Some Treats

Even if you’ve fed your dog before heading to the restaurant, it can be hard for your pet to resist all the delectable food smells. So, it’s a good idea to bring some tasty dog treats. This way, your pup won’t try and sneak a bite off your plate or steal from your neighbor’s table. Also, giving your pet some treats can help them stay occupied. Hide the yummy treats in a treat-dispensing dog toy to keep your pup busy and curb their boredom while you enjoy your meal.

Keep Your Dog On A Leash

When eating in a restaurant, don’t let your pet wander around, as this can disturb other diners. Remember to keep your dog leashed at all times so you can easily restrain them. Having said that, make sure to use a standard short leash instead of a long or retractable leash, as the latter type can cause tripping and entanglements.

For better control, make sure to attach the leash to a durable and comfy chest dog harness. Some dogs are great escape artists and can quickly slip out of their collars. By using a harness, it’s harder for your dog to remove the restraint. Your pet will also feel more comfortable wearing a harness than a collar. Since a harness is attached to your pet’s torso, it relieves pressure from their throat and windpipe. 

Loop The Leash Around Your Wrist

Whenever you’re out with your dog, make sure you’re always in control of them. This includes dining in a restaurant. Many pet owners make the common mistake of tying their dog’s leash to a table, chair, or other piece of furniture. The problem with this is that the furniture won’t be able to rein in your pup if they want to get away. Instead, this may cause your dog to injure themselves from the constant strain, or the leash may cause other people to trip on it. You could also end up paying for broken furniture. So, it’s best to loop the leash around your wrist while dining. 

Have Your Pup Stay On The Floor

In the restaurant, your pup should remain on the floor for the entirety of your stay. Never let them sit on a chair or on your lap, as this makes it easy for them to access the food on the table. A lot of human foods can be harmful to your pet’s health, like onions, garlic, nuts and anything salty. If they eat such foods, your dog can get an upset stomach.

While your dog is on the floor, make sure the spot is out of the way of other diners and restaurant staff. Keep your pup away from walkways, doors or any area with high foot traffic to prevent people from tripping and your dog from getting injured.

Be Mindful of Your Dining Time

It’s best to visit pet-friendly restaurants during off-peak days or hours so you and your dog will feel more relaxed. If your pup isn’t used to being in a busy area, taking them to a quiet café will ease them into doing such activities. Also, keep your dining time short. Eventually, your dog will get bored, tired or need to go potty. As such, it’s best to finish your meal quickly and leave the restaurant before your pet becomes restless.

Although there are many pet-friendly dining spots where you and your precious pup will be welcome, you still need to ensure your pet behaves properly while there. Allowing them to be a disturbance may prevent other diners from enjoying their meals, so remember to keep these things in mind. This way, you can make the dining experience comfortable and pleasant for you, your dog, and other people in the restaurant.