No need to leave Fido home while you dine out. A dog’s gotta eat too! And no matter where you’re headed, there seem to be more and more options for you and your dog to eat out together. Whether your looking for a great sidewalk cafe, brew pub, coffee shop, or other eatery that will welcome Fido to join you at an outdoor table, This is the day and age for pet friendly dining!
In order to make your excursion as relaxing as possible for all concerned – you, your dog, your dining companions, other diners and cafe owners, here are some tips to make your experience a positive one…
- Take your dog out for a good walk before going to the cafe – not only will this give him the opportunity to empty his bladder, the exercise get rid of any excess energy
- Unless your dog is an old hand at going to cafes, expect him to get bored relatively quickly – book in for a quick lunch or a coffee and a snack rather than a meal that could last a couple of hours;
- If you are going to a cafe you haven’t been to before, phone ahead and make sure they are happy to have your dog dining with you
- Ask for a table that’s at the edge of the dining area – this will be quieter for your dog and he’s less likely to be in the way of waiting staff and /or get his tail or paw trodden on by accident;
- When you arrive at the cafe walk directly to your table, without stopping to let your dog sniff and greet the other diners, and get him to sit under the table.
- Bring some supplies with you for your dog – a water bowl, water, favorite toy (one that doesn’t squeak) and/or a tasty treat. Give these to him before you start eating your meal;
- Do not let your dog sit on a chair, sit on your lap during the meal, or feed your dog from your plate – other diners won’t appreciate this behavior
- Discourage people from coming up and making a fuss of your dog – this may cause a disturbance to other diners, but if your dog is in a confined space under the table he may feel threatened by people bending under the table to pat him and could easily nip someone’s hand
- If your dog gets unsettled and starts to be a nuisance, pay your bill and leave immediately
- If you make it to the end of the meal, be generous with your tipping!
Tatum and I are lucky to live in a very dog friendly city, enjoying meals together at many local cafes, bars, and restaurants in Denver. To research dog friendly dining in your area, check out http://www.bringfido.com/restaurant/region/united_states/