Is taking a dog to a restaurant really a thing? Some establishments do welcome dogs! Here are some tips for a worry-free experience.

Dining with your pup al fresco is always a fun activity! However, dogs and restaurants don’t always play well together. If you want to take your pooch on a doggie date, there are a few tips for an enjoyable time for all.

As a dog owner, you likely have a lot of concerns about your first trip to a restaurant with your dog. You may be asking yourself: What if they spazz out from all the buzzing activity? What if another dog snaps at my dog? Will my dog enjoy the experience?

Before you let your imagination run wild with scenarios of tables turning over and dog piles, there are a few things to know that ensure both of you can enjoy a meal out at a dog-friendly restaurant without incident.

While the anxiety is understandable, bringing your dog to a restaurant can be an enjoyable experience for all. But, there are a few critical rules to follow before taking doggo out on the town.

Tips for Taking Your Dog to a Restaurant

Once you’ve checked out the latest watering hole and you are certain it’s dog-friendly, it’s time to ask yourself a few questions before you and Fido join in on the fun.

Is my dog well-trained?

If your dog has a difficult time following basic commands, bringing him to a restaurant or busy area may not be the best idea.

Cues like “leave it”, “stay”, or “place” are all great “tricks” for your dog to know. A well-behaved dog is a pleasant dog to be around. It’s impossible to enjoy a meal with friends if you are constantly correcting behavior.

Is my dog socialized?

Socializing a dog from the puppy stage is a surefire way to ensure your dog makes great friends with humans and other dogs.

Well-socialized dogs aren’t skittish around loud noises, new smells, or strange people. These dogs easily adapt to their surroundings and lots of activity doesn’t phase them. Dogs that have been cooped up without a lot of interaction with other dogs and humans may struggle with the busy atmosphere of a restaurant.

If you believe your dog needs to work on their social skills before checking out a new watering hole, start small. Take them to an outdoor area, like a park, so they can experience unfamiliar sounds, smells, people, and things. This will help them ease into the busyness of the outside world.

Is my dog nice?

It seems like a strange question, but nobody likes to be around unkind humans or doggos. If your dog has an agreeable temperament, this means they are able to stay calm when surrounded by activity and they enjoy the attention they might receive from other people and dogs.

An ill-tempered dog might jump on other diners, beg for food, bark at passers-by, and other annoying behaviors.

Having a “nice” dog goes hand-in-hand with a well-trained and well-socialized dog. Coupled with a gentle temperament, you’ve got a recipe for a great pup.

How is my dog behaving?

While you are dining out, keep a watchful eye on your pup. If their behaviors indicate they are ready to go home, it may be time to wrap up the outing.

It’s important to listen to the signals our dogs are sending. If they seem restless, stressed, panting excessively, or any other anxious behaviors, this is a clear indication that something is up and it’s time to go home.

Remember, not all dogs are cut out for restaurants, and that’s okay. You can take your pup out for a different kind of doggie date that you can both enjoy.

For questions about taking a dog to a restaurant, or your dog’s health or behavior, contact our office today.