Taking Your Dog To A Pet Friendly Restaurant

Mar 14, 2022 | Pet Health, Pets, Tips and Tricks

Happy Monday everyone!  Today on the blog we are talking about Taking Your Dog To A Pet Friendly Restaurant.  Mr. TAL and I are taking Jake and Maggie on vacation with us this year to Ashville, NC!  We talked this weekend about taking two separate vacations that will allow us to explore with the pups.  First stop is NC and the second is TN!  Both are dog friendly destinations with pup friendly dining options but before we go, I want to make sure they can handle any situation we put them in.

Jake And Maggie will be celebrating their 5th birthday in Ashville, NC in June and what better way to get them acclimated to restaurants again is to start practicing now.  First on our stop is The Sewickley Hotel in Sewickley PA where they have patio dining with your pup.  Three Dogs Bakery is a block down from the restaurant where we will stop in for a doggie treat or two.  But what can we do to make their transition back into dining out easier?  Read more to find out.

Jake and Maggie's at "Spa Day"

These adorable photos were taken by our groomer at Paradise Paws in Tonidale, PA.  Emily is amazing and the pups love her!
Training a puppy or dog on how to dine out with you:
*Lay out a mat and put the puppy in a “place” command at your dinner table.
*Give them their favorite toy or a Kong toy with a frozen treat inside.
*Let them enjoy their treat while you have dinner.
*Eventually move the mat and toys outside to have dinner where there are more distractions and correct bad behavior as you see it.
*Add friends and family to the mix and see how your dog reacts to new people.  Jake And Maggie have a hard time with this because they want to say “hi” to everyone!  You have to remember that not everyone wants to pet a dog while they are trying to eat.
*Now it’s time to take your pup out to a pet friendly dining experience.  I think it would be safer to start out slow by finding a small cafe or restaurant during their down time and after the rush hour has passed.  Taking your dog to a packed restaurant on his first run can be detrimental to training where they associate this experience as a stressful one.
*Another thing to consider:  Search for pet friendly restaurants and call ahead to make sure they actually do allow dogs.  We took a trip to Sugarcreek, OH last year with the dogs.  Having been there before I was Leary about what my travel brochure was telling me.  There were several places listed as dog friendly but when I went into ask first if I could bring the dogs, they said absolutely not.  Mr. TAL spent most of the day outside with the dogs while I shopped by myself.
Find The Right Restaurant according to www.gopetfriendly.com 

Choosing restaurants that are truly pet friendly will make for a better experience. When seating you, hosts at pet friendly restaurants will ask where your dog will be most comfortable. They’ll understand if you request a shady spot, or one that limits your dog’s view of other diners. And they’ll bring out a bowl of water for your pup.

You’ll also want to consider whether your dog will be comfortable given the restaurant’s seating arrangement. Some restaurants say their sidewalk seating is pet friendly, but trying to squeeze even a small dog under your table away from busy foot traffic would be difficult. 

Other restaurants that call themselves “pet friendly” have a fenced seating area and require pets to be tied outside the fence. We don’t consider that pet friendly and avoid those establishments.

The ideal dog friendly dining area has some shade, enough room between tables that dogs can lie down without being disturbed, and something that screens other diners — like potted plants or a lower level.
Be considerate of other diners
Not only is picking the right restaurant for your pup, being considerate of other diners, wait staff, and other dogs dining with their owners is very important.  You want your pet to remain seated and quiet.  Who wants to be eating their meal and have someone else’s dog jumping, growling, and barking?
Dining with your pup is not always a relaxing experience.  Anything could happen and you have to be well prepared and reactive in your approach to defusing the situation.  Keeping one eye and ear on your dining companion and one eye and ear on your pet is probably the best and not always relaxing.
Make sure that your pup has relieved himself before entering the restaurant.  Them having an accident during lunch is never pleasing for anyone.
Be prepared when exiting the building as well.  You can’t determine ahead of time who or what is coming through the door.
Once you feel comfortable with how your pup handles smaller, less busier restaurants, start transitions to larger venues.  Keep practicing, stay consistent with your commands, be patient, don’t get nervous, and most importantly pay attention to your dog’s anxiety level.  A high anxiety dog may not be the right fit for larger more crowded venues.
Interested in more pet related travel, check out my previous post here (Lititz is very much a dog friendly destination) or scroll down for more older posts!

I love hearing from all of you and do my best to respond to each and every one of you.  I always enjoy your comments, feedback, and suggestions so keep them coming!  If I’ve posted a recipe (for our human and our furry friends) and you try it, don’t forget to tag me on Instagram @twoadorablelabs and use #twoadorablelabs​.

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