5 Tips for Dining Out with Your Dog
Honestly, there are few things better than going to your favorite restaurant and sitting on the patio to enjoy a bite to eat on a beautiful day with your dog. That is unless your dog behaves so poorly, that you spend the entire time correcting his behavior – much to your chagrin and detriment of the other guests.
I love to go out to eat and take my dog, Scout, with me. After much trial and error, I have figured out the five best tips for a successful meal with your dog. If you want to avoid all that drama, follow my five tips for dining out with your dog.
1. Make sure your dog knows three basic commands: come, sit and stay. There is nothing more frustrating and annoying than a dog who wanders about the patio, sampling – or at least trying to sample – everyone’s food. There is also nothing more aggravating than a dog that does not listen. In order to keep the peace and people from complaining, make sure your dog will sit and stay quietly by your side.
2. A tired dog is a good dog. Do not, I repeat, do not take your dog to a pet-friendly restaurant if he has not had the proper amount of exercise. This pretty much goes for any place you choose to visit with your dog. A hyper dog is a destructive dog who will not listen – and why should he? He’s got energy he wants to burn – now – and if you don’t take him out for a run or walk, he will walk all over you during your nice lunch and you could be asked to leave and not come back.
3. Feed your dog before you dine. A full dog is less likely to wander off in search of a snack. I’m not saying he won’t try, but I am suggesting that if his belly is already full, he’s more likely to stretch out on the patio and take a nap. This will help you relax and keep guests from guarding their food.
4. Bring water and a water dish. Dogs need water, and since you’re sitting outside, they’ll need a constant supply. Do not rely on the restaurant to provide you with a water dish – they’re already letting you bring your dog on their patio – and they might not have one or worse, they have a “community” water dish that hasn’t been changed in some time. It’s best to err on the side of caution and just bring your own.
5. Be prepared for your dog to leave his mark. Dogs have a keen sense of timing. For example, my dog likes an audience when she poops. I’m not saying the same could happen to you, but I am strongly suggesting that you prepare for your dog to go potty.