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The Do’s and Don’ts of Dining Out with Your Dog

There is an etiquette to follow when dining out with your dog, even in designated dog-friendly establishments. Let’s review the do’s and don’ts of dining out with your doggo.

DO call ahead if you will have a large party or more than one dog with you. Some establishments have special seating arrangements for people with dogs so make sure to give the restaurant advance notice.

DON’T let your dog misbehave. There is an unwritten disclaimer on being dog-friendly and that is “well-behaved dogs welcome”. If your dog is one that doesn’t listen and barks uncontrollably, get take-out and dine with your dog at home or at the park where other diners won’t be disturbed.

DO ask to have your food packaged up and leave if your dog insists on misbehaving. We get it, sometimes a dog just gets in a mood. If your dog doesn’t want to follow your commands, politely excuse yourself and your pup.

DON’T make a fuss if you are asked to leave. Some diners might not realize or be comfortable with an establishment’s dog-friendly policy. If the restaurant has gotten several complaints, they might have to ask you to join them another time. Keep in mind that not everyone is comfortable with dogs and don’t take it personally if the staff has to ask you to leave.

DO keep your dog at your table. Even if other dogs are present, they might not be friendly toward your pooch in a dining environment. Many dogs can display food aggression toward other dogs. To avoid any incidents, keep your dog at your table.

DON’T allow your dog to approach unfamiliar people while dining out together. Many people are uncomfortable around dogs or afraid of dogs. People could be dining there that don’t realize the establishment is dog-friendly.

DO use the appropriate dishes. Some dog-friendly establishments use different dishes for canines than for humans. Make sure to use dog-approved dishes only. A good idea is to carry Bark Appeal’s treat pouch and collapsible food and water bowl with you. You’ll have snacks handy for your dog while waiting for your meal and you’ll have a handy bowl for them to eat out of if you need it.

DON’T allow your dog to climb on or sit on the table. No matter how tiny your pup is, it’s never okay to let her sit on the table. Keep your dog in your lap or in a seat and don’t allow her to climb up onto the table.

DO remember that dining out with your dog is a privilege the establishment is extending to dog owners. Be courteous to servers and if a request is made regarding your dog, honor that request. If that isn’t possible, ask the serving staff for help in packaging your meal and politely leave to allow the establishment to remain open to and friendly to dogs.

Following these do’s and don’ts for dining out with your dog can help you avoid an embarrassing dog-friendly faux pas. Happy dining!