Dog playing outside

Taking your pup to the local dog-friendly restaurant or for a ride in the car can be a lot of fun, but, to ensure safety there are a few simple rules to follow. Check out these five tips before you take your dog out in public:

Follow Directions

Before you head to any public setting, make sure your pup can follow a few simple commands such as “sit,” “down,” and “stay.” It is also important to make sure your dog knows how to take directions while on a leash. Practice these commands at home before you take your furry friend out in public.

Be Prepared

Always, always, always have water and waste disposal bags with you when taking your dog out in public. There is nothing worse than trying to find a way to clean up after your pup and having nothing to use! Don’t forget to make sure your dog’s collar is all set up with your name and information in the unfortunate case of separation. It might also be good to bring a towel or blanket to clean slobbery mouths or use on hard floors in case they want to rest.

Keep Contained

If you take your dog to a restaurant or shop, make sure they are under the table or out of the main aisle to avoid tripping situations (and potential injuries for your pup). Save your dog the pain of a stepped-on tail or foot by keeping them close to you and out of the way.

Ensure Good Behavior

All locations outside of your home are going to be a frenzy of scents for your pup. Add the delicious smells of a dog-friendly restaurant and suddenly, your furry friend is very excited! Make sure your dog knows good behavior and isn’t looking for scraps or whining for treats. This is a great time to use a blanket so they can rest under the table.

Be Considerate

Bringing our dogs to local establishments is an exciting privilege, but not everyone wants to see or hear your furry friend when they’re enjoying their personal time. If your dog is barking or acting unruly, remove them from the situation or leave them at home. The biggest compliment you can receive from a stranger is that they didn’t even know you had a dog with you!


Remember: Not every dog is outwardly social. If your pup is fearful or protective in public, it might be best to leave them at home. Then you can work on bettering their public manners and behaviors when you don’t have to split your attention.

Need to work on your dog’s social behavior? Dogtopia’s doggie daycare provides dogs with all the tips and tricks they need to get along with other furry-friends. Learn more!

-Written by Colleen Demling, Dogtopia’s Canine Behaviorist. With over 30,000 hours and 15 years of HANDS ON dog training experience, Colleen is a Certified Professional Dog Trainer and Behaviorist. She is a frequent contributor to local and national media including Yahoo, The Huffington Post, Woman’s Day and many more. Colleen was a finalist for Entrepreneur of the Year by Women in the Pet Industry Network. She was also named a 2015 Woman of Influence and one of the Top 40 Under 40 by Pet Age Magazine. Learn more: