Dog on ground at restaurant

Our dogs mean the world to us, but especially after the last few years of spending an increased amount of time at home, we are used to having them by our side 24/7. When it comes to dinner, sometimes you want to leave the comfort of your home and dine out. If you decide to bring your pup with you, here are a few tips to ensure the outing with your pup will be safe and stress-free for both of you!  

Do Your Research First 

When dining out with your dog, it is important to find a dog-friendly restaurant to avoid any surprises or issues. Do your research on desired restaurant locations to see if they are dog-friendly before walking out the door. Look for restaurants with dog-friendly patios, patio umbrellas, water bowls, and if dogs are allowed inside and/or outside the restaurant. If you are still unsure about the rules regarding dogs at the restaurant, call to check if management can clear up any confusing details. Lastly, when placing a reservation, make the restaurant staff’s life easy by noting you plan to bring your dog with you so they will know where to appropriately seat you. 

Go For a Walk Prior to Dining Out 

Before putting your pup in the car to head to your designated dog-friendly restaurant, take your dog for a walk or have them spend the day at Dogtopia daycare before an exciting outing. Your pup will be more likely to relax at the restaurant if they are a little tuckered out from a walk or a full day of play and should rest under the table while you enjoy your dining experience. Allowing your dog to burn off some energy before you dine out will also prevent a need for multiple bathroom breaks during your time away from home.  

When Dining Out, Keep Your Dog Close 

To make the dining experience enjoyable for you and the restaurant staff, keep your dog close. Leave the retractable lead at home and instead, use a single-length lead to keep your dog out of the way of servers and other diners. Keeping your dog close will avoid tripping hazards caused by a lengthy lead or your pup befriending the next table. 

Access to Water 

When dining out, it is important to ensure your dog has access to water during the entire duration of the outing. Many dog-friendly restaurants can provide a water bowl for your dog, however, it is important to be prepared in case they do not. Always pack a water bowl and full water bottle when dining out with your dog. In the event the restaurant is unable to provide you with a water bowl, you will be prepared.  

Treats & Toys 

Keep your dog preoccupied under the table by bringing items from home that will keep their focus. Toys and treats will not only occupy your dog during the duration of your dining experience, but also make the outing a positive one. Chew toys and other similar treats are great for maintaining your dog’s interest, but it is best to leave noisy, squeaky toys at home. To make your dog even more comfortable, bring a blanket or towel from home for them to rest on. 

Keep an Eye on Your Pup 

Lastly, keep a close eye on your dog. Whenever in an unfamiliar area, dogs tend to be more alert and may feel out of character. Changes in their body language will tell you how they are feeling before they act out in public. Keeping an eye on your dog is a great way to ensure they are feeling comfortable during the entire dining experience. If they are giving you queues that they are ready to leave, it may be time to end your dining plans and head home. Dogs can become overstimulated in new environments, and it is best to introduce them little by little, so if they are telling you they are ready to go, it may be best to wrap up.  

Dining out with your dog can be a great experience, if you are prepared. To better socialize and prepare your dog for outings where other dogs and people may be present, bring your dog to a Dogtopia daycare. They will interact with other dogs and our caring team. Not only will your dog practice their social skills, they will also utilize their extra energy and meet their newest BFFF (Best Furry Friend Forever)! Find a Dogtopia location near you today by clicking here.