Dining Out with Dogs
In the city where I live, I always see people with their dogs in baby-carriers, purses, and bike trailers; people bring their pooches into fancy boutiques and supermarkets, even restaurants. Health codes make this not as easy a dinner date as many city dog-loving people would like, but there are still a number of outdoor eateries that allow dogs to curl up at the feet of their wine-sipping, pasta-twirling master.
Here is a list of tips from The Dog Behavior Answer Book (Storey, 2006) by Arden Moore, to have a successful meal out with your dog.
• TRY TO DINE during off-peak times, such as mid-morning and late afternoon. Weekdays are usually quieter than weekends.
• PICK A 6-FOOT OR 4-FOOT LEASH that you can securely tether around one of your chair legs to keep your dog from roaming freely or disturbing other diners. If your dog is particularly active, accustom him to wearing a head halter in addition to being tethered in place.
• REQUEST A TABLE in an out-of-the-way corner. Dogs like to have a view in front of them and a wall behind them to keep people from sneaking up on them.
• RESIST THE TEMPTATION to have your dog meet and greet other dining dogs. Introductions should be saved for after mealtime and should take place in a spacious, public place. Politely let intrusive owners know of your wishes.
• ALWAYS TAKE YOUR DOG on a vigorous power walk or play a game of fetch before you head for the eatery. This allows her to have a bathroom break and work off some energy so she is ready to rest when you’re ready to order. Don’t test her patience by staying so long that she becomes restless.
• SCOPE OUT THE EATERY before you step inside. Look for other dogs and see how they are behaving and how their owners are reacting to them. Steer clear if you see an owner desperately yanking on a leash or allowing his dog to bark as passersby or to bully another dog.
• POLITELY REQUEST A WATER BOWL for your dog.
• LEAVE A GENEROUS TIP–the waiter will remember and be more apt to accommodate you and your pup on your next visit.