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.


LEAVE A GENEROUS TIP–the waiter will remember and be more apt to accommodate you and your pup on your next visit.


aj M.
aj E7 years ago


Michele Wilkinson

I don't see a problem if dogs are outside on the terrace with owners who are dining.

Nikki H.
Nikki H7 years ago

For any negativity about dogs being allowed in American restaurants I believe these people NEED to travel and stay in Europe or outside the USA for at least a year or so to understand what living life is about where manners are acceptable for individuals as well as any of their personal property. Once such a person is educated and has personal knowledge of this they will then know that environment is shared and not isolation. That respecting is a responsibility we all must share with what is within our control to manage as our own children and our own animals. Then there would be no questions with negative answers about well behaved companions being always by the side of the person responsible.

Mary DeForest
Mary DeForest7 years ago

There's nothing like somebody dropping the leash while looking at something. My Blue gets upset when dogs R off the leash-#1 he wants them to go hunting with him, #2 he behaves, but he bawls because he wants off the leash. #3 some places just aren't suitable- and some people don't belong around dogs. The local pharmacy-sick pple picking up meds, on walkers or canes-narrow aisles-and an idiot brought her pup in on an illegally long leash for socialization. Then I was at a pet store, and pple saw my Blue. A clerk grabbed the poor thing and stuck its rear on his nose. His lips were flapping like bird wings. The pple and pup ran for the high ground. He sat politely, but didn't know what 2 do. I complained. I liked eating in Europe with dogs sitting or lying under tables-I don't like them tied outside.

Slavko Brajnovic
Past Member 7 years ago

I like animals and especially dogs,but when it comes to question should be allowed that dogs be outside in the front,I say no. I have been few times witness,when dog was outside in the front and the dog was peaceful,but suddenly dog bitten the man who was sitting and having lunch. Also I saw when dog made "call of nature" and that was not pleasant for the people who was eating at that time. When I had a dog and I had it for fifteen years,it never cross my mind to take the dog in the some restaurant. Of course,when it comes to dogs for handicapped people I totally agree that they must to be allowed to enter restaurant.

Amanda Goodwin
Amanda Goodwin7 years ago

I wish there were local places that allowed dogs, but not so much around here.

Judith Crofts
Judith C9 years ago

fine if you have a placcid obedient dog. That said i'm no fan of having breakfast & coffee surrounded by other people's pets.

Past Member 10 years ago

I agree with Cherie Y on this. As for the comment by Laurie about dining out "as much fun being out without the dogs" because you work so much, I can understand that. My mom loves her dog and takes it almost everywhere. However, when it is time to go to restaurants, she leaves it home. Our personal desires to have a good time with our dogs should not infringe on others rights to having a pleasant meal. If you want quality time with your dog, perhaps you should try activities that are suitable. Dragging your dog to a restaurant is not. I like dogs but there are limits.

Elli Kohnert
Elli Kohnert10 years ago

There seems to be a growing paranoia in North America about dogs being included in everday life situations. The problem lies with dog guardians; they must first and most of all be completely responsible for their dog's behavior, and be in controll at all times. When they and their companions are at ease with their surrounding, it would be a pleasure to see dogs accompany people to appropriate eateries. We traveled with our German Shepherd accross Canada, and she was often allowed to sit with us on terraces and patios while we had our meal - but I will not subject others to my dog's presence if I can not guarantee that she behaves well. If people take responsebilety for their dog, and allow them to share their lives as famely members, there would be few concerns about dogs being allowed to accompany their people when and where it is appropriate.

Robert Nagan
Robert Nagan10 years ago

My Alaskan Malamute at the local resturant? No way.. I do not have that much money to replace food,lawsuits, broken crockery,etc,etc.. I presume you are talking about little froo froo dogs.