Don’t make these mistakes when dining out with dogs in a pet friendly restaurant. Your experience will be much more enjoyable if you use these simple tips to make sure your dog has good table manners.
Give the restaurant notice if you plan to show up with friends
What’s more fun than dining out with dogs at your favorite restaurant? Inviting a few friends to meet you there. Showing up with people and dogs unannounced probably won’t make any friends with the restaurant staff. Try to call ahead to make sure they have a table big enough to accommodate you or that they can push a few tables together before you get there. Remember that some restaurants do allow dogs inside on the down-low but don’t want a whole crowd coming in and attracting attention. Calling ahead gives the restaurant staff the chance to tell you they aren’t cool with that many dogs showing up at once.
Don’t let your dog bark
It’s impossible to completely stop a dog from barking 100% of the time. Many dog friendly restaurants say that only “well-behaved dogs are allowed”. Dogs are allowed in the restaurant if they are seen but not heard. If you plan to be dining out with dogs regularly, teach your dog a “quiet” command, and get them used to hearing a lot of strange noises, before you bring your dog into restaurants. If your dog does bark, make a visible effort to quiet them and act apologetic if the neighboring tables look at you or the server comes over. If you can’t keep your dog from barking, it’s time to have your food packaged to go and leave.
No dog wandering to other tables
Most people who bring their dog to a restaurant know to keep them on a leash so they don’t wander and bother people. Sadly, some restaurants have cramped and close seating. Which means that a leash doesn’t always solve the problem. Even with a leashed dog, it might not be short enough in length to keep them from sniffing other tables or trying to lick or paw people at other tables. Remember that not everyone likes dogs in restaurants and may not be tolerant of others’ dogs. They might not have known the restaurant was dog friendly so they may not have expected to see dogs. Also, even people who like dogs probably don’t want some dog they don’t know bothering them while they eat.
No dogs allowed to sit on the table
Many people with small dogs sit at a restaurant with their dogs on their lap. It’s very easy, and tempting for a dog, to take that extra step from your lap to climb up on a table. Small dog owners aren’t always bothered by that and some don’t really notice because they are busy chatting with friends. You can be sure that other patrons at the restaurant plus the restaurant staff, will all notice. Dirty dog paws, or a dog butt, on the table would be a health violation for sure.
Don’t be rude to restaurant staff
Being able to dine at a restaurant with your dog is a privilege. Be kind to the staff or they may ask you to leave. If, for any reason the restaurant staff does ask to you leave, be polite, ask them to box up your meal to go, wait outside until they bring it out to you.