Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Petiquette: Etiquette for Dining Out with Your Pet

Fido dines al fresco.
Petiquette Tips for Dining with Your Pooch

Before you consider dining al fresco with your dog, make sure your dog obeys simple commands. Is your pet well-behaved around people and other dogs?
Does your dog obey you at home?  If your pooch won't obey you at home, bringing him or her out to a restaurant could be a very bad idea!
Call ahead to make sure the establishment allows dogs at their outdoor tables. Restaurants can change owners or policies, and where you once may have dined with dogs right next to you, yours may now be unwelcome.

Feed and exercise your dog before going to the restaurant.  A well fed, relaxed dog, is a happy dog.
A well fed dog who has had some exercise or play time, is a relaxed dog. And no, the sofa does not constitute food!
A shady area is best for you and your pet, so ask for a spot in the shade.  Keep in mind that you may feel perfectly comfortable, but your dog is most likely wearing a lovely fur coat.

Bring a water dish along with water, for your dog.

Never leave your dog unattended.  Not even for a few moments.
How is your dog on a leash?  It will need to be attached to a table leg.
Attach your dog's leash to your chair and not to the legs of your table. If for some odd reason your dog tries to make a run for it, at the very least you will have drinks flying and broken dishes.

Does your dog get along well with other dogs at the dog park, or anywhere else you may take your pooch? Friendly dogs are usually welcome everywhere. Aggressive dogs? Not so much.

Be aware of the area you are putting your dog into. Is there food on the ground where your dog will be sitting? Bags, open purses or anything else they might be curious about?  Unusual situations can bring on unusual behavior in your pet.
Friendly, well-mannered dogs, are welcomed just about everywhere.
Never allow your dog to beg for food from other humans or the other dogs who may be there.

Remember, you are sharing the restaurant space with others. If your dog is making them unhappy, or the dining experience of others unpleasant, then it is time for you to ask for your food "to go."

Keep your dog close so he is not in the waiter’s pathway or too close to other diners.

Always tip your waitress or waiter generously, if you and your dog want to be welcomed back.

You can find this post's contributor, rescue-dog Sophie, @PetiquetteTips on Twitter.  Her human has to tweet and type for her, as her paws are too big for the computer. She is very interested in well-mannered pets and well-mannered humans.