There’s a growing number of pet-friendly dining establishments all over the world. These restaurants make it possible for mealtimes to be a true “family” affair for those with furry, four-legged members. Some of them even include items on the menu just for the gastronomic delight of dogs.
But even if a restaurant labels itself pet-friendly, it’s imperative for pet owners to be considerate when dining out with their pet. That is to ensure an enjoyable experience for everyone.
It’s also best to know the actual tolerance level that these so-called pet-friendly restaurants have for pet behaviours.
The bottom line is that you need to prepare for meals out with your beloved canine. That includes anticipating how your dog would react to being in a crowded place that serves human food.
Here are seven tips that prove to be very helpful when you take fido out for chow:
1. Scope the place out before eating
First of all, find out whether the entire restaurant welcomes pets. That’s because a lot of them only reserve their outdoor dining spots for customers with pets. If there are limited dog-friendly seats, you may want to make a reservation in advance.
See as well whether there’s a place for your dog to yield to the call of nature. If the pup eats, she will definitely pee or poo, so it will be useful to know whether the restaurant or the area around it can or cannot accommodate that.
2. Pup first before you
Pack your pet’s favorite pet food and make sure you feed your canine first once you get to the restaurant. You want to make sure she’s busy and her appetite is satisfied once dishes are served to you and other diners.
Also, although not recommended, if you feel like sharing some leftover morsels of your delicious order with her, at least she already had her fill and the scraps would be less appealing. If she really likes your food and gets too excited, at least you are ready to call for the bill.
3. Don’t ever forget to bring a travel water bowl
Some pet-friendly restaurants don’t readily serve refreshments to canines. Make sure to bring a bottle of water and a water bowl for the pup every time you go out.
4. Take a long walk or play with your dog before heading to the restaurant
Wearing out your little furry one first will help control her excitement about being in a new place with a lot of people and great-smelling food.
This tactic will prove to be very helpful, particularly if your dog’s not well-trained. When a dog’s tired, she’s just going to want to lay down and not move much, especially if you place her treats right in front of her.
5. Bring items that can distract her from food
Don’t forget to pack some fun dog accessories. Pet experts say that giving your canine anything that can distract him from the goings-on around her will help keep her on her best behaviour. Chew toys and “squishies” (that don’t make sounds) would keep her occupied so you and other diners around can eat in peace.
6. Don’t ever tie your dog’s leash to the table or your chair
This is a recipe for disaster. Should your pup get excited over something and decide to run, she might create a huge mess if you tie her to your chair or table.
Hold her leash instead, or use a waist-clipping leash that you can attach to your belt.
7. Provide your dog basic training
Training the furry little one to sit, stay, and shush will help.
Teaching your dog the “quiet” command, in particular, will come in handy if your dog barks at strangers or other distractions. You’ll be able to control barks that can annoy and distract other people with this “quiet” command.
With proper preparation and the right approach, you can make dining out a relaxing, enjoyable, and complete family affair.