Pets are family and when we venture out, they should be able to join us. That includes bringing them to pet friendly restaurants. Although pets are not allowed inside establishments that serve food due to health code laws, many restaurants have pet friendly outdoor seating and welcome four-legged guests to accompany their pet parents. However, there are a few tips that pet parents should heed before and during dining with their pups to ensure an enjoyable dining experience.
Know the restaurant's pet policy: This may seem like a no-brainer, however not all restaurants with outdoor seating are pet friendly. Be sure to research restaurants that allow pets before you head out. It is also a good idea to call the restaurant ahead of time to ensure that there is enough seating available for you and your pooch.

Pet Friendly Restaurants
Socialize your dog: It is important that your dog is well-socialized and comfortable with people, other dogs, and potential crowds. If your pup does not react well to these situations, she may be better off at home until he/she is ready.

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Ease into it: Start small with your pooch. First take your pup to a coffee shop or bistro during a day and time when they are not busy and for a shorter visit. If she can handle this, try going somewhere a little more crowded or for a longer time.
Exercise your pup: Make sure your pup releases all of his/her pent up energy before you leave for the restaurant. This will help your pet be calmer in a social setting.
Bring another person: To make your dining experience more pleasurable, it is helpful for another person to accompany you and your furry best friend. If you have to go inside the restaurant for some reason or step away to use the restroom, this person can watch your pup as you do so.
Stick to one dog per pet parent: Do not bring a pack of dogs to the restaurant. Although a restaurant may be pet friendly, it is not a dog park.
Bring a water bowl: A few restaurants may provide a special water bowl for your pup, but it is always smart to bring your own portable water bowl. It is in violation of health codes for pets to use the restaurants dishware, so do not allow your pet to lick your plate or silverware.

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Potty beforehand: Have your pet relieve herself before you go into the restaurant. No one will be happy if your pup does her business on the restaurant floor.
Practice good table manners: This goes for you and your pup. Your pup should be sitting or lying down next your chair at all times. Your pup should be calm and should not wander and disturb other guests. Remember that your pet should be on a leash at all times and should not be allowed to sit on your lap or at another chair at the table.
Be courteous of other patrons: If your pup is being loud or unruly, take her out of the restaurant so she does not disturb the other guests. People who are not used to being around dogs may find your pooch's boisterous antics much more of a distraction than you do.

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Kim Salerno

Kim Salerno is the President & Founder of She founded the pet travel site in 2003 and is an expert in the field of pet travel. Her popular web site features pet friendly hotels & accommodations across the US and Canada, along with other helpful pet travel resources. Her mission is to ensure that pets are welcome, happy, and safe in their travels.

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