Dining Out With Fido

July 11, 2012 by Tails Magazine in Lifestyle with 0 Comments

Here at TAILS we’re always looking for fun and different things to do with our pets, and there’s no better time than the summer to break out of the mold and enjoy some new experiences with your pooch. Fortunately, many cities are becoming increasingly pet-friendly, which means there are plenty of things you can do with your dog that don’t include the repetitious tossing of a slobbery tennis ball (although we do love a good game of fetch).

One activity that’s sure to please you both is al fresco dining—you get to enjoy a lovely meal, and your dog gets to enjoy loads of attention from strangers (and better yet, lots of delicious smells). More and more restaurants are opening their patio doors to dogs, so do a quick Internet search of dog-friendly dining in your neighborhood and consider heading out for a pleasant outdoor meal with your fluffy companion.

Follow these tips for a stress-free al fresco dining experience:

  • Before you go, make sure your dog is comfortable around strangers, and well-behaved enough to handle the excitement and sensory overload—if your dog is known to jump up to the table for food or has trouble sitting still, you’ll want to make sure he’s extra tired before attempting a public meal with him at your feet.
  • Practice dining out at a casual lunch spot before attempting your favorite fancy bistro. This way you’ll know ahead of time if your dog has the appropriate table manners to come with you somewhere less laid-back.
  • Even if you usually walk him on an expanding lead, use a short lead for this activity. Trust us, there’s nothing pleasant or relaxing about constantly untangling your dog from chair legs, or having to continually pull him to you as he tries to follow the waiter back into the kitchen.
  • If a restaurant is pet-friendly, chances are they can also provide your pooch with a water bowl (and if he’s extra lucky—some yummy snacks, too). Just in case, though, bring with you a bowl for water and a bag of treats.
  • You wouldn’t go out for a nice dinner without showering and looking sharp, and your dog shouldn’t either. Make sure he’s clean and looking his best—he doesn’t have to wear a tuxedo, but he should be bathed and dirt-free. If you’re short on time but still want to take him out, freshen him up quickly and easily with Fresh Dog dry shampoo or bath foam. (Be one of the lucky TAILS fans to win a combo pack of Fresh Dog products! Learn more here).
  • Don’t force it—if your dog has trouble settling down, is weary of strangers, or is just a relentless barker, you may want to steer clear of taking him to a restaurant and pick an activity more in line with his personality. You want this experience to be fun and relaxing, not nerve-wracking! 

Bon appétit!

Tell us: where’s your favorite spot to dine out with your pup?

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