Last week we touched on basic dog park etiquette, and as we continue to progress through Spring and into Summer, there are other areas of dog etiquette that should be addressed. This week we will touch on dog-friendly restaurant etiquette.. While dining with your pets remember these following etiquette tips to ensure a great experience for all involved.
- Keep your dog under control: No one wants to eat around a dog that is constantly barking, trying to steal food, or causing a scene. To prevent this try putting him in a down stay or sit stay and reward with a treat for prolonged obedience. If your dog is uncontrollable then perhaps go through some training with Fido and reevaluate his abilities afterward.
- Do not feed other dogs: As much as they may look at you and beg, you should not feed another dog your food. It is impossible to tell what allergies the dog may have, or worse yet, if they have food aggression, it could start fights between dogs. If you cannot resist the urge, the best thing to do is to ask the owner if their dog can have whatever you are offering and make sure other dogs are far enough away.
- Ensure accommodations for you dog: Remember that your dog can heat up quickly, and while the restaurant provides for you, they probably do not have dog bowls. Make sure you have something available to offer water to your dog. If you are going to be on the patio for a while, it is not a bad idea to look for the most shaded area to allow Fido an escape from direct sunlight.
- Do not use extendable leashes: Many people walk their dogs with retractable or extendable leashes. These leashes can malfunction and prevent you from being able to control where your dog goes. The release buttons on these leashes are also very easy to accidentally hit and before you know it Fido can be two or three tables over helping themselves to someone’s lunch.
- Take your dog on a bathroom walk: Nobody wants a meal to be entertained by a show involving dog’s bathroom habits. The best way to ensure that your dog will not disturb you or others is to make extra time for a bathroom walk. While accidents do happen, a pre-lunch walk will help reduce them. As always, if an accident does occur, it is your responsibility to clean it up immediately.
Following these simple etiquette procedures ensures everyone can enjoy and share restaurant patios with our four-legged friends. Having lunch with your dog can be a great way to socialize them and allows them get practice being in public. As responsible dog parents, it is our responsibility to ensure that we only create good environments at dog-friendly restaurants to avoid having the privilege revoked. Lets all work together to show that not only can dogs and humans can dine together publicly, but that it can be a fun and rewarding experience as well. There are many restaurants that allow dogs to share in the dining experience on the patios, and you can find a list of these restaurants in Knoxvilleat http://petfriendliestcommunity.com/Content/BusinessDirectory/Default.aspx?ind=5&zip=0. The Most Pet Friendliest Community initiative has made great strides to allow this to happen so please show your appreciation by patronizing these establishments