July 2006 Newsletter: Doggie Dining -
Making Sense of the Confusion
With Your Pooch
Whether you are driving across country, or just going
out for lunch, there are often times when you want to grab a bite to eat
with your four-legged friend in tow. You can always go to a fast food
restaurant drive-through or purchase food to go at many restaurants. Then
you either have to eat in your car or back at your hotel room or home. But
for many dog lovers, there is an increasing demand for restaurants that
offer dog-friendly outdoor seating.
While not all outdoor restaurants allow dogs, many
restaurants throughout the United States and Canada allow people to dine
outside with their pooch. There are certain rules of thumb to follow that
will increase your chances of finding a pet-friendly establishment. First,
make sure you can access the outdoor seats without having to walk through
the inside of the restaurant. Second, find a restaurant that does not
serve food outside. Restaurants that require you to order your food inside
and then take the food to an outdoor table are more likely to allow dogs
than an outdoor restaurant where waiters serve food. While fast food
restaurants fall under this category, so do a varieties of cafes. Third,
if you prefer to have food served by a waiter, it is just a matter of
asking around at various restaurants. To help narrow down your search, try
finding a restaurant that offers sidewalk seating. A sidewalk is usually
considered a public right-of-way where dogs are permitted, but it is still
up to the restaurant management to allow dogs. Fourth, you will always
need to ask a restaurant employee in advance if your pooch is welcome to
dine with you al fresco. It most cases, it is up the restaurant owner to
decide the policy.
When you do find that perfect outdoor eating
establishment that welcomes your best friend, be sure to practice good
doggie dining etiquette. Here are some tips that will help outdoor
restaurants continue to be pet-friendly.
Tips for Dogs at Outdoor Restaurants
- Make sure your pooch is well-behaved around
other people and especially children.
- Leash your four-legged friend and keep him or
her from socializing with other diners or employees, unless
- Try to keep your dog close to your table or
chair so he or she is not in the waiter's path. Dogs are not
allowed on the chairs or tables.
- Bring your own doggie bowl or ask the waiter
for a paper or plastic bowl or cup for water if necessary. Pets
are not permitted to eat or drink out of restaurant glasses or
dishes, unless they are disposable.
- Remember to tie your dog to your chair and not
a table. A dog tied to a table can result in spilled drinks or
food if he or she is strong enough to make the table move.
- Always call ahead or ask first to make sure an
establishment allow dogs at their outdoor tables.
For help in finding dog-friendly restaurants, check out
DogFriendly.com's City Guides which include outdoor restaurants that
welcome dogs. Click here for our
dog-friendly restaurant guides or here for our dog-friendly city