Caitlin UltimoPet Parenting / Travel

Dog-Friendly Restaurant Etiquette

As a pet parent, you are probably familiar with the struggle of leaving your pet at home while you go out to do your human duties. There are plenty of pet-friendly places where you can bring your beloved fur baby that go beyond your routine trips to the dog groomer. Next time you want to hang out with your furry friend in public, skip the dog park and consider taking him to a dog-friendly restaurant.

But before you drag your pup to the nearest diner or coffee shop, be mindful of how this may affect other restaurant-goers. Bringing your pet with you while you dine is a privilege, so it is best to treat it as such. For the best etiquette tips regarding dog-friendly restaurant visits with your pup, here are some helpful insights.

Get him restaurant ready. Before you go, make sure your dog is comfortable and well-behaved in busy or crowded environments. Just in case, it may be worth it to go during off-peak hours to avoid the stress of large crowds. If the restaurant gets busy unexpectedly, and your dog is obviously troubled, you might want to have a ThunderCap Calming Cap nearby. This cap acts as a behavior management aid to lessen your dog’s anxiety, fearfulness or aggression in high-stress situations, like crowded restaurants. It is made with a single-panel sheer fabric to reduce visual stimulation while still allowing him to confidently navigate through his environment.

Ensure that your dog understands basic dog commands (sit, stay, leave it, down and come) before you introduce him to new situations that may be out of his comfort zone. You can practice these dog commands at a dog park to simulate what it would be like at a congested restaurant.

When you arrive at the dog-friendly restaurant, ask the waiter for corner seating, or an area that is out of the way from foot traffic; you don’t want to inconvenience the staff or patrons by obstructing pathways, or risk stressing your pup out with all the commotion.

 Secure your dog. A valuable tip for dog-friendly restaurant etiquette is to make sure you have your dog secured on a leash from the moment you get there to when you leave. Whether you are ordering food or eating it, you most likely won’t be able to give your dog full, undivided attention while at a restaurant, so it is important that he is on a reliable leash to prevent him from running amuck. The ThunderLeash provides a simple solution with a design that converts from a standard leash to a no-pull leash in seconds. The straightforward design applies safe, gentle pressure on the dog’s torso to provide consistent feedback, which eliminates any undesirable pulling. The harness option is perfect for small or aggressive dogs who can suffer from neck injuries from tugging too hard on a standard dog leash.

While at the restaurant, attach your new ThunderLeash to your chair, rather than the table, because no one wants their food to go flying when your dog decides he wants to run after a squirrel.

Keep him calm. Dogs who feel anxious may resort to barking, which can be a nuisance for patrons and staff to endure. It may be wise to expend your dog’s extra energy before you even get to the restaurant by having him run around or play fetch in the park beforehand. This will keep him be relaxed (and quiet!) when it comes time to sit down and eat. If your dog is especially anxious, the ThunderShirt for dogs is a convenient solution to keep him calm in stressful situations. Proven effective in over 80% of dogs, the ThunderShirt “hugs” your dog with constant, gentle pressure for a dramatic soothing effect. For extra support during those anxiety-inducing moments, spritz some ThunderSpray into the air or on the ThunderShirt. ThunderSpray mimics a mother dog’s natural pheromones for an instant wave of relaxation. Try in combination with the ThunderShirt to allow the calming pheromones and fragrances to continue to be released for an extended period of time.

 Some other things you should keep in mind when you visit a dog-friendly restaurant include tipping your waiter extra if he goes out of his way to accommodate your dog, cleaning up any messes your dog leaves behind, and keeping your pet to yourself unless a patron verbally welcomes him. Consider these tips next time you want to bring your pup to a dog-friendly restaurant, and you’ll be well on your way to becoming a respectful patron and dog owner.

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