Do you ever find yourself wishing you could take your dog with you when you go to a restaurant? It's easier than you might expect.
With a little bit of planning, you don't have to face those puppy dog eyes of your beloved pet when it comes time to head out; after all, isn't it nice to bring your little pooch with you whenever possible?
Here's how I suggest you approach it: first off, you obviously can't take your dog in to the restaurant. Most cities have health regulations that strictly prohibit dogs in restaurants, and that's not to mention the many difficulties a canine can cause in an unfamiliar environment such as barking, frantic walking, or sitting in the aisle. All in all, a dog in a restaurant is simply impractical.
So, what does that leave? Patios, of course.
That's not to say your dog can join you on the patio. Instead, find a spot that is close to the edge, so your puppy can see you. Also, look for a spot to tie up your dog where they won't obstruct foot traffic; you don't want anyone to accidentally trip on the lead.
And, as always, there are a couple of practical things to consider.
Dogs and the public can get on quite nicely, but it's a simple fact that many people have an aversion to dogs. In addition, people can act quite erratically around strange dogs. Unfortunately, erratic behavior tends to upset many dogs, which can result in barking, and, in some cases, biting.
We regularly bring our dog out with us. But when we do, we follow a couple of simple rules: we sit where we can pet and reassure our dog; we never sit where strangers can pass between our table and our dog; and we tie our dog with a lead so she doesn't get out of hand or sight.
Why this approach? Dogs are very protective. In fact, that's one of their most endearing traits. But it's also key to understanding the safest approach. If someone is able to walk between you and your dog, especially in a foreign environment or where food is involved, dogs will often feel your safety is threatened. This can result in lunging or biting.
This isn't because a dog is dangerous or untrustworthy. It's just a matter of understanding how they react to specific situations.
Unfortunately, strangers also often react unusually when they see a dog. Some get excited and want to pet your dog. Others recoil. Others stand over the dog, looking at them but not touching. None of these are ideal.
That's why it's important to maintain a close position, and a line of sight to your dog at all times.
The nice thing is, many servers will accommodate your dog with a bowl of water or a little snack. This will greatly improve your experience.
All in all, your dog at a restaurant can be a pleasurable experience, if it's approached will a little pre-planning.