Main content starts here, tab to start navigating

5 Tips for Dining Out with Your Dog

Dining out with your dog is a great experience. The next time you and your pooch enjoy a meal out, follow these helpful tips!

Dogs make some of the best dining buddies. They’re cheerful throughout the meal, they don’t argue over the bill, and they won’t get mad if you take the last bite of dessert. Okay, they might get upset, but they’ll always forgive you!

Whether you’re new to dining out with your dog, or you and your pup are seasoned brunch professionals, we’ve put together a list of helpful tips for dining out with your dog, so you can have a paw-sitively woof-tastic experience!

Only take a well-trained dog that socializes well with people and other dogs

This one may seem like a no-brainer, but it’s important that your dog practice good manners while dining with you at a restaurant. Restaurants are exciting places for dogs. All of the new people around, the sights, the sounds, the smells…. The food!

Before dining out, your dog should know a few basic commands like, “sit”, “stay”, and “down”, and have the ability to observe these commands in a busy, restaurant environment. Knowing these simple commands will help you keep your pup under control while at the table, and around other diners, and their dogs.

If your dog is leash reactive, or maybe just prefers the company of it’s favorite humans, and not other dogs, it might not be a good idea to dine out with your dog until the leash reactivity is under control.

Always keep your dog leashed and at a safe distance from other diners

It goes without saying that when a dog is at a restaurant, it should be on its leash the entire time. This is for the safety of the dog and those around you. Walkways in restaurants are high-traffic areas: servers carrying trays, busboys clearing dishes, hostesses seating other guests.

The last thing you want is for your dog to get loose and inadvertently cause an accident at the restaurant.

Keeping your dog on a leash will also prevent your dog from interacting with other guests at the restaurant. Because, while we love our dogs to pieces, not all diners want to interact with a dog while they’re eating. It’s important to respect everyone’s space while you’re dining out with your dog.

Don’t tie the leash to restaurant furniture (table, chair, etc)

While your dog is safely secured on their leash, be sure you don’t tie the leash to any restaurant furniture. Instead, try looping the leash around your wrist.

If you place the leash loop under a table or chair leg, and your dog happens to bolt for some reason, the entire table could down with them. Not only will this create a massive mess, it may scare them to the point where they’re afraid to dine out with you. 

Be sure to keep a hold of your dog’s leash so everyone is safe and happy when dining out.

Keep your dog away from high-traffic areas

If possible, sit on the inside of the table to reduce the risk of your dog becoming entangled with your server’s legs, or that of another diner.

Ask for a table that’s not “in the middle of all the action”. Some guests who dine with their dogs prefer to sit in a quiet corner to help their dog remain calm and relaxed throughout the dining experience.

Keep your dog content by providing high-value treats and chew toys

Going to a restaurant should be fun for everyone - including your pup! When you bring your dog to a restaurant, it’s always a good idea to bring a few “high-value” treats, or one of their favorite chew toys.

Some meals with friends can last several hours, so bringing a few small items that your dog can engage with will help stave off boredom. If your dog has an exciting chew toy with them, this also helps to minimize begging for food, if they get tempted by all of the delicious food on the table.

If you bring a chew toy for your dog, just make sure they’re out of the walkway while they’re enjoying their fun snack.