The best part of vacation is dining out with Honey. I get a fuzzy face near my knee but I don’t have to cook or do the dishes.
After many years of dining with dogs, here are the rules I follow every time—except when I don’t.
When Dining With Your Dog…
- Always confirm a restaurant is truly pet friendly before strolling in. You and your dog are ambassadors for responsible pet travelers. Don’t screw it up for all of us by being rude or arrogant.
- Walk to the restaurant. Your dog will appreciate the chance to stretch her legs before having to stay calmly for an hour or so and the restaurant will appreciate that she’s already taken care of the necessaries before arriving at their door.
- Of course you brought your own water and bowl. But let the restaurant provide one anyway. It makes them feel good to fuss over your pup.
- Always have yummy treats at hand. You’ll need them to lure your dog into position.
- Eat at restaurants that serve french fries. They make a great reward for a long down-stay.
- Protect the floofie. Sure you’ve trained your dog to lie down under your table. But that doesn’t mean she’ll get her entire tail under too. It’s your job to make certain no one steps on it.
- Feed your dog at the same time you’re eating.
- Use your eyes as effectively as your dog uses his nose. You’ll need to spot that spilled food on the floor before your dog pulls you across the room to snarf it up.
- Eat at off times. You’ll find it easier to manage your meal if the restaurant isn’t full.
- Have a small snack before you go. You could go hungry while other diners and waitpersons fuss over your cutie pie.
- Tip well at the restaurants that promote themselves heavily as pet-friendly.
- Match the restaurant to the dog. For some dogs, the best dining option is the back seat of the car after driving up to a fast food window. For others, it’s deli sandwiches in a bag at a quiet end of the park. Not every dog is ready for fine dining. And that’s perfectly ok.
Pet Travel Shout-Out
I’m a big fan of traveling with my dogs. I’ve even done it with reactive dogs and had a great time.
But we always have to keep the needs of our dogs in mind first. Sometimes, no matter how much we want to have our dogs with us when we travel, it’s just not a good fit.
You already know I’m a big fan of Abby over at Doggerel. Well, she wrote a simple little post about leaving her newly adopted dog Pyrrha behind that showed a lot of wisdom.
Abby decided that leaving Pyrrha, a shy dog adjusting to her new home, in the care of her former foster family was better than taking her on a 10 hour drive to a family funeral.
It isn’t always easy to figure out if we should bring our dogs with us, take them to a holiday camp (that’s kennel to you and me), or opt for in-home pet sitting. But I suspect we all have a little voice telling us the right choice. We just need to work on our canine listening skills.