It’s great to be able to take Fido to the local dog friendly restaurant or store. But to make sure the public and staff at these establishments love and enjoy your dog as much as you do, just follow a few simple rules.
Before you go – Before you try to take your dog out to a public place, make sure that he responds to simple commands like sit, down, and stay and knows how to walk on a leash. This will give you some tools to help control him during your outing. Also, remember that not every dog is a social butterfly so if your dog is fearful (or protective) in public, it might be best to leave him at home while you go out to lunch. Then you can work on bettering his public manners at a time when you don’t have to split your attention between him and that yummy burger!
Be prepared – Always, I repeat, ALWAYS have poop bags and water for your dog. Also, if you have a dog that tends to drool (like some of the larger breeds) make sure to bring an extra towel. You may not be bothered by puppy slobber but the local high end clothing boutique will not find the habit so endearing!
Keep him out of the way – If you take your dog to a restaurant or shop make sure that he is under the table or out of the main aisle. This will make sure that the guests don’t have to walk around your pup or the waitress isn’t trying to balance a tray full of drinks as she steps over Fido. Plus your dog will thank you because his tail or paw won’t get accidently stepped on by a stranger.
No begging or shedding – All the great restaurant food smells as good to you as it does your pup but make sure to prevent any begging. You may not care but the people next to you probably don’t want to see your pup lick your plate clean. Plus, feeding Fido table scraps from restaurants is worse for him then giving him left-overs from home since restaurants tend to use more butter, salt, and oil. All those ingredients are unhealthy for him…and for us too! If you are taking your dog shopping as you buy the hottest spring trends, keep him away from the clothes. After all, not all people thing dog hair is the best accessory!
The golden rule – It applies to our pups too! Remember, bringing our pups with us to local establishments is a privilege, not a right. When you take your pup in public the ultimate compliment is for someone to say “Oh, I didn’t even know there was a dog here!” If your dog is barking or acting unruly, he isn’t having fun (and neither are you!) so remove him from the situation and try again later.