Hi everyone. As summer peaks and we continue outdoor activities, restaurants and bars are realizing that a substantial number of their customers want their four-legged friends to be able to tag along.

Here at K&H we wanted to provide a little PSA on the matter and explain some do's and don'ts for dog-friendly dining: 

  • DO bring a leash. Most restaurants will require your pet be kept on a leash until they get to know them.
  • DO make sure your dog has good manners. A dog that is calm and well-mannered around large groups of people is tough to train, but with enough practice, your pup will probably find a nice spot to take a nap while you sip Chardonnay and discuss the risotto.
  • DON'T be afraid to say no and set boundaries. People are going to want to touch and pet your pup and non-pet-parents are likely to be unaware of your dog's limits, so be prepared to step in and let them know your dog needs personal space too. This includes people who will try to overfeed your dog. Nothing's worse than having to clean up an upset tummy in public.
  • DON'T allow barking or growling. There's a story of a man who was asked to leave a pub once and remained oblivious as to why. Turns out every time the door opened his dog would simply turn and bark hello at whoever just walked through. Needless to say, some people were turned away by this and eventually the owner had enough.
  • DO know when to say when. No one wants to be around someone who's had a few too many and is getting loud and it can become even scarier when the furry buddy starts joining that discussion. Let's just say this isn't the Mos Eisley Cantina here, folks.
  • DON'T assume that everyone wants to be around your dog. We all want to have the nicest experience possible when dining out, you with your dog and then there's Carrie in that one Sex In The City episode where a big mastiff puppy is staring and drooling at her while she's trying to eat. 
  • DO watch out for dognappers. It's unfortunate, but some people out there will try to take your pooch for an uninvited adventure to a new home. You should always keep your dog in sight or have a friend watch them if you have to go to the restroom.
  • DO keep your dog close to the table. They should be out of the path of foot traffic, waiters, or sidewalk traffic if leashed to an outside railing. 
  • DO bring your own bowl. Just a small bowl or ask the waiter for a paper or plastic bowl or cup for water if necessary. For health code reasons pets are never permitted to eat or drink out of restaurant glasses or dishes, unless they are disposable.
  • DON'T tie your dog to the table. Always tie to a chair or railing instead. Even the smallest dog tied to a table can send glasses and plates crashing if they get up to running speed.

Armed with these Emily Postesque rules of doggy dining etiquette, we're sure you'll have loads of fun in the city this summer and your dog won't feel left out and home alone. To help you find local establishments that cater to pooches, Dog-Friendly has an oft-updated guide on local restaurants that allow dogs. DO always call ahead if you are unsure.

[IMAGE CREDIT: Greene King, UK]

Have any other tips or want to share your story about dog-friendly dining? Leave us a comment below!