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7 Tips For Dog-Friendly Café Etiquette

Love taking your furry friend wherever you go? We do too. Places like pet-friendly cafes and restaurants are a great place to hang out with your dog, but there are some rules to be followed when bringing your dog into public spaces. As pet owners, we all have a responsibility to ensure that public areas are safe for everyone. Even the most well-behaved dogs can get rowdy at times, of course, so following a set of rules will help you make sure you are keeping the peace of public areas. Dining out with your pup can be a fun way to enjoy time together, as long as you keep cafe and restaurant dog etiquette in mind.  

Best Practices For Dog-Friendly Cafes & Restaurants

  • When you arrive at the restaurant or cafe, ask for a seat that is out of the way. Sitting in a corner or somewhere with less foot traffic can help your pet feel calmer. This position will help them be on their best behavior and feel safe.
  • After you are seated, tie your pet’s leash closely. Make sure they have enough room to lie down but don’t give them too much slack. If the leash is too loose, they could be startled and run or snap at a stranger. 
  • People go to restaurants to enjoy their time out. If your dog loves to bark at everything that moves, maybe you should consider leaving them at home. If your dog begins barking, you may be asked to leave. If this is the case, ask for your food to go.
  • Before you arrive at the restaurant or cafe, ensure your dog is well-fed to decrease the likelihood of begging. If your dog is not hungry, they may be less likely to try to steal someone else’s food, too!
  • Pets with good manors are more than welcome in pet-friendly spaces, but those who do not understand commands such as “sit”, “stay”, or “down” will likely not be as well-received. If your pet is causing a commotion, you may need to leave to respect the rest of the patrons.
  • While some restaurants are happy to provide your pet with a water bowl, it’s always the best bet to bring your own. Simply ask the water to fill the empty bowl, and you should be good to go! If not, you can always give your dog water out of your glass. Make sure your pet is hydrated, especially in warmer weather. They may not be hungry, but it’s a good idea to provide them with water if you’ve been walking. 
  • It is improbable that your dog will be able to sit and stay for the duration of your meal. To keep them occupied, bring a high-value toy or chewing item like a bully stick. These treats can last them up to twenty minutes, depending on how they chew. You can even bring a variety of treats and toys with you.

When To Leave Your Pooch At Home

When in doubt, imagine if someone at a table next to you had a dog. Would you be annoyed by the patron’s dog barking? What if their dog continuously approached you to sniff or beg? If the answer is yes and your dog has some of these habits, it may be best to leave them at home. Cafes and restaurants are very different from other pet-friendly spaces like parks.

It is also important to watch your dog’s behavior. If your puppy doesn’t seem to like meeting new people or other dogs, maybe it is best to limit their contact, both for their safety and that of others. While it is typically good for dogs to socialize, some dogs aren’t made for that, and their interactions with others should be watched very closely.

Need Some Help?

If you’re looking for an extra pair of hands to help you out with your pet, we can help! At Doggy Detail, we offer many services, including dog walking, pet sitting, visit n’plays, pet waste removal, and more! Get in touch with us today to learn more about our services. You can give us a call at (847) 212-5616 or send us an email at For more information, check out our social media. We look forward to speaking with you!

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