Tips for Dining Out with Your Dog at a Restaurant: A Paw-some Experience

Dining Out with Your Dog at a Restaurant

Dining Out with Your Dog at a Restaurant

Whether your furry companion is a Service Dog, Emotional Support Animal, or a regular pet, taking them to a restaurant requires some extra considerations. By following these tips, you can ensure a unique and enjoyable dining experience for both you and your four-legged friend.

Choosing the Right Restaurant for Dining Out with Your Dog

Before heading out, it’s essential to research the restaurant’s policies regarding dogs. Contact them in advance and inquire about their dog-friendly accommodations. Additionally, check online platforms like Google Images and Yelp to get a sense of the outdoor seating area. Finding a table near a fence can provide a convenient spot to tie your dog. If you inform the restaurant about your dog’s presence, they may be able to offer a more suitable seating arrangement.

Preparing for Dining Out with Your Dog

Taking your dog for a walk before arriving at the restaurant helps them burn off excess energy, making it easier for them to relax during the meal. Ensure they have an opportunity to relieve themselves before entering the restaurant to avoid any bathroom accidents.

Bring Training Treats and Use Positive Reinforcement

When you and your dog are seated at the table, use training treats or kibble to reinforce good behavior. Attach the leash to your chair or another secure object to prevent any unexpected incidents. Avoid placing treats on the table, as it’s reserved for human food. Remember, you can utilize a bandana or collar tag as identification for your dog instead of a vest.

Keep Your Dog Entertained with a Chew Toy

To keep your dog occupied during the meal, bring along a chewable treat, such as a bully stick. If they lose interest, make the treat seem more valuable by temporarily taking it away and requesting a “down” and “leave it” command. Once they comply, give them the go-ahead to enjoy the treat. Opt for odorless options to avoid disturbing other diners.

Provide Water and Bring Your Own Bowl

Dogs should not share plates or bowls used by humans due to health code regulations. Ensure you have a dedicated water bowl for your dog. If you forget to bring one, you can ask for a to-go container to pour some water into. Some restaurants may even provide dog bowls, but it’s always better to come prepared.

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Keep Your Dog Grounded

Avoid allowing your dog to sit on your lap or providing them with their own chair. Instead, encourage them to stay on the ground. Consider bringing an outdoor blanket or mat to provide them with a comfortable spot near your table.

Avoid Sharing Food from Your Plate

Sharing food directly from your plate or fork, including leftovers, is strictly prohibited and can violate health code regulations. If you want to give your dog a taste of your meal, discretely drop a small portion onto the ground as if it were an accidental occurrence.

Carry Identification and Digital Wallet Options

While not legally required, carrying identification for your dog can help prevent any unnecessary complications. A bandana or collar tag with relevant information can be a convenient alternative to a vest. Additionally, digital wallet options like Apple Wallet Service Dog ID and Google Wallet Service Dog ID can provide quick access to important identification details.


A well-behaved dog can make dining out a delightful experience for everyone involved. By adhering to these tips, you can ensure that your furry friend remains calm and obedient throughout your meal. Remember, proper behavior is key, and any disruptive actions may result in being asked to remove your dog from the premises, even if they are a Service Dog.

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  1. American Kennel Club. (n.d.). Dog-Friendly Restaurants: Tips and Advice for Dining Out with Your Dog
  2. The Humane Society of the United States. (n.d.). Dining Out with Your Dog
  3. American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA). (2018). Dog Water Bowl Safety
  4. American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA). (n.d.). Training Your Dog with Positive Reinforcement
  5. American Kennel Club. (n.d.). Proper Identification for Your Dog
  6. OpenTable. (n.d.). 7 Tips for Dining Out with Your Dog
  7. PetMD. (n.d.). Dog Behavior Tips for Dining Out
  8. Canine Journal. (n.d.). Can I Bring My Dog to a Restaurant?