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East Valley K9 Services


Dining With Dogs: 7 Ironclad Rules!

Dining With Dogs: 7 Ironclad Rules!

Dining with Dogs
Dog at the EV K9 Club Excursion at OHSO Brewery in Gilbert AZ


Dining with dogs has become a part of what is considered “dog-friendly!” But this privilege come with responsibility.

Below are the 7 non-negotiable rules you must follow when dining with dogs.


Dining with Dogs

Dining with Dogs, a White Doodle calmly laying by his owner at a restaurant
A Doodle dog at the OHSO Brewery in Gilbert AZ

While most dogs are not allowed inside a dining establishment due to health code regulations, many restaurants offer dog-friendly, outdoor seating. But again, it’s important to follow the rules and not disturb other diners and ruin their experience.

Let’s take a closer look at the 7 non-negotiable rules when dining with dogs in public!

Rule #1: Know the Pet Policy

Remember, dining with dogs is a privilege and needs to be respected and followed. Before heading out, give the restaurant a quick call! Online resources are not always up-to-date with new policies. While on the phone, also ask if there is available seating for you and your dog before going to the restaurant and being asked to leave!


Rule #2: Leave Unruly Dogs at Home!

This one relies on the “honor system.” Be honest about your dog and its social skills and ability to listen and obey commands. The other diners also deserve a pleasant dining experience by not having to put up with your dog’s bad or obnoxious behavior!


Small black dog laying calmly next to his owner's chair in a restaurant
Small Black Dog Laying Down in a Restaurant

Rule #3: Exercise Your Dog First

This is a critical step in ensuring the best experience when dining with dogs. By depleting your dog’s pent-up energy, bad behaviors like barking, lunging and whining can be curbed. Sufficient  exercise will ensure your dog is calm and relaxed. Also, feed your dog before going into a restaurant to keep him from acting out to receive food from you or other diners. Consider bringing your dog’s favorite chew to keep him happy and occupied.

Rule #4: Prevent Accidents!

If you properly do Rule #3, this rule should take care of itself. Properly exercising your dog should ensure they can refrain from having an embarrassing (or smelly!) accident at the restaurant! If you’re unsure, leave your dog at home.


Rule #5: One Dog Per Dog Parent Please!

Remember, a restaurant is not a dog park! Only one dog per pet parent. This will help ensure the proper behavior of all canine guests when each pet guardian only has to control one dog. Better yet? Bring an extra person with you so they can help watch your pup if you need to use the restroom or step out for a minute.


Rule #6: Bring Your Dog’s Bowl

Chocolate Lab Sitting while Dining at a Restaurant
Chocolate Lab Sitting while Dining at a Restaurant

Letting pets use the restaurant’s dishware, silverware or drinkware is a violation of health codes. So, bring along your own foldable or portable water bowl for Fido. The staff will appreciate it and will probably be more than happy to fill it with water.


Rule #7: Baby Steps!

Like any new experience or skill, work with your dog in baby steps in preparation of dining with your dog. Work on the following skills for the best dining experience!

  • Start Small! Begin training your dog with short visits to a coffee house where first, you walk in, get your coffee and leave. Or grab a quick drink at a local bar. In the beginning, go during non-peak days and hours for an easier transition. Slowly work up to more challenging situations and length of time until you can successfully enjoy a full meal at a restaurant.
  • Socialize your dog. Again, be honest about the reliability of your dog’s abilities when it comes to strangers, dogs, noises, smells and busy environments.
  • Calm and Quiet. Teach your dog to stay next to you when entering or leaving and to also stay calm and by your side when tableside. They should be sitting or lying next to your chair and not on your lap or chair.
  • Leave It. Ask your dog to always leave other diners and food alone!


All Images Courtesy of East Valley K9 Services.


The East Valley K9 Club Logo

Use the tips in this blog for dining with dogs so you can join our local excursions with the East Valley K9 Club!

Learn more about our Excursions here.




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