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Dog Ownership Etiquette Series: Dog Friendly Basics at Restaurants

Dog Ownership Etiquette Series: Dog Friendly Basics at Restaurants

Dog Ownership Etiquette Series: Dog Friendly Basics at Restaurants

Every day, there are more restaurants in Canada opening their doors to our pets, and even offer them a chair at our table. Ok, wait a minute. Is that possible? No, of course it is not! But if you actually believed it, then keep reading. There are some limits we need to observe when we take our pets out for dinner. Here we explain some dog friendly basics at restaurants you need to know.

Dog Friendly Basics at Restaurants in Canada

When it comes to visiting restaurants with dogs, only select locations will allow it. In certain Canadian provinces, dogs are allowed to join patrons in outdoor settings. Patios and open spaces are example, and in some cases, indoor settings like breweries with limited food service.

Although, dogs are not allowed indoors where meals are being prepared, manufactured, handled, served or stored. It’s important to note that guide dogs and service dogs are exempt from these laws and they are legally allowed to join their handlers in any restaurant setting but they may be asked to leave if their service dog is being aggressive or damaging to private property.

The right to having a service dog in any public space supersedes any provincial laws that prohibit animals indoors. But, when it comes to regular pet dogs, there are way more restrictions in terms of where you can bring them. Once you’ve signed up, you can view all of the dog-friendly places in your city including restaurants, cafes, breweries, retail stores and so much more! If you’ve found a restaurant on the map, you’ll be able to access information on whether your dog is allowed indoors or strictly on the patio, as well as if they offer treats, water, heated patios and more.

So now that you’ve discovered the dog-friendly restaurants in your area, there are some basics you should follow before heading out. Continue reading to find out what we suggest when it comes to dog-friendly basics at restaurants as part of our Dog Ownership Etiquette Series.

Before sitting down, ensure your dog is ready

The first thing you should do when visiting a restaurant with your dog is make sure they are fully prepared before sitting down. This means ensuring they have gone to the bathroom beforehand. Don’t assume they can make it an hour or so without relieving themselves because it could end up in a mess. You also need to feed your pooch before going to a restaurant.

This lowers the chance of them begging for food from you and other tables when sitting down. And lastly, making sure they’re happy is just as important! You don’t want to take your dog out somewhere if they’ve been acting difficult. Dining at a restaurant with your dog isn’t a right. It’s a luxury and you have to think about other people who are also trying to enjoy themselves too.

Pack a to go bag

Bringing dog treats with you to a dog-friendly restaurant can help lower their cravings. Because of all the smells from different plates, your dog might feel the need to beg for a bite and you want to avoid this. The same goes for water. Always pack water to go along with your portable water dish.

Ensuring they are full and hydrated will help them relax and keep to themselves. Packing one or two toys is also a good idea as long as they don’t squeak. All of these items can make for a successful day at the dog-friendly restaurant.

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Find a suitable spot to sit

When you’ve arrived at a restaurant with your dog, ask to take a quick walk around to scope out a suitable spot to sit. If possible, find a corner seat so you can get your dog situated out of the way from other people. It’s also a good idea to keep them away from small children who may be tempted to pet or interact with them.

Restaurants can sometimes be overcrowded and with small children, it could be very overwhelming. If your dog acts out in an aggressive manner towards a child, you will be held responsible for any injuries or damages. Once you’ve found the perfect spot, keep your dog leashed at all times.

Don’t pick up or feed your dog

Once you’re settled in at your table, ensure your dog stays on the ground. Picking them up to sit on your lap or feeding them your food is not good etiquette. This is not only unsanitary but it also enforces begging. You have to assume that not everyone at the restaurant even likes dogs. Or likes seeing them eat human food from a plate.

This can come off gross to some people and the restaurant staff might also ask you to stop. Letting your dog sit with you at the table when you’re at home might be okay. But in public settings, the standards are very different.

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