There’s no doubt that we have an unwavering love for our four-legged friends. But just how socially acceptable is it to bring our canine companions with us to a brunch reservation with friends or family members rather than leaving them at home on the weekend?
More often than not, we are inseparable from our furry companions, and having to leave them behind to go to a restaurant which doesn’t welcome pets can be traumatic for both parties, especially after almost two years of living through the restrictions and lockdowns associated with lockdowns.
Luckily, there are countless dog-friendly restaurants everywhere for brunch lovers and their canine companions to enjoy together.
So, how do you ensure that your pooch doesn’t stir up any chaos whilst enjoying an outing together? Below, the team at Bottomlessbrunch.com have compiled a guide with some top tips on bringing your four-legged pooch with you for an indoor or outdoor brunch experience.
Do your research first
It is important to do your research on dog-friendly brunch restaurants before booking. Dog owners should be looking at what amenities a location offers (dog bowls for water or shaded tables on a hot day), and whether dogs are allowed inside or if there is only outdoor seating for those with a four-legged friend in tow.
You can also call ahead to see if the management has any specific guidelines or restrictions for guests with dogs, including seasonality and breed. When you book your reservation, make a note that you plan to bring your pooch, so the restaurant staff can seat you appropriately.
Go for a walk first
The last thing any dog owner needs is their dog to get hyper and have ‘zoomies’ whilst dining in a restaurant. The more restless your pooch gets, the higher that chance that other patrons will be bothered by your dogs whining and potential chaos.
For those with a younger or more hyperactive dog, it’s essential to take them on a lengthy walk prior to your brunch booking.
In addition to cutting down on energy levels, this will also reduce the chances of an accident. No one wants to have to leave the restaurant to take their dog out halfway through eating – taking them for a walk before arriving at the restaurant gives them a good chance to empty their bladders and bowels ahead of time.
Allowing your dog to get some exercise before arriving at the restaurant will also release endorphins that will make them much happier and more relaxed during your outing.
Keep them close
When you’re in an open area and walking your pooch a retractable leash might seem like a good idea, so your dog has more room to roam. But when it comes to dining with your pooch in a restaurant setting, retractable leads are a big no-no. Retractable leads don’t give dog owners full control of their dogs, especially in smaller settings.
Whilst dining you must be considerate of other diners who may not want your dog approaching them whilst they are eating. As well as this, retractable leads can be a tripping or safety hazard for other restaurant customers and staff walking around your table.
Make sure your dog has access to water
This may seem like a no-brainer, but when you’re running late and in a mad dash to make it out the door, it’s easy to forget. Although many restaurants will provide a dog bowl for water if you ask, in the scenario they don’t provide or have any available, dog owners should pack their own. This is especially important if walking your dog before attending the restaurant as they will be thirsty after the exercise.
Bring toys or treats to keep them occupied
Out of respect for other restaurant diners, ensure your pup has their own space and won’t be begging for food or demanding attention from you or others. In addition to a water bowl, you might consider bringing some of their favourite ways to pass time so you won’t have to tend to them every second. Chew toys, sticks, and treats are great ways of keeping your pooch occupied without disturbing any other diners – although it might be best to leave the squeaky toys at home!
Even providing your pooch with a familiar blanket or towel for them to sit or lie on during your visit will help them to relax and will provide them with a comfy spot to sleep or rest.
Keep an eye on your dog
Be sure to listen to your dog and keep a watchful eye on their body language, just like us, sometimes our dogs are just not in the mood to be social or are feeling uncomfortable in the situation they are in. If your dog appears stressed or anxious, it is best to take them out of the situation, as the longer they feel that way in a public space, the more difficult it will be to settle them in a similar setting in the future.
Also understand that not all dogs are the same and some simply do not take to crowded places with lots of people and other dogs. Crowded places can make many dogs feel anxious and afraid. If you notice your dog displaying fearful body language when you have friends or family at the house or when out in public for a walk, your dog is probably not feeling safe in their environment (and probably wouldn’t enjoy dining at a restaurant with you).
Look out for any signs of anxiety which can include ears back tight against the head, whites of the eyes easily seen, cowering, stiff body, or trembling.
Article courtesy of BottomlessBrunch.com.