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Taking Your Dog to a Restaurant

There are so many great outdoor restaurants in the Greater Bucks County area. Some of them are also dog-friendly and welcome our four-footed friends. Always call ahead to make sure that the restaurant you’re thinking of going to allows you to bring your dog, and check what etiquette they request you follow. Then pack high-value healthy dog treats and test the waters!  

You’ll want to make sure your dog is well-trained and well-socialized before going to a public place with him. A dog who does not listen to basic commands such as sit, lie down, and stay will likely not behave very well at a restaurant. His leash could get wrapped around chairs, tables, or people’s legs, which could create an unsafe environment. 

It’s also important for your dog to be comfortable and calm around strangers – both human and canine. You don’t want your dog frightened, nor do you want him frightening others. In addition, he must behave well on a leash, which should be kept on him at all times in a public place like a restaurant. 

If your dog is well-trained and socialized, it may be time to take him to a dog-friendly restaurant. Below are a few tips to make sure your visit is fun for both of you.

  1. Walk your dog before going. You’ll want him to be a bit tired, so he’ll happily lie quietly and perhaps fall asleep. 
  2. Feed your dog shortly beforehand. It’s no fun to watch other people eat when you don’t have a full tummy yourself, and it’s no fun for your dog, either. You don’t want him pining for food while watching other people eat. 
  3. Take along dog treats. This shouldn’t replace a good meal, but it will help him feel remembered when he smells what everyone else is eating. It also reinforces your training if you give him treats while he’s “being good.” If he is not behaving, do not use treats as a bribe, or you will begin to encourage bad behavior. Wait until he is showing desired behavior, like lying quietly, and then give him one of his favorite treats. 
  4. Bring a blanket or dog mat. This will encourage him to stay where you want him because he will have a nice comfy place to curl up. 
  5. Bring a water bowl and keep him cool. Be mindful of where you choose to sit and the sun's movement while you’re there. Make sure your dog is in a shaded or at least comfortable location, but not under the table where he could be accidentally kicked. And be sure to bring a water bowl so that he does not have to suffer any thirst. 

Dogs enjoy a change of scenery, just as people do. Their senses are keener than ours, and new sights, sounds, and smells are exciting. But as mentioned, be sure your pup is well-trained and not skittish before going to a restaurant with him. 

Having favorite treats with you may help your dog stay put when a new sound or smell tempts him to run off. Our Saint Rocco’s Sprinkles are a great option for giving your dog a small, encouraging treat multiple times during your adventure. This is especially valuable for a puppy or a dog who is newly trained. You could also bring his own Saint Rocco’s Venison Bone to chew on, which would keep him busy probably for the whole meal! Or cut up some of our larger treats into smaller pieces. 

Whichever Saint Rocco’s Treat you choose, your dog should reward you with good behavior, and together you’ll have a great day out.

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