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Dog Etiquette at Outdoor Cafes

To the Rescue: Tips to Improve a Dog's Sidewalk Cafe Stay

After enjoying a stroll with your pup, it's always nice to stop by your favorite cafe for a bite to eat. Even with so many restaurants welcoming pets in their outdoor seating areas, it's still a good idea to think about proper pet-iquette. Here are a couple things to keep in mind when heading out:

  • Before You Leave: Although many pet-friendly establishments offer to-go dishes for a pets' water, it can't hurt to bring along your own portable bowls. Also, make sure to have a non-flexi leash and a bag (if your pet's small) to be able to secure him. Loop the leash around the leg of your chair and the weight will keep him down. Remember to pack some to-go treats to prevent the temptation to give your dog any inappropriate human food.
  • Before You Enter: Check with a hostess or server before you sit down. Just because it's outside doesn't mean it's automatically OK. And be mindful of other diners — if it's a crowded patio, it may be better to go elsewhere.

Time to be seated! Keep reading for more tips to ensure a pleasant meal.

  • Before You Sit: Check the ground surrounding the table for any food or liquid droppings, any purses or shopping bags lying nearby, or anything else that could attract or tangle your furry friend. If it's a warm day, make sure there's some shade nearby for your pooch (even under the table) and that his leash is restricted short enough that he can't reach and pester other customers or get stepped on by pedestrians out front.
  • Before You Go Home: Make sure to clean up after yourself. If you've been given a bowl of water, pick it up off the ground. Look around the table to make sure your pet didn't go potty while you weren't looking, and be certain to thank the server as you leave.
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