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BEACON Senior News

9 tips for public dining with your dog

Mar 15, 2024 02:46PM ● By Marti Benson

They eat with their mouths open, drool over food and slobber when they drink. 

Despite these foibles, dogs are welcomed with open arms all around our city. Restaurants, breweries and other hospitality venues throughout Colorado Springs court pet parents and their pooches with complimentary biscuits, play areas and sometimes an exclusive dog menu. 

Before you head out to happy hour or Sunday brunch on the patio with your canine companion, remember that these establishments are doing their best to accommodate four-legged guests and their humans. Here are some tips to help you know what to expect—and how to keep your pet on their best behavior—during these interspecies social outings.

1. Be honest about your dog’s comfort level and temperament. Crowds of humans, unfamiliar environments and other dogs may overstimulate—and agitate—your pet. If that’s the case, perhaps takeout and Netflix might be a better bonding choice for you and your introvert.

2. Keep your pet on a leash. Having your dog close and under control helps prevent little fingers, forbidden treats and unsocialized canine patrons from infringing on your dog’s experience. And nobody wants to be the owner whose dog is responsible for tripping a server with a tray full of beverages.

3. Never leave your dog alone. If there’s a chance you may need to use the restroom or step out for any reason, make sure you have someone with you. Unprovoked attacks—and even dog thefts—unfortunately happen. 

4. Feed your dog and tire them out beforehand. A full belly and exercise-induced endorphins will help keep your pooch relaxed.

5. Bring your own water vessel. Although bowls of water are usually plentiful, you just can’t keep track of who has lapped from the community watering trough. Even dogs don’t want to catch cooties and have to visit the vet.

6. Be mindful of the temperature and weather. If it’s going to be hot or storms are predicted, don’t bring your dog. Protection from the sun, heat, thunder, lightning and rain are not guaranteed.

7. Bring a comfort item. A favorite stuffed plush toy or treat-filled Kong will placate your fur-kiddo and keep him content while you catch up with your companions.

8. Be prepared for potty breaks. When Mother Nature calls, escort your dog off the premises to let them do their business. And please pick up the poo and throw it away!

9. Don’t let your dog eat from your plate, lick your dishes, sit on the table or hop into a chair with the rest of the two-legged gang. I know—it seems unthinkable that not everybody in the world loves dogs and tolerates such behavior. But in this case, what happens at your house stays at your house.

The season for dinner and drinks al fresco with human and canine company is near. Bone Appetit!