The governor of New York recently signed a bill that allows customers to sit with their dogs in outdoor areas of restaurants. A similar bill that passed just last year in California has been a tail-wagging success, and more are sure to pop up soon around the country as people look for more ways to include their four-legged family members in their plans.
Here are some tips to make sure that you, your companion, and other patrons have a great dining experience when you take your dog to restaurants:
1. Take along a water bowl
Some outdoor restaurants may have a water bowl available for dogs, but it’s best to play it safe and make sure your pup has access to water.
2. Feed and walk pups beforehand
Before reaching the restaurant, feed and then walk your dog around the neighborhood. It’s never fun to watch other people eat when you’re hungry, and it’s no fun to have to “hold it,” either.
3. Take along a pad or blanket
Cold, hard concrete isn’t very comfortable, so take a pad for your dog to lie down on. A blanket would also be cozy if it’s chilly outside.
4. Keep pups safe (but not under the table)
It’s important to keep dogs leashed so that they are out of other diners’ way and won’t get stepped on. But don’t put them under your table where, sight unseen, they might accidentally get kicked.
5. Keep pups cool
Make sure your dog has access to shade in warm weather and doesn’t get overheated while you’re engrossed in conversation and chowing down on your favorite vegan dish.
6. Don’t forget to take a durable chew toy (but no squeaky toys, please)
Depending on how long you’ll be at the restaurant, it may be a good idea to have something to entertain your pup that won’t disturb other diners. A chew toy that doesn’t squeak or make other noises could be just the ticket.
The possibility of going out to eat with your dog can be very exciting but maybe not for everyone. You know your dog best, and if you don’t think Fido or Fluffy would do well in a restaurant environment, try staying in instead and whipping up some of these easy vegan meals at home.