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Dining Out Al Fresco With Dogs

With a little planning and some training, this can become one of your most enjoyable activities

MetPet.com staff

If you enjoy the cafe life, why not share some of it with your dog?  It's nice to find a few cafes and coffee houses that have outdoor seating in nice weather and that welcome the well-behaved pooch as a customer. 

We think in terms of the well-behaved dog because cafes have notoriously flimsy outdoor seating with tables that are likely to tip over when the pooch decides to place his front feet on them.  In fact, this is one place where the senior, slightly sleepy dog is most welcome and the rambunctious puppy, while really adorable, is likely to make your experience hectic rather than relaxing.

Finding the right place


Whether it's the large chain coffee house or the local bistro, it's always best to call ahead and see if they enjoy having dogs on their patio or sidewalk.  Even better is to find a place that caters to dogs by offering up biscuits or a dog watering bowl. 

Ideally you can find a place with plenty of shade since dogs don't dissipate heat very well.  Otherwise, you should feel the concrete with your hand.  If it's too hot to the touch, it's too hot for him. 

Preparing ahead

In order to have the best possible experience, it's best to make sure that:

- Rover has been fed, watered and walked as thoroughly as possible.  There's nothing like having a hungry, thirsty and anxious dog eyeing your club sandwich with mournful eyes. 

- Rover is well groomed and has a secure collar and leash. 

Enjoying yourself

Before you go in for the whole meal, you can try going in for just a cup of coffee, in a covered to-go cup, or a soda in a can.  If you can sit quietly for a half an hour or more, then you might consider having a nice lunch on a cool, dry day.

It's best if you can avoid feeding your dog during the meal.  He can always have a treat for good behavior after the meal and, it's not as if he's hungry anyway.  Feeding him during your meal will trigger all sorts of unwelcome behavior including whining, sitting up, drooling and even fighting with passing dogs. 

If everything goes well and you don't end up with food in your lap or the bistro table heading down the street pulled by Rover and his leash, you might invite a friend and a dog to share a meal.  It's a welcome change of pace from a shared walk or a date for the dog park. 
 






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