Pawfect Manners - A guide to dining out with your dog
Following Covid, many of us find ourselves with more flexible working patterns and able to spend more time at home. Therefore it has become possible for those who have dreamed of having a dog to turn that dream into a reality.
Dog ownership in the UK is still increasing and as a result, we will discover more and more places becoming dog friendly. We are lucky to live in London which is extremely dog friendly but we are noticing more areas of the UK are catching up and cashing in on this lucrative sector.
Archie first dined out with us when he was only a few months old and in the last 11 years has joined us at hundreds of restaurants, pubs and cafes all over the UK and even France. Nacho is only 14 weeks old and has already dined out 5 times and been to a drive-in cinema.
We want this upward trend of dog friendliness to continue but it only takes a few badly behaved dogs to make a place change its policy and it only takes a few bad experiences to put your dog off ever wanting to dine out again.
This is not an exhaustive guide but gives you some key areas to focus on when taking your dog to restaurants and pubs. If you get these things right, you and your dog will enjoy many years of dining out together. Just like us!
Yappy Hour not Happy Hour
Before you decide to take your dog out to dine or drink with you, do your research about the place if you don't already know it.
A Saturday night in a busy pub is probably not the best environment for a dog! Dogs do not enjoy loud music and lots of noisy people. If your dog isn't great with children then Sunday lunch is another time to avoid. These busier times are also when your pooch is more likely to get stepped on and trust me a stomped on tail is not easily forgotten!
Ask the place when their quieter times are or check our Dogs Come Too section to read our reviews as this is one of the things we look out for. It is also worth mentioning when you book that you will be bringing a dog (or 2)!
We can't think of a better way to end a walk than with a visit to one of our favourite pubs. Not only does it give us humans a chance to work up a good hunger but it also means your pooch has got rid of some of their energy and is more likely to settle down while you enjoy your meal.
The younger or more energetic your pooch is, the more important it is to tire them out a little before introducing them to more stimulus. Nacho has slept through most of his pub visits because we gave him a decent walk first, otherwise he would have been trying to play with every doggie and human who passed by our table!
At the very least, you should make sure your pooch has done all their toilet business before you go in a dog friendly place as pooping where people are eating is understandably frowned upon!
You're Gonna Need a Bigger Bag!
When taking your dog out for dinner you can leave that clutch bag behind, you're more likely to need a rucksack, especially of you have more than 1 dog.
Some essentials you should take with you are; poo bags, water, a bowl or bottle to drink it from and treats. You may also want to take a toy for distraction (but maybe not a noisy one) and a blanket to sit on as some pub floors can be hard and uncomfortable. A blanket is essential if you want your dog to sit on any seats with you. The staff have enough to do without having to clean dog hair from their velvet banquette!
If the weather is bad, please also take a towel to wipe those muddy paws before you go inside a nice dog friendly place.
A Waggycaddy comes with all these essentials and much more, all in a stylish carry bag that won't look out of place in even the poshest restaurant.
When it comes to treats, Edgard & Cooper Busy Day Bars are great if you find yourself out unexpectedly during doggie's dinner time as they are a whole meal in a pocket-sized bar.
See Archie's Offers for discounts on both.