These days, more and more dog parents are opting to dine out with their dogs. A non-dog person may ask “why”, but devoted dog parents ask, “why not”?! There is no better way to spend an evening than on a patio with a cold drink, family, your dog and good food. Want to try taking your dog out for a meal out? Be sure to follow our do’s and don’ts for a successful dining experience.

Do – Call and plan ahead

Always call the restaurant ahead of time to make sure that they have a dog-friendly patio. Even though a restaurant has an outdoor patio, that does not mean they are dog-friendly. You’ll also want to check the weather for the day, most dogs do not like rain storms and there’s nothing worse than having to leave in the middle of your meal.

Don’t – Put your dog on the table

Yes, your dog is an Instagram superstar and takes the cutest photos, but restrain from sitting your dog directly on the table. Restaurants are held to a high standard of cleanliness and even though you take great care of your dog, it would be frowned upon by the Health Department. If you want to take photos of your dog with your food or drink, sit them on the chair as if they are partaking in the meal. It will make for an adorable, fun photo!

Photo: @theyukinator

Do – Bring your own water bowl

Many restaurants these days have dog bowls on-site. However, not all restaurants offer this. Be sure to bring your own bowl, just in case.

Photo: @samson.the.shihtzu

Do – Get your dog a meal

If you’re lucky, your local restaurant may have a doggie menu. No worries if it doesn’t, you can easily put together a meal for your pup. Almost all restaurants serve chicken and/or salmon that you can easily tailor to fit your dog’s needs. Simply order a piece of protein and inform your server that it’s for your dog and must be cooked plain. You can even order sides of steamed broccoli or fresh fruit as an added treat. If you have a small dog, be sure to check out the kid’s menu. You may be able to save a few dollars by ordering from the smaller portioned menu.

Photo: @ipartywithbrucewayne

Do – Know your dog!

Only you know your dog best. If you have a barker or whiner, it might be best to leave your pup at home. Other guests at the restaurant should be able to enjoy their meal as much as you do. If you have a social dog, make sure you keep him or her on a tight leash. Keep in mind not everyone is a dog person …. Sometimes, there are cat people out there too!

Photo: @dolly_pawton

Dining out with your dog should be a fun experience for both you and your dog. Always mind your manners, as you help to create the environment and set a precedence for other pet parents. We’d love to see your photos of you dining out with your dog at your favorite restaurant. Upload your photos to Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter and tag #benebone for your chance to be reposted. Happy dining!

Photo: @paulthecorgi

Featured image via @thegracechon

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