Do you enjoy going out to eat? Every now and then, we like to go out to a restaurant and enjoy a meal that we don't have to cook. But ever since we got our pup, Minnie, we feel guilty going out too often or for too long. So what to do, what to do? The answer - find restaurants that allow our dog to join us! If you are looking for places where you can bring your pup as well, read on for ideas!
If you like getting your coffee fix at Starbucks, consider bringing your pup next time! Starbucks offers a not-so-secret dog-friendly menu item, the "Puppaccino". It's whipped cream served in an espresso or sample cup, and your pooch will love you for it!
"You scream, I scream, we all scream for ice cream!" As I write this, it's summer and the heat is beaming down on us here. Ice cream sounds really good and cooling, and our pup would agree! So it's great that our doggie friends can join us when we visit a Dairy Queen.
Ask your server for a "Pup Cup" and you will be given a small size serving of soft vanilla ice cream for your pooch. When we went, it was topped with a doggie biscuit and Minnie LOVED it. Just be sure to control the portioning for your own pup as the server serves one-size-fits-all. And some locations also offer a Pup Pat, which is a burger without any salt or seasoning.
Minnie eating her Pup Cup at Dairy Queen. Don't worry, she was only given a few spoonfuls.
And if you live in the north-east part of the USA, then you are familiar with Shake Shack! You can view the dog menu on their website. Items include:
- The Pooch-ini®, which is “ShackBurger® dog biscuits and vanilla custard. Includes dairy, egg, and sugar.”
- A Bag O’ Bones. It’s 5 ShackBurger® dog biscuits that are made just for Shake Shack by Bocce’s Bakery in NYC.
Credit: Shake Shack
If you’re on the West Coast of the USA, then you are familiar with In-N-Out. But did you know they also have a menu for your pooch? You'll have to take it to go or eat outside if your local spot has a patio, but your pooch will appreciate you for taking them! The dog-friendly menu items include:
- A Pup Pat: a plain burger patty with no salt added.
- Cheese Patty: plain patty with a slice of cheese.
Unlike the other restaurants on this list, Sonic is a park-and-eat drive-thru. So since you're eating in your car, pups are obviously welcome! Some locations serve dog treats and some offer their take on a Pup Cup. But even if your location doesn't, you can order a plain burger, but be sure to ask for no salt and seasoning.
I love me some milkshakes! So it's great to know I can get my milkshake fix at Johnny Rockets and we can bring Minnie along too. If your local Johnny Rockets has an outdoor patio, they will allow your dog to join you. If they don't, you can take your food to go.
Mention you brought your dog and your waiter will bring a dog bowl of water and a fur-kids menu where you can order treats from Three Dog bakery as well as meat items like grilled chicken or a bunless hot dog.
Looking for more options?
There's likely more locations around you, and with all the restaurants in the world, there's no way for us to list them all. One site we've taken a liking to is BringFido.com. On BringFido.com, you can find pet-friendly restaurants, hotels, and activities. We use it whenever we are going on vacation to plan out spots to take Minnie. And if you know of a dog-friendly spot that isn't listed, submit it to be added this way your fellow pet-parents can enjoy it as well!
Alternatively, if you know a restaurant has an outdoor space, call and ask if they'd allow dogs. You'd be surprised how many restaurants and bars will allow well-behaved dogs in their outdoor space if you just ask. And then don't forget to add your find to BringFido.com so the rest of us can add it to our list of "places to visit"😉.
Reminders and Tips
Not every server will have experience with these items
Keep in mind that regardless of where you go, not every server will have experience with the dog items (it's possible that nobody has ordered them yet). So since your fur baby can't speak for themselves, you need to do it for them. Be sure to remind the server that you want no added salt or seasoning on anything you are ordering for your dog.
Not every location will have these items
Franchises are independently owned. On the outside, we see one brand, but in reality, each location is owned by a small business owner. So not every location will have these items. If not, that's okay. You can order for your pooch off the human menu but be sure to ask for no salt or seasoning to be added.
Many of these items are high-calorie items. As such, you should control the portion size for your pup. What works for a Saint Bernard will be very different for a toy size poodle. And ice cream should be a special treat, for example, and not an everyday food item for Fido.
Create a safe environment
We want more restaurants to provide space for dog pawrents to dine with their pooches. And for restaurant owners to do that, they need to not only feel that it's good business for the pet-parent visitors but the other patrons as well. With that in mind:
- Only bring your dog if you know they behave around strangers.
- Keep them on a leash and close by. Minnie's carrier opens into a bed, so we put that on a chair or on the floor when she is with us.
- Be sure that strangers don't just walk up and pet your pooch. Make sure they ask first. Besides possibly not knowing how your pooch will react, you don't know how those people will approach.