Dining Out With Your Dog

One of the many joys of warm weather is eating outside. Every weekend we look forward to our Saturday (or Sunday) ritual of going to indulge in an early afternoon brunch at Sabrina's. The restaurant has it all: amazing food, friendly wait-staff, and a great location in the heart of the Italian Market area of Philadelphia. What makes this location even better for us is that they have welcomed Lucian (our Dogue De Bordeaux puppy) with open arms since he was 8 weeks old.

Lucian has become as much a regular at Sabrina's as we are, and is greeted with adoring pets and a chilled bowl of water. In fact, I think he gets more attention than all the human diners around us combined. We are self-described "foodies”; for us, eating is much like taking in music or artwork. We not only live on food, but we appreciate it as well. Being able to share another activity we love with our dogs just makes the experience a better one. 

In our experience, metropolitan cities are the best places to find dog-friendly eateries. Those with outdoor patios and sidewalk cafes often welcome dog diners. However, asking first is always common courtesy and will keep you from being disappointed if a restaurant has a dog-exclusive policy. If you are new in town and are scouting for places to eat, use a resource like craigslist.com or even a local livejournal.com community to post about what you are looking for. You'd be surprised how many dog lovers out there will pop out of the woodwork.

Rules of dining:

Please bring only well-mannered dogs to dinner. No one wants to have their meal interrupted by a barking dog, one that is lunging at their own well-behaved pup, or begging for their food. If your dog has behavioral issues, a restaurant is not the place to work on them. /p>

Bring a pad or bed for your pet to lie on while you dine. The sidewalk is a hard place to lie for over an hour at a time! Remember water too- it’s a good idea to have a portable bowl for the pup with you. Be sure to ask for water for him when you order some for yourself.

Bring distractions! All the yummy food at the table is hard to resist! Bring a chew toy or two, perhaps a special rawhide or bone, to keep your dog entertained and happy.

Refrain from feeding your dog from your plate, no matter how cute she is. This activity, whether done out in public or at home, will encourage begging.

Treat Your Dog

If you love eating out, consider the possibility of letting your dog in on the fun! Next time you're searching for the perfect restaurant, why not look for dog-friendly places to eat?

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