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We love spending time with our canine friends, whether it’s cuddling on the sofa or playing fetch in the park. So, when it comes to eating out, there’s no reason why we shouldn’t be able to share a meal with them too!
The rise of dog friendly restaurants means that we can now enjoy more quality time than ever with our dogs. In this article, we look at the benefits of dining out with your dog and how to find the top canine compatible spots.
Dog friendly places to eat have become increasingly popular over the years, largely due to the shift in societal attitudes towards dogs, cementing them firmly as family members and friends rather than just pets.
Growing demands for dog-friendly restaurants has meant that many establishments have now adjusted their offering to cater for our four-legged friends, including seating arrangements, water bowls, and in some cases, a separate dog-friendly menu!
At the front of the pack, M Restaurant’s award-winning Threadneedle Street location is one of the best dog friendly restaurants in London, as well as some locations of M’s sister brand, Gaucho. At these restaurants you can enjoy delicious food, wine and cocktails all in the company of your furry friend. Next time you head out for a Sunday afternoon walk, why not stop for a hearty roast dinner with all the trimmings at M?
There are so many benefits to dining out with your dog. Not only does it strengthen your unique bond by sharing quality time together, but taking your dog out for a dog friendly lunch can also have positive effects on their social skills!
Dogs are social animals by nature and have always formed strong relationships with humans, but if they are not properly socialised from a young age they can experience anxiety and distress in social situations. Taking your dog out to eat will ensure they are exposed to lots of different sights, sounds and smells and are less likely to react negatively to similar environments in the future. They may also meet some fellow dogs to interact and socialise with! If your dog experiences separation anxiety, why not bring them along when you next go for a meal? You’ll also have the additional benefit of not having to rush home to them afterwards.
Finally, dogs have also been shown to increase social interaction between humans. Dogs are a great conversation starter and many people can’t resist stopping to pet a dog and chat to their owner. Dining out with your furry friend could be a great way for you to meet fellow dog owners and like-minded people.
So, if you’re now wondering: ‘What are the best dog friendly restaurants near me’, luckily there are lots of ways to find out!
Websites like Dog Friendly provide a directory of restaurants, pubs and cafés that welcome dogs, which you can filter by location and rating.
Newspapers and magazines often write round-up articles of the best dog-friendly restaurants in a particular area, particularly for large cities like London.
There are also several useful apps like BringFido and Dugs n’ Pubs that are a great help for owners looking for information on dog-friendly establishments both worldwide and in the UK, from restaurants and pubs to hotels and attractions.
If you’re planning to take your dog out for lunch, it’s important to be aware of the correct dining etiquette for dog owners.
Although lots of people love dogs, others prefer to keep their distance, especially while eating. This could be due to not being familiar with dogs, having allergies or even being scared of dogs. For this reason, before you take your dog to a restaurant you should be confident that they are well-behaved enough to sit quietly at your table for the duration of the meal. They should also be kept on a short lead securely attached to something to prevent them from running through the restaurant and getting in the way. If someone sitting near you explains that they are allergic to dogs, respect their request and ask a staff member whether it would be possible for you to sit somewhere else.
Our top tip is to walk your dog before the meal – this should tire them out so they relax while you eat. You could also give your dog a toy or two to keep them occupied, although any noisy or squeaky toys are best left at home!
Responsible dog owners should ensure their dog has basic obedience training and social skills before taking them out to eat. Obedience training includes knowing how to sit, stay and come on command, as well as leaving food alone. Social skills include being comfortable and calm in busy places with lots of distractions and not displaying aggression or fear towards other dogs. Puppies should not be taken out in public until they have the required vaccinations.
If your dog is territorial, nervous in crowded or noisy places, or tends to bark a lot, large or busy restaurants may not be the best option. Research the restaurant beforehand and check whether it will be suitable for your pet – you could also speak to a member of staff if you have any questions or concerns. At the restaurant, choose a corner table or a table with plenty of space around it to keep your dog calm. If you are going to sit outside, make sure there is enough shade for your dog, as some breeds are more susceptible to heat stroke than others.
Safety and hygiene while out and about with your dog are important. Avoid feeding your dog food from your plate or letting them up on the table, as this is unhygienic. If the restaurant does not provide food for dogs, you should bring some of your own dog food or treats, as well as a water bowl.
Keep your dog on a short leash that is securely attached to something, or hold it in your hand to prevent trips and accidents. If you are going to be at the restaurant for several hours, take your dog outside for one or two quick walks during the meal to give them the chance to use the toilet and stretch their legs. Dispose of any waste immediately and do not bring it back inside the restaurant – your fellow diners are unlikely to be impressed!
Community Building Through Dog-Friendly Dining
Dog-friendly restaurants like M Restaurants help to create a warm and welcoming community for dog owners. Sharing a meal with your dog helps to build your network and you may even find that you make some new friends!
There are plenty of meet-ups and charitable initiatives based around dogs and dining, so if you own a dog and want to socialise more, all while enjoying a delicious meal and a drink or two, why not check what sorts of dog-friendly events are available in your area?
We hope you enjoyed our article on the importance of dog-friendly restaurants and that if you have a dog of your own, you’ll soon be making a reservation at your nearest dog-friendly dining spot!