Six Essential Rules for Visiting Dog-Friendly Patios

Photo: KME Photography

This is a guest post from Danielle Lindblom of The Adventure Dog Blog and High Spirits Dog Training.

Summer — that elusive Midwest season, full of sunshine and happiness — is in full swing. Now’s the time to grab your sunglasses and pupper and find a magical dog-friendly patio complete with snacks and refreshing beverages. But what do you do when you get there? Maybe you’re a patio novice when it comes to bringing Fido along with you. Have no fear! The Adventure Dog Blog has tips and tricks to making patio time with your dog a summertime favorite:

1. It can get hot. Make sure you bring water and a bowl for your dog – don’t assume the restaurant or brewery you’re visiting will have a dog bowl. Access to drinking water while you’re sitting or sipping on the patio is key to keeping your pup happy and safe.

2. Sit in the shade of an umbrella or awning if you can. This reduces the heat stress on your dog’s body. The other factor is the heat of the surface your dog is resting on. Dogs exchange heat through their paws, so making sure there is a cool place for Rover to rest will make the experience much easier on his body.

3. It should go without saying, but please only bring a well-behaved dog to public places. Overly excited pups, scared or shy dogs, and aggressive dogs can cause disturbances and cause formerly pet-friendly businesses to decide not to allow our four-legged friends to accompany us. Not only that, but it will be a stressful, not-fun experience for your dog to come with if they are fearful or upset.

4. It’s ideal if your doggo can happily perform a sit- or down-stay. Bring a towel or mat for them to lie on to make it easier for them to find their “place.” They should be able to settle and not be too distracted by passers-by or other dogs.

dog friendly patio etiquette

KME Photography

5. Only say “Hi!” when invited. Ask permission before letting your dog say hello to other people or dogs. You are sharing a public space, and some may not want to have a dog approach them. The opposite is also true; other people should ask before coming over. If they don’t, it’s up to you to advocate for your pupper and their preferences. It’s OK to say no if your dog is unsure!

6. Consider attaching your pup to your person. Don’t be that guy that is chasing after his panicked dog who is dragging a patio chair. Holding the leash yourself or clipping it to your waist or leg will ensure that you’re in control of your dog at all times. Sidewalk Dog’s Patio Leash has a handy feature that allows you to clip the leash almost anywhere.

Use these tips to ensure you and your best friend have a grand time soaking up the sun and sharing patio life together. Let us know your favorite spots or other handy tricks you have in the comments below.

1 thought on “Six Essential Rules for Visiting Dog-Friendly Patios

  1. Rachelle & Kodiak

    Like!! Good guidelines. One comment: Many dogs will need help with socializing at some point in their life, and those of us who rescue the less adoptable from shelters invest much time and effort in training and socializing. Patio socializing/training can be done successfully if the dog owner is vigilant, careful, respectful, keeps Fido on leash and close by, and keeps the patio visits short and sweet! When my dog is early in training and socializing, I will patio stop for a quick soda and appetizer, just me or one friend, and I keep focused on the dog and no alcohol. That’s for training time. My own patio/pooch relaxing and socializing comes after Fido has his patio manners, then we can all schmooze and booze.


Leave a Comment