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Doggo doesn’t know how to break it to you, but you really should put on real pants once in a while. The weather’s hot, many patios are opening once again, and your pooch has been waiting months for some delicious snaccos. Before you jump snoot-first back into patio life, here are our tips fur these socially distanced times:
No touching! It can be oh-so-tempting to let Fido make friends, but your dog’s silky coat is a happy home for germs. Keep her close and keep other hooman hands away.
BYO bowl. Not all patios have water bowls available, especially right now. Keep your hound happy ‘n hydrated by providing your own. Most places’ll be happy to fill it for you.
Call ahead. Many patios we love aren’t dog-friendly right now in order to maintain social distancing. Double-check that four-legged patrons are A-OK.
Check your dog’s comfort level in new situations. Is your pup nervous around hoomans? How will that change when every stranger has a mask on? Make sure she’s comfy in your situation.
Speak up. Your mask could make it harder fur Fido to hear your commands. Practice communicating with your pup while wearing a mask so it becomes second nature.
And a few anytime tips for hound-human duos:
Know thy dog. Not every dog is a good candidate for parking out on a patio with lots going on—plenty of people, pups, smells, and sights to take in. Will this be an enjoyable or anxious experience for the pooch? And how about the other customers?
Do your research. Browse our list of dog-friendly patios to see which are good options for your dog. How high-energy is the atmosphere? What’s the patio size and setup? How’s the spacing between tables? Is there any shady refuge?
Check the forecast. Shade can provide some respite from the heat, but if it’s a real scorcher, your pooch needs to be chillin’ in the A/C rather than toughing it out with you.
Take a pre-patio stroll. A worn-out pup is a great patio pup! Ensure you’ve given your dog plenty of opportunities to get out energy and take care of business before setting up camp. If your dog gets the urge to go mid-meal, attend to her needs (and be sure to clean up immediately after any accidents).
Stake your claim. Don’t be afraid to ask for something on behalf of your pooch: a corner table, a water bowl, a shadier spot, etc.
Keep ’em on a short leash. Really—no retractables. (Sidewalk Dog’s exclusive Patio Leashes are the pawfect length and are super easy to clip to a table or chair leg.) Be respectful of your fellow diners; don’t assume they’re comfortable with a visit from your pup.
Mind your (dog’s) manners. Public spaces like patios require you and your pooch to be on your best behavior. Take the time to work on obedience before heading out to your favorite eatery (and consult a trainer if needed). Paws on the table, whiny begging, excessive barking, and the like are major no-nos.
Have an exit strategy. Sometimes an evening out just doesn’t go as planned. If your pup is making it clear it’s time to go, ask for a doggy bag (natch) and hit the road.
Give thanks. Let your server know you appreciate their dog-friendliness (and tell ’em Sidewalk Dog sent you). Finally, be sure to share your pics with #SidewalkDog. We love seeing what y’all are up to.
Here’s an infographic so you can spread the woof:
(Photo by Kendell Victoria Photography)