Doggie Dining: Never Eat Alone Again?

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Love this sign at Burger Bar & Bistro in SoNo, CT

Dog-friendly dining is coming to a city near you. More and more restaurants have been opening their doors to man’s best friend and even designing menus for canine palettes. Are you ready to bring your dog to a dog-friendly restaurant?
Dog trainer Darin Sellers has the following tips on enjoying a night out and a nice meal with your pet:

“Taking your dog to dinner is a great idea, as long as you and your dog are prepared. Preparing your dog, and keeping them prepared, should be an ongoing process. Developing a reliable “Down/Stay” through training and capturing it with calm praise and a small high value treat reward when your dog chooses to lie quietly next to you at home work together to make this behavior a positive experience that will make the dinner more enjoyable for both your and your dog.

Using “Place” training on a towel, travel bed, or mat, that you can take with you may be helpful in providing your dog with a familiar comfort that strengthens the down/stay. “Place” training is using that towel, bed, or mat in different rooms of your home and yard as a marker to let your dog know that that area is a valuable and rewarding place to go.  Replace the cues for “Sit/Stay” or “Down/Stay” with the word “Place” as your lure your dog into position on the mat or bed. The cue “Place”, with consistent positive reinforcement, becomes the chain of behaviors of your dog moving to the bed and going into a Sit/Stay or Down/Stay. Over time replace the lure with a gesture towards the bed, and intermittently replace the treat reward with calm praise, or a pet. As with Sit/Stay and Down/Stay it’s important to give the reward, whether praise, treat, or a pet, while your dog is in his “Place”.

Being prepared as a pet parent is making sure you have a few high value treat rewards (unless the dog menu is available), a chew or a toy to provide your dog with an activity, and patience if your dog doesn’t settle into the idea right away.  If you have an active dog, setting them up for success with training and a good leash walk or run…or a little park time before dinner will make for a great evening out.”

Dog Fashion Spa lotion for dogs rilassante

Dog Fashion Spa lotion for dogs rilassante

Once your dog is trained, there is just one more thing you need to ensure: clean, smell-free dog.

Let’s be honest: nobody at a restaurant wants to smell your dog. It’s your responsibility as a dog parent to keep the dog clean and smell-free. Invest in all-natural shampoo and conditioner with great smell to keep your dog’s coat clean, shiny, and super soft (check out Dog Fashion Spa shampoo+conditioner set). If you don’t have time to give your dog a bath, you can “cheat” and use a leave-on lotion for dogs, like Dog Fashion Spa rilassante lotion. Just put some lotion on your palms and distribute on top on the dog’s coat. It really does not matter if the dog has fur or not. The lotion is non-greasy so all you need to do is just brush it through. Make sure the dog is dry if going out in cold weather. Additional benefit of using the Dog Fashion Spa rilassante lotion before going to a restaurant (on top of people complementing how good your dog smells) is a potentially more calming experience for your dog since the lotion contains chamomile and lavender.

If you and your dog are ready to hit the dining scene, here are CBS’ top 5 dog-friendly restaurants in NYC:

Also, check out the site Bring Fido to find dog-friendly restaurants near you.

Dogs in restaurantsThe Barking Dog at 94th St.
1678 3rd Ave. New York, NY 10128
(212) 831-1800
Make sure you arrive early to avoid the lines for Sunday brunch! The Barking Dog even has an outdoor water fountain for your pooch.

1649 Third Ave. New York, NY 10128
(212) 289-2700
Fetch has teamed up with Animal Haven to help promote adoption in NYC.

The Park
118 10th Ave. New York, NY 10011
(212) 352-3313
Perfect for cold weather, The Park, surrounded by Japanese maple trees, is covered and heated for winter.

Boat Basin Cafe
West 79th Street at Riverside Drive New York, NY, 10025
(212) 496-5542
Enjoy weekend specials and a waterfront view at this open-air restaurant on the marina.

Shake Shack
Madison Avenue and 23rd Street
New York, NY, 10010
(212) 889-6600
The pooch-ini is a must-try for any NYC visit!

Our local favorite in Sono, CT:
Burger Bar & Bistro
60 North Main Street
South Norwalk, CT 06854
Try their sweet bichon (sweet potato) fries!

What are your favorite dog-friendly eateries?

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