What You Need to Know Before Visiting Your Local Pet-Friendly Restaurants

Almost all pet owners will tell you that their pets are more than just pets; they’re part of the family, and owners will do anything to ensure their beloved pet is happy. So, what can you do to keep your pet from being lonely while going out and enjoying yourself? Fortunately, more and more establishments are becoming pet-friendly and allowing pet owners to bring their animals inside. This also extends to restaurants that have traditionally been wary of allowing pets inside their premises. 

This post will discuss what you need to know before visiting local eateries with pet-friendly policies.

What to Consider Before Visiting a Pet-Friendly Restaurant

Pets are not just animals that provide companionship to humans. They also offer a sense of security and comfort. They are essential to many people's lives and can provide emotional support and make you feel loved. In fact, as you can see from the Comparethemarket.com.au designed graph below, almost half of pet owners would be willing to go into debt to save their pets in an emergency. Clearly, this shows how connected most people are to their animal companions. Therefore, you should consider a few points when choosing a pet-friendly restaurant in order to get the most out of the trip for you and your pooch.


The first step is ensuring that you choose a restaurant that is feasible to get to. For example, as much as you might love your furry friend, it might not be conducive to travel many miles out of town simply to accommodate this requirement. Nonetheless, more and more restaurants are beginning to allow all manner of pets into their establishments as long as they are well-behaved and well-trained. Some examples in the Reno Tahoe area with great reviews include:

  • Squeeze In
  • The Stone House Cafe
  • Laughing Planet

Nevertheless, there are typically plenty to choose from in your area by just searching on Google Maps or an equivalent.

Ensure Your Pet Is Well-Behaved

A restaurant that respects animals and allows owners to bring them is all well and good, but respect goes both ways. As a responsible pet owner, you must ensure that your animal is well-behaved and won't cause trouble for the restaurant and other diners. So, if your pet is likely to be disobedient or unfriendly to others, you might think twice before bringing it somewhere other people frequent.

Call Ahead To Confirm

Even if a restaurant classifies itself as "pet-friendly", it’s simply good etiquette to phone ahead to confirm. After all, you never know if they’re hosting a specific event or undergoing repairs that may frighten your pet.

Always Use A Short Leash

A short, non-retractable leash is preferred over the retractable variety to reduce the chances of trips and injuries. No matter how well-behaved your dog is, you never know when it might see something it wants to chase. A long or retractable leash could cause entanglements and trips, injuring staff and other patrons.

Don't Feed Your Dog Using The Restaurants Cutlery Or Plates

No matter what you might find acceptable at home, you must never forget that you are in someone else's establishment, and they might not be too happy seeing your dog eat off their plates. It could also have an adverse effect on other diners, making them hesitant to eat and causing problems for the owner. Instead, you should bring their own bowls for food and water and feed them away from the table (or simply wait until you get home).

Never Seat Your Pet At The Table

Similarly, you shouldn't seat them at the table for the same reasons you don't allow them to eat off restaurant plates. Moreover, if they have sharp claws or are hardcore dribblers at the sight of food, you could be liable for any damage they cause.

Manage Your Timings

In many ways, pets are like young children. They require constant feeding, demand your attention, and get bored quickly! Therefore, you should manage your time as effectively as possible. In practice, this means:

  • Choosing a time that isn't too busy (e.g. just before or after lunch and dinner rushes)
  • Leaving when your pet is getting bored and uncomfortable
  • Checking if they are hungry, thirsty, or need to go to the bathroom

Pros and Cons of Bringing Your Pet to a Restaurant

Irrespective of whether a restaurant allows pets or not, there are some pros and cons worth exploring. While there are plenty of pros to bringing your pet to a restaurant, such as being an opportunity for you and your pet to bond and introduce your pet to new people, there are also some downsides.


  • It's nice to include them in something you love. Arguably, the most significant advantage of bringing your beloved pets along with you is that it allows you to spend time with them. Furthermore, it can be a great way to avoid separation anxiety that lots of pets experience.
  • Restaurants can gain additional revenue streams. Some restaurants offer special "pet menus." By bringing your pet along, you enable them to increase their revenue, so they can continue to operate.
  • It can make the experience more enjoyable. There is no shame in admitting that you love your pet, and bringing them with you for a meal is a great way to make the experience even better. Moreover, pets can be the perfect companion for those who are lonely but want to get out and about.


  • Possible hygiene concerns. No matter how clean you think your animal is, there can still be some hygiene risks. Therefore, some establishments may be wary if you bring in a scruffy dog and allow it to roam freely.
  • It might put off other patrons. There's no guarantee that other patrons will bring their pets to a pet-friendly restaurant. And those who don't might be put off seeing an animal inside an establishment that serves food.
  • Your pet could get injured. Restaurants are hubs of intense activity, and there’s a lot of chances for your pet to get hurts.
  • Your pet could cause injury. As mentioned earlier, long leashes could cause harm to others. However, you need to be aware that even if you tie your dog up correctly, it can still pose a threat to other people (or pets).

In recent years, an increasing number of restaurants have become pet-friendly, accommodating your furry friends both inside and outside. Hopefully, this post has provided plenty of information about locating these venues and general etiquette for visiting them.

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