Pet friendly establishments

Published: Bangalore Mirror Bureau | Mar 30, 2015, 08.03 PM IST

Bengaluru has been and still is a lovely city for dogs. It’s getting more dog friendly by the day. Several pet-friendly restaurants and resorts are cropping up in and around Bengaluru. Other establishments are also opening their doors to dogs. But do we know how to use these effectively to the advantage of our dogs? Yes, it can be done and if done right, it can be a good source of mental stimulation for dogs. But it can also be stressful and taxing on dogs if not done well. Let’s examine this.

To visit a restaurant or coffee shop, your dog needs to be socially suave. A non-social dog cannot be put in socially taxing situations without having unexpected outcomes. If your dog is not socially adept, it could be because he just is not a social dog or it could be because he has not been socialised well with people. If it’s the former, then there is nothing much one can do other than respect his need for space and give it to him. If it’s the latter, then first start with a socialisation program and then consider restaurants.

Plan your outing for a time that is least likely to be crowded. Needless to say, you avoid Friday and Saturday evenings. It’s almost always too crowded and invariably someone is bound to get irked by the mere presence of your pet. Establishments find themselves drawn into this conflict between patrons and more often than not, pets lose. So it’s best to avoid such confrontations and go when it’s relatively empty and relaxed. Keep it nice and easy.

Well-socialised dogs too can find restaurants a bit too exciting or stressful. When that happens, dogs are likely to pee or poop. Be prepared. Before entering any establishment, make sure you have walked your dog and given him a chance to relieve himself. Take further precautions by carrying poop bags, in case of accidents.

The best thing for a dog to do in a restaurant is to relax under the table. So it’s a good idea to carry a cotton blanket to lay out under the table for your dog to relax on. Carry the dog’s water bowl and put that down next to the dog with water. Your lunch may last a while. In this scorching summer, dehydration is a real risk all our dogs face when they step out. An uncomfortable dog is a restless dog, resulting in undesirable behaviours. Focus on keeping the dog comfortable when he is out with you.

Keep these visits short and sweet. Don’t drag it out. And don’t combine it with socialisation. Restaurants are NOT places to socialise dogs with other dogs. That has to happen in a calmer environment. I find it best to avoid restaurants when there are other dogs around and return when it’s calmer. The mix of yummy smelling food, new place, other dogs, new people etc. can be far too much for a dog.

And last but not the least, we as the lucky pet parents who have access to these facilities need to shoulder the responsibility of keeping them pet friendly. That means recognising and respecting the establishments for the courtesy they are extending to our furry friends. They understand how much our dogs mean to us, and for that we need to thank them. Their establishments do reserve the right of entry, which they have been very generous to extend to our dogs. So let’s give them a little cheer and aid them in any way possible. 

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