By Friday, June 2, 2017 12 No tags Permalink

Dog Dining Etiquette! Whoever heard of such a thing?

Trust me, it’s essential if you’re planning to take your dog out to public restaurants during the summer months…


But take it from me –  your dog has to be ready for primetime. #lawdhavemercy

I remember the first time I took Jaxson to a public restaurant. #doodlenightmare…

He was like a four legged Dennis the Menace. One time it was so bad we were forced to cut our meal short.

My demon Doodle was all over the place, knocked the water bowl over, peed under the table, barked for attention….


Our four legged Ambassador of “greetings and salutations” was ALL over the patrons – even those who didn’t want to be bothered. #neverwentback

For Doodle Dad and I – weekends are for running errands, experiencing Charleston’s natural beauty, and discovering all that she has to offer, especially when it’s time for a meal.

We live in such a hospitable, pet friendly city, having Harley & Jaxson with us never cramps our style.

There are 90 pet friendly restaurants in Charleston SC. that welcome dogs to their outdoor tables! Here in the Holy City we can choose anything from seafood to sushi – burgers or desserts, and bring the Boys with us.


is a website that provides detailed descriptions of each restaurant, along with photos and reviews from other dog owners who’ve eaten there! I love that they rate their experiences with bones vs. stars. Five bones is equivalent to five stars, so those are the places we gravitate towards.

Bring Fido is a great site to bookmark and use for any state in the country. Excellent to use when you travel.


Before venturing out with your BFF (best furry friend).

  • If you are not familiar with the restaurant, please call ahead – it’s great to know before you go
  • Ask if there are any limitations when bringing your dog – size, breed, quantity
  • Make sure your dog is a pro at basic manners before going to a restaurant – under table manners
  • Bring your own treats and collapsible / disposable water bowl – I’m particular with what they eat.


Dining out with your pup does require a little planning and some basic training. While your pooch may be relaxed and well behaved, please keep in mind, if he’s uncomfortable in crowded areas, or becomes fearful and excited with loud noises and constant movement – you may want to begin with smaller venues.

Coffee shops in the middle of the day during the week are perfect eateries to introduce your dog to restaurant settings.

Spacious walking room between tables is something I look for also. I want that additional space to move about without disturbing (or startling) other dogs.

While attending the Conference last month, the Boys and I grabbed a seat in the ballroom to hear the Guest Speaker. Space between tables was tight! During the key note address, a woman stood up, not realizing she was standing on his tail. Startled, he jumped up, leaving a chunk of his tail hair lying lifeless on the carpet. #hesurvived


Taking multiple dogs anywhere is always twice the work, but never let that be a deterrent from taking them with you. For our Boys, being together in new surroundings seems to work to our advantage. They provide familiarity for each other, so they’re quick to relax while we eat…

I am not in the habit of allowing my Boys to socialize and romp in any restaurant setting. To me, there’s too much of a risk for something strange to occur. This practice seems to be the “norm” with other pet parents as well.

If sitting next to or under a table in a public place isn’t your dogs style, don’t fret. Your dog may be reactive to outside stimuli. Perhaps parks and picnic areas may be more their style.

Here’s hoping that dining out with your pup is a doodletastic experience – no matter where you choose to go!

Bone appetit,

  • Lynn Delage
    June 2, 2017

    I really like reading your posts. I no longer own a dog and will never own a goldendoodle. I have physical difficulties. I duo own two cats. Your posts are fun and interesting. Jaxom and Harley are delightful. Keep up the good work.

    • Cathy Bennett
      June 5, 2017

      Hello Lynn – I am so happy to read your comment today. It really warms my heart to know you are enjoying your “virtual” ownership of the Boys. Please continue to follow along and laugh with and at us LOL

  • The Island Cats
    June 2, 2017

    Good tips. Here in Michigan, a law was just introduced to allow dogs at outside restaurant patios. Sounds like a great idea as long as dog dining etiquette is observed. 🙂

    • Cathy Bennett
      June 5, 2017

      Tis true. It’s a good thing when everyone is getting along, but it only takes one to cause total chaos – that’s why we took Jaxson out of there that one time.

  • Pat
    June 2, 2017

    We loved bringing Eli with us to outside dining places. He would eventually settle down. Like you Cathy we loved going places with Eli and our weekends included him. Love love reading about your experiences and making it all seem normal.

    • Cathy Bennett
      June 5, 2017

      Pat, I find it so much easier now that Jaxson is a bit older. Now – when we find ourselves still out and about and we’re getting hungry, we don’t have to necessarily go through a window and take it home, we can sit outside, enjoy the breeze and the company, with the Boys in tow, Thanks so much for reading our blog, I hope to keep you laughing with and at us. LOL

  • Callie, Shadow, and Ducky's Mom
    June 3, 2017

    Before Ducky joined the family, I used to bring Callie and Shadow to Panera with me on pretty mornings. I’d leave them in the car – with all 4 windows open a bit – run inside, order my meal, and get the table closest to where I parked the car. I’d put my coffee on the table and get them out of the car. They were always perfect angels, laying down to to my chair or bench. I miss those days. With Ducky’s extreme protectiveness of our space, I don’t dare bring her with me. And arthritis makes it difficult for Shadow to get in the car without a ramp these days. So I leave them home. And most times now I just eat breakfast at home or go without.

    • Cathy Bennett
      June 5, 2017

      I laughed when I read your comment, because you reminded me of myself in VA when I would go to the neighborhood Starbucks. I would do the same thing and then sit down (out of breath) once we all were sitting down. I truly enjoy all the places we have here that are allowing pups to join us.

  • Emma
    June 4, 2017

    In Germany we went to restaurants all the time, no big deal, but here it is so hard to find a restaurant where dogs are allowed, we don’t go. The patios where dogs are allowed are so crowded, it is no fun and most dogs are not well behaved. We do know going with a larger dog or more than one dog is more challenging.

    • Cathy Bennett
      June 5, 2017

      I remember when we lived in the Southern Bavarian region – dogs were everywhere. I loved it then, even though we didn’t have a dog.

  • Jan K
    June 5, 2017

    What a wonderful city you live in to have so many pet friendly options! I would go to a pet friendly restaurant first even if I didn’t have my dog with me! 🙂

  • Monika & Sam
    June 6, 2017

    No wonder your city is No. 1! Whenever I travel in Europe I am always taken with the number of extraordinarily well behaved dogs with their owners at restaurants. Inside and out. Such a joy to witness. I wish it were more acceptable over here.

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