Secrets of patio dining with the dog

remmy and friend engage in dining out at spokes on broadway
The Phoenix nights are still so nice and cool – why not go out dining with the dog to one of the many, many, many local dog-friendly restaurants?

But, first does your pup have good patio manners?

Does she filch food? Act up for attention? Bark at other dogs? Brie Kuna, behavior specialist at Arizona Animal Welfare League, says the key is to have a dog who knows the basic commands, knows their name, maintains good eye contact with you and stays still when lying on a mat.

That’s all!

Tips on how to enjoy patio dining with the dog

If you think your dog has mastered those techniques, Kuna offers some other great tips about dining out with your dog:

  • Does the dog want to dine out? Sure, you love happy hour. But does your dog really groove on wine glasses clinking, lots of chatter and endless plates of hummus and crudités going by? Some dogs prefer the quiet and some are just flat-out intimated by all that stimulation.
  • Pick your time: Quiet mornings after a nice walk may be the ideal time for you and pooch to hang out and dine al fresco. Happy hour may be just a little too busy for bowser.
  • Do some recon: Walk your dog outside of the restaurant to give her a chance to go potty before getting inside. That also allows her a chance to calm down after the car ride and acclimate to new surroundings.
  • Pick your spot: Choose someplace in the corner where it is easy for you and the dog to have good eye contact. The dog can have her back to the wall to survey the scene. Choosing a spot that keeps your dog out of the way is another great reason for going during off hours.
  • Bring supplies: Pack your dog’s favorite blanket or mat. Not only does it provide a comfy spot on the floor, it also identifies the dog’s space for her. It’s her zone and she can zero in on it. Also bring along some high-quality treats and collapsing water bowl. Lots of dog-friendly restaurants have water bowls but it’s good to be prepared.
  • Pay attention: This can be the hard part but you should pay attention to the dog even though your tablemates are telling hilariously funny stories. To succeed as a dining-out dog, your dog needs to know when she is being good. Go ahead and pay attention to her when she is being quiet and calm, reward her with nice eye contact or a soft word as she just lies at your feet.
  • What about Puppy? Puppies can benefit from socialization – can’t we all? But make sure you are balancing social time with quiet time. Puppies aren’t helped by being overwhelmed. And make sure they are vaccinated before they go out and about.

Dog-friendly restaurants around Phoenix

When Kuna goes out with her dog, Remmy, they head to OHSO, Snooze, Four Peaks or Postino.

Check out these other dog-friendly restaurants.

Resolution: Taking the dog

Welcome to the official Do-over Day!

Jan. 17 is earmarked as the Ditch Your New Year’s Resolutions Day, a day that gives you time to re-consider your resolutions, minus the holiday fairy dust in your eyes, and to zero in on what you really want to accomplish in 2019.

If the resolutions that you made when you were full of champagne and holiday spirits now strike you as unrealistic, may we suggest something a little more down-to-earth- — how about a resolution of taking the dog with you to more places?

Where to take the dog

There are events; dog-friendly restaurants; dog-friendly stores. Or dog parks. Or hiking trails. The Valley offers plenty of places for you and the pooch to hang out.

But how does taking the dog with me help me with my resolutions of losing weight, saving money, and finding true love?, you ask.


Getting off the sofa and outside for a walk with the dog is a lovely step in getting in more exercise for you and the hound. Also, if you are walking the dog or at the dog park, that means you can’t be parked in front of the refrigerator scarfing down your third serving of lasagna.

How to make taking the dog fun

Speaking of lasagna, there are plenty of restaurants in metro Phoenix who are OK with having dogs on the patio. And there are some wonderful ones that really roll out the red carpet. Here are some quick tips on how to make dining with the dog a good experience:

  • Plan ahead: Call ahead to find out if the restaurant really wants your dog; also make sure the dog has had plenty of food and water before you get there.
  • Bring stuff: The restaurant may not have water bowls so please bring yur own. Also, a blankie/pad and a non-squeaky toy may help distract and calm the dog.
  • Know when to bail: Some dogs just aren’t ready for the dining scene. Realize that and know you may have to leave. Fast.

As far as the resolution of finding true love: There’s always the true love at the other end of the leash. Your dog will love you when you get her out of the house more. And as far as true love of the same-species, well, your dog is the best wingman possible. Your dog, well-trained or not, will certainly draw attention to you. And you may just get the attention of a fellow dog lover – who sounds just like your kind of person.

As for the saving-money, you and the dog are on your own on that one!

Ice Cream for Dogs?

Hey, dogs and their peeps: What’s better on a hot summer night than to go out for ice cream?

We’ve got three great places in metro Phoenix that offer something extra special for the dogs in your life.

dog in car ready to find ice cream in phoenix
But first a warning from the Surgeon General (doggie version): Ice cream can cause trouble for some dogs’ tummies. They can’t tolerate the lactose and just like humans, the sugar is not good for them.

So ice cream should be a rare goodie.

Nonetheless, these three local businesses have whipped up some special frozen treats for our four-legged friends. Take a look:

Disclaimer: The Beagle went with me to all three places. She loved devoured every single item. Beagles are like that – your dog may not love them as much. But I doubt it.

dog enjoying frozen treat hot summer night in tempe

Aloha Yogurt, Tempe

What they have: Talk about going all out. The yogurt shop’s owners have dogs and wanted to create some cool creamy treats for them. Think yogurt with peanut butter or yogurt with bacon and cheese.  Served in a cup.

What we also love: Aloha is in a cute little shopping area where you can easily walk around and let the dog enjoy a post-treat stroll.

dog enjoying frozen treat in central Phoenix

Az Pops, Central Phoenix

What they have: Pup pops! A nutritious combination of sweet potato and oatmeal whipped up into a frozen treat.  Served on a stick

What we also love: AZ Pops’ Pup Pops aren’t dairy based and have all natural ingredients. And you can get something tasty and nutritious for yourself while you are there.

dog enjoying frozen treat glendale kinda ice cream

Papa Ed’s Ice Cream, Glendale

What they have: Frosty Paws! Delicious in a cup – the original dog “ice cream”

What we also love: Papa Ed’s has a large grassy area out front where your dog can just attack the ice cream in a cup. It’s also in the middle of downtown Glendale’s cute antiques area so there is plenty of places to walk to. Bonus: Papa Ed’s helps put on Dog Days of Glendale every year so they are super-dog friendly!

Still not interested in taking the dog for a drive? Worried about the intestinal repercussions of your dog having ice cream? Don’t worry because….

Next week: Three yummy dog treats designed to cool off your dog!