Enjoying more time with our pets in the summer months can be easy as the temperatures rise- there are many businesses now allowing dogs to enjoy time with their owners on the businesses patios. But we need to prepare our dogs to ensure they are patio ready so everyone can enjoy their time together. Watch our segment with KELOLAND Living here!
Prepare your pup: There are a few important skills for our dogs to know before they get out and enjoy that patio time. Can our dogs ignore other people and dogs? Are they comfortable in groups? Do they have impulse control and can they ignore food on the tables? If not, start working on these skills before heading out to a patio with your pup!
Understand how to make them successful: Understanding your dog’s current skills will help you and your dog enjoy your time together. Practice the skills first at home, then in a few different settings to ensure that your dog understands what is expected in all situations. Dogs struggle to generalize so practicing in those few different areas will help them learn that what you are asking them to do is the same no matter where you are. This will set them up for success in the new environment of the patio!
Also, understand how the time of day affects the environment of the patios. Peak meal times, such as dinner and supper, will be a lot busier. We need to make sure that our dogs can tolerate all of the aspects of the crowds before we go out in these times, so it would be best to try a more quiet time for the business for the first visits and gradually try the other times as your dog gets more used to the patio environment.
Plan your trip: Before we leave our homes we need to make sure we have done the proper preparations for our trip. Make sure your destination welcomes dogs to their patio and decide what time of day will set them up for the most success. It is also helpful to give your dog a walk and to get some extra energy down before you go to a patio. This will give them ample time to take a potty break if they need, and they will be more willing to settle in and rest as you enjoy your meal.
Get out and Start your adventure: Bring your supplies- water and dish, mat for settling, and a shorter leash to keep them near you. Try to find a spot that is away from the busy routes so you are out of the way of servers or patrons walking by. Remember to pay attention to your dog. Are they enjoying their time? Are they hot or getting enough water?
Don’t forget to watch your pup for signs of stress, being uncomfortable, or getting bored. Ensure they are comfortable and not bothering others on the patio. If things aren’t going well, don’t be afraid to take your meal to-go. You want to ensure that your dog is having a good time so they will want to come back. When you get home try to figure out what was troubling your dog, then work on training and building their skills in that area so they will be ready the next time.