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Should dogs be allowed in restaurants?

Courtesy Paw House Inn

Courtesy Paw House Inn

Many years ago my parents took me and my sister on vacation in France. I remember being absolutely blown away when we were in a restaurant one night and the woman sitting at the table next to us opened her purse and pulled out….a dog!

For the rest of the meal it sat in her lap, waiting patiently as she fed it smidgens off her plate. I can’t imagine she had the most enjoyable time because my sister and I kept giggling throughout the meal.

I noticed a little back and forth on the subject of dogs in restaurants yesterday on this blog in the post about the new Thirsty Dog Tavern, which will be dog friendly.

As a sometimes travel writer, I hear all the time about hotels and restaurants that are dog friendly. The Paw House Inn in Vermont bills itself as a resort for dogs and their owners.

I will admit to being a dyed-in-the-fur cat person and really don’t like dogs who want to slobber all over me, no matter how noble their intentions. That said, I have no problem with well behaved dogs, whether they are in a park or lying by the restaurant patio table next to mine. Dogs in restaurants are like kids in restaurants: if they behave reasonably well, I’m happy to see them there.

What do you think? Do you mind dogs in restaurants?

207 comments Add your comment

Ghost

April 1st, 2010
1:08 pm

Not just no, but HELL NO!

Keep your dog at home or in the car!

Roy

April 1st, 2010
1:11 pm

Considering the big number of wannabes, social climbers, “how much do you make”, “what do you drive”, “i’m extrememly plastic and shallow” people out and about in this town; the dogs in pubs and taverns would be a welcomed relief! Seriously, don’t you know of dogs and cats with more qualities than the aforementioned??

Tee

April 1st, 2010
1:11 pm

@ Dog Lover. I HAVE pets–2 dogs in fact as do (I imagine) a lot of people who are responding to this post. THAT STILL DOES NOT TEMPER THE FACT THAT DOGS ARE NOT HUMANS and should not be allowed inside restaurants unless they are service dogs. I feel this way even about MY OWN dogs. They are not clean by human standards & I would not patronize a restaurant that allows it.

Ira in East Lake

April 1st, 2010
1:14 pm

Dogs > Children

Reggie

April 1st, 2010
1:14 pm

I have worked in the industry for over 30 years in many states… I never go in a restaurant or bar that allows animals other than service animals… Shedding of aminals in establishment effects others around them… If I see sign of animal friendly I do not dine there , but I think that if the is a large enough customer based then let them have there space…It is no diffent than a restaurant that lets their bar customers smoke after 10pm… this is really against the state law, but for some reason people how smoke fell it is there right to smoke and drink with no regard to others…

Grammaw

April 1st, 2010
1:14 pm

It’s bad enough when I find a human hair in my food. I SURE don’t want to find stray dog hairs in it! I’ll definitely NOT dine in a restaurant that allows dogs.

Grammaw

April 1st, 2010
1:15 pm

P.S. What’s the POINT of letting dogs (other than service dogs) into a dining establishment? I see no good coming of it.

American Mother

April 1st, 2010
1:18 pm

I worked in a pool store, and this one lady thought her little weiner dog was so cute, and would bring it in the store, because HE wanted to say hello – and she talked to it in a high-pitched baby voice and it made me sick! So no – eating out with her and her dog would be unbearable – so nix on em all. They are NOT as adorably as you think they are!!! But then again, to each his own, Peace.

Ellie

April 1st, 2010
1:19 pm

There are just too many baaad things that could happen with dogs inside a restaurant. They are DOGS and they bark, growl, snap, whine. Dogs also might do exactly the same at patios, porches, lawns, whatever. If the owner is a close relative, fine. Otherwise, keep dear doggie home.

LP

April 1st, 2010
1:20 pm

I love dogs, truly I do. I don’t think they should be in restaurants though.

Dee

April 1st, 2010
1:26 pm

If I were in a restaurant, even if I’d ordered my food and started eating, and a dog came in, I would leave immediately. I would not pay the bill either. However, if the dog friendly status of the restaurant were clearly posted, then I would not enter.

BIGDAWG

April 1st, 2010
1:26 pm

NNNNNNNNOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Julia

April 1st, 2010
1:29 pm

As a dog owner – I don’t let my dogs in the kitchen when I cook and I don’t want them INSIDE a restaurant where I am eating. However, I think having an outisde patio area that is dog friendly is a good idea – I would definitely check that out, but I don’t think I want to sit down at a table and have a dog next to me

Anne

April 1st, 2010
1:32 pm

The terms well behaved dogs and well behaved children may be viewed differently by people other than the owners or parents.

Rod

April 1st, 2010
1:33 pm

Please post a list of restaurants that allow dogs so I can avoid them. If I go and get bit I will rename the restaurants Doggones since I will be the new owner. I will being suing the owner for this practice. Service dogs are of course the exception!

rap

April 1st, 2010
1:34 pm

dogs on patios, OK. In restaurants, put up a dog friendly sign so i can elect not to eat there. Dogs owners who help or let their dogs drink out of water fountains designed for people should be scolded or required to drink out of toilets.

Diana Hilderbrand

April 1st, 2010
1:36 pm

I definitely believe that dogs do Not belong in restaurants with the exception of Seeing Eye or other service dogs. Most dogs are not completely toilet trained and since dogs are born with teeth and are carnivores, they can get aggressive and not only bite others, but get into fights with each other.They are Canines- Animals! As to the person who would leave a child in a car and ” roll down the window a little” that IS DANGEROUS & ILLEGAL!

Do you as a human being lick all over your body?

April 1st, 2010
1:41 pm

I sooooo sick and tired of people (animal worshippers) that compare dogs, cats, etc. to human beings. Some of these posts are idiotic!!! Do you see a dog when you need medical attention? Does a dog or a cat cook your food at these restaurants? Does your dog or cat give you advice? DON’T ANSWER THAT ONE! Look inward please and seek help!!!

whapow

April 1st, 2010
1:42 pm

As long as they don’t let the dogs roam around in the kitchen, I’m fine with restaurants allowing dogs.

Lisa Two

April 1st, 2010
1:44 pm

There are several places in the Atlanta area that welcome well-behaved dogs on their patios. My dog has enjoyed visiting the following places: Hemingways on Marietta Square, Muss & Turners in Smyrna, Nancy G’s in Buckhead, and Blue Moon Pizza in Marietta.

And NOTHING is worse than being in a restaurant and having a slew of soccer moms set up shop next to you and ask for a bunch of baby chairs. At that point, my meal is ruined.

Efurg

April 1st, 2010
1:47 pm

Done all over Germany. Never heard of any health issues the 6 years I lived there. Kinda liked the idea myself.

HEY

April 1st, 2010
1:50 pm

I LOVE ANIMALS, THEY TASTE GREAT!

Peter

April 1st, 2010
1:53 pm

If they let dogs in restaurants they may as well let cats, parrots, hamsters, mice, rats … you name it. I think the best suggestion is to open restaurants exclusively for dogs, and the owners may eat there as well (they may eat from the dogs plates if they wish).

Meme

April 1st, 2010
1:54 pm

I am terrified of most dogs. I have been on the teeth end of a pit bull. I have stopped going into Home Depot after I saw people in there with their dogs.

Richard

April 1st, 2010
1:54 pm

Americans are so funny…
In the 25 years I’ve been going to Europe, I have never encountered a distruptive dog or child in a restaurant. It’s just not tolerated.
It’s never bothered me to see pets with their owners in restaurants and cafes. I’ve never seen one do anything but lay on the floor.
One of my best memories is seeing an old man (with his old dog) come up the street each morning to the local cafe, order his coffee and pastry, then sit at the front table reading his paper while the dog lay at his feet. Each local who popped in for a coffee would greet the old man and pet the dog.
After the paper was read front to back, the old man would grumble something to the dog and they would both struggle to their feet. The bar keep would say good bye to the old man AND the dog. Then they would head slowly back up the street.

Civility and ritual…

You all are right…Dogs will never make it in restaurants in America….

tOM

April 1st, 2010
2:03 pm

YOU BRING DOG, I BRING CIGAR

rlm

April 1st, 2010
2:03 pm

I do not mind a cat in a restaurant. I bet restaurants that have cats don’t have other vermin. I guess some people prefer rats and mice. I see nothing wrong with a well behaved dog like a seeing eye dog, but please not a wet dog or one that is never bathed.

GA Girl

April 1st, 2010
2:05 pm

I was eating outside at Jason’s deli and the person next to me had a very well behaved dog sitting next to their table. Unfortunately the dog’s hair was flying in the breeze onto my table and food. Grossed me out. I left and won’t go back.

Dogs Rule!

April 1st, 2010
2:07 pm

As an avid dog lover, I think they should be allowed on patios. The proprietor should have the right to ask unruly or dispruptive pets and owners to leave.

That being said, the same should hold true for unruly, disruptive children. Why should I have to listen to them crying, running around and being disruptive when i am trying to eat? But I have come to realize if I want to eat in certain places, I know I am going to have to put up with it. Go into any pizzeria, mexican restaurant or taco mac on a Friday night and you will know what I am talking about.

crazy pet lovers

April 1st, 2010
2:08 pm

There is a big difference between dogs and kids.
People who compare their pets with dogs obviously don’t have kids or have no sense. Don’t try to humanize your pets, let them have freedom of their own.
@puerquito I have a dog and two kids, my kids come first than my dog.
I see bumper sticker like my dog is better than your honor student, it seems to me somebody is just jealous. People are going crazy with their pets, why not you all turn into dogs than humanizing your pets.
Please let your pets (dogs and cats) enjoy their time as who they are, let them have the freedom of being dogs or cats.
There are tons of unfortunate kids in the world, adopt one of them.

Michelle

April 1st, 2010
2:09 pm

No, it is unacceptable to have dogs in any enclosed public place. I have severe allergic reactions to ANY dog (even those claiming to be “OK” for we allergy folk). Regardless of getting shots and being on medication, I cannot be in any enclosed space with a dog or I break out in hives, my lips & eyelids swell up and my throat closes up. If I happen to be somewhere where a dog is necessary – i.e. seeing eye dog, then I leave. I feel the same way about going into a smoking environment – if I don’t like it or can’t tolerate it, I simply go elsewhere. If people need to have their dogs with them, they need to have places for those people – as Petsmart has done.

Glenda Bell

April 1st, 2010
2:14 pm

absolutely fine with me to have dogs in restaurants
most dogs are a lot friendlier, cleaner and well behaved than a lot of people i know
given the choice, i would take dogs over small children any day

bhc

April 1st, 2010
2:20 pm

I thought dogs on patios was a cool idea until we tried bringing our docile little terrier mix to a local pub one afternoon (several years ago) and someone’s unneutered male pit bill nearly ripped our little guy’s head off. The aggressive dog was sitting under a table, and when my dog walked by he immediately went berserk. I have never screamed louder in my entire life – it was so scary. Fortunately my dog’s shaggy fur protected him and he came away with minor cuts. (What if it had been our toddler instead?) The restaurant manager kicked out the guys who brought the aggressive dog, and we immediately left, too. Our lesson from that experience was that even if your own dog is well-behaved, you never know how other dogs are going to react around one another, especially where there’s food to fight over. So, I’m not for banning dogs from patios, but I certainly won’t risk bringing mine again. Also, I mean no offense to pit bull owners – I’m just stating that this one was aggressive and the owners should never have brought him to a restaurant.

Jackie Chan

April 1st, 2010
2:24 pm

I like to eat at places that have Free Cat.

Susan

April 1st, 2010
2:26 pm

Too bad Americans are becoming so sterile, homogenized and boring. Health codes are in place for good reason and should be enforced. Having said that many of the above respondents need to lighten up and remember the world outside their air conditioned cars and offices. Stepping outside your comfort zone broadens horizons, conversations and tolerance. There are known child friendly restaurants that welcome families and so there should be identifiable pet friendly patios and there restaurants that do not allow either young children or dogs.

Anyone bringing a poorly behaving child, dog or ringing cell phone to a social event should leave quickly and gracefully rather than ruining everyone’s experience.

[...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Sabrina Santangelo. Sabrina Santangelo said: I vote yes, on outdoor patios!! http://blogs.ajc.com/food-and-more/2010/03/31/should-dogs-be-allowed-in-restaurants/?cxntlid=sldr [...]

JeanV

April 1st, 2010
2:28 pm

Hate to be redundant but… I’d rather be surrounded by a dozen friendly, well behaved dogs than one screaming, bratty kid. Good luck Thirsty Dog Tavern.

Wise Man

April 1st, 2010
2:31 pm

Let me tell you something. Don’t ever date a woman with a dog. They are way to emotional about everything. I have broken off plans with women just because they got a dog in the time I said I was interested and the time I was suppose to show up.

Women should be like cats. When you lock them outside they should be able to clean, feed and fend for themselves…

GAteachermom

April 1st, 2010
2:32 pm

I lived in Europe for 11/2 years. Dogs, and sometimes cats, were often seen in restaurants. If the animal, animals, are well behaved there is no problem. If you don’t like animals, request a different table, or go to another restaurant.

sean

April 1st, 2010
2:34 pm

Bring on the dog or ban the kids… one or the other.

If people whine about it, go somewhere else. It’s like TV or radio… there are multiple channels, rather than griping about what’s on, change it to what fits your whineyass.

Doc

April 1st, 2010
2:35 pm

No thanx – No Dogs in restaurants. I have seen them in restaurants and homes where everyone pets them and then everyone handles food etc. I am sure there are other issues related to cleanliness from having them in restaurants. I think most dog owners think their personal dog is ok but …..

Bella

April 1st, 2010
2:36 pm

I think all who are in agreement that it’s ok for dogs and cats to share a space in a public restaurant with humans are very selfish and self-centered. It’s not about whether or not your pet is well behaved, or clean or whatever, the point is THESE ANIMALS SHED HAIR!!! OMG is that too extreme for a person with good sense to understand. It’s not about YOU!!! all the time, in public, YOU have to think of others. WHO WANTS ANIMAL HAIR floating around their food…GIVE ME A BREAK!!!! What in the world is wrong with people these days, does anyone care about their neighbors anymore or are you living on this earth alone. NO PET SHOULD EVER BE ALLOWED IN A PUBLIC EATING ESTABLISHMENT, NOT ON THE PATIO OR ELSEWHERE. Now if the owner wants that, then by all means to each his own, but like some of the readers commented, have a sign that is clearly seen posted, stating so.

Wise Man

April 1st, 2010
2:39 pm

What happens when the dog farts while I am trying to eat?

dogs Yes!

April 1st, 2010
2:40 pm

Yes, dogs should be allowed everywhere! It’s kids that should not be allowed in restaurants or movies. People used to stay home with their kids and take care of the kids’ needs like getting a home-cooked meal, making sure the kid got enough sleep, etc. Now it’s nothing to be out at 10 or 11 at night and see “parents” with their kids. Now parents put their own selfish needs first. Kids come second. If I wanted a kid I’d have a kid and I’d stay home and take care of the kid. More and more people have dogs and want to incorporate them into their lives because they realize dogs are better than kids. Leave it to neurotic Americans to be worrying about dog germs.

Atlantan

April 1st, 2010
2:42 pm

I would rather have any combination of well behaved dogs or kids that have been responsibly trained for the world they are sharing with all around them than intolerant, allergic, phobic, opinionated adults!

DogPeople

April 1st, 2010
2:43 pm

I’ve got an idea for all of you Dog people. Why don’t you go eat at the kennel.

You can let your nasty mutt lick your face all day long and I don’t have to look at it.

You people are sick. It’s a dog for crying out loud.

Wiser Man

April 1st, 2010
2:43 pm

The same thing happens when a dog farts as when you fart.

Shanay

April 1st, 2010
2:45 pm

People who are not animal lovers, or even likers, will never understand why dog friendly restaurants are great. I would much rather hang out on a patio with my dog, with friends, on a lovely Sunday afternoon then leave him home by himself with no social interaction. If you don’t like it, leave, there are other patios. I am grateful to these restaurants that allow dogs.

DogPeople

April 1st, 2010
2:46 pm

Anything that licks its own butt should stay at home!

dood

April 1st, 2010
2:49 pm

I can’t believe all these people say no to this. Do you refuse to eat at a friend’s house if they have a dog? Or do you choose to only associate with dog-free homes? My dog behaves better than most kids I see at a restaurant.
To all you naysayers on the dog bill, I hope you get peed on. (By a dog, not by Tiger Woods…apparently he’s into that sort of thing)