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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

VWP

April 1st, 2010
2:49 pm

For heavens sake, people – that patio where you are so offended by a dog sitting? What do you suppose happens at night when the restaurant closes and the lights go off? Any form of wildlife could be romping all over the patio and are you imagining that someone comes out every morning and steam cleans the premises?
We are way too phobic. As an older relative reminds me – in her childhood, the grocer’s cat slept in the window during the day and patrolled for rodents at night, as did the fishmonger’s cat, while the butcher had a jolly little terrier who did the same. And people were just as healthy. I can certainly understand not having animals in the kitchen or dining room, but explain the logic that a dog can’t sit under my chair at Star$s where food is NOT being served and where everyone is drinking out of a covered cup anyway?
Control freakhood.

K. Foster

April 1st, 2010
2:50 pm

We shouldn’t even be considering this. Dogs are not clean enough to be in restaurants; and what happens when one has to relieve himself inside and people are inhaling the smell of it at the same time they’re eating. Come on people, let’s not be foolish.

Wiser Man

April 1st, 2010
2:53 pm

Just guessing but I’m betting dogs are not the only thing Wise Man and DogPeople feel bitter and complain about – hope I never run into either of you while I’m out having a good time. But if I do I think I will be able to spot you from a mile away – or at least within earshot.

Be Happy! Let others be happy! Everyone act responsibly!

Xiphosura

April 1st, 2010
2:54 pm

Most people are not clean enough to be in restaurants.

ANDESI

April 1st, 2010
2:57 pm

Pets in restaurants….FOOLISH. I’ll not eat there. I have a friend with 9 dogs. Can’t eat at her house either.

dogs Yes!

April 1st, 2010
2:59 pm

I think that all restaurants inside the perimeter should allow dogs and all restaurants outside the perimeter should not allow dogs. That way if you are a dog hater who is paranoid about germs you can go eat outside the perimeter. And inside the perimeter should also be kid free. Also people with gigantic SUVs, and people who talk on cell phones in public should live OTP. Wouldn’t it be nice to take your dog to a restaurant, not have to deal with gigantic SUVs in the parking lot, not have to deal with obnoxious kids in the restaurant and not have listen to people talk on cell phones in the restaurant?

Dog Owner

April 1st, 2010
3:01 pm

While I am a dog owner, I do not eat with my dog (@ home). He’s either outdoors or in his room far, far away from my plate.

Anon

April 1st, 2010
3:05 pm

Been all over Europe and the the Caribbean…dogs, cats pert near everywhere. Never had anyone’s hair in my food. Same here in America only with out the animals. We have 2 dogs. They come and go into the kitchen. I do not put their hair in our food either. Of course being little dogs their hair does not make it to the countertops. I would love to have someplace to take our dogs with us. They are alot less noisy than some kids I have seen. As long as no one brings their pet cockroach I’m okay with well-behaved dogs in a reastaurant.

ashher

April 1st, 2010
3:07 pm

If my kid cries/whines/misbehaves, he (and one of us parents) IMMEDIATELY exits outside/leaves the restaurant to give him a chance to calm down and decide if he wants to return to finish his meal or go home. BTW – this kind of training works really really well in winter.

If my dog barks/misbehaves, ditto. He’s hypoallergenic so doesn’t shed, has training for public places and has ABSOLUTELY no excuse to act up in a restaurant. He did it for years when we lived in Germany with no problems. So do all these people still have a problem with eating in a restaurant with us?

Isn’t this really showing a problem with our low expectations of other people’s common courtesy and public behavior, rather than a problem with dogs in restaurants?

JM

April 1st, 2010
3:18 pm

I’ve seen dogs in restaurants in Europe. It didn’t bother me, because the dogs were well-behaved and unobtrusive. The concept would not work in America, because people here always think their kids and pets are perfect angels that would never misbehave or cause a disturbance. Proper public manners and behavior are a relic of the past here; it’s always “Love me, love my dog, kid, etc., etc.,while I can behave any way I want to (and if you don’t like it, I’ll get my lawyer or my gun!).

ted

April 1st, 2010
3:19 pm

I won’t go to restaurant that serves dog from or on the menu!

Donna

April 1st, 2010
3:21 pm

Personally, I wouldn’t mind. But seriously, what’s worse in a restaurant- smoking, unrestrained/unruly children or dogs? Given the choice of the three, I’d choose to sit next to a dog. Woudn’t a “designated doggie area” make sense? That way, the consumer *does* have some choice in the matter.

perry

April 1st, 2010
3:22 pm

Richard,

I really don’t care if they let dogs in restaurants in Europe. If Europe is so great, why don’t you just move there permanently? I am tired of hearing how great Europeans are, and by comparison, how backward we are. Also, aren’t there health dep’t regulations in most localities in the U.S. that forbid dogs? What a stupid idea to allow them in.

Really!!

April 1st, 2010
3:28 pm

I love dogs, own three and a cat, but they do not belong in a restaurant. Mine a not allowed to be present while us HUMANS are sitting at the table eating. We eat in our dining area and the PETS eat in their designated area. LOVE my dogs but they are DOGS and the cat.

J. Jones

April 1st, 2010
3:37 pm

I think it’s gross to have any animal around while you’re eating. If they want to patronize an establishment that is for dogs/cats then that’s fine, but keep them out of regular restaurants. There is a health code against it for a reason.

J. Jones

April 1st, 2010
3:39 pm

Dang. I should have pointed out that I’m an animal owner before someone gets their panties in a bunch and said I just don’t like animals. I have owned both dogs and cats. Neither of which were/are allowed near the table or in the kitchen.

Kim

April 1st, 2010
3:40 pm

I’d rather sit next to a dog in a restaurant than a kid. In addition to being loud, screaming, whining, etc, they cough and sneeze right on you. Sorry folks, my dog is much cleaner than your little snot-nosed germ pits.

DecaturCyn

April 1st, 2010
3:41 pm

The aversion to pet hair in restaurants is hilarious. How could Fido’s hair possibly be any dirtier than the semi-rotted animal flesh on your plate?

Egger

April 1st, 2010
3:44 pm

I don’t mind allowing dogs on patios at all. Anytime I’ve been at a restaurant with a patio where dogs were permitted they’ve always been well behaved. Like Doglover, I was at a restaurant recently where a man changed his child’s diaper on the table and I find that absolutely disgusting. I think the health department should be more concerned about that than worrying about dogs on patios.

RH

April 1st, 2010
3:51 pm

I am a dog owner / lover but there is a time and place for everything. IMO, no dogs (or any other pet) should be permitted in a restaurant.

The sense of entitlement and rudeness that currently exists in our society is very sad. I don’t care how well behaved, docile, or quiet Fido is – I really don’t care to dine with him, as I am sure other patrons don’t won’t to deal with my sweet pooch.

John N

April 1st, 2010
3:52 pm

One more vote for no dogs in restaurants. And, I won’t patronize those that allow dogs to come in.

About children: Yes, they should be well behaved. If children are noisy and disruptive, their parents should remove them from the situation. If the parents don’t remove the children, the parents should be asked to leave. However, children should never be banned from a restaurant.

mary

April 1st, 2010
3:56 pm

No thanks. We don’t need dogs in restaurants. And mainly that’s because of their owners who treat them like they are their children – their “furbabies.”

Jim

April 1st, 2010
3:57 pm

Food Fan,

It you feel so strongly about R. Thomas, why do you go there??? I have been to Paris a number of times over the years. I have always seen well-behaved dogs in the more casual restaurants. Seem very intelligent to me!

BC26

April 1st, 2010
4:02 pm

How about no. I’m a dog-lover but I would never take mine to a restaurant. People will not watch after their dog, just like they do not watch after their children. For example, I was outside on the patio at a restaurant and the woman next to me had her dog with her. I really wouldn’t have mind, except the dog began to sniff my table/food and the owner was oblivous. NO THANKS. And seriously – you need a reality check if you even want to take your dog to a restaurant. YOU ARE OBSESSED. It’s a dog! Not a child!

Black Cat

April 1st, 2010
4:11 pm

Dogs shold be allowed on patios, but not inside. The owner of the restaurant should be able to decide if dogs are allowed are not. My dog is a great companion and I love spending time with him. I wish there were more pet-friendly restaurants in Atlanta….

Really!!

April 1st, 2010
4:16 pm

Right it is a DOG not HUMAN being. Some people are really mixed up.

ashher

April 1st, 2010
4:16 pm

for all these people worried about health & safety – have you ever asked your Exterminator which restaurants they would eat in? Are you really only worried about dog hair?

And, no, dogs should not be in the kitchen where food is prepared, but a lot of other things also shouldn’t that are already there… between the storage of food, possible hygenine issues of chef & wait staff, and little six legged connoisseurs that are so prevalent in Atlanta – it’s amazing any germ-phobes ever eat out!

ATLgirl

April 1st, 2010
4:20 pm

I would rather eat at the table next to someone’s pet, than next to crying or rambunctious children. People with pets are conscious of keeping them controlled. More often than not, parents do not control their children in restaurants. (And we avoid places that cater to children). It is our experience that people who travel with their pets keep them clean and make sure they are well mannered.

Atlantan

April 1st, 2010
4:31 pm

I love my dog but don’t necessarily like other people’s dogs. I think patios are great for them, but not indoors. I also don’t think people should bring small children to nice (4 star-type) restaurants. If I’m going to drop $200+ on a meal, I don’t want to listen to a baby crying or a toddler whining.

Phil

April 1st, 2010
4:33 pm

I don’t see any reason for why a dog would need to be inside a restaurant, but I also don’t see any issue with a dog on an outside patio or deck. When you are dining outdoors you are dining with nature. You should expect that a bird may eat crumbs off the ground next to you or a bug may land on your salad. That’s all part of being in the great outdoors. But just like parents with children, dog owners should make sure their dog is quiet and well behaved while out dining so they don’t disrupt other people’s enjoyment.

Stimus

April 1st, 2010
4:40 pm

I love taking my two dogs most places I go, especially hiking around Stone Mountain and the occasional Al Fresco dining. That said, I do not believe that allowing dogs inside restaurants is wise. Some folks are terrified of dogs, sometimes for good reason, and allergic to them to boot.

I would like to be proven wrong and see folks adapt and eventually accept doggie dining companions but I see a backlash brewing.

Best of luck to this bold experiment.

DogPeople

April 1st, 2010
4:43 pm

What would you do if your dog took a dump right next to the table while others were eating their dinner? Would you pick it up? Would you cover it with a napkin so the waiter would have to deal with it?

That should be the next topic.

Wiser Man

April 1st, 2010
5:14 pm

DogPeople, what life experience caused this worst case scenario approach to life? What would you do if you decided to make the best of every situation instead of the worst?

What if it rained, the streets flooded and an Atlanta sink hole sucked the restaurant into it while you are dining? Would your waiter deal with it? Or you?

Wisest Man

April 1st, 2010
5:19 pm

@ Wiser Man

Cover it with a napkin.

Tammy

April 1st, 2010
7:17 pm

I love dogs! They make me happy, one makes me smile, two makes me smile more. So, bring them all! LOVE DOGS.

Kim

April 2nd, 2010
8:38 am

NO!!!! I think it’s totally unsanitary PERIOD.. I don’t want dog hairs, drool or feces anywhere near I am sitting and trying to enjoy my meal.

Joel six pack

April 2nd, 2010
9:34 am

Dogs are frequently better behaved than children and we don’t hear anyone complaining about kids in explicitly kid-friendly extablishments!

Tom

April 2nd, 2010
9:54 am

just another sign of how liberal atlanta is…..what a disgusting thought. Take your dog to the park, not with you to dinner at a restaurant where there are other people. Only some fruity sandal wearing free spirited yuppie would want this.

Tyler Pike

April 2nd, 2010
11:32 am

I think having dogs in restaurants is a great idea. We had a dog growing up named Clitty and every night we would feed her table scraps from Dad’s BBQ. Sometimes, we would even put Clitty in a high chair and let her eat right there at the table with the rest of the family. She wasn’t much of a conversationalist, but boy did we love that dog. Almost as much as Daddy’s BBQ.

Kupe

April 2nd, 2010
4:12 pm

Yes on dogs! I spend about two weeks per month in Germany and France for work, and routinely see dogs tucked away under the tables of my dining neighbors. And not necessarily small ones either. So, yes, if your dog is able to remain calm in crowds, I’d be thrilled to have him or her at the same restaurant.

FlyGirl88

April 2nd, 2010
4:43 pm

I also have a child, a husband, and myself with severe pet allergies. Have had to leave the park when a friendly and loveable golden retreiver licked my son’s face and his eye swelled shut in about three minutes, before I could get any Benadryl out of the backpack.
The idea of an animal inside of an eating establishment is upsetting for all of the reasons already stated above. I work on an airplane and deal with pet owners constantly…the adorable miniature peek-a-poo out of it’s required kennel and sitting on the tray table eating kibble where you will be sitting on the return flight, eating your pretzles. The cat owner who went to the lav and left kitty on her own to wander the cabin and create havoc when it encountered a blind woman and her dog. How’d you like to deal with that pandemonium at 35.000 feet. Holy Crap! Of course, it was not kitty owners fault. Kitty felt sick and needed air. Kitty was more important than the 135 passengers who had a hissing, clawing cat springing from seat to seat in the main cabin along with a barking dog and frantic blind person who didn’t know why the well trained dog was acting that way. The bloody scratch on the dogs nose was a slight hint that she couldn’t see. Most people live on planet “All About Me” and they couldn’t care less if you are bothered by their slobbering pet.

Lisa

April 3rd, 2010
9:24 am

There will be a sign on the door saying that dogs are welcome, so people with allergies and problems eating near dogs can turn around and pick another restaurant. The choice is up to the owner of the establishment whether to allow dogs or not. I know as many people who will patronize the restaurant as I do those who will not, so the restaurant will be replacing one crowd for another and will probably do just as well.

As for the ‘untrained’ children, I’ve had experiences that were almost unbearable. Since when is it okay for children to go running around the restaurant? Whatever happened to common sense and good manners? It’s all about giving into the child and letting the child do whatever the child wants to do. …and these adults think it’s cute. How about if they keep their children on leashes, and we let the dogs curl up under the table where they sit peacefully?

Scrappy's Dad

April 3rd, 2010
12:54 pm

I agree that I’d rather be with a 100 dogs instead of one screaming kid. And for those that think it won’t be clean – You obviously never worked in a restaurant – The dogs are cleaner then the walk-ins.

thefluffyturtle

April 3rd, 2010
5:09 pm

As for the hotels….the big HOTELS UPTOWN NYC all take FURBABIES….cater to them like they are royalty…this should go over well in ATL also!!!

Parent and Dog Lover

April 4th, 2010
2:18 pm

I’d much rather be in a restaurant with well behaved dogs than one with ill-behaved children.

Pi$$onaDAWG

April 4th, 2010
2:21 pm

If I have to sit outside to have a Smoke then I should be able to have dinner with my dog. He rides with me everywhere and goes in many stores I shop at in my Small town. He has more manners than many a child. I want a resturant that keeps kids out, smokers, and Dogs in. Half the reason all these kids are so sick is you parents try to keep every germ away and that just ain’t going to happen. I know you kids has has eaten bugs and dirt, and you picked up a cookie off the floor and ate it too.

Southern Lady

April 4th, 2010
2:25 pm

I say no to dogs, crying kids and smokers when I am a paying customer at an eating establishment.

Pi$$onaDAWG

April 4th, 2010
2:35 pm

That is just the point Southern Lady! I can pay to have my smoke, drink, and my dog and if you don’t like it then go elsewhere. We should be able to enjoy our vices and you should be able to avoid them. It is up the the Owners and the Patrons.

Katz P. Ajamas

April 4th, 2010
2:41 pm

In my travels I’ve enjoyed restaurants with dog many times. The latest, seven dish dog, in Hanoi was wonderful. I look forward to the creativity of our American chefs when applied to this most delectable and healthful food.

sad brotha

April 4th, 2010
2:48 pm

The people of the “ALL ABOUT ME” town of Atlanta would ruin an innovative idea. Bubba and Willie would start bringing in their pit bulls and you’d have scared away good paying customers while gangstas and rednecks (more gangstas due to the ATL’s demographics) would take over…and the businesses would fail. Think logically and remember the demographics and SAT scores of this sorry state and Rep. Hank Johnson… pass out life preservers in case the restaurant sinks from to many customers!