As temperatures rise in the Valley, dog-friendly restaurants will soon see a spike in four-legged friends joining guests for dinner. Are you doing your best to make sure your pup and those around them can enjoy their meal? These simple tips will ensure that stopping by your favorite restaurant for a bite to eat is a great experience for you and your pet.

Feed your dog before

A dog’s sense of smell is 40 times greater than humans, so when you bring them to dinner with you, they experience all the delicious smells much more intensely. Feeding your furry friend right before you leave home will eliminate the temptation to beg and whine for food at the table.

Ask for a water bowl

It’s important for your dog to stay hydrated, especially in the Phoenix heat. Many restaurants are happy to make your pup feel right at home, so don’t be afraid to ask for a bowl of water. If you ask politely, your server may even add ice to the bowl to give your dog something to crunch on.

Bring a distraction

Is your dog more likely to sleep through dinner or be impatiently waiting to go home? If you answered the latter, don’t be afraid to bring their favorite toy or treat with you to keep them distracted. Frozen treats or chew toys are great outlets to avoid boredom and unwanted behavior.

Stay on leash

While your dog may be your best friend, others may not feel the same. Keeping them on a leash ensures that you’ll have control if they’re spooked by a loud car passing by or sees another pup they don’t like. In addition, having them close by keeps them from potentially getting stepped on by passersby. In the end, being on a leash could protect others or your pet from a scary situation.


The sights, sounds and smells at a restaurant can be overwhelming for your pet, but remember that they feed off of your energy. Staying calm, cool and collected can keep them from feeling stressed. Calmly ask your dog to lie down next to you during the meal and give them the item you brought to distract them.

Now that you have the tools, take your dog to dinner for a fun way to socialize with other pups and enjoy a night out!


French native Romain Lauro owns Salut Kitchen Bar in Tempe and has more than 20 years of experience in the restaurant industry.