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10 Tips for Dining Out with Your Dog

Posted on: July 11th, 2014 by

blue sign saying dogs welcome on patioBy Arden Moore, a certified dog and cat behaviorist with the International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants. Arden is an author, radio host, and writer for Pets Best, a dog insurance and cat insurance agency.

Look closely under the tables at outdoor eateries – perhaps, even seated on chairs – and you will discover a fast-growing segment of cuisine clientele – dogs. Tapping into America’s love of pets, some savvy restaurant owners with outdoor patios are catering to canines to drum up business and boost their bottom line.

To ensure that the number of pet-welcoming eateries steadily increases, here are 10 etiquette tips for you to heed the next time you leash your dog and head to the nearest pet-welcoming café of bistro:

1. Test your dog’s obedience-heeding commands at home and on walks. Your dog should be able to ace the “sit,” “stay,” and “leave it” commands.

2. Exercise your dog before dining out. A tired dog is less apt to be rambunctious and more apt to want to snooze under your table while you enjoy your meal.

3. Give your dog ample time to take care of his bathroom needs before you head to a restaurant. Just in case: bring extra poop disposable bags so your dog doesn’t create a “stink” at the restaurant.

4. Come prepared. Bring a portable water bowl and perhaps a bag of healthy doggy treats.

5. Play it low key. Don’t make a big fuss about your dog joining you at an eatery. Tether your dog’s leash to your chair.

6. Reel in that leash. Keep your dog on a short rein – about 4 feet. Do not let your dog, even those itty-bitty cute ones, wander into tables occupied by other patrons.

7. Be prepared to request a doggy bag to go if your dog acts up by barking, lunging at other dogs or insisting on sniffing the lower extremities of other patrons.

8. Set your dog up for success by selecting times to test his dining manners at non-peak serving times.

9. Be candid with yourself. If you know your dog can not bring his A-level manners to the restaurant, then keep him at home.

10. Refrain from letting your dog perch on your lap – or worse – lap up leftovers from your plate. Keep those habits inside the privacy of your own home so other patrons can enjoy their meals.

Advice to restaurant owners: I highly recommend you invite a professional dog trainer to give a dog behavior workshop to your staff to keep them safe when serving people and their dogs.

And, finally, show your appreciation to the restaurant staff for allowing your dog to dine with you by providing a tip of at least 20 percent. Bone appétit!

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MVTB Contest Finalist: Dr. Mel Falk

Posted on: July 10th, 2014 by

My Vet's the Best finalist Dr. Mel Falk at Hidden Valley Animal Hospital in Independence, Missouri.

Meet Dr. Mel Falk, one of the six finalists in the Pets Best Summer 2014 round of the My Vet’s the Best Contest. Pets Best, a leading U.S. pet health insurance agency developed the contest to recognize the country’s best veterinarians. Each year, thousands of veterinarians receive nominations from grateful pet owners.

Dr. Falk grew up on a farm in the tiny town of Alta Vista, Kansas. He developed a love for animals and knew he wanted to be a veterinarian at a young age. In 1974 he graduated with a degree in veterinary medicine from Kansas State University, and then made the move to Independence, Missouri.

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MVTB Contest Finalist: Dr. Madge Smith

Posted on: July 10th, 2014 by

My Vet's the Best finalist Dr. Madge Smith at Smith Veterinary Hospital in Berne, Indiana.

Meet Dr. Madge Smith, one of the six finalists in the Pets Best Summer 2014 round of the My Vet’s the Best Contest. Pets Best, a leading U.S. pet health insurance agency developed the contest to recognize the country’s best veterinarians. Each year, thousands of veterinarians receive nominations from grateful pet owners.

Dr. Smith is a 1976 graduate of Purdue University School of Veterinary Medicine, and opened her family owned practice, Smith Veterinary Hospital, more than 30 years ago in Berne, Indiana.

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MVTB Contest Finalist: Dr. James Beeson

Posted on: July 10th, 2014 by

My Vet's the Best finalist Dr. James Beeson at Village Way Veterinary in Advance, North Carolina.

Meet Dr. James Beeson, one of the six finalists in the Pets Best Summer 2014 round of the My Vet’s the Best Contest. Pets Best, a leading U.S. pet health insurance agency developed the contest to recognize the country’s best veterinarians. Each year, thousands of veterinarians receive nominations from grateful pet owners.

Dr. Beeson is a graduate of the University Of Tennessee College Of Veterinary Medicine. With a deep connection to North Carolina, he began practicing in Winston-Salem after graduating from vet school.

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MVTB Contest Finalist: Dr. Theresa Ortega

Posted on: July 10th, 2014 by

My Vet's the Best finalist Dr. Theresa Ortega of the Veterinary Medical and Surgical Group in Ventura, California.

Meet Dr. Theresa Ortega, one of the six finalists in the Pets Best Summer 2014 round of the My Vet’s the Best Contest. Pets Best, a leading U.S. pet health insurance agency developed the contest to recognize the country’s best veterinarians. Each year, thousands of veterinarians receive nominations from grateful pet owners.

Dr. Ortega has a strong connection to the University of California, Davis. Receiving both her undergraduate degree in Biological Sciences and veterinary degree from UC Davis, two years later, she also completed her internal medicine residency training there in 1995. After finishing her residency, she remained at UC Davis as a faculty replacement for the Small Animal Medicine service.

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