“Don’t Worry, He’s Friendly.” A Dog Lover’s Guide to Teaching Coffee Shop Manners to Your Pet

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One of the most enjoyable experiences of owning a dog can be taking your faithful companion with you to coffee shops on a nice, sunny day. In fact, it can be a great way for you (and your dog) to make new friends of both the two-legged and four-legged variety. Most dog owners do this with the best intentions, looking to bond with their pet, practice obedience training skills, and socialize their dog. 

Of course, there is a right way and a wrong way to do everything. All My Chihuahuas offers some etiquette tips for dog owners so your next coffee shop visit with your pup can be an enjoyable experience for everyone.

  1. Clean up after yourself. If your dog hikes a leg where he’s not supposed to, knocks over coffee, or makes a mess at the cafe, don’t walk away and leave it for someone else to clean up. The baristas are busy preparing other peoples’ orders, and nobody should have to clean up your dog’s mess besides you. Accidents happen sometimes, even with the most well-behaved dogs. Happy Breath notes to just be sure to do the right thing and take responsibility for any messes your pup may cause.
  1. Obey the law. It’s tempting to bring your pup with you everywhere, especially if your neighborhood has a high walk score. That means it’s easy to walk to most errands and appointments. You may want to bring your pup with you on many outings, but it’s important to remember that some local city health departments don’t allow pets inside of restaurants, coffee shops, or other establishments that prepare and serve foods or beverages. Also know that a universal mandate is to have your pup on a leash, unless of course they’re at a dog park where they can run. While you’re out and about in town, it’s an even better idea to be equipped with an escape-proof harness, which keeps your companion safe and secure.

Unless your pet is a registered service dog, be prepared to follow the local laws surrounding pets in public places. When possible, look online or call ahead to the establishment instead of bringing your dog and being asked to leave. Do your research in advance to get your cafe experience off on the right paw. 

  1. Bring treats. Not all coffee shops offer dog treats, so bring some with you so that you can reward your dog for good behaviors. Hepper.com cites research showing that positive reinforcement is more successful in dog training than punishment, so bring those treats to help your pup learn the ropes the right way.

When it comes to dog food, it’s important to choose options that are not only delicious but also natural and nutritious. After all, what we feed our furry friends can have a big impact on their health and wellbeing. That’s why you should always make sure to bring along food that is made with high-quality ingredients and free from any artificial preservatives or additives. Check it out for more info! If you’re looking for some tasty and wholesome options for your pup, be sure to explore a selection of natural dog treats.

  1. Encourage desired behaviors. If you’re curious whether or not your dog is ready to accompany you to a coffee shop, here is a handy list of qualities to look for. Although this list was created with service dogs in mind, it applies to any four-legged coffee shop companion. It’s also a good idea to keep an eye on your dog at all times, especially at first, rather than tying your dog up outside while you walk away.
  1. Watch your stress levels. If you are anxious about your dog’s first outing, they likely will be, too. Pets can pick up on our stress from work and new situations and respond in kind. Try to keep your emotions in check, and watch your pup for signs of anxiety, like frequent urination, change in demeanor, or excessive scratching. If the anxiety is too high, head back home and try again another time.  
  1. Curb negative behaviors. Does your dog lunge at everyone and everything in sight, try to steal food from small children, or jump up on counters? If your dog has behavioral issues or is fearful, anxious, aggressive, or rambunctious, you can start by teaching good behaviors at home. Praise your dog and give him a treat when he displays good behaviors. Sometimes it takes a long time for our pets to learn to behave in public, so practice at home and in safe, public spaces before committing to an extended diner or coffee date with your four-legged friend. 

Once you know the local laws, your dog is housebroken, and you’ve taught them some basic obedience behaviors, you might be ready to take your dog to the coffee shop. Be patient, take it slow, and very carefully work your way up to longer visits each time. Remember, this is a learning experience for both of you. With consistent training and positive reinforcement, you and your dog can learn to enjoy the perks of dining out together. 

For more information about chihuahua ownership and care, visit All My Chihuahuas today!