Last year I wrote about my love of dining out with my pups. Fortunately in New York, most restaurants with outdoor seating allow dogs, so finding one is as easy as taking a walk around the neighborhood. Even if I don’t have my canine crew with me, I like to support pet friendly establishments. Recently, I discovered a website dedicated to dog friendly reviews, PetFriendlyRestaurants.com.
The website uses a bone rating system from one bone, awarded to restaurants that simply allow pets, to three bones, bestowed on restaurants that go out of their way to welcome dogs with water bowls and treats.
A lot of the places I frequent, such the Boat Basin Café in New York, are on the website with numerous multi-bone reviews. As I browsed through the listings, I was sad to see that many local favorites no longer welcome dogs.
Some are unavoidable, such as George Keeley’s, which was forced to stop letting dogs inside the bar after one too many health code fines. But others may have been preventable, such as Grey Dog’s Coffee, which banned animals after a dog bit a child. Unfortunately, Grey Dog’s Coffee isn’t the first to do so. I’ve heard about numerous other restaurants that have had to stop allowing pets after patrons failed to pick up after their dogs or let unruly pups disturb other customers.
It’s too bad that everyone has to suffer because of a few irresponsible people. This problem could be eliminated if people had the common sense to bring only well-behaved pets and to be vigilant about monitoring behavior. Even the most well trained dog can have a bad day. If I’m going to a restaurant, I always bring a chew toy to keep Nemo occupied and tie his leash to my chair, just in case. When Nemo was a puppy, if he got antsy, we would walk him around the block in between dishes.