6 tips on taking your dog to the pub

by PDSA | 8 June #Lifestyle

As lockdown restrictions ease, taking your much-loved pooch to the pub can be a great way for you to spend time together. There’s a lot to consider from making sure your pup is ready, to knowing what to take – but don’t worry, we’ve got you covered! Here’s our top tips for taking your four-legged friend to the pub…

1. Check before you go!

While many pubs will welcome dogs, never assume that a pub is dog-friendly – if you’re unsure, try giving them a call or check the website and social pages before you go. Remember to consider whether the pub is a suitable place for your dog, too – if they’re nervous around other pups and/or people, being surrounded by pub visitors and doggies could be quite stressful.

 

2. Avoid too much too soon

With the consequences of lockdown, your furry friend may not be ready to take the big step of entering a busy pub environment just yet. When introducing a new environment, it’s important to take things slowly, as too much too soon can be overwhelming. Instead, start by going to a quiet pub, for a short period of time, before gradually building it up. Remember, if your pup seems afraid, calmly take them away from the situation, as you want to avoid them developing a long-term fear.

When socialising your dog at the pub, take some treats with you (but don’t overdo them!), so they can nibble on something nice while they’re there. This will help build positive memories of the pub, making it more likely that they’ll be happy to return in the future.

 

3. Know when your dog is ready to head home

We all know that the pub can be a noisy place, so it’s understandable if your dog may start to feel a little anxious. Paying attention to their body language can help you understand when your dog is giving you the cue that it’s time to head home. Holding their ears back, tucking their tail underneath them, licking their lips, yawning and hiding away, are all signs your dog is feeling unhappy.

 

4. Prevent the temptation of pub grub

The tantalising smells of pub grub can encourage your mischievous pooch to be on the lookout for snacks. This can be potentially harmful for your dog, so be prepared with your own treats and fresh water, and then they shouldn’t go eating or drinking anything that might cause them harm.

Check the floor

When you arrive at your table, remember to check that the floor is clear of potential doggy snacks. Also, always keep your dog in your sight, so you can see if they get up to mischief!

Out of reach

With food coming and going, it can be all too easy for your dog to steal a snack they shouldn’t have. Keeping your plates – and alcoholic drinks – out of reach, away from the side of the table, can prevent your pup from helping themselves.

Distraction

A great way to prevent your dog from pining after your food, is to take their own toys and treats with you. Distracting them with a chew treat, a fun toy, or a puzzle, will allow you to eat your meal in peace – especially if your dog is used to eating with you at home!

Training

No matter how much care you take to prevent your dog from taking food they shouldn’t have, accidents can still happen. Making sure that your dog knows the command for ‘leave’ before you head to the pub, can help you remove the item before it is swallowed and causes harm.

 

5. Remember your doggy pub essentials

So, you’re ready to take your four-legged friend on an adventure to the pub, but what do you need to take?

Here’s our list of doggy pub essentials:

  • Lead: Remember to make sure the lead is long enough to allow your dog to lay down comfortably, even when attached to the table
  • Travel water bottle and bowl: Communal dog water bowls can bring their own problems, which can make your dog ill, so do take your own!
  • Treats and toys: A toy, treat or puzzle will help keep them occupied while you eat
  • Something to lie on: Having something familiar to lie on can help your dog relax into their environment
  • Time for a trip to the toilet: Unlike us, there will be no dedicated place for your dog to toilet, so take them before you settle down – especially if you’re indoors – and don’t forget the poo bags!

 

6. Consider the risks of heatstroke

An enjoyable part of a visit to the pub is the beloved beer garden. But as the weather warms up, it’s important to be wary of how much time you spend in the sun, as your dog can quickly overheat. Help your dog beat the heat by sitting indoors or seeking out the shade of a tree and providing plenty of water.

While avoiding heatstroke is essential, it’s also vital to be aware of the signs of heatstroke in dogs, so you are able to act quickly should you spot them. Tell-tale signs can include:

  • Panting heavily
  • Dribbling
  • Wobbling and having trouble standing up

As restrictions continue to ease, getting back to normal may feel a little unfamiliar – especially for your pup! For help with socialising your puppy, read our lockdown socialisation advice.

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