Coffee Shops are springing up all around most busy neighborhoods and communities.  Chances are you might be one of many who enjoy dropping in to grab a cup of coffee, a snack, or even utilize the wifi at your neighborhood coffee shop.   If you are a dog owner and your favorite shop is pet friendly, you might consider taking your dog along with you the next time you go.  Before you do, make sure you can follow good dog etiquette while you are there.  


The first step would be to find out if your local coffee shop does, in fact, allow pets.  Find out if there are any restrictions regarding breed or size, and if dogs are restricted to certain outside areas. It will be easier to know exactly where to sit with your dog before you get there so you can go directly to the dog-friendly area instead of wandering around.


Next, be sure your dog is able to behave in this type of environment.  Make sure your dog is properly socialized and comfortable around strangers, especially kids who are more prone to approaching your dog excitedly. Does your dog know and obey basic commands like sit and stay? Be sure he is non-aggressive with other dogs or people before attempting to take him with you. 


Socialization is extremely important in order to be able to take your dog with you to public places where they will be in close proximity to other dogs and the general public.  Poorly socialized dogs can be fearful and aggressive in unfamiliar or hectic places. Proper training and socialization can help your dog not be afraid or a danger to himself or others.  It can help them be more easygoing and calm in new places with strangers.


Once your dog attains the appropriate temperament for a coffee shop outing, there are a few tips to accomplish before arrival that will help him be even more behaved by the time you get there.  Take him for a long walk or to a dog park to run around right before going to the local coffee shop.  A walk or some playtime will give your dog a chance to release excess energy and time to do his business before you sit down to relax.  


Bring a portable water bowl with you, along with a chew toy or toy with a snack inside, to keep your dog busy and content while at the shop.  Do not allow your dog to eat or drink from the shop’s dishes or beg for food from other patrons.  If you happen to forget a water bowl, ask for a plastic bowl or to-go container to put some water in for your dog.


Keep your dog on a short leash while on the coffee shop premises.  The leash should be attached to your body, not the table or chairs, so that you always have control of your dog in case of another animal that might make your dog want to give chase.  A short leash also prevents your dog from getting in the way or bothering other patrons or workers. 


Supporting your local community businesses is important and will keep your neighborhood thriving.  It’s a great way to foster friendships and business ventures with your neighbors as well.  If you can bring your well-behaved dog with you on your outings, it will make life and local friendships much easier.  Well-behaved dogs will allow these businesses to keep an open pet policy, and make local pet owners happy.

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