No Doggie Bag Needed

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I don’t like dogs in restaurants.
Lately I’ve been seeing more and more of them. Owners’ dogs and patrons’. Dogs parked under tables and perched in laps. Freely roaming and lashed to table legs.

It’s not that I don’t like dogs.
I just don’t like the way they smell. And drool. And press their cold, wet noses against my bare skin. And beg for attention, please. Please. Pleasepleaseplease! Especially when I’m eating.

I know what you’re going to say...
I believe you when you tell me that your dog is quiet and docile and super hygienic. I’m sure it’s better behaved than most children. I realize that nobody bans unruly kids and crying babies from restaurants. But I don’t agree that this is unfair.

A line has to be drawn somewhere.
I can accept that a pet dog is like a family member. I try not to roll my eyes at the tens of millions of dog owners who buy Christmas gifts for their pets. I’m even happy to have colleagues celebrate June 25 as Take Your Dog to Work Day as long as they give me June 26 as This Office Still Smells Funny Day.

Don’t point to Paris.
It’s true, in France you’ll see dogs joining their owners in the Metro, in hair salons, and yes, in restaurants. But as with French children, there is some ingrained self-restraint that enables French dogs to sit patiently through even drawn-out, elaborate meals. I’m sorry, but American pets and children just don’t have it.

What the law says about this.
The FDA publishes a food code┬áthat is intended to serve as a model for state and local regulators to develop their own food safety rules. The code prohibits all live animals (except service animals and fish in tanks) in retail establishments where food is served. It’s up to state and local authorities to draft and enforce their own rules.

Dog lovers (and those who want to avoid them) can find pet-friendly dining options at Pet Friendly Travel and Dog Friendly (US, Canada, and Mexico), Bring Fido (world-wide), and Fido Factor, a phone app that bills itself as ‘Yelp for dogs.’

Not just dogs: Kids Gone Wild (in restaurants) speaks to that other group of unwelcome patrons.

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4 Responses to No Doggie Bag Needed

  1. Pingback: Food Trucks For Dogs Have Arrived « Dogzone NYC

  2. Pingback: Food Trucks for Dogs | Gigabiting

  3. Janice says:

    But we ARE allowed to leave them in a car with the window cracked while we go in to eat. Dogs, not babies.

  4. You are totally right on this one. There are certain elements of basic hygiene around food that don’t match up with the furry muddy dusty little family pet no matter how sweet and gentle and well-behaved it may be. And the whole thing with they are like children…um, no, they are not. They will not take you to your doctor’s appointment when you are 80- but I do agree it is easier to love them unconditionally cause they never talk back.

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Is it appropriate conversation for the dinner table? Then it should be fine.

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