Getting Your Pup Patio Ready

Visiting a patio can be intimidating for new dog owners. Here are a few hints to help prepare your pup for patio season.

Tipsy enjoying the patio at Bang Bang Pie & Biscuits.

Tipsy enjoying the patio at Bang Bang Pie & Biscuits.

  1. Be healthy. Make sure your dog is up-to-date on vaccines and medications. As always, make sure your dogs collar has their rabies tag on, some spaces may look to confirm the date on the tag. It would also be good to make sure you have an up to date City of Chicago Dog Registration.

  2. Avoid primetime. Until your dog has practiced the patience of visiting a patio, avoid peak hours and an overly crowded location. Start small and work your way up to a more popular location, filled with other dogs and crowded tables.

  3. Pick your seat carefully. When arriving at a patio, I always scope the room. Having a big dog, I try and pick a seat on the outer edge of the space and further away from other dogs.

  4. Practice positive reinforcement. A patio is home to a number of distractions. If your dog is food motivated, like mine, every plate of French fries that pass your table can be a test of willpower for your pup. Come prepared, with a water bowl, treats, and a favorite toy— reward your dog when they’re practicing the behavior you want to see.

  5. Set your dog up for success. I always visit a patio after a long walk, so my dog isn’t overly energetic. You know your pup best, plan your adventure so it aligns with their behaviors.