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Can I Bring My Dog?: A Twin Cities Guide to Dog-Friendly Patios

One of the best parts of summer in the Twin Cities is patio season! We can finally spend time outside, enjoying good food and great weather! Many dog owners want to include their dogs in this summer pastime. But bef

ore we refer you to a few favorite dog-friendly patios, let’s first discuss whether or not you should bring your dog with you! Here are a few guidelines:

1.  Is it too hot outside? 
If you bring your dog along, you have to watch out for his/her comfort and safety, especially on warmer days. Be sure your dog has access to a fresh bowl of water and a shady area on the patio. If it’s a hot and humid day, we recommend leaving your dog at home in order to avoid overheating or heatstroke.

2.  Will a patio overwhelm your dog?  
If your dog tends to get anxious or has any behavioral issues, the patio probably isn’t the best place for your pooch. Often, patios get crowded, and there may be other dogs present. Sometimes, patios are also noisy and can include outdoor games (giant Jenga, anyone?) with the potential for loud, sudden noises. If your dog may be uncomfortable, anxious, or aggressive in this overwhelming setting, it’s best to avoid the patio and enjoy the comfort of your own backyard instead!

3.  Will your dog behave on-leash? 
Don’t let your dog off-leash while on the patio! In a new environment, you don’t know how your dog will react to all of the people, other dogs, and the delicious smells of food. If off-leash, your dog might try to steal food from your neighboring table, try to play with other dogs, or accidentally trip a server. Or if there is a sudden loud noise, your dog may try to run. To be safe, just keep your dog on-leash and let him relax under the table or by your feet. Remember to wrap the leash around your chair leg and not the table! Otherwise, there may be spills. Also, do not let your dog sit in the chairs or on the table.

4.  Will you leave your dinner if your dog needs a bathroom break? 
This should go without saying, but if your dog shows signs of needing to go to the bathroom, find a grassy area away from the patio. Some places have designated areas, others may not. Ask the hostess or your server when your first arrive about where it’s okay for your dog to use the bathroom and what to do with #2 baggies.

5.  Will your dog try to mooch for food? 

This is a big one! If your dog is a huge moocher pup, you may want to skip a patio visit. Why? Because there are so many potential hazards to your dog when it comes to food. Alcohol, grapes, chocolate, onions, garlic, etc… are all items that are considered toxic to your dog, not to mention leftover bones or corn on the cob. Bones may fracture or break your pet’s teeth and could cause an obstruction or intestinal damage. Corn on the cob can get stuck in the intestine and need to be surgically removed. Another danger is the risk of pancreatitis. If you dog convinces neighbors to give him fatty human food, this could lead to inflammation of the pancreas. Signs include vomiting, diarrhea, a swollen abdomen, and weakness or lethargy. If your dog gets into any human food or alcohol, contact your family veterinary or local animal emergency hospital for further instructions. To avoid any of these incidents, remind your dinner companions and patio neighbors not to feed your dog.

If your dog would make a great patio dog, check out BringFido’s list here or SideWalk Dog’s list here of local dog-friendly patios in the Twin Cities. Note that many of the distilleries, wineries, and breweries also have dog-friendly patios and fun events for dogs all summer long! If you aren’t sure whether or not dogs are allowed, be sure to call ahead of time! We hope you and your dog enjoy some fun patio time this summer!

Twin Cities dog owners have claimed these restaurants as some of their favorite dog-friendly patios (in no particular order): 
1.    Psycho Suzi’s: 1900 Marshall St. NE, Minneapolis, MN 55418
2.    Aster Café: 125 SE Main St., Minneapolis, MN 55414
3.    Urban Eatery: 2730 W Lake St. Minneapolis, MN 55416
4.    Pizzeria Lola: 5557 Xerxes Ave. S, Minneapolis, MN 55410
5.    Sea Salt Eatery: 4825 Minnehaha Ave., Minneapolis, MN 55417
6.    Bread and Pickle: 4135 W Lake Harriet Parkway, Minneapolis, MN 55410
7.    Common Roots Café: 2558 Lyndale Ave. S, Minneapolis, MN
8.    Sandcastle: 4955 West Lake Nokomis Parkway, Nokomis, MN 55417
9.    Butcher & the Boar: 1121 Hennepin Ave., Minneapolis, MN 55403
10.    The Tin Fish: 3000 E Calhoun Parkway, Minneapolis, MN 55408


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