Dining out with your best friend is one of life’s little pleasures. When that best friend has four legs and a penchant for barking, going out to eat requires a bit of forethought.
Thanks to South Carolina’s warm climate, lots of establishments offer patio dining. Increasingly, they are welcoming people and their pups who want to experience the joys of a human-canine culinary adventure. This can be especially appreciated by travelers who don’t want to ditch their hound in unfamiliar hotel surroundings.
While many offer water and perhaps a doggie biscuit, there are those that go beyond the drinking bowl to make your pet feel just as important as any paying guest.
Here are 11 restaurants across the state with menus just for furry friends, followed by a brief review of doggy dining etiquette. From steak to scrambled eggs to frozen treats, these establishments aim to please a variety of pooch palates.
Before you leash up, remember these rules of etiquette for patio dining with your dog:
Do your homework. Not every patio welcomes pets. Inquire about pet policies before you show up.
Take a good, long walk prior to taking a table so your pet can expend energy and have potty time before settling down for a meal and socializing.
Bring a toy or chewy bone in case a distraction is needed.
Keep your dog on a leash unless the establishment offers a run or fenced-in area for pets. And keep that leash secured to your person or chair. Avoid long leashes that enable your pet to wander to other tables.
Always ask permission of other dog owners before allowing your dog to socialize with their pets.
Be mindful of your fellow diners. Barking, sniffing and begging might seem cute to some folks, but annoying to others. If necessary, leave the patio and take your pet for a quick, calming walk.
Always arrive with plenty of poop bags—and use them. Every. Single. Time. No exceptions.
Scout out grassy areas appropriate for potty breaks. Make sure they are far enough removed from the patio to protect fellow diners from unpleasant sights and smells.
Keep pets off the table to maintain a clean eating surface for yourself and the diners who come after you.
Ease into it. If your pooch is new to the patio dining social scene, practice first with a few brief visits during non-peak times.