The Twin Cities metro is known for its love of dogs – there are over 20 off-leash dog parks in the area, not to mention the dozens of dog-friendly patios and get-togethers. But what exactly are the rules when it comes to pooches and parties? Is it okay to bring your four-legged friend to brunch?  Read on for some common dog etiquette questions and find out the answers to your burning questions!

Can I bring my dog(s) to your BBQ, kid’s birthday party, etc.?

Emily Post, who literally wrote the book on etiquette, always stated that only the people listed on the invitation are actually invited to the event. However, this is the 21st century – people often find out about parties and get-togethers through brief social media posts or emails and dogs aren’t exactly the same as a plus one.

When it comes to whether your pup is welcome at a certain event, first consider who is hosting and what the occasion is. If you feel as though the dog may be welcome, don’t be afraid to send a quick message to the hostess. Something along the lines of, “Is Tim’s birthday party dog-friendly?” is perfectly acceptable and will give you a very quick answer.

My favorite restaurant allows dogs on their patio – how do I know if my dog will behave?

Many pet owners have learned the hard way that patio seating with a pooch is not always easy. Excited dogs may try to jump on wait staff, beg from other patrons or – yikes – do their business right in front of everyone. If you have never brought your dog to a restaurant or taproom patio before, it’s a good idea to do a little homework beforehand.

The most important thing is the well-being of your pet and safety of others, so always consider a dog’s personality first. Do they enjoy when there is company over or do they tend to be shier or anxious? If you think that Fido may enjoy a trip to a patio, go on a day when it’s less crowded to test the waters. Take your dog for a nice, long walk to get out any excess energy prior to heading to your final destination. If all goes well, your furry friend will be relaxing under your seat while you dine al fresco.

What if I want to bring my dog with on our summer trip?

More and more hotels, camp sites, and resorts are becoming dog-friendly, allowing for the fifth member of your family to tag along on that annual summer trip. However, it is once again vital to do your homework prior to booking any tickets. Remember that dogs are creatures of habits and may be a bit uneasy about a sudden change in routine. Ensure your dog is healthy and mentally capable of a trip, even if only a few days long.

It is also important to remember that your pet is a guest just like you, and common courtesies exist. Ensure your pooch is freshly bathed and up to date on any and all vaccines and heartworm treatments. Bring along plenty of food, small toys, and blankets for cozying up with. If you’re accustomed to your dog in the bed with you at night, ensure the sheets are stripped for cleaning every morning – even better, bring extra bedding from home. The house-keeping staff will thank you.


By Rachelle Gordon