Do dogs belong at the dining table? My daughter weighs in
Wednesday, Feb 1st, 2012
As everyone who knows me knows, I’m a very proud father. Teresa and I have always put family first, and we’ve been blessed with two of the most wonderful children any parents could wish for. Has life been perfect? Of course not! I remember their teen years with a mixture of gratefulness that I was there to enjoy the good parts and even more gratefulness that the bad parts are behind us all.
Yes, we’re empty-nesters now. Except, of course, for our four-legged kids.
Our son, Lex, is spending a year in Japan, studying. Our daughter, Mikkel, is a hard-working writer and pet-trainer and mother of our only grandchild, Reagan. While our times together as a family are fewer now that everyone has grown and gone, the strength of our love as a family has never faltered.
We are fam-i-ly, as the song goes, and my family is truly everything to me.
And yet, I think as a veterinarian I’m capable of being somewhat objective about my daughter’s work. Honestly, I think she’s pretty fantastic, and I’m not the only one who thinks that, so I suspect I’m right.
The folks at Vetstreet agree. They have liked a couple of Mikkel’s recent articles so much they’ve shined a bright light on them to attract as many readers as possible.
First is a piece on how to train your dog to behave himself in a restaurant. While dog-friendly restaurants (and dog-friendly public transportation) are pretty widespread in Europe, in this country we’ve never really gone in for sharing diner space with dogs. Health and fear are the most commonly cited reasons why not, but really, it’s just a cultural difference. One that I suspect may be changing, considering how many of us share kitchens and even food without our dogs, with no problems. Writes Mikkel:
To find a pup-approved spot in your region, check out dogfriendly.com and petsonthego.com, which highlight dog-friendly restaurants around the country. Just be sure to call ahead and ask if the designated pet area is open, since many of them are seasonal. You can also ask around at your local dog park or even reach out to your favorite restaurants directly to see if they ever offer pet-friendly dining options.
You should also keep in mind that there may be children and dogs around, as well as loud talking and various other distractions, which may cause your pet to be fearful or react by lunging and barking. For some pets, the stress of the dining experience outweighs the positives, but for pooches who really enjoy dining out, there are some rules that you should follow.
I expect a lot more agreement for Mikkel’s assertion that you need to prepare your dog for the arrival of your baby. And I think she did a great job with this article:
It’s never too early to start getting your pets ready for the baby’s arrival; training should begin months before the big day. In fact, I’ve advised numerous pet owners to prepare their dog for handling a baby in the home even before becoming pregnant.
Planning is everything. So go read while this proud papa pops a few buttons with pride.