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Essential Etiquette for Dog-Friendly Parks & Restaurants

By Mike in Downtown San Diego Lifestyle with 0 Comments

Go anywhere in downtown San Diego and you’re sure to see locals out on a walk with their dogs. Lucky for those who live in the area, there are plenty of great dog parks and nearby restaurants that allow dogs. Trusted 92101 real estate agents want to share some tips on enjoying these dog-friendly spots in downtown.

Dog Parks


Some leash-free dog parks are fenced in, accessed by a double-entry gate. From the parking area to the gate, your dog should be on a short tether. At a double-entry gate, exiting dogs have the right of way. Before entering, allow them to leave first, then remove your dog’s leash between the first and second gates. Also, ensure one gate is always closed. Once you’re through the gate, keep on moving. Some dogs get spooked when they see a pack of canines coming toward them. Make sure to foster polite introductions between your pooch and potential playmates.


When a pet first enters the park, it may sniff the area out, assessing safety. Train your dog to refrain from rushing a new entrant. If your dog noses another with resultant signs of dislike, have it back off. Remove any prong collars or metal harnesses before allowing play. Other canines who innocently nip may get hurt by the hardware. Replace metal collars with nylon or leather.


If you see other owners teaching new behaviors, try not to interfere. Off-leash training requires uninterrupted focus. Make sure your pup’s license is attached to its collar. Always clean up after your dog, keeping multiple disposal bags with you at all times.


Not all dog parks separate large and small animals. If your dog is small, keep a watchful eye around big hounds. They can view puppy-sized dogs as prey. Large dogs that are sweet with people can occasionally morph into bullies with their own kind.

If your pooch likes chasing and racing other dogs, stay alert to barking and growling. Avoid nasty interactions by using distractions. Call, whistle, or throw a ball. Just don’t use squeaky toys since they can rile other dogs.

Some owners don’t intervene when it’s clear certain dogs don’t like each other. They think if their pets “work it out,” the drama will resolve. Avoid waiting to see what evolves. It’s too risky.

Disease Protection

It’s vital to stay current with vaccinations. If you have a puppy less than three months old, make sure all required vaccinations are complete. Otherwise, the dog may be vulnerable to picking up parvo, distemper, Giardia, and worms. Diseases are easily contracted from other dogs.

Also, ensure your pooch gets flea and tick treatments. Protect other dogs from infestation. Be sure you can identify poison ivy and poison oak. Their oils can spread from your pet’s fur, giving you and others a nasty rash.

Dog-Friendly Restaurants


If you haven’t yet been to a restaurant with your pet, it’s best to prepare for the excursion. Otherwise, the experience may be stressful for both of you. When dogs are insecure, hungry, or confused, they may end up whining, barking, or begging for food.

First, call the restaurant and make sure their dog-friendly policy hasn’t changed. If it’s still in effect, make a reservation for an early breakfast, lunch, or dinner. Your pup will be less anxious in the company of fewer diners.

Next, practice commands. Your dog should consistently sit, lie down, stay, and come when requested. Exercise your dog beforehand, playing until it is tired. With less pent up energy, your pet will be more docile.

Pack a water bowl and a long-lasting chewy treat or toy. Just before leaving, feed your pup. Otherwise, restaurant food can prompt a scene. Also, make a pit stop so your dog doesn’t need to do business while on the premises.

Dining Advice

Try to choose a corner table away from patron traffic and the kitchen. Also, on a patio, secure a spot shaded from the sun and heat, if possible.

Tether your dog to your chair rather than the table, since this can result in spills. Don’t let your pooch mingle with other diners or dogs. Maintain a safe distance.

Don’t let your dog sit on your lap, the table, or an adjacent chair. Eating or drinking from restaurant tableware is off limits.

Should your dog cause a disturbance, promptly pay for your meal and leave. Dining with your pet is a courtesy, with the understanding that it won’t upset other guests. Lastly, give a waiter who cares for your dog a generous tip.

If you’re a dog owner and are thinking about purchasing real estate in downtown San Diego, it’s important to choose a spot that your dog will feel comfortable in. Many of the people who own lofts, penthouses, and condos in 92101 are also dog owners, so you’re sure to find something that meets your needs. Give the real estate experts at 92101 Urban Living a call at 619-649-0368, and we can help you find the perfect living space to meet your needs. ')}