Why is that searching for a dog-friendly bar can be such a hassle? There seems to be a wide scale between those that claim to welcome dogs and those that actually welcome dogs with open arms. The good news is that dog-friendly bars are on the rise. In fact, if you take your time to research your area, you can find some real gems out there.

Don’t Assume That All Bars Love Dogs.

Beware of “pet-friendly” bars that are anything but. How many times have you been to a bar in a hotel or downtown establishment that let you down? They may have a “dog-friendly” sign on the door but this doesn’t always mean a lot. They might let you bring your dog inside as long as they stay tethered to a table leg and don’t make a noise. The servers might roll their eyes if your dog jumps up or ignore your companion altogether. That isn’t making a dog welcome, is it?

Find The Ones That Do.

There are lots of ways that bars can become more accommodating to dogs and many of them embrace this. They know that every friendly, happy dog has an owner that will drink, eat and make a return visit. Some take small steps with their attitudes and facilities while others go all out. So, what should you look for in the best dog-friendly bars near you?

1) The Attitude Of The Staff.

This is essential and you can tell early on if they genuinely like dogs. Do the staff say hello to four-legged visitors? Does their voice go an octave higher for a particularly cute pup or a good boy? Will servers take the time to pet dogs and ask about them? This is important because it shows that they really do value your dog as an important patron. However, some establishments can take this even further.

2) The Food And Drink On Offer.

When we go to a bar, the first question is simple: “What can I get you to drink?”. It is so nice to hear “what can I get you both?” instead. In some bars, this might just mean bringing a bowl of water out in front of the bar or to your table. But, some bars will have dog-friendly beverages your pet will love.

Then there is the food. Niche bar menus with fun snacks are a must in all the trendiest spots in town. A truly dog-friendly bar will have its own dog-friendly menu. Talk with the staff about these options and give your pet a treat.

3) The Facilities For The Dog.

When I say facilities, I don’t just mean somewhere where they can relieve themselves after their food and drink. Some dog bars have special play areas for dogs. This is a great way to let dogs have more fun. The social scene of the local bar is mirrored in canine form as they meet familiar faces, play games and maybe get into an unnecessary argument. Take a look at the security of any indoor or outdoor areas before you let your dog play there.

4) Their Outdoor Spaces.

Last, but certainly not least, what sort of outdoor area is available? This can vary greatly. Some bars will claim to be dog-friendly simply because they relaxed the rules on letting pups on patios. This doesn’t really give them space to play or run around. Others will have bigger yards for the play areas and gated creches. Some will have bigger gardens or even bigger patches of grass for dogs to run around on. Here it is basically a dog park with a bar attached and the dogs come before the owners.

How To Find The Best Dog-friendly Bar In Your Area.

Now, just because there are more dog-friendly bars out there doesn’t mean that your local is one of them. You might need to do a little more research to find a great option in your area. You may also have to travel a little further than you normally would. But, a cold drink in a nice bar is a great reward after a long walk. The perfect dog-friendly bar is worth the effort.

Take a closer look at local bars that claim to be dog-friendly and don’t be afraid to ask plenty of questions. Do they have any restrictions? What facilities are available? How extensive is the menu? Also, be aware that some popular establishments will have membership fees. You might not be able to just stroll in off the street.

Look at the photos and customers reviews first. You can’t always take a company by their word. They might promise the best dog-friendly experience and fall short. Online photos from social media and customers will give you a good idea of the outdoor spaces, facilities and just how happy their dog was. If a dog owner isn’t happy with a service they will be sure to leave an honest review to warn other people. Make sure to take advantage of that.

Bars Are Encouraged To Become Dog-friendly For Increased Custom.

It really is in the best interest of bars to allow well-behaved dogs into their establishment. If the dog is well trained then they will be of no threat to anyone else. Being dog-friendly is an instant way to improve your reputation as a fun, relaxing place to hang out. Dog owners can turn up knowing that they can have a fun evening with their pal and maybe meet like-minded people. The right attitude, facilities and menus can make a big difference when it comes to repeat visits.

Also, dog-friendly bars are a massive hit on social media so will improve the bar’s profile. What are some of the most common Instagram subjects? Groups drinking in bars, attractive plates of food and cute dogs. Combine all three and you hit the jackpot.

Find The Right Dog-friendly Bar For Your Canine Companion.

Hopefully, you can find somewhere that isn’t too far from home that provides everything that you and your dog will need. It really does pay to research your options and seek out that ideal canine drinking hole. Before long, you can make it a regular haunt and enrich both your social life and that of your pup.