How to take your dog out to eat

Little Bear, a border collie/shepard mix, lives with Liz Valenti, co-owner and chef of the Wheat Penny Oven and Bar, a popular restaurant in Dayton. CONTRIBUTED
Little Bear, a border collie/shepard mix, lives with Liz Valenti, co-owner and chef of the Wheat Penny Oven and Bar, a popular restaurant in Dayton. CONTRIBUTED

You know it’s summer in Dayton when you see people taking advantage of the warmer weather and eating on restaurant patios.

With their dogs.

While a good many establishments throughout the area are prepared to accommodate and welcome your four-legged family member, even perhaps providing water and a little affection, there are a few things to consider before you venture out.

First and foremost, would your dog enjoy the experience? Restaurants are busy places. Lots of people. Lots of noise. Possibly even other canines.

Teddy, my family’s 7-year-old Lab, doesn’t like a lot of activity going on around him. He would love the attention of the servers and wouldn’t mind sitting on the patio. But the hustle and bustle would bother him. While we would be trying to enjoy our meal, he would be trying to meet and greet every other dining dog.

Some families include their dogs in their outdoor dining experiences with great success. I’ve known several, in fact.

But keep in mind most eateries either prefer or require that you make reservations ahead of time if you plan to bring pets. Generally, a dog must wear a non-retractable leash and stay on the patio. Furrier ones are not allowed to sit on the furniture or their owners’ laps.

Also, four-legged guests are not allowed to use dishes or glasses. Most places will offer water in dog bowls or disposable containers.

You can’t feed your dog from your plate so bring along a few of his favorite treats on these patio trips. If you have leftovers, ask for a “doggy bag” so you both can enjoy the tasty morsels at home.

Finally, don’t forget the poop bags. If an accident happens, a server can help you get the area cleaned quickly, but it’s your responsibility, of course.

If California-style pizza with your pooch on a warm summer’s night sounds good, consider Wheat Penny Oven and Bar on Wayne Avenue in Dayton. The first restaurant in our area to offer patio dining for dogs has been serving people along with their furry family members for four years.

Liz Valenti, co-owner and chef, has a soft spot for dogs. Her rescue Little Bear, a 9-year-old border collie/shepard mix with a playful, loving personality, is always ready to meet new people. Little Bear was found roaming Interstate 70.

Over half of Wheat Penny’s employees own dogs. Bartender Kiki Huddleston is a proud owner of two Corgis, Atlas and Tesla. Because of Atlas’ food allergies, Kiki developed a line of healthy doggy vegan celebration cakes and treats.

The restaurant has even hosted a special event for the Miami Valley Pit Crew, a rescue group for pit bulls and other breeds.

Wheat Penny does insist on non-retractable leashes no longer than six feet, and the furrier dogs are not allowed on the furniture or laps.

Each doggy diner receives its own disposable water dish and as many pats and rubs from Wheat Penny staff as desired.

For a complete list of rules as well as information on how the servers keep the patio clean and the food handled properly, check out Wheat Penny’s webpage.

Bon appetit.

RESOURCES

For a Wheat Penny menu: wheatpennydayton.com

To order a doggy cake or treats: #puppylovebakes

Karin Spicer, a magazine writer, has been entertaining families for more than 20 years. She lives in Bellbrook with her family and two furry animals, all who provide inspiration for her work. She can be reached at spicerkarin@gmail.com.

Little Bear, a border collie/shepard mix, lives with Liz Valenti, co-owner and chef of the Wheat Penny Oven and Bar, a popular restaurant in Dayton. CONTRIBUTED
Little Bear, a border collie/shepard mix, lives with Liz Valenti, co-owner and chef of the Wheat Penny Oven and Bar, a popular restaurant in Dayton. CONTRIBUTED

Karin Spicer of Bellbrook writes the column Living In Your Pet's World
Karin Spicer of Bellbrook writes the column Living In Your Pet's World