Forget Doggy Bags: Restaurants That Serve Dog-Friendly Menu Items
I haven’t eaten red meat in years and find this tends to influence how I feed my feline housemates. Kibble is always chicken- or salmon-based and wet food is tinned tuna. Yes, the real stuff (or as real as tinned can be considered) and if I’m having a salad, a forkful of Chico’s dinner goes into my salad before onto his plate. No funky smelling canned stuff for my crew.
So it was with great interest that I read about a pop-up restaurant in the U.K. called The Curious Canine. It offers menu items for pets that include the same super-food groups as those served on the “human” menus. Apparently their goal is to show that the dog meals served in restaurants don’t have to be the usual dry biscuit and bowl of water, but can be a healthier variation on what we’re ordering for ourselves.
How do we fare with side of the pond? Its seems that in addition to some stand-alone restaurants and cafes, many of the super-chains have already answered the call with mini-sized options of special treats that, like any indulgence, should be enjoyed in moderation by both four-and two-legged patrons.
- Starbucks offers up the Puppuccino – a small cup filled with whipped cream for poochie so when you’re slurping back your Grande Latte, you don’t have to drink alone. I wonder if there’s a loyalty card for that.
- Not far behind with their Pup Cup is my all-time childhood favorite, Dairy Queen. Yep, a little vanilla soft serve ice milk with a doggie treat plunged into the top. Best of all, it’s free at participating locations.
- North of the border, donut giant Tim Horton’s doles out a sugar-free Timbit to visiting pooches. The iconic “donut holes” are limited to one per pooch, but now Rover can get as excited about a trip to the drive-through as you do about a “double, double”.
Other offerings include California’s In ‘N’ Out that features a Pup Patty on the menu – a plain, unseasoned burger patty with no salt, while New York’s famed Shake Shack serves up a doggie dessert that includes peanut butter sauce and vanilla custard. Ohio-based Handel’s ice cream has developed a soy based ice cream “Frosty Paws” at their California location and offers vet approved peanut butter or mint treats at all others.
All this is great if you and your pup are looking for a quick bite to eat. But where do you dine when you’re in the mood for something a little more top dog? Good news – North American restaurants are quickly getting on board with dog-specific menus, and here are just a few.
- Art and Soul Restaurant in Washington, D.C. is run by Oprah’s former personal chef so you just know its going to be OTT when catering to four-legged clientele. Yes, dogs can slurp specially brewed non-alcoholic beer, sup on grilled sliced sirloin steak then finish with a frozen peanut-butter-banana Popsicle!
- At the four diamond Biltmore Resort & Spa in Arizona, travel weary pooches can order up the health-conscious Zen Yo – a hearty vegetable stir-fry served with poached eggs, steamed brown rice, and salmon. Spa gurus say this meal will help pooches adjust to jet lag and altitude.
- The Nauti Dawg Marina Café in Lighthouse Point, Florida offers a “K9 Cuisine” menu just for dogs, that include items such as bacon, chicken breast, Mahi fillet, and even skirt steak served in a special doggie bowl.
- California based Lazy Dog Restaurant and Bar locations offer up a dog menu that include a heapin’ helpin’ of brown rice, diced hamburger patty or chicken as well as a bowl nicely chilled water for their patrons dining al fresco.
- In East Hampton, New York, The Maidstone hotel dedicated some of their restaurants specifically to pet parents dining with their fur kids and even feature Yappy Hour from 4 to 6 pm daily where Rover gets a 50 percent discount on any item off the Woof Menu – and so does his escort!
Have you been to a restaurant that offers a dog-friendly menu? Tell us your picks in the comment section below so that we can try them out!
Mary Simpson is an animal-loving writer and communications professional. A soft touch for anything stray, she shares her century home with an eclectic collection of rescues that include orange tabby Chico, tuxedo Simon, and jet black Owen. She enjoys running, politics, exploring local wine regions and is an avid supporter of the “shop local” movement.
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