Our expert says you may have to get waiter or matre d’ involved when a dog wanders over at a restaurant

By People Staff
Updated October 27, 2009 09:21 PM
Products in this story are independently selected and featured editorially. If you make a purchase using these links we may earn commission.

As the thermometer starts to fall, people are savoring those last few days of warmth by dining al fresco at their favorite spots. And while nothing beats sitting outside and enjoying a delicious dinner, sometimes uninvited four-legged guests can infringe upon the meal.

Obviously, dog owners have every right to bring their pups to dinner when eating outside at restaurants that allow pets. But what if you don’t want a pooch near your table? Etiquette expert Celeste Perron, author of Playing House: A Starter Guide to Being a Grown-Up, says keeping your request anonymous could be best. “The simplest thing to do is to ask the waiter or matre d’ to ask the dog’s owners to keep the pet at their table,” she tells PEOPLEPets.com. “You’ll avoid having a side dish of awkwardness or dirty looks with your meal.”

If a restaurant staffer is unavailable, try couching your request with a compliment, Perron suggests. “Say something to the dog owner, such as, ‘Your pooch is adorable, but unfortunately I’m allergic to dogs, so would you be so kind as to keep him near your table?’ ” she says. “That makes your point strongly, but in the most polite way possible. And you don’t have to be truly allergic to say this!” Bon appétit!

How would you deal with this situation? Leave your suggestion in the comments below!

Share your Petiquette dilemma with us at tips@peoplepets.com!