Dogs Belong in Restaurants More Than Your Dirty Toddlers Do


dog in restaurantMuch to many pet owners' dismay, it is still illegal in most American restaurants to dine out with your dog. This is changing little by little. Dogs are allowed at outdoor restaurants in Florida and in North Carolina. In fact, dog lovers can check out websites like to find dog-friendly restaurants all over the country. Still, what's the big fuss over dogs in restaurants so long as they stay out of the kitchen? (A place we're all supposed to stay out of, by the way)

My dog-loving friends in Switzerland, where doggie dining is legal and common, think this American rule is barbaric and unfair. After all, parents get to bring in their toddlers any time they want. And who's cleaner, dogs or toddlers? Who wreaks more havoc? Who is more likely to listen when you yell "sit!"

Let's compare:

Dog Hygiene Part I: Dogs owned by civilized people are housebroken and will alert owners when they need to be removed from the premises to take care of their business. Health risk low, ick factor low.

Toddler Hygiene Part I: Most toddlers are incontinent and will just poo their diapers right there next to you while you're eating your pad Thai. Health risk low, ick factor high.


Dog Hygiene Part II: Okay, that idea that a dog's mouth is cleaner than a human's is just a myth. Still, a dog's tongue carries mostly species-specific bacteria that does not harm humans.

Toddler Hygiene Part II: Toddlers are walking petri dishes.


Dog Safety Part I: Dogs need to be remain docile and under the table to avoid tripping restaurant servers. They do sometimes startle easily. Safety risk medium.

Toddler Safety Part I: Toddlers can't sit still for more than 30 seconds at a time. Response to words like "no," "come back here," "stop that" is about 50 percent depending on child. Can be strapped down to chair, however. Safety risk medium depending on durability of high chairs.


Dog Safety Part II: Dogs are occasionally given to fighting with other dogs.

Toddler Safety Part II: Toddlers are frequently given to fighting with siblings.


I asked my son, a recovering toddler and now well-trained six-year-old diner, what he thought. Without hesitation he said "It's probably way safer to eat out with a dog than with a toddler."

There you go, from the mouths of babes.


Image via

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Monic... MonicaE521

Hmmm.  Let's see.  Toddlers are human.  Dogs are not human.  If I had to get a sitter every time I wanted to leave my house, that would be pretty insane.  

PS: I have cats.

heydo... heydooney

Nobody's allergic to my toddler.

Linds... LindsayFerrier

I think I have a fantastic compromise! You can bring your dog into a restaurant if you: completely shave off all his hair, make him wear a diaper and shoes, and sand down the sharp points of his teeth. Deal???

nonmember avatar SKL

Um, what about dog breath? Dog farts? Do Swiss dogs know fart etiquette better than American dogs? What about dogs scratching and licking their privates?

I have yet to smell baby poo in a restaurant. I did get treated to the smell of toddler poo in a theater once, though. Dog breath might have been marginally better.

Lians... Liansmommie

a toddler doesn't shed

Anna154 Anna154

I love all animals "BUT" hey animals lick their own privates !  Yes sounds real sanitary to me.

wife2ali wife2ali

Okay the author on this article is an idiot. Dogs are not humans. They are mindless beasts who will easily turn on you even if you raise it nice. Children are not dogs, they do not need training. I would not eat in any restuarant where there were dogs.  Dogs lick their privates and then lick their owners and other people. At least children don't lick their privates. 

MomIWant MomIWant

WOW - calling the author an idiot for such a light-hearted funny article is a really harsh!  I know my dog is much better trained than my toddlers were.  My dog has never thrown his food on the floor nor do I think he would whip his mash potatoes at the server.   Maybe for those who are so easily offended by the idea, they can have non-pet and pet section! LOL

nonmember avatar Elizabeth

I agree with the previous poster. My toddler isn't going to shed into your food but even a small breeze can carry your dog's hair into mine.

palex... palexander

I won't eat at a resturant that allows dogs. I took my 4 kids to Pizza Hut Friday night (ages~7, 3 yr old twins, and 2). My twins sit there in their chairs like big boys. The only thing they kept doing was when they saw a pizza coming start saying bring me my pizza. The baby sit in my lap and was perfect.

Civilized parents raise civilized children.

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