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The experiences of Handlers when dining out are greatly impacted by eatery policies and practices, and the attitudes of staff. Here is a list of factors that make a great dining venue for Handlers.
Ways to improve a Handlers experience of dining out include:
- Advising all staff that there is an Assistance Dog in the establishment, and where specifically the dog is located.
- Advising the Handler where the restroom is located.
- Intervening if other patrons distract or feed the Assistance Dog. Such behaviour can negatively impact a Handler’s outing.
- Ensuring that Handlers are not seated outside or in corners simply because of their Assistance Dog.
- Ensuring that Assistance Dogs are not made to sit on concrete, where they may get a chill, when there is carpet available in other spots.
- Seating the Handler and Assistance Dog in a location with good ventilation.
- Seating the Handler and Assistance Dog away from a thoroughfare (eg. entrance to a kitchen) where there is a greater risk of the dog being stepped on.