The Top 5 Things to Bring to a Dog Friendly Brewery (Besides Your Dog)
Once a Girl Scout, always a Girl Scout. That means, I am able to start a fire, if needed, with little assistance; I know how to read a map; and I always come prepared. Being prepared for every and all circumstance is something I pride myself on being able to do. I have an emergency bag packed for us humans and for each pup; there’s a first aid kit in both of our cars; and I have supplies in my office at work in case I’m attacked. (Yup, I went there. You never know.) I now want to share my obsessive preparation with you by providing the top five products to bring for a trip to a dog friendly brewery!
This list of products comes from multiple trial and error moments, along with me witnessing some “oh sh*t!” moments of fellow dog owners when they’ve been at a brewery with their fun-loving dog.
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Note, while I’m listing these products as great items to have when visiting a dog friendly brewery, they are great to have on hand for most other circumstances when you're sharing an adventure with your dog in tow.
A Sturdy, Leash
There are lots of sights, smells, people, and possibly other dogs at breweries. You will want a leash that holds up to any pulling of an excited pup. For added convenience, there are leashes and some collars that have bottle openers, should the need arise (although I would hope the brewery you visit helps to open a container for you if it isn’t coming directly from the tap).
Did you know, there are leashes that you can wrap and attach around your waist or (like a purse)? These leashes (link above) can help to keep your dog tethered, while freeing up your hands to bring precious beers to a place for you enjoy them. NOTE - Just because your hands can be freed up, doesn’t mean you should keep your dog on a long loose leash. I recommend keeping your pup close and the leash in hand (even if it’s attached to you) just in case you encounter another enthusiastic dog or a human who doesn’t like/is fearful of dogs.
A Water Bowl & Source of Water
While many dog friendly breweries kindly provide their own water bowls, sometimes the water isn’t filled often, or it has been sitting in the hot sun, or it has a nice layer of “ick” on it from bugs and dog drool. Or, you could just have a diva dog who refuses to drink out of a bowl that she doesn’t know and trust *Bryn glares at Bean*.
There are lots of options, including a water bowl that you can collapse and attach to your belt loop, if you want to look fancy. I actually prefer one of the many bowl/bottle combinations that exist, like the cool bottle with removable bowl we got from Kurgo! I like The Gourd, because we humans can sip from the water, too, without swapping spit with fido.
Smelly, Delicious, High Value Treats
In a place where distractions abound, you want to have really high value treats, so your dog’s attention is on you and not on all of the other things. In these cases, if we know a visit to a brewery is happening on a certain day, we will actually give our dog less food so they are more interested in the treats being offered and their attention stays on us.
In general, the smellier the treat, the better, but there are some other things we try to consider when choosing a treat. Will it make a mess in my pocket? If yes, I bring a washable pouch that attaches to my belt loop. Are the treats tiny, but easy to break up? Perfect! Small treats are fine, because I’ll be giving a lot of them when we are at the brewery. If the treats are larger, I try to make sure it’s easy to pull off smaller bits.
We refrain from using treats we haven’t already tried at home, to ensure there won’t be any upset tummies.
If you visit a brewery and there’s another dog there, it’s always nice to share treats especially if their owner didn’t think to bring their own. That said, always ask permission before petting the dog and giving treats. You never know if the dog has their own set of allergies, or what their quirks may be.
CBD Oil Before Your Visit
About 30 minutes before any activity that involves something that could be stressful, or super exciting for the dogs, we give them CBD to help calm them. Sometimes we put oil in their food if it’s shortly before our adventure, sometimes it’s a treat that has CBD in it. We even have coconut oil that has CBD that we’ve mixed in a bowl with some Stella & Chewy’s sprinkled and mixed up. The method of delivery doesn’t matter, it’s whatever you and your dog prefers. We've had great luck with HempMY Pet in the past.
Using CBD in advance of visits has been incredibly helpful. It’s safe, and can really help with keeping the dogs calm. Breweries can be high energy places with lots of new sights, sounds, and smells so keeping your four legged companion calm helps to ensure everyone is enjoying their visit.
I know, it’s not always possible to have more than one person with you when you visit a brewery, especially if it’s a spur of the moment decision. That said, if it’s possible to make arrangements for someone to join you, it can be hugely helpful. Sometimes breweries allow dogs in outside patios/seating areas, but not indoors. If there’s no way for you to order beer inside, you might be at a brewery without a method to get the yummy liquid in your belly! Sure, you could ask a kind stranger to hold their leash for a moment, or you could tether their leash to something sturdy, but that’s a gamble I personally am not willing to take.
The simple act of walking your beer to a table, while also holding a leash attached to an excited dog can be a challenge. This struggle could be mitigated if you had a fellow dog and beer loving companion with you to either order and deliver or hold and entertain your dog for a brief moment. A partner in crime can also help waggle yummy treats near your head so you get the perfect photo to share on social media, ‘cause we all know it didn’t really happen if you didn’t post it on Instagram. I believe that’s a quote from Confucius, but I could be wrong.
So, there you have it. I hope this helps you to prepare for many dog friendly brewery adventures both near and far. We love to see your photos so please tag us on Instagram using #BrewPupFeature so we can share your photos with everyone!