It's An Eat With Dog World
It’s still a dog eat dog world. But now, it’s also an eat with dog world. A recent rule change by the Los Angeles County Department of Health allows restaurants to choose whether to allow dogs on their patios.
“This is a way to allow people with dogs to have a dinner, so they created a set of guidelines,” Supervisor Don Knabe, who spearheaded the rule change, said. The guidelines include no dogs on chairs or tables, and no interaction between the waitstaff and the animals, all things Knabe called “common sense.”
The rule change is the latest move in a growing trend that’s owners help their dogs get as much as possible out of life. From clothing, to toys, to pastries, specialty dog stores offer life’s little luxuries—canine style.
“Now it’s like, my dog knows if there’s pink icing, or green icing,” joked Michal Crist, manager of Three Dog Bakery in Miracle Mile.
Three Dog Bakery started in 1989 when one man decided to cook natural food for his disabled dog. The improvements in her health were staggering, and his friends started clamoring for his doggie treats. Today there are more than sixty bakery locations worldwide.
“People come in and treat the dog the same way they would their kids or themselves,” Crist said.
Another doggie hotspot, L.A. Dogworks on Highland, offers high-end treatments, from grooming to massage. Manager Denise Avila echoed Crist’s sentiments.
“It’s a dog world, it’s definitely changed,” she said. “It’s not just a pet anymore, it’s their babies.”
L.A. Dogworks treatments run about $40-60 each, and Americans spent more than $50 billion on their pets last year. But dog owner Scott Iasilli isn’t buying in.
“The dog smells other dogs, it puts its nose in other feces,” he said. “It doesn’t know the difference between really delicious biscuits and dog treats you buy at a supermarket.”
Refine tastebuds or no, many pet owners will surely jump at the chance to dine with their dogs al fresco.
“There are a lot of happy folks out there who just enjoy being with their animals,” Knabe said.
And those animals, no doubt, are enjoying their taste of the good life.