Tips for Visiting Wineries and Cideries With Your Dog
Updated: Nov 20
Visiting wineries and cideries can be a fun day out for you and your pup providing you keep these guidelines in mind.
BEFORE YOU GO:
1. Make sure the winery or cidery is actually dog-friendly. Most will state this on their website, usually under the FAQ section but when in doubt, CALL. And if it’s been several months since you’ve visited a formerly dog-friendly place, double-check before going as policies can and do change. We found this out the hard way on a recent road trip with Domino the Winery Dog when we dropped in on what used to be a pet-friendly cidery, only to encounter a large “No dogs allowed” sign in the parking lot. Yes it’s disappointing to drive all the way to a winery/cidery only to learn that it’s not pet-friendly but please DON’T LEAVE YOUR DOG IN THE CAR.
2. If you’re traveling solo, confirm if there’s table service outside since most wineries will not allow dogs in their tasting room. Do not assume that someone will babysit your dog so you can go in and order nor should you leave your pet unattended outside.
3. Socialize your dog beforehand. Wineries and cideries are crowded and noisy and are definitely not the place to train your dog! More info on training and socializing dogs can be found at this link https://www.akc.org/expert-advice/training/puppy-socialization/
4. Make sure your dog’s vaccines are up to date. This is a no-brainer for any public outing with your pup. Some wineries will even ask for proof of Rabies vaccination so no puppies under the age of 12 weeks. I always keep a paper copy of Domino’s vaccine record in my purse as well as a photo copy on my phone.
5. Keep anxious and aggressive dogs at home. Again, this should be a no-brainer but sadly I’ve seen stressed out pups panting and trembling under picnic tables on more than one occasion. Ditto for barking and lunging dogs. I’ve also had children run right up to Domino and throw their arms around her neck. Since she is well-socialized, this has not been a problem for her but could have gone very wrong with another dog. Remember, it only takes one bad incident for a formerly dog-friendly winery/cidery to ban our fur babies.
6. Don’t forget to bring a water bowl and treats for your pup.
AT THE WINERY OR CIDERY:
1. Follow the house rules. Keep your pup only in the designated areas. For most wineries, it will be outside seating. However, the majority of cideries and breweries will allow dogs inside their tasting rooms. As always, remember to clean up after your pet!
2. Keep your dog on a leash - a non-retractable leash so there’s no risk of it “slipping”. Don’t allow him/her to harass the patrons at the next table.
3. Don’t forget potty breaks! Or just a nice, quiet walk away from the crowds. Do not go into the vineyards or orchards. My rule of thumb is that every time the band takes a break, so does Domino.
4. Don’t be afraid to leave if your pet becomes stressed. That bottle of wine you just opened can be re-sealed for travel. You aren’t doing yourself or your pet any favors by forcing him/her to stay. Even Domino the Winery Dog can get overexcited when she sees flying Frisbees, in which case we simply take our order to go.
5. Easy on the snacks. Those winery charcuterie boards are a dog’s dream come true – filled with all kinds of meats and cheeses but too much of a good thing can lead to an upset stomach, diarrhea or even pancreatitis. Grapes and some nuts such as raw cashews are toxic to dogs so please avoid feeding them to your furbaby.
For more information on which are the best dog-friendly wineries in New Jersey, check out my other blog: https://www.dawnlefevre.com/post/domino-s-top-10-dog-friendly-wineries-in-new-jersey
Special thanks to Dr. Colleen O'Brien, DVM, for her expert advice. https://www.obrienvetcare.com/