*Paging all crazy dog people*

Jaime Milan
September 26, 2019

Do you have to stop and pet every adorable dog you see? Does your pup go with you everywhere? Does your dog have her own Instagram account? If you've answered "yes" to any of these questions, you may be a Crazy Dog Person. (Also, you might be my new BFF because I, too, am a CDP. Side note: Check out my dog, Grits, on Instagram! #ShamelessPlug)

Dog lovers know one thing to be true: Life just isn't as fun without your furry friend by your side. And restaurants are starting to catch on, too. That's why many of them have started creating dog-friendly treats, and often even give them away for free.

Instagram / oakley_germanshepherd

But, first (and most importantly), are treats healthy for your dog? We tapped Board Certified Veterinary Nutritionist Deborah Linder, DVM, MS, DACVN, to find out. Linder says to basically think of your pet like a smaller, fluffier version of you: Treats are okay once in awhile, but stick to nutritious meals most of the time.

She says, "I'm a big fan of everything in moderation, as long as your pet is healthy and doesn't have any dietary restrictions, giving them treats is totally fine."

But, what exactly is moderation? Linder says to keep treats to 10 percent of their total calories. For reference, she says a 70-pound dog needs about 1000 calories a day, so 900 of those calories should come from balanced foods and 100 calories can come from treats (like the ones at the eight restaurants below).

Dairy Queen

Swing through the drive-thru at any DQ and ask for a "pup cup." Most locations will give you some vanilla soft serve in a cup for free. Pro tip: The portion of ice cream is usually large enough that you can share, especially if you have a small dog. My dog is little, so I can snag a few bites of soft serve before giving him free licking reign. (Yes, I share ice cream with my dog. Don't @ me!)

Linder cautions that dairy doesn't always agree with all pets. She says, "Many pets can't digest dairy well in the form of milk." Linder says this doesn't mean your pup can't enjoy a bit of ice cream on occasion, but she encourages you to "give your pets a little taste to see if they can handle it first."

Sonic

Most Sonic locations have doggie treats available if you ask. Sonics are also a great option for long road trips, since there are thousands of locations across the U.S. and they usually have patio seating. You and Fluffy can stretch your legs (and enjoy a well-deserved treat) together!

Starbucks

Take your fur baby on the patio or swing through a drive-thru next time you need your caffeine fix. Just don't forget to ask for a Puppuccino—a little cup full of whipped cream—for your furry friend. These treats are free and will keep your dog busy for about … well, two minutes.

See how happy (and adorable) this little guy looks eating his Puppuccino!?

Johnny Rockets

Most standalone Johnny Rockets' locations have outdoor seating available, and some restaurants even have a secret dog menu with items like a doggy hamburger, "lickity split" ice cream, "pupcakes" and more! It's definitely worth asking if yours offers pup-friendly food the next time you're there.

Dunkin' and Tim Hortons

Tim Hortons makes bite-sized donuts called "Timbits," and your pup can enjoy one for free the next time you hit the drive-thru! Just make sure to ask for one without sugar and glazes.

Though Dunkin' doesn't really advertise it, you can also score a plain, unglazed cake donut for your pup. I went through the drive-thru at Dunkin' for a coffee with my dog, and the associate asked if I wanted one for him. I didn't really know what to say (especially since my dog is a picky eater), but he absolutely devoured it! Linder says, "Dogs can handle carbs and simple sugars, as long as they're not diabetic and have an otherwise-balanced diet."

In-N-Out

West coasters, rejoice! Your favorite fast-food burger joint will give your pooch a plain, unseasoned burger patty. Just make sure to use the drive-thru, as the restaurant isn't dog friendly.

Fido will surely gobble these patties up—but it's important not make any big, sudden changes to your dog's diet. She says, "High-fat foods that aren't usually a part of your dog's diet can actually trigger GI issues or pancreatitis." So, start with a few crumbles of meat to see how it sits with your pup and save the rest for later.

Shake Shack

Not every city has a Shake Shack, but they really should! The restaurants are super dog-friendly, and usually have patios and water bowls available for doggies to enjoy. Not to mention, every standalone location has a dog-friendly menu. There are two options: "Bag O' Bones," which includes five ShackBurger dog biscuits made in NYC's Bocce's Bakery and "The Pooch-ini," which includes ShackBurger dog biscuits and vanilla custard. It's worth noting that Shake Shack says the custard is "not intended for small dogs...just let 'em have a lick or two!" The good news? You can take it home and freeze it for the next time Fido needs a sweet treat.

Just look at Samson and Boo Boo waiting patiently for their goodies!

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