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At Many Restaurants Now, You Can Take Your Dog To Dinner

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General manager Tyler Schiedel greets customers of all kinds on the patio at Nosh in Colorado Springs. The upscale eatery opens its patio on Sundays to diners who want to bring their dogs.

By Sharon L. Peters, special for USA TODAY

Alfresco dining is going to the dogs.

From coast to coast, an ever-growing number of eating establishments, many of them high-end, are opening their patios to diners who want to share their eating-out experience with their pets.

“To appreciate food and life is to appreciate animals, too,” says Art Smith, owner/chef of the chic Art and Soul restaurant on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C, which draws scores of Washingtonians to its canine-welcoming patio every week.

Servers offer fresh bowls of water as well as the “puppy patio menu,” which includes a 3-ounce steak ($5) and homemade doggie granola treats ($5).

One reason for his dog-friendly policy is the need “to adjust to changes in society,” says Smith, a judge for TLC’s show BBQ Pitmasters, premiering Aug. 12. But an equal factor is “it’s just who I am,” he adds. Smith has three dogs.

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