A Restaurant Prediction: Dog-Friendly

According to Pet Age, “more and more owners are wanting to provide their pets with human-like products or experiences”.1 This is especially true for dog owners. All one must do these days to verify that is (1) have a dog, (2) be aware of the $100 billion dollars spent on pets and pet care2, or (3) scroll video reels on Instagram or TikTok, where you’ll find plenty of self-deprecating humor from unabashedly indulgent dog moms and dads. Decades ago, the industry coined the term “the humanization of pets” to explain this phenomenon, with one of the key manifestations being what (and where) we feed them. As owners have become more demanding of quality ingredients, appealing presentation, and dog-friendly establishments, it makes sense that foodservice – both commercial and non-commercial – have been dipping their toe in the water dish, so to speak.

As fellow dog (and other pet) lovers, we at JT Mega have a few favorite examples:


  • Dog park eateries, like Mutts Canine Cantina in Dallas, TX, where owners and their pups can dine on-site3
  • Secret dog menus at places like Shake Shack, In-N-Out Burger, and Dairy Queen4
  • Free dog sundaes at Bruster’s Real Ice Cream in Virginia Beach, VA5
  • Krispy Kreme’s six-pack of doughnut-shaped dog biscuits, in partnership with Australian pet treat company, Huds and Toke6
  • The $75 small plate, tasting menu for dogs at Dogue’s in-store café and pastry shop in San Francisco7

Food Trucks

  • JB’s Doggie Delite “ice cream truck for dogs” in Sarasota, FL8
  • Woofbowl’s “doggie fast food and beer truck” in Brooklyn, NY9
  • Homegrown Hounds “hot dog cart for dogs” in Dallas, TX10

Hotel & Lodging

  • Inn By The Sea’s evening “turndown treats”, and pet-friendly fine dining complete with a gourmet pet menu, in Cape Elizabeth, ME11
  • The pet-friendly restaurant guide and treat-filled “bark bag” provided by Hilton properties12

In addition to the foodservice examples above, we are also loving new developments in retail, namely:

  • Non-traditional, dog-friendly stores like Nordstrom, LUSH Cosmetics, Victoria’s Secret, Michaels, and JOANN Fabrics13
  • Omaha Steaks, all-natural pet treats, with a “butcher-quality” aesthetic14
  • Clif Bar’s recently launched pet snack, Clif Pet, a plant-based jerky in flavors like Sweet Potato & Blueberry, Pumpkin & Apple, and Butternut Squash & Cranberry15
  • Jiminy’s Cricket Crave, insect protein dog and cat food16
  • KittyRade, an electrolyte-filled “Gatorade for cats” that supports intestinal function, as well as heart and eye health17
  • Busch’s Dog Brew, an all-natural “beer” made from bone broth, corn, celery, herbs, spices, and water18
  • Ben & Jerry’s ice cream for dogs19
  • CatWine Pawty Pack, made from cat-friendly beet juice, catnip, and natural preservatives20

What this means is that there’s an additional “consumer” base to consider. To win the hearts of humans, try catering to their dogs. To get started, we have three key recommendations:

  • As mentioned above, pet parents are looking for quality ingredients. Consider finding new uses for quality food waste, e.g., ugly produce, irregular cuts of meat, delicious scraps, spent grains that maintain at least some nutritional value, etc.
  • Explore co-branded promotions at pet-friendly chains
  • Target and test in the most pet-friendly cities, e.g., Los Angeles, New York City, Houston, Phoenix, Chicago, Philadelphia, San Antonio, Brooklyn and Queens

[1] “Humanization of Pets, Pet Products Resonate Within Creative Market”, Pet Age, 1/09/19
[2] “Humanization of Pets, Pet Products Resonate Within Creative Market”, Pet Age, 1/09/19
[3] “Dog park restaurants tap into $64 billion pet industry”, 2/23/19
[4] “Secret Dog Menus”, Modern Dog Magazine, date unknown
[5] “Bruster’s Real Ice Cream”, BringFido.com, date unknown
[6] “Krispy Kreme Thinks Your Dog Deserves a Doughnut, Too”, Food & Wine, 8/23/22
[7] “Fancy Restaurants for Dogs Are Booming Right Now”, Bon Appetit, 11/01/22
[8] “Sarasota Has a New Ice Cream Truck – for Dogs”, Sarasota Magazine, 3/17/22
[9] “A food truck for dogs is popping up around NYC”, TimeOut, 8/27/21
[10] “9 Best Food Trucks for Dogs in the US”, The Wildest, 4/05/22
[11] “The Best Dog Friendly Luxury Hotels and Resorts”, Forbes, 1/14/22
[12] “Web exclusive: Hilton offers “paws-itive” experiences”, Hotel Business, 1/19/22
[13] “30 Dog-Friendly Stores in the USA”, Rover.com, date unknown
[14] “Petization” of Human Brands”, Only Kutts, 12/19/21
[15] “Clif Bar Now Makes Snacks for Your Dog, too”, Gear Patrol, 8/27/22
[16] “Global Pet Expo 2022 Recap: Humanization of Pets Reaches New Heights”, 3/31/22
[17] “Putting the ‘human’ in pet product humanization”, Pet Food Processing, 2/18/22
[18] “Nectar Of the Dogs” – Busch Has Launched a Beer for Dogs”, Forbes, 8/27/20
[19] “Ben & Jerry’s Releases Ice Cream for Dogs”, Food & Wine, 1/11/21
[20] “It’s Been a Long Year – Your Kitty Deserves Some Cat Wine”, Daily Paws, 10/19/21