It’s a dog eat dog (ice cream) world

How local eateries are letting man’s best friend chow down

by  Brian P. Sharp

A dog enjoying a Frosty Paws treat at Graeter's.

A dog enjoying a Frosty Paws treat at Graeter's.

For many of us, our pets are our children. They are treated like family members. They sleep with us, play with us and eat with us. They go everywhere with us.

There are times while running errands with your pet that you’ll want to stop for a treat or a meal, but where can you go?  Some believe we should be able to go anywhere, but unfortunately in Dayton, that’s just not possible.

However, there are some fun options in town where you and your dog can go for a real treat, worthy of major brownie points for your canine friend (without any brownies involved; no chocolate for the pups!).

Summer is a perfect time to experience treats for and with your pet. Many area ice cream and frozen custard shops have patios that are “pet friendly.” Some of these eateries even have “Dog Nights,” where there are specialty treats, free of charge, for your dog.

Ritter’s Frozen Custard is one such place, holding their famous Dog’s Night Out on the first Monday of every month, (that’s right – not just summer, but all 12 months) where dogs eat free. Each pup is given a scoop of vanilla custard topped with an IAMS dog biscuit with the purchase of anything else on the menu. Great selections include their Glaciers, vanilla custard mixed with one (or more) of more than 25 toppings; the Lemon Italian Ice; the Hot Fudge Brownie Sundae; and their to-die-for scooped ice cream in too many flavors to count, which change every week.

Usually, there are over 200 owners and dogs visiting Ritter’s to enjoy a scoop of custard with their furry friends, so plan for lots of slobber and make sure to grab plenty of napkins for snout-wiping. Ritter’s has two locations: one in Kettering at 2226 Wilmington Pike and at 2531 Dayton-Xenia Road in Beavercreek.

Graeter’s Ice Cream also hosts a Dogs Night Out event on the second Tuesday of the months from May to September. While serving up some of the best local ice cream around, Graeter’s offers dogs a free cup of Frosty Paws, a specialty frozen ice cream exclusively for dogs with no added sugar, artificial flavors or colors.

While your dog chows down, try the famous Black Raspberry Chip or regular Chocolate Chip cones, always crowd pleasers. Graeter’s has also introduced Summer Peach, a sweet and refreshing break from the summer heat.

Graeter’s Dog’s Night Out event is held at the Beavercreek, Springboro and Centerville locations only.

Looking for something a little different? Try Flavors Eatery in Centerville, which has a large sidewalk/patio with tables and chairs where leashed dogs are more than welcome to eat with their owners. Flavors boast California-style food with an emphasis on variety.  When you make your order at Flavors, your furry friend will be given a “pup cup,” which is a little cup of organic, non-dairy frozen yogurt.  Owners Elaine and Rich LoRusso are certainly dog lovers (as they have seven dogs and one cat themselves!) and would love for you to stop by with yours. Some sweet treats to sample are definitely the smoothies (try the Pacific: mixed berries with bananas, yum), the milkshakes and the non-fat frozen yogurt (the peanut butter and the mocha flavors are heavenly).

In the mood for something a little more substantial? Try one of their many lunch options including gourmet pizzas, quesadillas, homemade hummus and perhaps their most popular menu item, the wraps. The Thai Wrap includes veggies, chicken, their famous house garlic sauce, homemade Thai sauce and cheese, paired with chips and fresh salsa. The Pesto Wrap features lettuce, chicken, veggies, their famous house garlic sauce and homemade pesto sauce with spinach. You won’t be disappointed. What better place to enjoy a delicious meal with your four-legged best friend at your heel than Flavors?

Flavors Eatery is located at 865 East Franklin St. in Centerville.

Looking for something quick and easy for you and your pooch? We’ve got you covered. Now, while we don’t normally like to review or talk about chain restaurants in our Epicurean section, we still would like this article to help out Dayton dog lovers who might not know when and where they can bring their lovable canines. For instance, a little bird told us that Chipotle, of all places, allows dogs on their outdoor patios. Who knew? All of the Dayton-area locations allow dogs in their outdoor seating areas only. I am sure Fido would love
a burrito…

There are options out there and for those of us that treat our dogs like our kids, it can be a fun night out with “the family.”

Enjoy and happy summer. Woof, woof.

Who wants to join my dog Dudley and me for a night out?

Reach Dudley’s
owner Brian P. Sharp at

Reach DCP food critic Brian P. Sharp at

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