Dining with dogs sounds like a great idea, but is it truly as fun as it sounds? For well-behaved, fully vaccinated dogs and canine lovers, it’s a dream come true. For everyone else, well, dogs in restaurants are tolerated as long as they abide by the rules enforced by the Health Department. The al fresco experience isn’t lost on dogs, and when it’s done the right way (at the right place), everyone wins.
State and City
A few years ago, New York state legislature passed a bill that eased restrictions for dogs accompanying their owners on the patio or outdoor seating area. It’s been three years now since NYC’s health department followed suit, but each individual establishment can decide if they want to allow dogs on their property.
Is It Really Safe?
As long as dogs are vaccinated, cleaned up after, microchipped, and leashed (or kennelled), it’s generally not considered risky to dine alongside them. However, companion dogs are not allowed inside restaurants or cafes. Participating establishments will have signs posted for all their patrons about what the requirements and rules are for dogs in restaurants. Common courtesy and public etiquette are not just appreciated – they’re expected.
What Happens If…
Probably the most common concern for dog owners and those sharing outdoor seating among dogs is, of course, the possibility of a mess. It’s life, it happens. Just like the city streets and dog parks, it is imperative to clean up after a dog promptly.
Sanitation can be a concern on the walkways of a restaurant, or beneath a dining table. Any establishment that allows dogs knows what they’re getting into. If you need help sanitizing, be up front with the server or manager. It might be embarrassing, but when dog owners are considerate of others, future dog-owning patrons will benefit.
Dogs In Restaurants
Dogs in restaurants (that is, the ones outside on the patio) cannot be on the furniture, but if they are hungry or thirsty, the establishment will provide single serving containers for them.
Service Dogs Are Always Welcome
The Americans with Disabilities (ADA) Act protects the entry and presence of all service dogs when they are with their handlers. They are the only dogs in restaurants that are legally permitted to be there. Certainly, they can enjoy outdoor seating like non-working dogs, but if their handler is sitting and eating inside, they are too.
Owners/handlers of service dogs do not have to provide any proof of disability or their animal’s certification in order to bring their dogs with them into restaurants.
No Shortage of Opportunities
Luckily, there’s no shortage of dining opportunities in Brooklyn that are not only dog-friendly, but flat-out dog-centric! If you have any questions about preparing your dog for such an experience, we invite you to contact us at Animal Kind Veterinary Hospital.