New York Opens Outdoor Dining to Dogs; Dog lovers and dog owners are everywhere and for many of these people their pets are just another member of the family. This means that at meal time these animals are often present at the table – or at least close by – as the family enjoys their meal. Unfortunately if the family dines out the furry members of the family miss out on this family time and must be left at home. For many pet owners this alone is enough of a reason not to frequent restaurants very often. In New York however a new law may make it possible for pet owners to bring their pets with them to places that have outdoor dining areas available. There will of course be some rules that must be followed and some restrictions on such patrons.
Pets Must Be Restrained
In order for pet owners to take advantage of their dog being allowed in outdoor dining areas they must be on a leash. This is to prevent the animals from wandering around while patrons are enjoying their meals. This is also to prevent any safety or sanitation concerns that may arise.
In addition to being required to be on leashes there will also be a separate entrance for patrons accompanied by dogs. These entrances will lead directly to the areas that pets will be allowed and not into the interior of the facility. The reason for this is that pets will still not be allowed in any area where food is actually prepared. For places that food is prepared in these outdoor areas pets will still not be allowed to enter.
If your pet has a favorite dish that he drinks water from he will be out of luck. For sanitary reasons communal water bowls will not be allowed in dining areas. Fortunately single use bowls that are disposable may be used since they can be thrown away after they are used.
Although the law has been passed allowing dogs into outdoor dining areas this does not mean that all places will allow it. Restaurants will have the final say over their specific facilities as to whether they will change their policies to allow pets to accompany diners. This is their right as business owners and just because this new law allows for pets in some areas this does not mean that all restaurants will change their policies.
New York is not the first state to pass a law such as this. California passed such a law in 2014 to allow dogs in outdoor dining areas. Many eateries believe that because of the high level of animal lovers and pet owners that frequent their establishments that this small concession will actually improve business as more pet owners will come more often. Unfortunately there is also the possibility that things could go the other way and these establishments could actually lose business as a result of the new law. This is something that will have to be carefully weighed by each facility and their owner and manager. This is the biggest reason that each facility will have the right to decide against allowing dogs even in outdoor dining areas.
All in all it is thought that the majority of restaurants will change their policies to allow pets into their outdoor dining areas. Some establishments were doing this even before this new law even though it was against health codes and individual policies. For places such as this there won’t be much of a difference noticed by patrons. For other places this will be a big change as animals have never been allowed in such places. Pet owners are advised however to inquire about a facility’s policies before appearing with their pets. This is to avoid potential problems that may arise should the establishment choose not to allow pet dining.