Dining With The Dogs

Dog dining at restaurantDogs like to dress up and go out for a nice dinner sometimes (well not the dressing up part, but they like the eating part).

People have been dining with their dogs at dining establishments for years. Some restaurants go above and beyond for our canine friends and provide doggie menus and special treats.

While pet owners enjoyed spending a night on the town with their dog, some other patrons were not so happy. In Miami, some diners complained about sitting next to dogs. In Chicago, about two years ago, the department of health started to crack down on restaurants allowing dogs.

Luckily for dog owners, legislature is on our side. Last year, Florida Governor Jeb Bush signed a bill that would allow local governments permission to allow outdoor dog dining. In Illinois, a similar bill was approved by the House and the Senate and is expected to be approved by Gov. Rod Blagojevich.

From Steve Dale’s Pet World:

There’s no law mandating restaurants to admit dogs. When all is said and done, restaurants simply want as much business as possible. If enough people are repulsed by the appearance of canine clientele at sidewalk cafes and patios, most restaurants — as quick as you can say ‘bow wow’ — will undoubtedly reverse their canine welcome policies.

Due to fear of disease, wait staff in Houston can’t touch the dogs at outdoor cafes, and there are other stringent rules in place. Truth is, there are diseases people can get from dogs. However, when people dine outside, epidemiologists say they’re more concerned about the threat from above; birds don’t wear diapers, not to mention squirrels, chipmunks and other critters. Even so, outdoor dining has been around for a long time without a significant health risk.

Of course, I’m all for prudent rules, such as leash laws to prevent a ruckus. Dogs do bark. Some unsocialized dogs should be sent home to dine privately. As one Chicago restaurateur puts it, “For every poorly mannered dog I see, there are 50 bratty kids — throwing tantrums, making a mess. I can’t send them home, though I wish I could.”

When Chicago cracked down by fining restaurants that let the dogs out, here’s what happened: Dog owners were bummed, restaurants lost business — and, oh yes, the city collected money.

3 Responses to “Dining With The Dogs”

  1. Nora Marasco says:

    I am waiting for Des Moines, IA (my hometown) to relax and get real and allow some restarants with patios accept well behaved leashed dogs (mine). In the meanwhile, I had to travel all the way to Austin Tx for a great vacation with my awesome Aussie!

  2. amys says:

    One coffee shop here compromises; they allow dogs outside but have a sign on the door reminding people that not everyone likes dogs (indeed, some people are terrified of them), and that owners should just be mindful of that. It’s worked so far.

  3. Dine With Your Dog? You’re All Gonna Die! | Itchmo says:

    […] been a slate of legislation to permit dogs to dine with their owners outdoors, but the ridiculous antiquated notion that dogs and cats all of a sudden becomes a danger to […]


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