The U.S. government has approved restaurants’ requests to permit pets in their outside spaces, just in time for the summer eating season.
However, even though almost half of the states already permit canine dining outside, the debate is far from over, with many establishments still refusing to serve canines.
Service dogs have long been permitted in restaurants by law. According to the Animal Legal and Historical Center at Michigan State University, it wasn’t until the middle of the 2000s that a few states, like Florida and Illinois, started implementing rules permitting dogs in outdoor dining areas. These rules or legislation are now present in 23 states.
But the legal environment is perplexing. For instance, Michigan law prohibits dogs in outdoor dining areas, but businesses can get an exception from their county health department.
Therefore, the Conference for Food Protection, a group of advisors to the government from the food sector and health, asked the U.S. The Food and Drug Administration will provide instructions to states.
According to a 2012 risk assessment in Australia and New Zealand, the risk to human diners’ health from dogs was shallow.
Restaurants may allow dogs in outdoor areas if they have permission from a regional regulator, according to the FDA’s new food code released late last year.
In addition to developing strategies to deal with dogs and their waste, restaurants should post signs stating that dogs are welcome.
To prevent dogs from consuming food off human plates or utensils, they should control their canines and be given separate bowls.
The new recommendations coincide with a rise in pet ownership in the US. According to the American Pet Products Association, there are about 87 million pet-owning households in the United States, up from 85 million in 2019.
Additionally, analysts claim that more customers are looking for restaurants that allow dogs. The number of “dogs allowed”-filtered Yelp searches for establishments increased by 58% between May 1st, 2021, and 2023. Yelp reports that a total of 47,415 establishments label themselves as “dog friendly” at present.
According to Steven Feldman, president of the Human Animal Bond Research Institute, “Younger pet owners, Millennials and Generation Z, have powerful bonds with their pets and are willing to act upon that.”
They are more likely to frequent pet-friendly companies and voice a preference for them.
The managing director of a digital marketing firm in Washington, Monty Hobbs, frequently hangs out on the patios of nearby restaurants with Mattox, a 5-year-old terrier, and miniature schnauzer mix. Even some waiters will offer bacon bits from Mattox.
Hobbs emphasizes that Mattox isn’t always with him. He is my canine. He isn’t my child, he declared.
However, Mattox is well-behaved, so he said it’s great to know they can stop in at a local bar if they’re out for a walk.
On Mondays, guests at Zazie in San Francisco receive $10 off a bottle of wine if they bring their dogs, who receive treats from the pet store across the street.
This is fantastic for business. According to Megan Cornelius, a co-owner of Zazie, “People like taking their dog out with them.
But other eateries are refusing to serve Fido.
When it opened in 1987, the Salty Dog Café in Hilton Head, South Carolina, permitted dogs on its terrace. But it prohibited them after two years. Tim Stearns, the chief operating officer of the Salty Dog, claims that there were too many dogs barking during meals, fighting, lying on the streets, and snatching hot dogs from children’s plates.
If customers protest, the Salty Dog directs them to a different, dog-friendly deck where they can order food for takeout from the establishment.
But the majority of customers appear to value the policy.