Archive for December, 2008

Doggie Dining – Making sense of the confusion

Tuesday, December 16th, 2008

Toby at a dog-friendly restaurant in Orlando, FloridaThis popular article was previously posted in’s July 2006 Newsletter:


– There are no Federal laws prohibiting dogs at restaurants. The FDA Food Code is a recommendation, not a law. Federal Law requires restaurants to allow service dogs for the handicapped  both inside and outside.

– State laws govern the restaurant health codes. Not the Federal Government. Many States incorporate parts of the FDA Food Code into their laws.

– If a state doesn’t allow dogs at outdoor restaurants then cities or counties in most states may allow it locally by issuing a variance (exception) to the state code. Cities may implement these variances through an ordinance or simply through the health department. Variances can be allowed for all restaurants or individually.

– Even if allowed by law the final decision is up to the restaurant owner who may choose to allow or not allow dogs.

Best States for Outdoor Dog-Friendly Restaurants: (more…)