Should Dogs Be Allowed in Restaurants?

dog chefTo some people the family dog is more than just a pet; it is a part of the family on par with mom, dad, and children. Families that hold their dog in such high regard don’t find it unusual to take the animals everywhere they go. But from the perspective of the typical American diner, should dogs be allowed in restaurants?

Before you laugh, realize this is a legitimate question. Though you and I don’t normally see a dozen or more pooches running around our favorite family restaurant, there still are instances when man’s best friend does tag along to enjoy a meal.

Is it legal for a dog to be in a restaurant?

Before talking about any other issues it’s important to discuss the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The ADA is a federal statute protecting the rights of disabled Americans in a number of ways, including allowing them to have service dogs with them in public places.

According to the regulations, it is completely legal for a disabled individual to bring a service dog with him into a restaurant. Restaurant owners cannot refuse to serve a disabled patron if it is apparent the animal is indeed a service animal.

It’s also legal for service dogs in training to be taken into public places. In fact, doing so is necessary to acquaint the dog with the public environment so he can learn to focus and do his job even when there are other people milling around, vying for his attention.

Some states have made provisions for those with disabilities to identify their animals through specially marked harnesses or coats. When a service dog is wearing one of these harnesses or coats it makes it much easier for restaurant owners and managers to identify legal service animals.

Is it legal for the rest of us?

With the service animal question out of the way, we move on to whether or not it is legal for the rest of us to take a dog to a restaurant. Unfortunately, there is no uniform answer. The FDA prohibits bringing animals into any establishment where food is served. However, FDA rules are considered voluntary guidance rather than concrete, enforceable regulations.

As such, some state and local health departments choose to adopt the FDA guidelines, while others choose not to. And since enforcement is left up to local health inspectors, they ultimately are the ones with the final decision.

Take the county of Los Angeles as an example. In February 2012, the county tweaked its regulations to allow dog owners to bring their pets as long as they were dining on outdoor patios rather than inside the restaurant. Having a dog on the patio still represents the same concerns as having one inside, but the county was willing to accommodate dog owners nonetheless.

According to Animal Planet, Los Angeles County is not alone. Pet-friendly restaurants are becoming increasingly more popular around the country. Virtually all of them have enclosed patio areas where pet owners can dine in relative peace and safety with their beloved animals.

Is it healthy to allow dogs in restaurants?

The primary concern about having a dog in a restaurant is one of public health. Let’s face it: People who are really uncomfortable around animals are quite likely to assume having a dog in a restaurant makes the entire place unhealthy. Heaven forbid that Fido should have an accident on the floor; that could send some people into a tailspin.

In reality, a dog that has been de-wormed and is up-to-date on all his vaccinations poses no real health risk in a restaurant or other place. If it were true that dogs created an unhealthy environment at a restaurant, they would also be making their owners sick every time they walked into the kitchen. It’s unfortunate that public perception sees things otherwise.

The only exception to this rule might be a dog unable to control his natural urges while in the dining room. Obviously urinating or defecating on the floor presents problems. Restaurant employees who might forget about hand washing regulations may also cause problems after petting a dog. Other than these two circumstances, however, dogs in restaurants are of no real health concern.

Is it considered gauche to have a dog in a restaurant?

This question may be at the real heart of the issue of dogs in restaurants. Merriam-Webster’s Online Dictionary defines “gauche” as something that is crude, tactless, or lacking in social grace. In modern vernacular we would say it’s “uncool.”

Since dining out is such an intimate experience between family members and friends, there seems to be a generally accepted rule that bringing a dog (other than a service animal) into that environment would be uncool. After all, who wants to look at your bull mastiff practicing personal hygiene while they’re trying to enjoy their plate of mahi-mahi and fresh vegetables?

All legalities aside, the question really comes down to whether or not you’re a dog lover. Those who treat their dogs like members of the family are probably in favor of allowing them in restaurants. Those who don’t care for animals are more likely to be against it. Perhaps the best solution is to provide outdoor areas for dog lovers while leaving the inside for everyone else.

  1. Debbie

    I believe as long as the “furkids” are well behaved and clean let them in the restaurants. I wouldn’t want to sit next to a smelly furkid but I would if he/she came in. Our furkids are sitting next to us every night when we eat. We baby our furkids and make them comfortable just like we did with our children.

  2. Rachel May

    While I certainly can understand not allowing all dogs in any restaurant at all times, I do not understand the reticence of having properly trained pets (in addition to service animals) who are healthy and up-to-date on all their vaccinations inside restaurants. The reality is that in the US, most of the country has unpleasant weather most of the year– too hot, too cold, rainy, windy,etc.,—to sit outside and enjoy a meal or a morning cup of coffee. I think offering a pet license for those of us who do consider our pet to be part of the family a welcome possibility. My idea would is to sell an annual license to the owner that would show the dog has had good citizen training, and proper medical care. This license would grant permission into public spaces, including public transit and restaurants. We have licenses to drive a vehicle and need to demonstrate passing a driving test and insurance for registration, why not regulate the simple pleasure of dining with out pets? The fees, which could be charged on a sliding scale , could be used to subsidize animal shelters as well as advertising campaigns to provide information for spaying and neutering and adopting pets from the shelters.

    • Trish Koffi

      Dear Rachel, I agree and, if you get this reply, please email me so we can put our furry heads together because I feel the same way about city and state parks allowing dogs. Another one would be licensing for off-leash privileges. Thanx, Trish

    • Jeff

      Perhaps your animals are well behaved, but not all are. And as much as I love dogs, they aren’t kids, they aren’t people and I don’t want them in every restaurant. Leave that to the “quirky” bar/restaurant. I

    • Jeanne

      Are you kidding? The time it takes to train dogs and go through the licensing process takes time and money away from helping and loving humans who need love and care. Please keep your furry friends away from those of us who actually don’t want to smell and deal with dogs when we eat.

      • Brieanne Arno

        The last I checked, my 5 year daughter was a human. And because she is a human who needs “love and care,” that is exactly why she has a Diabetic Alert Dog. Comments like these are pure ignorance.

  3. Suzanne

    “Other than these two circumstances, dogs in restaurants are of no real heath concern.”

    Actually, there is another circumstance that you have ignored in your article: ALLERGIES. There are millions of children and adults with severe allergies to dogs. It poses a health risk for them to be in an establishment that has pet dander. Should these paying patrons, human beings, be subjected to itching, wheezing, coughing or WORSE just so that a dog can relax under the table? It is completely ludicrous to subject one human being to a dangerous health environment so that an animal can enjoy the outdoor seating. Its shocking that your article completely ignores perhaps the most important crux of this argument – the fact that dogs in dining establishments can cause a health risk for other patrons.

    This is not just about the fact that dogs carry fleas, walk barefoot on the pavement, step in their own urine and excrement and then walk into a cafe or restaurant where FOOD is being served. This is not just about the fact that waiters who may pet the dog, or brush past and contaminate their apron with pet dander may get harmful bacteria in another diner’s FOOD. This is not just the fact that dogs may be rambunctious, jump on the table, or try to grab some of the food and destroy the dining experience of paying customers. Nor is it just about the fact that pet owners may pet their dog and then take their hands and touch glasses, cutlery, plates and napkins, contaminating the washing water for restaurant equipment that is used to serve FOOD. This is not just about the fact that, according to the written law, the FDA has banned live animals from establishments where food is served. It is ILLEGAL, however you may try to brush it off or explain it away, those regulations are there to protect people. Not just from salmonella and e-coli, but from the harmful pathogens that dogs naturally carry. It is not only for these reasons that dogs should be banned from establishments where food is served. It is also for the fact that the simple act of bringing your dog into a restaurant or dining patio can cause tremendous and severe health risks for those who are allergic to dogs. One paying patron’s infatuation with their animal should never supercede the health and safety of another PAYING PATRON, especially when food is involved.

    • Anon

      Couldn’t agree with you more. This dog/pet thing is totally out of control. Leave your pets home!!!!

      • Tina

        I also agree with you. My daughter has horrible allergies to cats, dogs and bunnies. Pets belong at home with their owners or at dog park. Also many people from other countries find it unclean to be near dogs. I like dogs as much as the next person but health and sanitation and humans come first.

        • ross lench

          pets should be aloud

          • Debby Ryan

            I think the cute fuzzy animals should be aloud mostly dogs

        • Teara riedemonn

          You are right some people are allergic to dogs and cats

    • LuvzDogz

      If you’re that allergic, I recommend that you not frequent public places, as many members of the public have dogs in their households, and therefore, would be just teeming with dog dander, fleas. Children not taught to cover their coughs probably spread more germs than any canine! Just stay home Suzanne, where you’re nice and safe from germs and dogs.

      • Rutabaga86

        So you’re saying my kid can’t go to Chuck E Cheese because a dog has more right to be there than they do? My child should stay at home forever because a dog should have the right to be in any public place. I’d love for you to tell my 5 year old that he can’t go to his friend’s birthday party at Peter Piper Pizza because someone took their dog in there.

        • Brieanne

          And I would love for you to tell my 5 year old that she can’t go because she DOES have a life-saving Diabetic Alert Dog. Life isn’t pure black and white, you know.

    • Tom

      I am allergic to most perfumes. Should we ban customers wearing perfume too? No. And we should NOT ban pets either.

      • Sociamedic

        Good point, well said, well done!

    • Rutabaga86

      I totally agree with Susanne! Less people are allergic to perfume. The point is to reduce potential contamination. Last time I checked, perfume doesn’t spread bacteria or viruses. Yes people are allergic to it and those people usually have service animals to assist them in avoiding people with it or locations that may have the chemical that causes them harm. There are people who are severly allergic to animal dander and they should not be punished because people decided to bring their animals. So my child should be punished and should stay home their whole life because a dog has more right to be at a restaurant? Whether you want to admit it or not a dog is an animal, it does not have the same rights as humans. I guarantee you would feel different if your child was allergic. Why should my child not be able to go to Chuck E Cheese because a dog has more right to be there? Dogs are animals, not people. I understand you love your animal, I had to give my own dog away when we found out our little one is allergic. My baby is more important than my pet.

      • Sociamedic

        Actually children spread more bacteria and viruses than anything else. There is nothing more unappetizing and alarming than having somebody’s snot nose kid sneeze at the next table. And a public kiddie party? Talk about a massive mucus manifestation, Ugh! It is not our fault that some mothers are too lazy to clean up after a kiddie fest at home and leave the work to some poor teenage minimum wage worker in a pizza pub. My sister had the perfect solution – she’d hold her parties on the patio outside and hose it all down when it was all over. That way the kiddies were free to infect each other without putting the rest of community at risk and cleaning up was a snap. As for the primacy of humans over dogs, I will remind you that were it not for the dog species humans would not exist. We owe our LIVES to their faithful and diligent labors, their hunting, their herding, their COMPANIONSHIP and their protection. So no, your kid is not more important than my dog.

        • Jeanne

          Baloney!! Dogs are much filthier and their bacteria is not natural to humans. I can’t believe some of the excuses people make for dogs.

    • Gabby Bowie

      Dog should still be allowed in restaurants. Only dog with proper health care could come in. If there were allergies then why don’t you just sit inside or go to another restaurant. You Feel Me?

    • Jeanne

      Couldn’t agree more with the people here that don’t want dogs in eating places. Very gross to do so.

    • Kathryn

      The way people act nowdays about dogs,is ridiculous. They are unhealthily obsessed with dogs. BREAKING NEWS…a dog is an animal,not a human,not a person,not a fashion accessory&not a child&does not belong in restaurants,or stores,any more than any other pet does. If I had a pet mouse,or a pet bug,or even a big pet snake,would it be OK if I took them with me into the diner you eat at? NO. Because it is a pet,an animal&does not physically help me in my day to day functions(like a service animal would),is why. Seriously,why DO people think they absolutely NEED to bring pets with them everywhere,anyway? Insecure much,maybe? Either way,it is unsanitary,inconsiderate&just plain disgusting to bring dogs,or any other pets,to eating establishments,stores that are not pet stores,clothing stores,etc. Take them to a dog park,or keep them home. It’s sad how many people think the rules,or hell,even common consideration&respect,’does’nt apply to them’ &that their ‘precious little snowflake’,is ‘above reproach’. It does apply to them though&’snowflake’,is still an animal,not their child. There should be no dogs in eateries,or grocery/clothing stores&other public places except pet specific areas like pet store&dog parks,because…Dogs can&do bite&you never know when they may,people have allergies to them&their dander,some have severe fears of them,they lick their butts&then lick people&other things,they may disrupt with barking,they may crap/pee on the floor,umm…dog fight in aisle 4…I don’t think I need to continue,but I certainly could,could’nt I? I took the long way around,to say that I agree with you 100%. (:

    • Eric E.

      Agreed!! Everyone who doesn’t want to see animals in a restaurant (or bar) is not an animal hater. I absolutely adore dogs and feel like anyone who harms a dog or other animal should be punished but I also feel like if it’s THAT important for you to be with your pet, then STAY HOME with them!

  4. Trey Webb

    Ahh. Today at work I actually told an elderly couple they could come inside with their well behaved pup to finish eating before the storm hit. Only to find myself embarrassed 18 minutes later being told I had to tell them to leave with the dog. I completely understand Policy and law. But seriously every law every rule should have a bending point and exception. I’m all for dogs dining in that are noticeably well behaved. Ill probably catch a lecture. But I don’t care. Sometimes what’s right isn’t always legal. Sometimes rules are needed to be broken. Laws changed. I can’t wait till I see them again and get the chance to apologize for not completely understanding “dogs in restaurant rules” … See I have experienced multiple customers come through with dogs dine in and out not a word be said under the assumption that those dogs are “service dogs” even though any intelligent person can tell there’s not a darn thing wrong with their owner. Why today it was a big deal? Idk. But I finally got a big taste of realities bullshit and the down side to being a kind hearted person. Laws do state that you don’t have to prove paper work or answer any questions if you say my dogs a service dog. So not allowing pets comes down to owners discretion. I on the other hand could barely give a shit depending on the circumstances. Yes dogs should be allowed. Illnesses/service dog, special needs dog, hell it’s raining outside let them in to finish their yogurt. NOT A BIG DEAL.

    • Rutabaga86

      My child is allergic and goes into anaphylactic shock and had my child been in that restaurant you would have had to call an ambulance. We understand service dogs and when we see them we respectfully dine elsewhere because we understand there are people who indeed need them. If they were there first, we politely leave. But you can’t simply let every dog in. How soon would it be before people start bringing their cats? More people are allergic to cats than dogs, and then they’ll soon complain that it’s not fair to let one animal in and not the other. Then you’ll have bunnies, birds, etc. there has to be a line. My child should be able to go to a restaurant on their birthday and not have to fear that a dog will be brought in and they’ll have to leave their own special outing. Most pepple might say oh well, but they would feel differently if it were their child.

      • Cat

        I sure hope you are HOME-SCHOOLING your child AND getting her allergy shots on a monthly basis if she honestly goes into anaphylaxis at dog hair/dander since that type of reaction could happen ANYWHERE she came into contact with someone with a dog. If you say you do NOT keep her home, you are then LYING about the extent of her allergies. If you are out to eat and someone who has a service dog comes in, what do you do, demand that they NOT be allowed in? Please, if your daughter is THAT allergic to dogs, KEEP HER AT HOME 24/7/365 and get her immunotherapy to combat her allergy. The people who have diabetic, seizure-alert, mobility-assistance and other forms of service dogs have JUST AS MUCH RIGHT to be out in public as your precious “flower” and THEY can’t get shots that can help alleviate the symptoms.

        • Eric E.

          I’m on the side of NOT allowing dogs in restaurants BUT I have to agree with you Cat. I think that Ruta might be exaggerating a bit. If they are not, I feel sorry for them because you’re right, they probably couldn’t go into ANY public place, including a school.

  5. Pam Veelle

    I have a service dog that works as a diabetic alert dog. She is at my side 24/7. If I am out at appointments and it is time for me to eat it is necessary for me to have access to food. If my sugars are dropping, which they do unexpectedly at times, I have to have access to food. To deny me this basic element would be placing my life in danger. My dog is better behaved then almost all children I have encountered in food service establishments. Most do not know I have a dog with me unless they see me come in as she is under the table. Many disabilities are invisible and one must keep that in mind. Not all disabilities have an obvious sign. Please respect me and my dog by IGNORING IT> Do not ask to pet it, do not make kissy noises or faces to her, and please no eye contact. The moment you may be distracting her from her job, may be the very moment she needs to be alerting me. If that is the case, you innocent intentions may have just endangered my life, or that of an epileptic, or some other invisible malady. You can help by respecting those three thing.

    • Anon

      I Couldn’t agree with you more. This dog/pet thing is totally out of control. Leave your pets home!!!!

    • Anon

      Check your blood sugar with a lancet like others do. You don’t need a dog for that. My husbands a diabetic and he does not need a dog!!!!!

      • Cat

        You are clueless. Diabetes alert dogs give alerts up to an HOUR before there is any symptoms so that they can let their handlers know that they are headed for a problem – either hyperglycemia OR hypoglycemia. Until you know someone who is dependent on a diabetes alert dog you really won’t know just how STUPID you are in that assertion. I bet your husband is FAT and has type-II diabetes. Tell him to LOSE SOME WEIGHT and maybe you should get some education on WHY people need diabetes alert dogs while you’re at it, IDIOT.

  6. Jean Dion

    I think it depends on the restaurant, really. I don’t have a problem with dogs in a casual spot, like a brewery or burger joint, but I might balk at the idea of having dogs in a fancy, sit-down dinner establishment.

    Also, even the most well-behaved dogs (like mine, thanks much) are still dogs, and they get restless and curious. Asking them to sit quietly through a multi-course dinner without walking around, sniffing things or heading out to use the facilities just seems cruel. I think they’d be happier at home, to be honest.

  7. RUB_NYC

    Isn’t it bad enough we have to worry about human hair & waste in our food?

  8. Luna

    What abt your shoes?don’t you walk on the same pavements and then into the restaurant?and what if the dog owners leave their pets at home, but come in the restaurant wearing a garment full of dog hair etc…would this cause an allergic reaction to someone? So let’s all go through a sanitising vacuum before entering a food place…better be on the safe side… some would call this hypohondria, extreme germ phobia, …. I just call it paranoia……jeeeze

  9. Ron moers

    In response to Luna,
    Dogs areNOT people….not today, tomorrow, or ever. You can kiss it, cuddle it, have sex with it, but it is still an animal. Animal lovers can try to rationalize and justify all they want, but dogs do not belong in certain places. My child’s welfare supersedes any dog’s place in a restaurant. (I understand service animals )…..but people have to get a grip on reality. A dog doesn’t belong on a person lap behind the wheel of a car that could kill other drivers. They don’t belong in food establishments or airplanes or other close-quartered properties. You WILL survive leaving your dog at home. Many truly hyper allergenic people have rights far and above your precious need to Be without your animal for 5 minutes. Let’s care about people first!

    • Kathryn

      I agree. This whole thing about dog-obsessed people being so delusional as to think&act like their dog is human&MUST go EVERYWHERE with them,has gone way too far&IMO,they all have mental issues&need a shrink,not a dog. IDK about other people,but I’d rather keep pets away from where I eat&that includes my own pets. I understand a dog coming into a restaraunt with someone,if it helps them in their day to day functions,like a seeing eye dog,or the like,but any other type of pet,has no business in most public places,TBH. Seriously,do people really think their pet/dog MUSTto be with them 24/7/365? Yes,many do. Now,THAT’S a deep obsession,if I ever heard of one…so deep of an obsession,I truly would’nt be surprised if some of them DID have sexual relations with their dogs. >_<

  10. Joey4040

    Should dogs be allowed in restaurants

  11. Joey4040

    I have seen children in restaurants that were not as well behaved as many dogs. Crying and yelling, spitting up, eating with their hands, noses running, coughing. If I am going out to eat leave the children at home, god only knows where their hands have been.

  12. Trish Koffi

    All in all, when it comes down to the comments preceding mine, I guess we all know by now who likes dogs and who doesn’t. I think dogs should be allowed anywhere as long as they are well behaved, cleaned up and properly potty trained – JUST LIKE CHILDREN. Woof!

    • Rutabaga86

      I used to have a dog, but I had to give her away because my child ended up being allergic. I love dogs and I’m sad that we can’t have one anymore but my child comes first. My child should be able to go to a birthday party at a pizza place without worrying about their throat closing up and their eyes swelling shut. I can’t shield him from the world but there are certain places he should be able to go to without fearing that he forgot to bring his emergency medication. There are already so many potentionals for contamination, prohibiting animals ( other than service animals of course) is an easy way to cut down on contamination. When my husband and I see a service dog we politely dine elsewhere because the other person was there first and we respect that they need those animals. I’m all for an outdoor patio for people who want to bring their pets but not inside. People who are allergic shouldn’t be punished because a pet is more important than someone’s well being.

      • Jennifer

        I wish more people thought like you.

        I am a teacher, and students routinely bring in their dogs and have them go to class with them. If it was a service dog, I would be in BIG trouble as I am highly allergic and I would HAVE to allow the person in class. However, the dogs are not service animals, just the family pet. This is not for “show and tell” either…this is high school.

        I am very upset, but the school thinks I am over-reacting…nice. I can’t have a peanut butter sandwich due to a student with allergies (fine with me, I can have PB toast in the morning), but if my eyes swell shut and I itch and sneeze and have asthma due to the animals…well, then I can get another job.

        If I could find an animal free zone to live and work in, I would. I was born at 24 weeks and I am allergic to everything…plants, animals (all kinds), many, many foods (not peanuts), and dust, smoke, perfume…the short list.

        Unfortunately, students have the right to do it, and I have the right to put up with it. I wish there were shots that could simulate severe allergies, and then these people might understand what they are inflicting on others…or not!

      • Cat

        If your child is THAT allergic to dogs, then you would be best keeping your child at home 24/7 because a child who has a dog at home could cause her to go into anaphylaxis. What do you do if you are there first and someone with a service dog comes into an establishment? Do you DEMAND that they not be allowed into a place of public accommodation where they are ALLOWED to go? Get your child some allergy SHOTS and maybe she will eventually outgrow the allergy. But your attitude is, frankly, alarming for those who need service dogs for a number of issues – to include diabetes service dogs, seizure-alert dogs, mobility assistance dogs …

        • Commentor

          Read ruta’s comment correctly you fool.she/he says that they dine SOMEWHERE else just for the person with a service dogs benefit.I don’t think you can read correctly , so its ludicrous to suggest you go on to the internet. Seek help , before it’s too late!

  13. Misty

    You seem to think that it is OK for dogs to defecate on the floor in restaurants as long as they have been wormed. Seriously, who wants to watch a dog defecating while they’re having a meal? Dogs have no place in restaurants. Not everyone likes dogs.

    • Kathryn

      Right on point&very well said. I certainly don’t want to see that,while dining,or expierence any of the many other things dogs do…licking their butts,licking the silverware at another table(actually saw that at a supposedly ‘upscale’ eatery,about 2 months ago. I got up&left even though I’d already ordered),barking,running,allergies,dog bites…so many reasons NOT to allow them,yet the dog-obsessed don’t seem to care. *They MUST have their regular pet,non-service animals with them at ALL times,or they may freaking die,after all.* (*sarcasm) Smh&ugh.

  14. LChance

    Absolutely NOT!!! Dogs should not be allowed in restaurants. I sure don’t think it’s something that the rest of the world needs to be subjected to. They are animals, not your children, and I respect your right to have them, but to infringe upon the rights of others who would like to enjoy a meal in peace, without having to watch dogs slobbering everywhere, as well as the fact they may defecate inside the place. I went to an outdoor place that allowed dogs and found it most unappetizing to watch a dog licking his privates while I was trying to eat. Leave them home… and stop thinking everyone in the world loves them. Simply not true.

    • Kathryn

      Exactly right! *Just because YOU love to watch your dog lick its butt while you’re eating,does not mean anyone else does.* Yes,I combined &finagled the 2 sentences,but it seems to fit&make the point. The point being…ewww,lost MY appetite. No,not everyone likes being around dogs,but especially while eating out. Or shopping for groceries or buying clothes. And so much more. I get that people are deeply obsessed with their dogs&’simply CAN’T go anywhere without them,for fear of dying’(sarcasm there),but unless it helps them physically function day to day,it does not belong in these places. If they want to take them into places,there are pet stores&dog parks. Otherwise,they should’nt force their dog obsession,on other peoples right to be in public&not see dogs licking butts&slobbering&smell icky dog breath,or hear barking,etc,during a meal. Or in general,IMO.

  15. KKN

    Please, everyone, keep your dogs at home. Don’t assume everyone else in the world loves those filthy beasts. They carry salmonella and roundworm in their saliva. I don’t want to look at a dog, I don’t want to be sniffed or jumped-on or slobbered on by a dog. Keep them out of the public way!

    • Kathryn

      How did you do that? You read my mind…NOT everyone loves dogs&they should not be forced on others,just because some people are unhealthily obsessed with them. And yes,dogs should be kept at home,or in pet stores&dog parks,not running wild everywhere,including eateries,grocery stores&clothing stores.

  16. ROV

    I love dogs but certainly NOT in restaurants or Food stores (or most any store for that matter, leave pets at home). I see this where I live and it’s just not sanitary, service dog or not. I saw a waitress petting a “service dog” and then continue serving food to other customers. Patrons petting dogs and continuing to eating. Discussing!

    • Shadow

      What are you/they “discussing?” Dogs? Petting dogs?

      • fart

        fart tart for life yo

  17. anon

    Seriously, leave your dog at home. The other thing I can’t stand is that people are putting “service dog” vests on their pets so that they can take them anywhere. This is a huge disservice to people who TRULY have a service dog. If you are blind and need a seeing eye dog I don’t have a problem. If you are one of those people who take their dog everywhere under false pretenses, I hope karma catches up with you big time.

  18. Jeff

    Okay, I love my dogs, I have two. I leave them at home when I go to eat, go to the movies, etc. Why? Because I know they shed, I know they make others uncomfortable, and so on. Having worked in food industry while in college, I had to turn away many for trying to bring their pet, never turned away a service animal, I respect the need of a service animal to help a person get through the day to day stuff. Back to pets though, they have no business at a restaurant, at the movies, school, and wherever else people pay to go to. Screaming kids get tossed out of movies, bad kids get booted from school, and if you complain, and the kids are truly annoying, waitstaff can be rather accommodating in telling a family they need to go. I love my dogs, but finding hair, human or dog, is disgusting, and dogs shed, scratch and well, have no shame when dealing with their natural habits. Service dogs however I think should require a specific identifier, because where I live one can just claim it is a service dog and one can’t do anything about it.

    • Heidi

      Thank you, Jeff, and everyone else who spoke against allowing dogs in restaurants. With the exception of those requiring a service dog, people who feel they must bring Pooch everywhere they go are entitled, selfish and ignorant. If only the ones telling asthmatics they should just stay home ALL THE TIME rather than go to a pizza party at a restaurant could experience even a fraction of the lifetime of social isolation and expense that already faces an asthmatic: no going to people’s houses for holidays and parties (because most people have pets); hotels and camping instead of staying at a friend or family members’ house on trips (most people have pets); no carpooling (most people’s pets ride in the car with them often enough to dander it up). Now add to these forbidden places restaurants, schools, retail stores (many in my small town have dogs or cats in them), markets, airplanes (yes, it happened to me last week, a primadonna in front of me with a dog in her lap on a puddle-jumper flight), doctors offices, libraries, private and public offices, cars, buses … and why? Because a bunch of healthy-lungs-fortunate assholes think their dog needs to go everywhere with them. I’m fine, though sometimes depressed, about not getting to go over to friends’ and family members’ homes or in their cars — I’m glad they can enjoy their pets and think they should in their own private spaces. But in public buildings? And businesses and offices? Markets, restaurants? Hotel lobbies (and rooms, even supposedly pet-free rooms, because people sneak them in)? Rental cars? Smoking has been banned in many such places. It’s a health risk to others. Animals should be banned, too, because they present a health risk. And for those who say “what about the service dogs, what do you do when they show up,” that’s a fake argument — there are far fewer service dogs than there are silly people with pets attached. And when a service dog comes into a restaurant, it sits or lies quietly, people don’t pat it and make its dander fly, and, again, there’s usually no more than one of these service animals around at any one time. Easy to avoid. But as society becomes more lenient toward the pet people, there are more and more animals being brought into enclosed places and endangering my life. Your vanity/insecurity/precious pet trumps my life? Why don’t you go have an asthma attack already? Tell me how it feels. Now imagine, despite prescription drugs and avoiding triggers as best you can, this is what you have to fear recurring at any time for the rest of your (you hope long) life.

  19. Cheuk

    No way. Dogs do not buy dinners, drinks, or tip. STAY HOME!

  20. anon

    I am absolutely astounded at the number of people who are uneducated at the good K9′s do for our disabled. I have to say I also believe that they are not aware of the helping hand monkeys, the bi-polar birds, and NOW even miniature horses holding the harness of the blind. Some of these people are ultimately so shallow to think that there these animals are untrained, unruly and absolutely uncontrollable. They must all go through the testing, certification and years of behavioral training that is necessary to be a part of the ‘work force.’ Get out from behind your shallow worlds that dogs, horses, even pigs are ‘filthy.’ Most of them I know are cleaner, happier, and even more intelligent than some humans I know because they are open to new things, and learning. For those who refuse to… “You can’t fix stupid…” I feel badly for you all. My beloved diabetic/heart dog is not the traditional ‘dog’ like a shephard or a lab, but is a 150 lb mastiff that is feared by some. I have felt badly for those who feel they must run from him because he looks “mean” but when ultimately they have only had bad experiences with other dogs/animals. If my dog was was at all aggressive, there would be NO way that animal nor I as a responsible owner, would take him to grocery stores, malls, or restaurants. My dog is healthy, a good working dog, and I know where his faults lie. Do you know your faults? Obviously it is the shallow mind that shows you do. I do feel bad about the allergen problem, but it is in fact, impossible to know, keep away or otherwise avoid, but I am very careful to keep away from those that identify it. I once had an allergy specialist remove my blind husband because of our service dog. His nursing staff handled the situation completely inappropriately and we were the ONLY ones in the waiting room. Instead of removing us immediately to a separate room, we were asked to ‘leave’ despite my disability AND my husbands. Nothing like being singled out because we are different to help the discrimination cause. I get asked all the time, “How do I get my dog certified…?” I tell them, “Give up your life, your eyes, your diet, and then gets past the closed minded world of K9-haters. There is nothing good about having to have your life-saving partner next to your hip and yet have yourself singled out.” Most do not realize how limited our lives are, until I put it to them in blunt words like that. Think twice about how you treat someone with a service dog. We are not equals, because you refuse to see what we try to do to become equals.

    • Zahra

      Do you know how to read? This person is not anti-service dogs! She understands they are necessary; her objection has to do with all the people who fake that they have service dogs just so they can bring their pets into restaurants and cuddle them while they eat. She is right – these morons are so needy and shallow, they do not care if anyone else around them has a life-endangering allergy to the pet dander and parasites. I have seen enough of these people who endanger other people’s lives on the road, while they balance 3 to 4 dogs running around on their laps while they attempt to drive. There’s some new trend in town; it’s called “comfort animal” and frankly it says a lot more about the mental state of these people than the pets they haul around in purses and in carry-on luggage. So relax, we understand that handicapped people need service animals. It’s the other percentage with mental issues who haul around pets to places where they do not belong, which we have a problem with!

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  22. Reetu McCallum

    Firstly I would like to say I have had dogs all my life, guinea pigs, a pet cow all of which I considered as family, but do I see it fit to have them in a restaurant? Definitely not. Like a responsible parent; you would organize a baby sitter for a night out with your friends, you can do the same for a dog. There are sites like BorrowMyDOggie which can help elimininate issues about leaving pets alone at home. I sponsor guide dogs so if it allows a person to get out and about than of course the service dog should be allowed at restaurants. As for pets just coming along, I just think out of consideration of other guests there should be a conscious decision not to bring your dog into a restaurant. Its about being considerate, some people are allergic to dogs. Also dogs carry nematodes (parasites) and others diseases in their saliva and I don’t want to increase my chances of getting parasites from other peoples dogs. Do I need to mention that dogs shed hair? Dog hairs all over my clothes from other peoples dogs – no thank you. It easier to manage one or two guidedogs in a restaurant but imagine dining with everyone’s pet dog in your space, I’d probably trod on them with my heals by mistake, which means more problems for the restaurateur from the commotion.

    I vote No.

  23. Anony

    There is nothing more gross than eating a meal and smelling a dogs buttocks, or watching them urinate and defecate all over the place. Please keep your filthy flea harboring dogs at home. Some people are at the restaurant to enjoy a good meal.

  24. anon

    The answer to the question is no. Why? They don’t serve dog food there so why bring your dog? What is the real purpose? Does your dog need you by his side whenever he/she has a meal? They are only concerned with eating and could care less where you are. People could be allergic to dogs, afraid of them, or simply not like them at all. And there are some dog owners that refuse to accept that not every person is not going to be into their pet. If you can’t be without your pet for a few hours then there are some serious issues going on there. And what happens if your dog sees another dog in the restaurant? Are they going to go berserk and start barking loudly? What if a patron accidentally steps on your dog’s tail while moving about?

    • Kathryn

      I’d say there is indeed a serious issue with people who ‘simply can’t’ go anywhere without their dog(physical service dogs,not included)…it’s called obsession&calls for a shrink&some deep therapy. There are so many reasons(health&safety among those reasons) not to allow dogs in eateries&most other public places,but the dog-obsessed,do not understand&they do not care. All that matters to them,is having their dog with them at ALL times&treating it like it is human. Smh. Sad state the world is in,that this is even an issue,but apparently common sense,common respect&common courtesy,for other humans,are no longer common&have went the way of the dodo bird…

  25. anonVA

    Why can’t I bring my well behaved and groomed yorkie into places? He’s cleaner and better mannered than some of these people and their screaming spawn.

  26. mike

    No way I don’t believe Dogs should be served in restaurants!

    They are to be our best friends and should not be eaten, Biblicaly speaking they are UN-clean meat,

    Oh wait this about letting them “dine” in restaurants well then sure, as long as they are good tippers ;)

  27. Daniel F

    I had this problem when I worked in a juice bar in a gym. The it was a public gym that happen to be a in residential apartment, and the residents of the building would always bring dogs into the Juice Bar. Those customers had to be turned away, even if it meant losing a customer. I had to follow the rules set by the DOH or the establishment could get a fine. Service dogs are the only exception, I have never had a service dog at any restaurant I’ve worked at; to deny service to blind person with a service dog is a violation of the Americans with disabilities act.

  28. Gary Berry

    Having lived in Germany off and on for over 9 years, I know that well behaved dogs are quite welcome in restaurants. Children, who often are not so well behaved, are not welcome. Hmmm.

  29. Butch

    leave Fido at home. If you have to take your dog with you, go thru the McDonalds drive thru. I have 4 dogs and love them like they were my kids, but I have the common sense to know when to leave them at home. They are dogs. Some dog breeds are constantly shedding hair and do not belong anywhere the serves food or sells food. If you have a disability that requires a service dog and even though the law allows it, I still say keep the dog away from places that sell or serve food. Eat at home.

  30. lynda

    Imagine if everyone brought their dog to a restaurant! Leave your dog at home, you’re no more. “special” than the next guy.

  31. William

    No animal should be allowed in ANY restaurant. Period.

  32. gordon

    Restaurants and bars must understand that dining out is a luxury. Dogs don’t buy entrees or tip your wait staff. I can dine and drink and home. Your margins are small as it is. You can have your dogs. I will stay home in my comfort.

  33. Kathryn

    To put it simply…no pets(certified&genuine physical service dogs,excepted)of any kind,belong in eateries. Or most other public places&especially if they sell food,clothing or medical supplies. I get that the latest trend is to be dog-obsessed&treat it like it’s human/like it’s a child,force it on others(who may have severe allergies/fears,etc)&demand people just ‘shut up&take it’ with that deeply disturbing trend of theirs,but…that is like trying to force others to listen to your (for example)homicidal fantasies all day,every day. Not everyone is going to just sit there&take it. Nor should they have to. Have some respect&courtesy for other HUMANS&keep your dogs,to yourself. You know,like you would those proposed homicidal fantasies. (:

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