Many dog owners see their pets as part of the family, and you don’t leave family members home alone while you go out to eat on a Saturday night. Dog-friendly restaurants are growing in popularity, but lawmakers in New York are now making it easier than ever to dine out with your pooch.
The New York State Senate recently passed legislation that would amend the state’s health law to allow restaurant patrons to bring their dogs into outside dining areas. The bill passed on Tuesday, June 16, 2015. It passed the Assembly and is now on to Governor Andrew Cuomo’s office for review.
RELATED: Tips for Traveling with Your Dog
Assemblywoman Linda Rosenthal introduced the bill and is excited to see it pass saying that it is a win for dogs because they won’t have to sit at home alone while their families dine out any longer. Not to mention that it is a win for dog owners who enjoy spending time with their canine companions.
The bill, being called the “Dining With Dogs” bill, would allow customers to bring their dogs into the outdoor dining area of restaurants that offer the service, as long as the restaurant can ensure that there will be absolutely no contamination of food, utensils, or equipment. Dogs would be required to be leashed, and each establishment will be able to choose whether they want to allow pets or not.
Several restaurants in the state already allow dogs to dine in outdoor areas, including the Bridge View Tavern in Sleepy Hollow. In fact, this restaurant is even launching a dog-friendly beer garden this summer.
Chris Maceyak, owner of the Bridge View Tavern, says some of the businesses regular customers are of the canine variety and they’ve never had any issues with the dogs or any complaints from their pet-free guests either.
RELATED: Dog Nutrition 101: What Do Dogs Eat
The new law would require that employees would not be able to have any direct contact with the canines during their shifts. It also specifies that a separate entrance must be provided so that the dogs do not have to pass through the building to get to the outdoor dining area. Similarly, the outdoor space must not be used for utensil storage or food preparation in any way.
Similar legislation was recently passed in California, Florida, and Maryland with an overwhelming amount of support. Their laws hold the same stipulations and went into effect earlier this year. The law in California also allows cities and counties the ability to impose local restrictions on dogs that are dining out if they so choose.