Proposed state legislation would allow dogs in outdoor dining areas

otto through dunkin door

No matter how many times we explain the law to Otto, he just doesn't seem to understand.

In New York State it is against the law to allow a dog in a restaurant -- even (technically) on an outdoor patio. But a bill sponsored by Assembly member Linda Rosenthal (D-Manhattan) would open the door for dogs to legally be in outdoor eating areas.

The bill includes a bunch of qualifications for allowing dogs in these areas -- here are just a few:

+ "The owner of the food service establishment elects to allow pet dogs in its outdoor dining area."

+ "A separate outdoor entrance is present where pet dogs enter without going through the food service establishment to reach the outdoor dining area and pet dogs are not allowed on chairs, benches, seats, or other fixtures."

+ "Food and water provided to pet dogs shall only be in single-use disposable containers."

+ "Employees serving food are prohibited from having direct contact with pet dogs while on duty. Employees who have direct contact with a pet dog shall wash his or her hands."

+ "The pet dog is on a leash or confined in a pet carrier and is under the control of the pet dog owner."

The bill was referred to committee today, and it doesn't appear to have a "same as" bill in the state Senate, so it's a long way from being passed.

We love dogs -- obviously -- and it'd be great to be able to go for a walk in the summer with Otto and stop someplace to eat. (Well, this already happens because some places are kind of casual about the rule.)

But... there's probably a good case to be made by people who are not dog people that dogs don't need to be everywhere -- and maybe restaurants, even outside, are a good place to keep that line drawn. (And, of course, the behavior of dogs and their owners plays a big role here, too -- a calm, well-behaved dog probably isn't going to be an issue for most people.)

[via @mahoneyw]

Dogs, dogs, dogs, dogs, dogs

While looking up this bill today, we noticed there are a lot of proposed bills that somehow relate to dogs. Among them: a bill requiring the microchipping of all dogs, a bill prohibiting the tethering or caging of a dog at night, a bill that would make the theft of a pet dog or cat a felony, a bill that would prohibit the "devocalization" of dogs and cats, a bill that would allow for courts to provide dogs to certain witnesses in order to ease the stress of testifying, a bill that would establish a tax credit for adopting a dog or cat, and a bill that would designate the service dog as New York's official state dog (sponsored by Kathy Marchione in the Senate).

Earlier on AOA: Eateries that allow or accommodate dogs?


I honestly thought this was already allowed. I had to read that headline a few times to make sure it wasn't to allow dogs in all restaurants.

What is with all these qualifiers? Single use cups? Separate entrances? It's not like the dogs are cooking your food!

Ryan, I had thought the same thing, but if not, this is certainly a step in a more logical direction. I can see the point of some of the stipulations, such as not going through the restaurant to get to the outdoor eating area, but the single use disposable container thing seems a bit much.

Common sense and intelligence provided to legislators shall only be in single-use disposable containers as they clearly don't know what to do with it in any sort of broader situation.

Rules, rules, rules. Tax credit? How about a bill that regulates dog breeding?

Watch out - The Dog in Restaurant Lobby has deep pockets.

I enjoy a dog-free dining environment VERY much. To me, there seems to be just too many opportunities for a dog (or any domesticated animal, for that matter) and its owner to adversely influence someone else's dining experience, which ultimately is what matters the most. I approach this with (3) perspectives : 1) a typical person who dines out semi-regularly, 2) a former waiter, and 3) a parent who grasps how much (or little) control you can have at times over a small human (or animal, in this case).

1) As your standard customer, I'd hope each bar or restaurant would make considerations for whether a dog-inclusive environment is appropriate for them. The back patio at the wine bar and bistro in Albany is a great example. As a patron, I'd hope the owners would disallow it (for a number of mostly obvious reasons). However if they did allow it, I'd hope the dog's owners would give consideration to whether or not bringing their dog to such a space is the most considerate option.

2) As a former waiter, anything that would impede my ability to do my job is immediately seen as a negative b/c it ultimately effects the quality of my work, the quality of the diner's experience and ultimately the money in my pocket.

3) As a parent, I've experienced first-hand how, despite your best efforts + intentions, a little person (or animal) can still exceed the limits of your control and adversely effect the experience of others. For a child, it's crying, running, throwing, etc. For a dog, it's barking, begging, restlessness, interacting with other animals, etc.

I'd sum up my thoughts by saying that I don't trust ALL dog-owners would be considerate enough that allowing this across the board would be a good idea.

There are already too many business that allow dogs, laws be damned. I'm encouraged by the number of restrictions here (all of which are common sense to ensure good hygiene as well as no infringement on the rights of the dog-allergic and dog-averse), but based on what I've already seen done by dog-lovers, I can't imagine they'll be followed.

I actually would classify myself as a dog lover, but I would not be in favor of allowing dogs in restaurants, even with the (sensible) proposed restrictions. If you want to eat out, leave your dog at home, and if you're out with your dog and want something to eat, I think that's what takeout is for. Sorry.

Dogs are OK out in the park or in your home, but I will actively avoid any restaurant/pub that allows pets on a patio or inside.

If someone doesn't want to interact with a dog in public, then don't. If you think the dog is too close, politely ask the owner to shorten the dog's lead and they likely will without resistance...people who bring their dogs to sidewalk and patio cafe's tend to be pretty awesome dog parents. I find that when I bring my dog with me it actually seems to facilitate positive interactions with other customers. My favorite spring/summer activity is to make an entire day out of going to the farmers market with my dog and then being able to hit a couple of stores with her and then enjoy a mid-afternoon beverage or snack with my best pal. I tolerate people's germy, screaming kids inside at restaurants and stores (and god forbid I ask a parent to have their special snowflake stop kicking the chairs, or throwing stuff, or screaming, or jumping on a common bench or running around touching my stuff and coming up to people's tables all the while the little terrorist's parents think it is "so cute"), So I'm not sorry they have to tolerate my well behaved dog who either sits or stands next to me and the people in my immediate party at outside restaurant/bar/cafe. I think it would be nice to make this official.
I also think the tax credit for adopting a pet from a shelter or rescue is a great idea, considering that the rescues and shelters are already 501(c)(3) organizations.

@ CAOD : The thought of sitting outside enjoying a delicious meal when I look over at the table next to me... and see you... and then see your dog... squatting (on a short leash, of course) and taking a big dump, is... err... unattractive.

Kids and dogs aren't the same. I wish people would stop pretending they are.

I guess Saratoga never bothered to consider a law like this, because dogs are allowed almost everywhere here.

And yes, it's awesome.

@Sean In the hundreds of time I have taken my dog out with me that has never happened and I have never seen it happen either. I have however seen kids have accidents, remove diapers, and vomit on tables.

If restaurants started banning kids, I would be soooo happy.

"Kids and dogs aren't the same. I wish people would stop pretending they are."
True. Kids are far

"I actually would classify myself as a dog lover, but I would not be in favor of allowing dogs in restaurants, even with the (sensible) proposed restrictions."
I sense a bit of an oxymoron, here, or contradiction. I love my dog and because I do, I would like to be able to take her everywhere with me, just like she follows me everywhere at home. In all outdoor areas that I've been to, I asked people around me if they would be okay with my having my dog near me. Nobody ever refused and, in fact, the dog ends up being a topic of conversation with adjacent tables. I think that we just freak out too much about everything these days. It's a dog. How much can that inconvenience you?

Can we not devolve into a dog vs. children argument? There's cuteness and grossness on both sides...

Let's remember that people have different opinions on what they are okay with, and ultimately, responsible dog/children owners will generally do that right thing.

Kudos to Mary and Greg for setting the right tone with this post - they acknowledge how great it would be to bring Otto to dine, but recognize that it might not be everyone else's cup of tea.

Yeah, it's not like dogs are cooking your food, etc....but dogs will be sitting next to you on the ground, panting and drooling while you're trying to enjoy your food, and if you aren't a dog person, that's one more area where you can't go and do something without having to share that space with an animal (specifically YOUR animal). Which for me means that soon, I will no longer be utilizing the outdoor space in eating establishments. Once they start allowing dogs inside the restaurant because no person should have to be separated from their best friend (even for the duration of the time it takes to eat a meal), I will no longer be patronizing eating establishments. I mean, don't want to inconvenience any of you, but some of us non-dog lovers have limits ya know!

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