Friday, October 7, 2016

Dogs are welcome! – the Truth about Dog-friendly Restaurants

I am so excited about the end of summer here in Phoenix! Here come the beautiful weather months that Arizonans have been longing for since June. Finally we can come out from our air-conditioned homes, offices and cars and enjoy the outdoors.

One of my favorite things about the fall, winter and spring in Phoenix is sitting outside, eating at the many patio restaurants. I love finding these relaxing places around the valley and make it a habit to inquire, if they are dog-friendly. It is not an easy task to find places that allow dogs on their patios. I usually will share the information on our Azdogfriendly- facebook page. I know from my own experience of traveling with my dogs, that finding such places is invaluable for dog owners.

In my quest of finding these gems, I often times hear from restaurant owners, or their staff, that they used to allow dogs, but decided not to any longer. On occasion, I find places where they compromise and seat patrons with dogs at the outer edges of the patio, so the dog can be on the outside fence, near the owner, but is not actually allowed on the restaurant patio itself. These type of comments and situations always make me appreciate the places that do allow me to bring my dogs.

Many of my dog-lover friends wonder why not all patio restaurants allow dogs, since there is obviously no law against having pets at restaurants with outside seating in the Phoenix area. Although the law does not forbid pets to accompany their owners in patio restaurants, there are several Arizona Health Code restrictions, and the restaurant owner must follow several guidelines and be approved to offer a dog-friendly patio. 

One of the first requirements for being considered for a dog-friendly patio is that the patio must have a separate entrance, that is accessible from the outside. Pets cannot enter the patio by walking through the restaurant building. Also, all pets must be outside of 7 feet of the entrance of the restaurant. So when you come into your favorite place, be sure to follow this simple rule for seating yourself with your pet.

Of course, all dogs must be leashed and under the owner's control, while they are in the restaurant's patio area. Be considered of other patrons, not everyone is a pet lover and some may even be allergic to dogs. So keep your dog well contained under your table and out of the walkways, so the server does not trip over him.

Please, you should never allow your dog to go potty on or near the patio! Make sure you allow your dog to do his business before you come onto the patio area. If your dog pees or even poops on, or near the restaurant, the staff has to scrub and clean the mess, which can curb their enthusiasm about allowing dogs to their establishment.

In addition, the Health code requires that the patio is kept clean and free of dog hair and that dogs do not come in contact with tabletops and reusable food dishes or utensils. It is your responsibility as a pet owner to keep your dog off the chairs and tables and to not allow your dog to touch the plates or utensils. So if you like to share your steak with Fido, make sure you give him his share under the table, on a dish you bring with you. Never allow him to eat off the plate and don't let him sit on the chair and sniff the tabletops!

Keeping a clean and friendly restaurant is hard work, and I, for one, really appreciate restaurants that take on the extra work and make the effort to provide a dog-friendly atmosphere. Please be a good dog owner and follow the simple guidelines to ensure your dog properly behaves in the establishment.

It is best to call ahead and confirm dogs are still welcomed at your favorite restaurant, remember outdoor seating is limited and sometimes seasonal, as well as dependent on weather conditions. Make sure you show your gratitude and tell the owner or staff how much you appreciate them allowing your dog at their restaurant.

If you would like to read more about the Health code regulations, go to:

Please share your favorite dog-friendly restaurant with other dog-lovers, you can do so in our comment area, or go to our AzdogfriendlyplacesFacebook Group.

Thank you for stopping by, feel free to like and share our blog posts to help us reach more of your friends and family.

Until next time, keep your paws on the road!


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