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Should Dogs be Allowed to Dine at Restaurants?

Should Dogs be Allowed to Dine at Restaurants?

I reside in the San Francisco Bay Area and love living in a very dog-friendly town, Half Moon Bay. My dogs are a huge part of my daily life, go almost everywhere with me, are very well socialized, and I continually provide them with many training opportunities in public places. I’m not sure I could ever live in a town that wasn’t dog-friendly.

Recently, Los Angeles County passed a law that allows dogs to dine on the outdoor deck or patio, provided they enter the patio from an outdoor gate and don’t sit on a chair or table. Exercising Fido before he needs to sit calmly by your side is also a good idea.

Lazy Dog Cafe founder, Chris Simms, was elated over the passing of the new law. His Orange County restaurants had been dog friendly since they opened, and he’s been eager for dogs to legally be allowed in all nine Lazy Dog Cafes in Southern California. A huge dog lover himself, he knows the uncomfortable feeling of leaving a dog at home on a weekend day, after you’ve left him all week to go to work. He wanted to create an atmosphere that welcomed dogs, while still focusing on the quality of food and the overall experience for humans.

Dog Enjoying Lazy Dog Cafe


Since the laws have taken effect, there’s been an outpouring of positive response and a lot of happy dining dogs. But, what about people who’d prefer to dine only with their own species or are allergic to dogs? Chris says, “We dont want to alienate the people who prefer to dine without dogs. So we provide a non-dog section and a dog section.” Sounds a little like the days when there were smoking and non-smoking sections in restaurants.

Because I live in a world which embraces all things canine, I was a little surprised when I read some of the comments from this Los Angeles Times article. Many readers thought it weird, inappropriate and obsessive. What do Care2 readers think? Do you take your dog to restaurants? Do you enjoying dining in the company of dogs? Would you be more or less likely to frequent a restaurant that is dog-friendly? Thanks for sharing your comments below and voting in our poll.

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Lisa Spector

Lisa Spector is a concert pianist, Juilliard graduate, and canine music expert. She is co-founder of Through a Dog's Ear, the first music clinically demonstrated to calm the canine nervous system. Their new high-tech pet gadget, iCalmDog, is the portable solution to canine anxiety. Lisa shares her home and her heart with her two "career change" Labrador Retrievers from Guide Dogs for the Blind, Sanchez and Gina. Follow Lisa's blog here.


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1:43PM PDT on Sep 3, 2015

I'm unsure my husky wouldn't be scared inside a restaurant. What if a hot liquid or grease spilled on the dog?

I'm also doubting that *every* Eurodog and child is so well behaved. :p #comeonnow.

11:50PM PDT on Jun 20, 2014

Most dogs behave better than kids!!!!!

10:43AM PDT on Jun 20, 2014

Dogs are usually well behaved it is their owners who act irresponsibly. eg taking a nervous dog into crowded areas not cleaning up after the dog. I think most dogs would appreciate a treat whilst their owner indulge themselves

12:44AM PDT on Jun 1, 2013

Cool blog site friend I'm about to suggest this to all my listing contacts.

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12:51PM PDT on Mar 14, 2013

So long as there's a no dog area - I'm good!

1:10PM PST on Feb 17, 2013

I think as long as your dog is well behaved, then it should be allowed, Especially when there is a non dog part of the patio, in fact I love this idea, I like dogs more than some people myself!! Thank you Lisa for the article.

1:42PM PDT on Jun 12, 2012

with proper precautions and steps to ensure the dogs are vaccinated and such ,then I think it would be okay. eat at your own risk though! some dogs can be aggressive in the presence of food and strangers!

6:03AM PDT on Jun 2, 2012

I would like to dine and go everywhere with my pets.

6:57AM PDT on Apr 5, 2012

As an American living in Germany, I was initially shocked when I saw dogs in restaurants. Now it seems normal. I think that's because people tend to use common sense, and only bring dogs that are reasonably well-behaved.

5:13AM PDT on Apr 5, 2012

i think its a good idea :) thanks for sharing :)

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.

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Thank you but unfortunately, those tips aren't very useful if you've got a cat.


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