Dogs Get FDA Ruling Over Joining Owners Outdoors At Restaurants

Fido can now officially join your outdoor dining reservation.

The Food and Drug Administration recently updated its list of 2022 food regulations to allow “pet dogs,” not just service animals, “in outdoor dining areas, where approved.”

Domestic dogs are still not allowed indoors or anywhere food is prepared, not even to walk to an outdoor dining area, but now they can join in as their owners enjoy alfresco dining just in time for spring.

However, service dogs remain the only animals allowed to join their owners at indoor tables.

While updated FDA regulations allow eating places to welcome beloved neighborhood pups, that doesn’t mean they have to.

Restaurants, bars and cafes can still make their own decisions about whether or not they want the queues to move. outdoor.

But if an establishment allows a small, shaky Chihuahua onto its patio, the staff also welcomes a big, drooling Great Dane; discrimination based on race is prohibited.

However, cats and other pets are also not allowed, per FDA regulations.

Restaurants, bars and cafes can still set their own rules about whether or not they want to welcome pets.
Boston Globe via Getty Images

Dogs dining out is nothing new to New Yorkers, who have been bringing their bags to lunch for some time now, but the FDA amendment is sure to be a welcome clarification for restaurant workers.

Service animals have almost always been allowed to join their owners at meals, but the difference between a certified service animal and a stuffed pet has led to years of confusion.

During the summer of 2019, the New York City Commission on Human Rights issued a new set of legal guidelines regarding people with disabilities, one of which reminded restaurants that they are prohibited from requiring proof of a person’s disability. person or the use of an animal as a service companion.

That sparked a wave of frustration as restaurant workers had to rely on, and sometimes doubted, customers’ honesty, plus some pet-free diners were unhappy that their favorite places were increasingly crowded with friends. four-legged

“It’s disgusting,” Danit Sibovits, an Upper West Side lawyer, previously told The Post. “I don’t want dog hair or drool near my food.”

Noel Shu, co-owner of the downtown Windrose restaurant, also expressed annoyance at the time.

“I can’t say, ‘Excuse me, can I see this dog’s ID?’ It’s like profiling,” she said.

“The client can change the situation and say that he is being discriminated against. People are definitely bringing their dogs because they know they’re not going to be asked.”

People sit with a dog inside a plastic 'house' while dining al fresco
Service dogs were previously the only animals allowed in dining rooms and remain the only dogs allowed inside.
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But now, thanks to recently updated FDA regulations, there should be less confusion.

Any pet pup can soak up the sun while their owner enjoys an Aperol spritz on a patio for outdoor dining this spring and summer, if the restaurant so desires.

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