Do Dogs Belong In Restaurants?

Good morning and happy Monday! 😀

The weather is gorgeous here in Boston today. It’s almost fall-like with the sun shining and a cool breeze. It was the perfect morning to sleep in, but, for some reason, it gave me energy to start my day. The thought of overnight oats waiting in my refrigerator helped too! 😉

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In the mix:

  • 1/4 cup old-fashioned oats
  • 1/4 cup French Vanilla Mad Hectic oatmeal
  • 1/2 cup vanilla soy milk
  • 1/4 cup water
  • Chia seeds
  • Chopped dates
  • 2 scoops of Barney Butter

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And, as always, I enjoyed a wonderful glass of iced coffee with breakfast.

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So, over the weekend, I stumbled upon this article: Do Dogs Belong In Restaurants? At first, I thought: Of course, they do! Dogs rule.

Ever since I visited Norm’s in Seattle last summer, I’ve been obsessed with the idea of dog-friendly restaurants. In fact, Marie and I have dreams to open a “dog bar” someday. We just need to get our husbands on board! 😉

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But, the more I thought about it, the more I realized that having dogs in restaurants could potentially pose some serious health and safety issues– for the customers, servers, and dogs themselves– so maybe it wasn’t a good idea after all.

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There’s so many layers to the argument as seen in the comment section of the above article, which brings me to today’s Question of the Day.

Question of the Day

Do you think dogs belong in restaurants?

121 Comments

  1. I really do love dogs, but I’m also very allergic to them. So I would say no, they don’t belong in restaurants. That’s a general statement, of course. A seeing-eye dog or something like that is an exception! I’d just ask to be seated away from the area.

  2. As much as I’d like for my dog to come into a restaurant, I don’t think it’d be fair on other diners; aside from allergies, some people just aren’t comfortable around dogs, and it’d be terrible if one got loose and stole food!

  3. I don’t mind dogs in casual restaurants or anywhere outdoors, but I’ve been in nice NYC places and seen people with dogs in their purses!! I love dogs, but I don’t really want them popping up at a white linen and candlelight type of place!

  4. You should go to the Brendan Behan in JP. It is a bar but you can bring your own food and DOGS! The people there are great.

  5. I’m going to have to say no to the dogs in restaurants thing. I think it’s fine if it’s a restaurant designed for that purpose- but just bringing your dog to a regular restaurant crosses a line. There are a lot of people highly allergic to dogs (me included) that don’t want to have trouble breathing while eating. Also, you never know how well the restaurant staff is going to clean the dining area and wash their hands after touching dogs or things dogs have touched. (That had more to do with cleanliness than dogs tho;))

  6. I think it depends on the dog. Small dogs can be contained in a carrier and aren’t as likely to hop onto tapes. If you have an obedient large dog, he could easily lie under the table warming your feet while you chat enjoyably with your feet. But my dog is a reason not to allow dogs into restaurants. He would have his paws on every table devouring everything from salad to dessert (he loves vegetables). Then he would turn on the restaurant patrons, jumping on them to show them how much he loves them. I think a lot of dogs would be like mine. Unfortunately, it’s probably smarter to ban all dogs even though many would be fine.

  7. I’m a huge dog person, but personally I don’t think dogs belong in restaraunts (unless its a service dog)for many reasons. A small outdoor cafe where the dogs were outside and it was specific to catering to those who bring their dogs then that could be find because if people don’t feel comfortable eating their they wouldn’t have too.

  8. I’ll have to agree with other comments. I am okay with dogs in patios/outdoor places since it’s open air but I don’t think it’s fair to other people to have them in indoors restaurants. I love my dog and take him with me wherever he is allowed, pet stores, Home Depot etc but that’s about it. I am also kind of iffy about him being in the kitchen while I cook. He doesn’t shed a whole lot but I would hate to see one of his hairs right on top of my food. So imagine if that happened in a restaurant!

  9. I have been following your blog for a while now and love it. One of the reasons is that my family and I love pugs and so are always excited to see photos of your gorgeous Murphy. We live in Europe where it is common to see dogs in restaurants and cafes, but are from New Zealand where it is definitely a no-no. When we first got here we were shocked but once you get used to it, I now hardly notice them (unless it’s a pug and then we ooh and aah).
    What I have noticed is that the majority of dogs are very well behaved and their owners are aware of other diners around them. Of course there are always exceptions, but that can be said for people or their children as well. Most often my one and only thought is why would you want to?

  10. I’m probably in agreement with all the other posts. I love my dog and would love for him to join me at restaurants, but given santiary measures and the fact that many people are allergic or scared of dogs, it’s probably not the best idea. But I will admit that if a restaurant offers outdoor, pet-friendly seating, it is often one of my top choices for dinner.

  11. I would LOVE to be able to bring Mollie more places with me! In the winter she ends up stuck inside alone in the apt for months! I would for sure patronize a place that would allow pups. There, of course, would have to be rules about behavior and I’m not saying I’d have her on the table eating my scraps – floor only. But she’s WAY cleaner and more well behaved than most children I see out there and people are allowed to bring rug-rats all kinds of inappropriate places. As far as allergies, people allergic to dogs could just not go to the restaurant in question, the same way I don’t go to restaurants without outdoor seating so I can bring Mo’. In Los Angeles I was able to bring Mollie almost everywhere – she even shopped with me at Nordstroms! It was great! She’s super chill and doesn’t bother anyone. I carry her in my backpack sometimes and people don’t even notice she’s there!

  12. In Germany, dogs are allowed everywhere. Now, I love dogs, but I hate them being in grocery stores and restaurants. I think it is disgusting, dangerous, and unsanitary. Pet owners need to think not only about the cleanliness of having dogs around food, but also about people with allergies or extreme fears. Now if it’s a service dog, that’s a different story

  13. Depends on the restaurant. If the restaurant is openly dog friendly, then yes, because people who go eat there would already know and expect the doggie environment and those with allergies would probably avoid such a place. If it is a regular restaurant, then no, because it wouldn’t be fair to other customers. Obviously service dogs are the exception.

  14. I do not think dogs belong in restaurants, or grocery stores, or health food stores (same goes for cats), or pharmacies. You are right, there are a lot of health issues involved, plus, some people aren’t dog people and don’t appreciate dogs they don’t know coming over and jumping up at their food, barking while we’re trying to eat, or getting into the fresh produce. A LOT of people try to bring their dogs into all these places in NYC and I really don’t think it’s appropriate. I understand that for dog owners in a walkable city like this, that it is much more convenient to be able to run errands while walking the dog, but it’s really not appropriate or healthy. Of course, I do not mind seeing eye dogs at all, but they are typically incredibly well behaved, quiet and calm.

  15. I love dogs and have two of my own but I don’t think they belong in restaurants. Maybe a bar at the beach, where they can sit outside. Honestly, I don’t even understand the reasoning for wanting to bring your dog everywhere you go. They don’t want to be crammed in your purse!

  16. You know I love my dog, but no, they don’t. A dog bar would be cool if no food was served, and I’m all for dogs on patios. But inside a restaurant, where they can leave dander and track in all the lovely things they step in? No. Plus, you know some jackass will bring in a non-housetrained puppy that will pee and poop right in front of someone as they try to enjoy their buffalo chicken nachos.

  17. Unless the dog is for medical purposes, I think dogs in restaurants would pose a huge liability for the restaurant owners. Other patrons may be allergic, depending on how the dog is groomed the dog could be considered “dirty”.. there are just many factors to consider!

    All that being said, maybe an outdoor area for only patrons with their dogs could be established at places that are looking to incorporate doggie-friendly areas.

  18. In all restaurants, I think no (unless they are service dogs).

    But I think that if the establishment specifically states that they allow dogs, that’s fine. Then people can decide if they want to go or not (or if they should just take some claritin). But I do think that all animals should be kept out of the kitchen/cleaning areas, and that the floors/tables should be cleaned on a regular basis.

    Insurance for this type of place would also be a nightmare – if I was the owner I might require that all animals have proof of up to date rabies vaccines, that the animals are spayed/neutered, and require that patrons sign a liability waiver just in case any incidents occur between patrons/dogs, so that the restaurant is not responsible. I would also hope that the layout would give patrons enough space to separate themselves from other dogs.

  19. Everywhere I lived in Central Florida was very dog-friendly – most restaurants in both Winter Park and Celebration, Florida had doggie dining patios, provided doggie menus, etc. Most stores would put out bowls of water for dogs outside their doors.

    I live in Sarasota now and haven’t seen a doggie dining patio here yet, though.

  20. I think if it’s a restaurant that specifically asks for dogs being there, it’s fine; you can’t really blame the restaurant for the problems of any of the patrons if they absolutely know what situation they’re putting themself in. If they aren’t comfortable in a place like that or don’t think it’s sanitary, it’s their responsibility to eat somewhere else.

  21. honestly i think t depends on the type of restaurant. so many times people overestimate how good their dog is, so if you’re in a nice restaurant you don’t want to hear someone else’s dog barking and whining and begging. i’m all about dogs on patios though!

  22. I think there are too many risks involved to have dogs in restaurants. I think if the restaurant specifically is for dogs to be there (more room around the tables? “dog park” type fenced in area in front?) then it would be ok, but I’ve be worried about dogs possibly fighting with one another, biting (!), servers tripping over the leashes, etc. Plus I know my husband is allergic to the hair (as are other people) and I think the restaurants would have to work really hard to clean up the hair to prevent any complaints.

  23. I love my dog, but really, I don’t think they do. I’m totally great with a seeing eye dogs and other service dogs because they are well trained, but I would just limit it to that. There’s the whole behavior issue with some dogs being very aggressive, people are allergic to them and of course they can carry fleas and ticks which is a health risk in a restaurant.

  24. A definite NO. Certain restaurants can advertise as dog friendly so those who do like dining with a dog can come there freely. But in general dogs do NOT belong in restaurants. They aren’t customers whereas rowdy children/babies sometimes are.

  25. I have mixed feelings, as I’m a huge dog lover but understand the negative side of it. I think dog bars are a super cute idea, obviously it is understand that it is a dog friendly establishment. As for normal restaurants and bars, I think they should be only allowed in outdoor seating (which I see a lot).

  26. I think it’s ok to have restaurants where pats are allowed and it should be advertised as such, so people know what they are in for (if they are allergic..etc they shouldn’t go to that particular animal friendly environment) There is also a place for restaurants that are obviously not pet friendly for many reasons and people should respect that.

  27. I am an animal loving person,and would love for more restaurants to allow dogs,maybe they could have special areas like they used to have smoking areas,lol.But seriously,it really all depends on the type of restaurant and whether you know your dog is people- and dog friendly.If their not,they should rather eat at home.

  28. I love the idea of select dog friendly estabilshments, and I LOVE dogs, but I have to agree with most others that I wouldnt want dogs allowed in restaurants in general. You know there would end up being some not-so-well-behaved dogs brought in and they’d bark or jump…etc. But my biggest fear is that this would open the door to cats…I am NOT a cat person and the thought of cats around my while I eat makes me nauseaus hahah!

  29. NO. Gross! I wouldn’t want a dog anywhere near me when I am eating! Even if it was a ‘dog restaurant’ I think there are still safety and sanitation issues. So besides service dogs, it is a big no-go.

  30. Sorry, but no. Not all dogs are as well behaved as Murphy is, and frankly it’s usually a disturbance to other customers who don’t find your dog as adorable as you do. I’d love to play with Murphy any day, but not whule I’m eating out!

    Wei Wei

  31. it depends. i used to work in a restaurant and people would assume that if their dog could fit in a bag it was okay to bring it inside. however, this doesnt stop the problem of barking or allergies. i know some people who have pretty severe pet allergies, and this could be terrible for them. i am all for dogs outside on the patio, and of course seeing eye dogs. if it is an establishment that is specifically dog friendly, people who dont like (or are allergic to) dogs should stay away.

  32. Having worked in restaurants for a while, I know we allowed dogs on the patio outside, but never inside the restaurant for exactly the reasons you stated. It violates health codes and can be dangerous for everyone around. Also, who know who’s allergic? Outside, it’s like any other outdoor space, but inside, it’s just not safe, no matter how cute it is.

  33. I would prefer that dogs not be in restaurants…BUT–I don’t mind if dogs are in bars (well, on the bar patios) where foods isn’t served. There are plenty of bars that allow dogs in my city. It’s a great conversation starter and way to meet people.

  34. I have no problem with dogs and if a place is dog friendly and you are anti dog then go somewhere else, it’s not many places those of us who love dogs can go. I find strong perfume offensive and can’t eat in a place with people who wear it, that’s my problem not theirs and dogs are the same.
    I don’t however think dogs should be allowed everywhere and I think if the dogs is poorly behaved it shouldn’t be there, the owners should leave, but I think the same of people with poorly behaved children, no one wants to hear a screaming brat anymore than a barking dog.
    As for dogs are not clean but hey seeing eye dogs are okay, either dogs are fine or not, seriously seeing eye dogs are no cleaner than any other animal, it may be PC and ADA compliant but either you have an issue with dogs or not…

  35. As much as I would love to be able to bring my dog with me everywhere, I say no. Aside from other patrons possibly being allergic, I would hate for my dog to leave behind hair – and he’s a big shedder! I’m sure that would be gross to others.

    However, I’m all for dog-friendly patios, as long as the dog is well-behaved.

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