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! 😉


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


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


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! 😉


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.


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?


  1. I am highly allergic to dogs, so I have to say no. I think a restaurant that is specifically for dogs and their owns is great, though. People like me would know not to go there, and the owners get to bring their dogs without worrying about bothering other patrons!

  2. I LOVE dogs, I love most animals, in fact, but no, I don’t agree with pet-friendly restaurants. I think the possibility for health and safety issues would be HUGE!

  3. No, I don’t think they belong in restaurants. I love dogs but that doesn’t mean everybody else does. Also, sometimes I’m intimated by certain breeds, so I might not feel comfortable eating around one. Plus, there’s the whole cleanliness thing – what if they have an accident? I would think that would pose a health risk.

  4. I think it’s fine if a restaurant creates an identity for itself as the dog-friendly restaurant in town, and its schtick is to cater to dog-lovers and their dogs. That would be fine Otherwise, I don’t think people should be so self-righteous about bringing pet dogs anywhere and everywhere –especially restaurants. It also freaks me out to see people waltz into grocery stores or downtown boutiques with their dogs in tow, whether on a leash or stashed into a purse.

  5. No. I lived in Germany where dogs are welcome (and well behaved) in restaurants. My friends brought theirs, but mine stayed home where they belong. I HATE going to stores where people have them in their carts, etc., and they def don’t belong in restaurants. I love animals as much as the next person, but leave them home.

  6. I love my dogs. As a married women with no children (yet) my dogs are my babies. They sleep in our room, they are in the house when we are home… we roll around on the floor with them and cuddle. They are our babies…. BUT, I do not think that a restaurant is the place for a dog… just like I dont think the grocery store is a place for dogs. I always sort of get grossed out when I see people with there dogs at restaurants or grocery stores. I understand that for some people they need a seeing eye dog or some sort of theraputic dog, but it does not make me like it in the area that I will be eating. I mean, what if the dog is a marker and marks my can of beans on the bottom shelf…gross…
    I love my babies… but not in a restaurant. 🙂

  7. I do not believe they belong IN restaurants, but I’m a fan of the patio. However, the dog must also be on its best behavior, or an owner should not be offended when asked to leave. As an owner of a well-trained German Shepherd, I do take offense at the number of people with small dogs that think it’s acceptable to bring their dog into any store, simply because they can carry it. Our pets do not belong everywhere that we go, no matter how much I love my “little” girl. It is helpful to be able to walk to the main street of our town, and be able to eat outside while she lays under the table.

  8. I worked in a sushi restaurant for years and during the warm months people would frequently bring their dogs to sit on the patio. From my viewpoint, here’s what would happen: a) people wouldn’t watch their dogs as they wandered into the aisle and I tripped over a leash (with plates of food in my hands) more than once, b) they’d SHARE their food with their dogs (ie, putting food on a plate that other human customers use and then putting it on the ground for the dog), c) other customers would get grossed out or irritated because they had an allergy or annoyed if the dog kept wandering over to other tables sniffing out food (yup, that happened a lot). Sure, sometimes the dogs are well behaved, but it’s the people who don’t keep their dogs on a short leash and act respectfully that ruin it for everyone. Isn’t that true of so many things in life? 🙂

  9. I love dogs (cats not as much), but I don’t believe that they should be allowed in restaurants. I have seen restaurants with outdoor seating where dogs are allowed – I’m way more comfortable with this. Having them in doors poses a number of problems – one, is it really sanitary? two, if they make noise will it disrupt others? three, is there a potential for them to impact a server’s job? I believe that while the answers may not be 100% straightforward they all lean towards yes so for that reason, pets shouldn’t be allowed in doors.

  10. I love dogs, but I don’t love them with my food. I agree with you that allowing pooches in restaurants poses serious health and safety issues. I’ve been to a few restaurants that allow dogs outside, and that was fine. I just think that indoors with all the hustle and bustle of a restaurant it could lead to chaos.

  11. I love dogs, I really do, but I don’t want to eat around a bunch of dogs who might be 1. shedding hair, 2. barking, 3. blocking walkways for the poor waitstaff, 4. giving some allergic person a horrible meal, or 5. wagging tails into who knows what. I think unless it’s a seeing eye dog, they’re best left home.

  12. I have been to places where they allow dogs in the outdoor seating area, which I think is a great compromise! As much as I love them, I don’t want the pups anywhere near the kitchen or bar where food and drinks are being made

  13. I find it is so much easier to wake up when I know I have a good breakfast awaiting me!
    As much as I love dogs, I’m not really a big fan of the whole “dog in restaurants” concept. It’s gross enough to find a server’s hair in the food… and most server’s don’t even roll around in poo.

  14. I agree with the comments here. I have a dog and love him, but often get irritated at the people who presume they can bring their dog anywhere. These tend to be the same owners who, not surprisingly, don’t really watch their dogs or expect the store to be responsible if the dog has an accident. I honestly think it should be up to the establishment to decide and enforce clear rules. My guess is that MOST restaurants would still not allow dogs, but for those that decided to it should be clearly posted so others can stay clear. Also need to be rules to define what acceptable behavior is on the part of the owners and dogs.

    That said, I think in general we’ve become very self centered as a society and people have started only thinking about themselves and not everyone else’s experiences. I’ve also seen parents who don’t discipline their children at all at a restaurant and it can make for a miserable experience for other diners. I think it should be perfectly acceptable for restaurant staff to step in there as well. I’m more accepting if it is clearly a more family-focused place, but when it’s more upscale or happening at the bar it bothers me.

  15. Dogs are adorable, but having been a waitress for a couple months, I think I lean more towards the no dogs in the restaurant camp. Definitely for the health reasons of dogs maybe eating something they shouldn’t and dog hairs possibly drifting into food… but mostly because dogs can end up being some serious hurdles for waiters with trays! Haha, not good.

  16. I’m on the “no” bandwagon as well for all the reasons everyone has said. Additionally, they pose a risk to servers carrying full trays (or patrons walking to their table for that matter) if the dog suddenly gets up, walks around, isn’t in a place where the server can see, etc.

  17. I read this article too and agree with many of the comments above. I am allergic (though, it depends on breed) and when I see a dog, I honestly get nervous I’ll break into hives! I also worry about waiters with trays and the like – although many animals stay put well when at restaurants (if they don’t have table manners then DEFINITELY not) but sometimes they wander. My vote is no unless it is dog friendly, outdoor space or special needs/guide dogs.

  18. I think it TOTALLY depends on the type of restaurant. If it’s an easygoing, outdoorsy-type restaurant that’s safe for people AND dogs and is KNOWN for being a dog-friendly place, then yea, I see no problem with dogs in that restaurant. But I would say that in general, dogs shouldn’t be allowed in restaurants simply because a restaurant is typically a place to sit down, relax and focus on the food, not your canine friend and what trouble he or she might get into.


  19. I don’t think dogs should be at restaurants. If they act anything like my dog around food, it would be pure chaos if people could bring their dogs! Plus, not everyone likes dogs, so you don’t want to pay $50 for a nice dinner out and be annoyed all night with dogs.

    p.s. I got some caftea s’more coffee from your open sky and I LOVE LOVE LOVE it! Sooo good!

  20. Having been a Puppy Raiser for the blind and allowed to take our dogs into restaurants, I vote no. Once again the bad ruin it for the good. Not all dog owners are responsible. Dogs need to be groomed and dogs need to behave out in public and we all know that is not always the case. It would be great to have a scattering of dog allowed restaurants. At least you have a choice to go or not go.

  21. There are a few restaurants in Portland that allow dogs on their outside patios. I think that’s okay…but not inside a restaurant. Besides, not everyone is dog friendly and some people are allergic…I think restaurants would be smart to keep the dogs outside.

  22. I’m a dog person but I can see the issues with having a dog in a restaurant. However, I love it when restaurants have outside patios and allow you to have your dog if you’re sitting outside. Especially restaurants that are in high-traffic walking areas around parks, etc.

  23. I think unless the place is specifically catering to people who want to bring their dogs w/ them then dogs are a no-no in any establishment that sells food (and yes this includes Target and any other store). Dogs are not clean animals and I just don’t think they should be where food is (this may be from years of sanitation classes that went w/ my nutrition degree). Even those foo-foo eateries that cater to pets and their owners are pushing it. Like you said it isn’t just about food safety but the concern of someone tripping on a pet or dogs deciding they don’t like each other, etc.

    I am a dog owner and love animals but I also know that there are places where I should and should NOT take my pet.

  24. I’m allergic to dogs so I’d have to say now, however, if it is a dog friendly establishment I would just know not to go there. I will say I work in a store that sells food items. It is a Health Dept. violation for people to bring pets in our store. I’m sure the rules may be different for other states, but here you can’t do it.

  25. I think dogs should definitely be allowed on outside patios and if a restaurant opened up where their niche was that they allowed dogs inside that would be cool. I love bringing my dog everywhere. He’s really well behaved and just sits at my feet when we’re at an outside restaurant or cafe. There’s a pool hall in Durham that allows dogs inside and it’s so fun 🙂

    I think the big thing is that owners need to determine whether their dog is well behaved enough and under their command to be taken into public.

  26. I love dogs, and am a huge fan of dogs. However, I think dogs on an outdoor patio and dogs inside a restaurant are two different things. I am totally cool with dogs with their owners at outdoor tables. Especially when they’re well behaved dogs =X I remember one afternoon eating lunch out on the patio of a restaurant and having a neighboring patron’s dog come and jump into my lap to eat the food off my plate.
    I can see how having them inside a restaurant could cause problems with cleanliness and safety. Imagine someone tripping over a dog with a plate of hot food or a hot cup of coffee? Not safe for the dogs or the people 🙁

  27. Even though I LOVE dogs, they shouldn’t be in restaurants. Not everyone is a dog lover and there are risks, like if someone happens to be allergic.

  28. It makes me wonder, how far encompassing would it get? Just dogs? Are cats going to be next? Then what about birds, snakes, hamsters?

    Personally I think it is unsanitary. And it wouldn’t just be well-behaved dogs. It would be ANYONE’S dog and that just spells trouble to me!

  29. I believe there are too many health issues, so I say no.I think if there’s a big patio area maybe dogs can be allowed in a certain area but not inside.

  30. I think it’s great if dogs are allowed on outside patios. A couple of thoughts, though: 1) it should be advertised as a “dog friendly” patio, so that people realize if they go, they may be exposed to dogs, and choose to eat elsewhere or inside, if they don’t want to be around dogs, 2) people need to be honest about their dog’s behavior, and only take well behaved dogs, and even then, be diligent about making sure the dog is out of the way and doesn’t bother any other patrons. I have four dogs, and realize that out of them, only one is well behaved enough to eat out with us (and no, I wouldn’t bring ALL of them anywhere! lol) You have to use common sense, but unfortunately, common sense is lacking in a lot of dog owners and they spoil it for the rest of us responsible dog people!

    That said, I have taken one of my dogs to eat at restaurants with outside seating and he’s never been anything but a perfect gentleman and the wait staff usually loves him.

  31. It’s fun to admire dogs on the sidewalk and I appreciate places that provide water and snacks for dogs in touristy places, but I wouldn’t visit a place that allowed dogs inside an establishment. My definition of a clean animal and your definition of a clean animal could be two totally different things. Not to mention the threat animals pose when they feel threatened by other animals. It’s a lawsuit waiting to happen, in my opinion.

  32. I would love to to say yes to this because I love dogs; however, it is not a problem with the animals, but rather a problem with the specific owners of those animals. Many people are to complacent and simply allow there pets to do whatever they want and think that they are ok. It is because of such careless owners that we have breed laws/restrictions, and numerous other problems. And because I have seen so many people that simply don’t give a $%&@, I have since stopped frequenting the local dog parks. Lets all be responsible pet owners.

  33. That’s so cool! They’re totally banned in Seattle 🙁 It kills me to have to ask people who have them in the coffee shop I work in to take them outside.

  34. That’s so funny that you mention this because there was an article in our local newspaper here in Charlotte about a week or two ago discussing the city potentially passing a law to allow dogs on restaurant patios. Since I cringed at the thought of this, you can only imagine my feelings on dogs actually being inside restaurants. 😮 I’m not in any way an animal hater; I think they’re very cute actually, but there’s nothing cute about seeing Fido’s drool or shedding hair floating around while I’m eating. Ick. Talk about an appetite killer! 🙁

  35. I think it’s a great idea for places that can handle this type of activity. I think some dogs behave better than some people’s children 🙂

  36. I love dogs, and I thought dog-friendly restaurants were a great idea when I first went to visit my parents at their new home in Florida and they brought their dog to an outdoor cafe. BUT…let’s face it–dogs are a little unsanitary, and no one wants dog hair floating in their food, nor do they want to listen to the barking pup at the next table, no matter how cute he is.

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