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Food Guidelines

Dogs Can Now Accompany Their Owners For Outdoor Dining

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Dogs can now accompany their owners and enjoy outdoor dining according to the updated 2022 Food and Drug Administration (FDA) food code

As per the updated FDA food code, as long as state and local laws and the restaurant approves it, dogs can freely join their owners while dining alfresco.

Axios also noted that restaurants cannot discriminate based on a dog’s breed. They cannot allow a small dog breed but decline a medium to large dog breed.

However, the FDA says dogs, regardless of breed, are still not allowed indoors or anywhere food is prepared. Even walking inside a restaurant to go to an outdoor patio is not allowed.

The only exceptions to these rules are service dogs, which are generally allowed inside and outside of restaurants.

Dog Looking At Salad
Yurii Onyshchenko / Shutterstock.com

In saying this, emotional support dogs, cats and other animals (unless they’re service animals) are still NOT allowed to dine outdoors with their owners.

As it stands, there are currently 23 states that officially allow our furry friends at the outdoor patio of restaurants, according to the Animal Legal & Historical Center of the Michigan State University.

Rebecca Wisch, Associate Editor at the Michigan State University Animal Legal & Historical Center said, “As people do more socializing with their pets, states have begun to recognize this through changes to certain laws. The country is certainly changing with how companion animals are viewed, even at mealtime.”

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