Exciting news for New York dog owners this week, as the bill that will allow them to take their canine companions with them to terraces and outdoor restaurants has been voted unanimously. Long gone will be the days when the furry member of the family could not join in on the fun of Sunday family restaurant dinner!
Obviously the bill comes with a sensible amount of restrictions for the permission of dogs in the outside parts of restaurants. Firstly, the dogs will have to be on a leash that the owner can control at all times. Most probably a muzzle will be required in most situations as well.
Secondly, they will have to stay in the designated areas for dog owners, that cannot block entrances or communicate with the interior of the restaurant in any way. Furthermore, these areas cannot be in proximity to areas where food is prepared, either in the interior or the exterior of the restaurants.
Thirdly, common drinking bowls for the dogs are strictly forbidden. Instead, there will be single-use disposable containers provided by the restaurants, all in the hopes of keeping things as hygienic as possible.
The bill still needs to be approved by the Assembly, but it is expected to pass it with flying colors. After that point, it will be legal to bring canine companions to outdoor restaurants.
All the restaurants however are free to chose if they will permit this or not. No New York facility will be obligated to allow dogs to its tables. And the ones that will choose to allow it will have to reorganize their terraces so that they meet the strict requirements of the bill.
The bill included a study that was published in the Journal of Environmental Health, that assessed the situation and concluded that “the overall public health risk of pet dogs in outdoor dining areas is very low as long as safety, sanitation and hygiene practices are enforced.”
No matter how much trouble it will imply, this decision will most definitely prove to be worthwhile, as dog owners will be ever so excited to be able to have their beloved companions join them for their meals.
One problem remains untouched though. It appears that the bill does not mention anything about cats being allowed at restaurants. Therefore cat owners are furious that they cannot bring their beloved pets to dinner while dog owners can.
This just might have been an oversight, since the general public is still not accustomed to seeing cats on leashes being walked and carried around town by their owners. If everything goes as planned, it is likely that the cats will get their turn to grab warm milk at Starbucks. Until then, it’s a dog’s world!
Image Source: misadventureswithandi