Dallas to Allow Dogs on Restaurant Patios

Eateries will have to abide by certain rules, including providing separate entrances.

In a split vote, the Dallas, Texas, City Council has voted to permit city eateries to allow dogs on patios.

On Jan. 24 the Council voted 8-5 to allow food establishments to apply for a local variance to current state laws that prohibit animals on restaurant premises.

The council’s decision does not apply to cats or other house pets, according to Karen Rayzer, director of Dallas’s Environmental and Health Services Department, the city department which will grant the licenses.

The city doesn’t yet have an estimate of how many restaurants will apply for dogs-on-patio permits, which the Environmental and Health Services Department will be in charge of.

If dogs on patios begin causing problems, city staff will bring the issues to a Council committee for review, Rayzer said.

According to Dallas’s ordinance, in order to welcome dogs onto their patios restaurants must:

  • Provide a separate entrance for outdoor patios.
  • Post signs that they are a dog-friendly restaurant.
  • Prohibit dogs from going inside the restaurant and from sitting or standing on outdoor tables or chairs.
  • Prevent dogs from touching restaurant serving staff.
  • Install curtains separating inside of a restaurant from its patio.
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