Dogs Are One Step Closer to Being Allowed in New York Restaurants

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New York State is on its way to being a more dog-friendly place for restaurant patrons.

Last week by a 60-0 vote, the State Senate approved a bill in favor of allowing dogs in outdoor seating area at restaurants. The State Assembly is still in the midst of reviewing the same bill but the sponsor, Linda B. Rosenthal, believes it will pass.

With many dogs already frequenting outdoor seating, New York city dwellers may be surprised that this isn’t technically legal. But it isn’t and other parts of the state may not be as inclined to allow dogs into their vicinities.

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If it passes, dog owners would have to adhere to rules including being leashed, having the dog owner present and entering the restaurant through an alternate entrance to ensure the pup doesn’t come in contact with the indoor seating area or food. Also the restaurant owner can choose to not allow dogs in at all.

And while this great news for restaurants, this bill doesn’t have any implications for bars, which still technically can’t allow dogs inside as ice is considered a food by the health department. (Even though a 2013 study stated having dogs in retail outlets poses little health risk.)

This move comes after earlier this year California passed a similar bill.

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Image via Flickr/Molly Marshall