Should Dogs Be Allowed at Restaurants?

Oxana Oleynichenko/Alamy Stock Photo (dog); debate photos courtesy of families

Do you want to go out to eat but feel guilty about leaving Rover at home? If you live in Ohio, you don’t have to! As of October 1, people in the state are allowed to bring their four-legged friends to restaurants. The pups are allowed only in outdoor patio areas and must stay on a leash. The new law gives restaurant owners the option to ban dogs if they want to. Ohio is among 10 states that have similar laws.

Many people think dining out with their dogs is a great idea. They say it’s a good way to spend more time with their pets, instead of leaving them home alone. Plus, they point out, restaurant owners have the right to ask people to leave if their dog bothers other customers.

“We only allow dogs that are well-trained and behave well,” says Jose Salazar, a restaurant owner in Cincinnati, Ohio.

But other people say restaurants are no place for canines. For one, the animals can pose a serious health risk to people who are allergic to dogs. Others argue that some dogs might be nervous around so many people. That could lead them to bark or growl—or even nip another customer.

Here’s what two of our readers think.

Allowing dogs at restaurants is a “pawsome” idea! Some people say it’s unsanitary, but restaurants must follow strict health code rules. For example, dogs aren’t allowed to be near the area where food is prepared. In Ohio, dogs have to be healthy and up-to-date on their shots before entering a restaurant.

Many restaurants allow guide dogs and service dogs. Why not other pups too?

As long as dogs are well-behaved, like my dog, Toby, they should be allowed to eat at restaurants. If people don’t like dogs, they can choose a restaurant where dogs aren’t allowed.

I really like dogs, but I don’t think they belong at restaurants. For starters, it’s not sanitary. Many dogs shed and drool. Some go to the bathroom on the floor. I don’t want to eat out in a place with dog hair and smelly odors flying around!

Having a bunch of dogs at a restaurant could be a disaster. There could be a lot of loud barking and growling, which would be annoying. Not to mention some customers might be afraid of them.

Plus, it’s not fair to the animals. Dogs like to run around, not sit still on a leash. If you want to eat with your pup, stay at home or have a picnic in the park.

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