You might think that you can bring your dog with you to any restaurant that has an outdoor patio and enjoy an al fresco lunch with your four-legged friend by your side. Not so.
The FDA issues regulations that govern health standards at establishments that process, cook or serve food. Maricopa County adopts those regulations, as well as others. In Maricopa County -- that's where Phoenix, Scottsdale, Tempe, Glendale and about 20 other cities and towns are located -- a restaurant with a patio may only allow dogs if they have applied for and received a permit allowing them to do so. The restaurant must show County officials that:
© Judy Hedding
- there is a separate entrance from the exterior to the outdoor patio so that a dog does not have to enter the inside part of the restaurant at any time to get there.
- a dog on a patio is not allowed within seven feet of any entrance to the interior of the restaurant.
- a sign is posted at the restaurant's front entrance: "Dog Friendly Patio - Dog access only through outdoor patio. For violations, contact Maricopa County Environmental Services Department (602) 506-6616."
- no food is prepared, including mixing drinks, on the outdoor patio. A beverage glass may be filled from a pitcher that has been filled from inside the restaurant.
- the outdoor patio is continuously maintained free of visible dog hair, dog dander, and other dog-related waste. The outdoor patio must be hosed down or mopped with animal-friendly chemicals at the beginning of each shift, or every six hours that the food establishment is open for business, unless no dog has been on the outdoor patio since the last cleaning. All dog waste must be placed in a fly-tight container located adjacent to the patio area and disposed of outside of the restaurant. Equipment used to clean the outdoor patio must be kept outside.
- restaurant employees do not touch, pet, or otherwise handle any dog while serving food or beverages or handling tableware.
- any dog on the patio of a licensed restaurant is kept on a short leash (not a retractable) and in the control of the customer at all times. All dogs must wear a collar or harness and have a current license.
- dogs are not permitted on any seat, chair, on your lap, on any table, countertop, or other surface in the patio area. In other words, they must be on the floor/ground.
- dogs are not offered any reusable food service dishes; only disposable containers may be used to provide food or water to the dog.
- all patio surfaces are constructed of materials that are smooth, easily cleanable, and durable.
You can see by the photo above that when I took my pooch to a local pet-friendly resort for breakfast one morning I did not know, nor did any staff person tell me, that a dog is not allowed on a chair at the table. That makes sense, though. I'll know next time.
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