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Georgia Makes Eating Out With Dogs Easier

A new regulation allows dog owners to bring their pet dogs to restaurants. The dogs can't walk inside the eatery but can sit with owners in designated outside areas. (Photo courtesy Lohan Larsson from Flickr.)

People in Atlanta enjoy spending time with their pets, from a walk in the park to a day at the beach. Now eating out with their dogs just got easier.

The Georgia Department of Public Health is now allowing pet dogs to accompany their owners to restaurants. Dog owners and their pet dogs can go inside dining areas together as long as those areas are accessible from the street and are outdoor areas like patios. They won’t be allowed to walk pet dogs inside the restaurant. This new rule does not apply to service dogs by the way.

Here are the conditions in which dog owners can bring their pet dogs to restaurants.

A diagram of the outdoor area to be designated as available to consumers with pet dogs must be posted by the restaurant.

Pet dogs may not come into contact with serving dishes, utensils and tableware and are not allowed on chairs, tables and other furniture.

Employees and consumers may not provide food to pet dogs.

Pet dogs must be on a leash and under control of the consumer at all times.

The restaurant needs to develop and post procedures for assuring that employees do not touch, pet or otherwise handle pet dogs and for immediately cleaning accidents involving dog waste. The procedure must also describe the location of materials and equipment necessary to clean up accidents involving dog waste.

Listen to On Second Thought's Celeste Headlee break down the new regulations in this segment.

With contributions from Rosemary Jean-Louis