Dining out with your dog in Echo Park and Silver Lake? Here are some rules to remember

Henry D. owns two dogs but would never think of taking them inside a restaurant. The same could not be said for the many other dog owners who he has seen take their pets into the restaurants and cafes of Echo Park and Silver Lake. He said it might be worth reminding pet and restaurant owners about the laws that allow dogs on dining patios but restrict them indoors (with the exception of guide dogs).

“I’m as much of a dog lover as the next person in Silver Lake and Echo Park but I’m noticing a complete disregard for these guidelines which are in place to protect people from contamination and allergens non-pet owners might suffer from,” said Henry, who didn’t want his last name published. “I don’t want to call out any particular eateries but I frequent two on a regular basis and without fail I see a dogs in dining spaces.”

He has seen restaurant employees touching dogs but has never seen them ask pet owners to take their animals outside.

“I’ve never raised my concern to anyone at the shop, and I don’t want to engage with pet owners,” he said. “I feel it’s the business’ responsibility to understand and abide by food code.”

Under the county and state health guidelines, restaurants still have the option to prohibit dogs on the patio. Also, while your favorite cafe can allow you to dine with your dog on the patio, cats, birds, pigs, etc are still not allowed.

Here’s a Q&A  put together by the county health department regarding dining out with your dog:

Which area of the restaurant are the pet dogs allowed in?
Pet dogs will be permitted only in an outdoor patio, dining area that has a separate entrance, for pet dogs to access the outdoor area, without going through or inside the restaurant. This area may be surrounded with a fence, shrubs or bushes.

Can I bring other pets besides dogs?
No, this guideline is limited to pet dogs, since dogs are the domesticated animal that most commonly accompanies pet owners and are typically trained and can follow basic directives from its owner. Pet dogs can also be restrained with a leash and are typically more manageable in a social setting.

Can I share plates or share utensils with my pet dogs?
Pet dogs are only allowed to eat or drink from a disposable or single use bowls or plates. Although data has not been established to support the danger or safety of shared utensils between humans and dogs, that are properly washed and sanitized in between, it is our goal to protect food safety and to ensure safety for all patrons.

Can the employee pet or play with the pet dogs?
No, food facility employees are prohibited from having direct contact with pets while on duty. They are not allowed to pet or play with the pet dogs and handle food or utensils at the same time.

Who is responsible for cleaning up after the pet dog at the outdoor dining area?
By allowing pet dogs in the outdoor dining or patio area of the restaurant, the owner of the business becomes responsible for maintaining this area in a clean and sanitary condition. After food business employees perform cleaning and maintenance of these areas, they are required to properly wash their hands.

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  1. Thanks for this. Very helpful. I was curious about City rules/laws RE: dogs in dining establishments. Love my dogs but would never consider imposing on others by bringing them into a food service biz.

  2. I’d complain about these folks who insist on bringing their precious Fido into cafes and grocery stores, but they are truly disabled. Their disability is that they have no social conscious and have narcissistic personality disorder.

    • truly? you are without honor.

    • I have managed a restaurant in DTLA for 13 years . All a person has to say is that the pet is a service dog – you cannot ask for proof of this. All you can do is ask what service the pet is providing. Lawmakers need to step up and give us some laws not just regulations regarding this.I am a dog lover, My dogs are one of the greatest blessings I have, I however dislike being taken advantage by people who do not need a service dog. They simply as Velvet Hornsby put it have no social conscious and a narcissistic personality disorder.

  3. Until my dog agrees to pay for her share of the bill, she is not going out to dinner with me. My cat keeps promising he’ll pick up the tab if I take him out, but I just don’t trust that he won’t skip out before the check comes. If anyone knows where I can find more generous pets, please let me know as I am tired of my furry freeloaders.

    • If you’re searching for a more generous pet to accompany you to a restaurant, you should consider a friendly lizard. They’re good tippers; they’ve been known to leave a layer of skin behind – if you stay at the restaurant long enough.

  4. Silverlake citizen

    Woof! I have seen this abhorrent behavior inside grocery stores and am always outraged! I am also a fellow dog owner who cherishes my relationship with my fur baby but there needs to be boundaries. Speak up to management and advocate for yourself!

  5. i rarely take my dogs with me when i go out to eat. it just doesn’t seem very fun for them.

  6. one thing i find annoying about lots of dog owners is the assumption that the rest of the public likes their dog. like, yes, dogs are a popular pet. but that doesn’t mean every stranger will like your dog! and nothing against dog owners, but i probably don’t like your dog. stop trying to put it in my life!

    and that’s to say nothing of people with legit fears/trauma associated with dogs.

  7. Becky with the good hair

    Vons on Alvarado, see dogs inside the store all the time. It is gross.

  8. Pet owners that take their dogs out to eat should just stay home and put out a second doggie dish and get down on all fours so that their dog knows they love em. I’m sure the dog won’t mind if you drink their water too.

  9. Portland residents also bring their dogs to restaurants.


  10. It is also important to note that many other establishments are not permitted to allow dogs according to their leases. Business owners can get in trouble, fined, or even kicked out if dogs are on the premises. Please always ask first when bringing your dog inside any place you visit. If they are allowed, please keep an eye on them and make sure they are not marking their territory! Common courtesy, people!

  11. I have a dog and love him dearly. I also have a problem with people who abuse the guidelines and bring their dogs into the market and department stores. Please leave your dog at home, they will be fine for a couple of hours.

    Now if you could write a piece about “Dining with your Children: Rules to remember.”

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