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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