Dogs in Restaurants: What Does the Law Say?

Statistics show that Utah as a whole isn’t exceptionally dog-crazy, but a lot of us still are! For many of us, our dogs are a constant part of everyday life. Running, hiking, and playing with them is a favorite hobby. But what about eating out? Many owners like eating with their dogs in restaurants, to the dismay of some of those around them. What does the law say about dogs in restaurants?

Even though dogs only bless 29.4% of the homes in Utah, they belong to some of the country’s most loving and caring owners.

Recently, Utah tightened its laws about dogs in restaurants. This is mainly because many people are uncomfortable eating around animals. No matter which side of the argument you stand on, it’s important to know the facts. Here is an outline of Utah’s “dogs in restaurants” policy:

Utah Laws on Dogs in Restaurants

  • Official Utah law bans animals from general eating areas
    • Local health departments can give exceptions to certain restaurants that apply for a permit.
  • In Salt Lake County, dogs can sit on outdoor patios of some restaurants
    • The Salt Lake County Board of Health made this change in 2012.
    • The restaurants must apply for a permit.
  • There are regulations for restaurants which allow dogs on patios
    • Dog-friendly patios must be clearly marked so that customers are aware.
    • Restaurant employees cannot touch dogs.
    • Dogs must be leashed and have proper shots/identification.
    • Dogs can be given water, but may not eat food or touch silverware or utensils.

How Do I Know Which Restaurants are Dog-Friendly?

The good news is: Health Department won’t give you a ticket for bringing your dog to a restaurant. But the restaurant can run into trouble if they let them stay. All you need to do is check with the restaurant and make sure it’s okay.

Here are some of the dog-friendly restaurants in the Salt Lake City area:

 

Utah’s laws about dogs in restaurants will probably continue to change. But if you want to take your dog out to eat with you, take advantage of the opportunity!

We love dogs, but understand that accidents happen. If you are injured by a dog in any situation, contact us and we will answer any questions you may have about insurance and settlements.

Photo copyright to Bryan Rosengrant

Ken Christensen
Partner, Founder at Christensen & Hymas
Ken Christensen is the founding partner of Christensen & Hymas. He is an avid cyclist, loves baseball, and enjoys spending time with his family in the outdoors.

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