Animals

Should Dogs Be Allowed in Restaurants?

Sometimes, we just want to bring our furry friends into restaurants with us. Is this unsanitary?

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The Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the governmental body that creates the regulations guiding restaurants in the U.S., currently prohibits animals in food service establishments (with the exception of service dogs that help people with disabilities). California and New York are both considering laws that would allow our furry friends to have a seat at the table with us when we eat out. What, if any, are the health risks involved with a move like this?

There are several reasons that the FDA frowns upon animals in restaurants. One is due to concerns for people with asthma or allergies, which are often exacerbated by dog and cat dander, fur, and slobber. Another reason is to prevent food servers from handling an animal and not washing their hands before continuing to serve food. Can cats and dogs really cause food to get contaminated, though? Despite the popular adage that, "a dog's mouth is cleaner than a human's", they're actually not.

FDA regulations aren't laws: they're recommendations. Most states and cities have their own laws based on them. If it's illegal to bring your pet into a restaurant in your city, you should remember that doing so could not only get you in trouble, but also cause problems for the restaurant: They could face fines and even health code violations.

Do you bring your pets with you when you go out to eat, or do you think it's gross when other people do? Sound off in the comments down below.

Learn More:
New York health code not pet friendly (Columbia University)
"A Michigan man recently wound up in Judge Judy's televised court, fighting over a dog in a restaurant."

Is it Safe to Kiss Your Pet? (FOX News)
"We've all done it, or at least know someone who has. Animal lovers who kiss their pets - mouth to mouth. 'Kisses' from mans' best friend or a feline companion may seem loving and irresistible, but is it safe?"

Should Dogs Be Allowed In Restaurants? (Restaurants.com)
"To some people the family dog is more than just a pet; it is a part of the family on par with mom, dad, and children. Families that hold their dog in such high regard don't find it unusual to take the animals everywhere they go. But from the perspective of the typical American diner, should dogs be allowed in restaurants?"