London

Should dogs be allowed on restaurant and pub patios?

Ontario law bans live animals from anywhere food is served, including restaurant and pub patios, but many dog owners think their pooches should be allowed to come with them to enjoy a pint or two.

Ontario law bans live animals from anywhere food is made or served (like patios)

Wendy the Cairn Terrier at a dog park in London, Ont. (Kate Dubinski/CBC News)

Ontario law bans live animals from anywhere food is served, including restaurant and pub patios, but many dog owners think their dogs should be allowed to join them for a pint or two. 

Perhaps it's the fact that London hasn't exactly had a run of patio weather yet (and it's already June), but pet-friendly patios have come up in several online forums lately. 

And that got us thinking: should pooches be allowed on patios? 

Jeff Lone holds his buddy, Fin, at the dog park on Adelaide Street. (Kate Dubinski/CBC News)

Jeff Lone says his companion, Fin, goes with him many places, including where he works, and there's no reason he couldn't come to a patio. 

"I like to take my dog wherever I go. I'd be at more patios if my dog could be there," Lone said. "I think well-behaved dogs should be welcomed in places."

Many patios in the city allow dogs to be tied up just outside of the actual patio space, and will put out dog bowls for the pooches, but allowing dogs, or any live animal or bird that isn't a service animal, is not allowed anywhere food is prepared, packaged, handled, sold, displayed or served.

That's true all over Ontario, and governed by the Health Protection and Promotion Act. 

Gage's owner, Scott, thinks Gage should be allowed on restaurant patios. (Kate Dubinski/CBC News)

Jerry is Wendy's owner. He's travelled in other countries and hopes Ontario will follow suit. 

"In France they do it everywhere, and I think they've got the right idea. They sit at the table and behave themselves," Jerry said. 

"I think here we're an indoor culture, because we're a winter climate, we don't have piazzas, and I think we're overly regulated about health and that. Wendy will lie down and just behave in public." 

Scott says he would hang out more on patios if he could take his dog, Gage, with him. "It would be nice to have my dog beside me," he said. 

"If you look around, in other countries, they're allowed, they even have doggy cafes."

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