Dogs in New York City Restaurants – what is the law?

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Fotolia_51638831_XSWhat is the official law regarding dogs in new York City restaurants? Well we looked up the applicable section of the New York City Department of Health, under “ARTICLE 81: FOOD PREPARATION AND FOOD ESTABLISHMENTS“. (If there is another applicable piece of city or state law, please let us know.)

§81.25
Food service establishments and non-retail food processing establishments; animals prohibited. No live animal shall be kept, housed or permitted to enter into or remain in any food service establishment or non-retail food processing establishment.
This section shall not apply to edible fish, crustacea, shellfish, fish in aquariums, seeing-eye dogs accompanying sightless persons, hearing or service dogs accompanying and assisting disabled persons, or patrol dogs accompanying police officers.

Where there seems to be some discretion by the restaurant is at outside tables.  Because the specific language states “enter into or remain in” it could be argued that having a dog at a table outside is ok, if the restaurant is willing. So if a restaurant tells you that dogs are not allowed at their outside tables due to city law, well it just may not be an accurate statement. But by no means do they have to allow a non-service dog a these tables either. It’s up to the restaurant.

Here is more dog law in New York City.

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