Hong Kong Food Business Regulations explicitly state that members of the public are not permitted to bring any dog onto food premises, and commit an offense if they do. However, some local restaurants are skirting this law by allowing pups on outdoor patios and other alfresco eating areas. This doesn’t mean you have free reign to bring your dog to any outdoor restaurant, however, so it’s best to check with the employees first. Please note that this law only extends to food-based businesses, meaning bar owners have more freedom in their decisions.
You’re likely to face some opposition from individual restaurants, but contrary to popular belief, dogs are not banned from London eateries.
In the U.K., only food preparation areas are off-limits, and restaurant owners are only required to ensure there’s no risk of contamination. Still, many local restaurants choose the “no dogs allowed” approach, and more and more pubs are electing to go this route as well.
Shutterstock/ Sean Pavone
As of August 2014, restaurants in California can allow dogs on patios and other outside dining areas in the State of California. Business owners still have no obligation to permit pets, but they no longer need to fear fines or other punishment if they do.
Previously, there was much confusion regarding bringing dogs out to eat, and diners found dogs banned from one restaurant but allowed in another — even if they were part of the same franchise. Of course, this can still happen today, except they would be turned away due to store policy, not state or national law.
In big news for the Big Apple, earlier this year New York City ruled that dogs can join their owners at outdoor cafés and restaurants. For their part, the restaurants are required to post signs stating that doggie guests must be licensed and vaccinated; however, they are not required to actually check paperwork indicating such measures have been taken. Additionally, dining dogs are required to stay separate from pedestrians and other dogs on the sidewalk, but specific barriers do not need to be built. Dogs are still barred from touching any dining surfaces or obstructing aisle space.
European Union law allows dogs in the seating and other non-food-prep areas of restaurants, but Paris is famous for being an especially pet-friendly city. Dogs of all sizes are welcome in most restaurants — even in the interior portions — and it’s not uncommon to see an owner casually holding his or her pup while dining. In fact, it would actually be odd not to see at least one dog in your average eatery. However, this is at the discretion of the business owner, so it’s best to check with a host or server first.
Surprisingly, there are actually numerous city parks that are dog-free, meaning you may have to pass on grass in favor of gastronomy.
Iceland is notoriously stubborn when it comes to pets, and dogs are still banned from local restaurants. In fact, just getting your pooch on the plane to Iceland will prove to be incredibly difficult, as tourists are generally not allowed to bring dogs into the country.
Still, there’s hope, as laws are slowly loosening. Up until a few years ago, it was illegal for locals to even own dogs in Reykjavik.
If you attended the recent Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, you may have noticed a lot of dogs strolling down the sidewalk.
This isn’t because Rio is particularly relaxed when it comes to dogs — in fact, it’s quite the opposite. In Brazil, sidewalks are one of the few public places where dogs are actually permitted. Aside from a few business owners willing to look the other way, dogs are not allowed in local restaurants. Somewhat surprisingly, pups aren’t allowed on the country’s famous beaches either.
As of October 2012, the Australia New Zealand Food Standards Code was amended to permit dogs in the outdoor dining areas of food business.
This was in response to a May 2012 risk assessment undertaken by the Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) that found there was a lot to negligible risk of companion dogs transmitting food-borne diseases to humans in outdoor dining settings. Individual businesses, however, still have the right to refuse pets on their premises.
With a few exceptions (based on restaurant owner preferences), dogs are generally not allowed at eateries in Tokyo. However, as is the case in many countries, services dogs cannot be denied access to any facility open to the general public as per the Access Law for Service Dogs, which was passed in 2002.
Of course, since Tokyo is the land where weird trends take off, there’s now an ever-increasing number of dog-centric cafés and restaurants popping up around the city. No, not just dog-friendly eateries, but places that specifically and primarily serve dogs. Humans must be put on leashes and tied up outside. (OK, that last part isn’t true… But if this concept were to be attempted anywhere, it would probably be Tokyo.)
Tom&Sawyer Fresh Prepared Pet Meals
Despite all the freedoms it’s famous for, Canada is surprisingly strict when it comes to dogs and dining. Despite the more liberal legislation being passed in nearby American cities, dogs in Canada are being left out in the cold (sometimes literally) by laws prohibiting dogs from restaurants — even those with patio seating. This also includes coffee shops such as Starbucks — where most customers are in and out in just a few minutes — which requires dogs to be tied up outside. Some places have found ways around this, though. Toronto’s Tom&Sawyer, for instance, can allow humans to sip coffee and hang out with their pets because the shop sells no human food (instead featuring high-quality pet food) and all drinks are served in disposable cups.
Wondering about Canadian provinces other than Ontario? In Alberta, business owners can request official permission to welcome pets. In New Brunswick and Quebec, restaurant restrictions do not extend to outdoor seating. In Calgary, dogs can also sit outside, provided that their owners have proof of rabies shots and vaccinations.