Michigan Restaurants May Allow Dogs

Next summer, Michigan’s restaurants could host a multitude of new guests. These guests however, will not order off of any menu as dogs cannot eat what the restaurant prepares. A new bill passed under Michigan’s State Senate will allow dogs to accompany guests on Michigan’s restaurant patios. Outside of service dogs, Michigan restaurants do not allow dogs in any area of the restaurant, patios included.

The Senate passed Bill 0727 passed on September 7th, but still needs to win over the House before making the bill law.  If passed, customers have to wait until summer 2017 to enjoy this new amenity as many restaurants and eateries close their patios for the season. While many dog parents would love to bring their pups along for dinner, rules and regulations limit the dog’s freedom.

Rules and Regulations

Customers must read the stipulations of the bill if they intend to bring their dogs along to dinner. In fact, the restaurant may not allow the dog at all. The bill states that local governments and restaurants reserve the right to ban or limit dogs allowed at their eatery. This could restrict dogs of a certain size and breed, or refusing dogs at all. Restaurants also reserve the right to limit the amount of patio space designated for doggy use. No matter the restaurant, all dogs must be leashed and accompanied by a person 18 years or older.

A large section of the new law also states the clean-up and sanitation regulations. Employees must clean and disinfect frequently and effectively in the areas of the patio that allow. Most notably, “dog accidents” receive immediate attention. If an employee pets a dog they must immediately wash their hands, regardless of if they ever handle food. No leftovers for the dogs either. Dogs cannot touch tables, counters or reusable tableware. These rules, along with many others are all in place to protect the health of the customers.

The State House has yet to review the bill, so residents have yet to know if they can bring dogs to dinner. If approved, the bill will go into effect 90 days after passing the legislature. If passed, customers have to check with the restaurant to know if they can bring a dog. To learn more about Senate Bill 0727, please read the article put forth by the Michigan Legislature regarding this bill.