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It’s Officially Paw-sible to Have Dogs on Patios in Ontario

Posted Jul 30th, 2021 in Commercial Insurance, Did You Know?, General, In the News, Insurance Tips, Media

Make no bones about it - dogs really are our best friends, and we want to take them everywhere we go. You’ll be happy to know that dogs are now permitted on restaurant patios across Ontario, and we have the details for you.


It’s Officially Paw-sible to Have Dogs on Patios in Ontario, Youngs Insurance, Ontario

Thanks to the Ontario government you can now come, sit, and stay with your dog on restaurant patios, ensuring a wonder-fur time!

Dogs really do make people feel happier! Studies have shown that interactions with dogs cause our brains to produce oxytocin. This hormone increases feelings of relaxation, empathy, and trust while reducing anxiety and stress.

Paws Up for the Latest News: Ontario Permits Dogs on Restaurant Patios

How Did Dogs Become Permitted on Patios in Ontario?

It started with The Better for People, Smarter for Business Act that was introduced in Ontario to reduce regulatory burdens and barriers that prevent job creation and income growth.

The Better for People, Smarter for Business Act called to change Ontario’s Health Protection and Promotion Act legislation making it possible to have…

  1. dogs in outdoor seating areas like restaurant patios; and
  2. dogs in indoor eating areas where beer, wine, cider, or spirits are made, and where beverages and certain low-risk foods are served.

What Are the Rules and Regulations Pertaining to Dogs Being Permitted on Patios?

The January 1, 2020, amendments to the Health Protection and Promotion Act reduces restrictions related to dogs being allowed on patios and some indoor food premises such as craft breweries.

Outlined below are the specific rules and regulations in this Act:

  • Dogs are allowed in outdoor eating areas of a food service premises IF food is not being prepared in the eating area
  • Dogs are allowed in an indoor eating area of a food service premises if:
    • the only food items that are prepared are low-risk food items, and
    • the dogs are in a room where only low-risk or pre-packaged, ready-to-eat food items, or both, are served – no manufacturing, processing, or preparation of food items can take place in this room

As A Restaurant Owner – Where Do You Stand?

At the end of the day, Ontario isn’t keeping a tight leash on the stipulations in this Act; restaurant owners can decide for themselves whether customers can bring dogs on the patio.

It seems like some businesses are thrilled with these developments and are raising the woof:

"The Ontario government is creating the right environment for local businesses to succeed by removing ineffective regulations," said Rob Garrard, Co-Founder and Owner of The Second Wedge Brewing Co. "They are championing companies like ours by allowing us to make smart, responsible and popular decisions that communities are asking for." (Source: Ontario Newsroom)

Ontario is home to some amazing restaurants and now you can enjoy their patios with your beloved dog(s). Before you go, make sure you read, Important Facts You Should Know Before Taking Your Pet For A Drive.


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