Dogs can join owners for outdoor dining, FDA says

FILE-Dog owners sit with their pets outdoors at a restaurant. (Photo by Jeff Gritchen/Digital First Media/Orange County Register via Getty Images)

Pet owners heading out to enjoy a meal at a restaurant no longer have to leave their dogs at home based on updated guidance from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

Dogs can now accompany their owners for outdoor dining if state and local laws and the restaurant approves it. The FDA made an update to its food regulations list in January.

However, dogs are not allowed indoors or anywhere food is prepared in a restaurant, including if the animal walks through the establishment to an outdoor patio. 

RELATED: Kane County looks to allow patio dining with pets

The agency does allow owners with service dogs in restaurants, but emotional support dogs can’t accompany their owners, Axios noted. 

In 2019, the NYC Commission of Human Rights issued legal guidelines for people with disabilities, which informed restaurants that they can't ask for proof of an individual’s disability or the animal's use as a service dog, the New York Post reported. 

Currently, there are 23 states that allow dogs in outdoor patio areas of restaurants, according to the Michigan State Animal Legal & Historical Center. 

Moreover, under FDA guidelines, other types of pets are not allowed to dine with their owners. 

This story was reported from Washington, D.C.