Alberta just got more pup-friendly, as the provincial government has announced that dog-friendly patios no longer need approval from an Alberta Health Services inspector.
Restaurants, bars, and coffee shops will be allowed to welcome dog owners to eat outdoors without any red tape. Previously, a foodservice business had to request authorization from AHS before allowing non-service dogs in outdoor eating areas, with a public health inspector assessing the facility’s plan as part of the process.
“We have responded to requests from restaurants to lift unnecessary hurdles so more businesses can welcome dog lovers who enjoy dining outdoors,” Premier Jason Kenney said in a statement.
Health Minister Jason Copping added that other jurisdictions have allowed dogs on patios “without compromising food safety” and said that Alberta following suit is”long overdue”.
AHS supports dog-friendly patios as long as it’s being done in a safe manner.
Food safety standards remain in place and venues must follow two main rules:
- Non-service dogs are allowed on patios only and must not pass through any indoor food handling areas, such as dining and food preparation areas.
- Customers must keep their dogs on a leash or in a carrier and have physical control of the dog at all times.
Restaurants Canada welcomed the decision, with Mark von Schellwitz, who represents the organization in Western Canada, saying, per Global News, that the “common-sense change” will provide more flexibility and profitability for restaurants and will also encourage Albertans to dine out more often and boost foodservice’s recovery.
Of course, a business can still choose not to allow dogs on patios.