Cuomo signs dog restaurant bill into law

Gov. Andrew Cuomo

Lunch with your best friend just became legal in New York state. Dogs are now permitted on outdoor restaurant patios under a new law passed in Albany that was signed by Gov. Cuomo this week.

The law permits restaurants to allow dogs on outdoor patios, provided the patio has its own entrance from the street. Dogs and other animals are still prohibited inside restaurants unless they serve a medical purpose, like a guide dog. And restaurants with outdoor patios are not required to allow dogs to sit beside their owners if they don’t want to allow it.

Not everyone agrees with the new law. A group representing county health departments from across the state is opposed, citing concerns over dog bites and sanitation. They point out fellow diners would be pretty grossed out if a dog poops near them on a patio while they’re eating.

Gov. Cuomo supports the measure and said it will allow restaurants that rely on sidewalk and foot traffic a new chance to draw in customers and savvy restaurant owners might even create a whole menu of treats to sell if a customer wants to eat with their pooch.

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