Are dogs allowed in cafes?

Dogs in Cafes

PAMPERED pooches … allowed to join their owners in the nation’s eateries after Australia’s food regulator ruled the pets pose a “negligible” health hazard” (Australian 6 August, 2012)

Last week, Fiona and Kylie from Balancing Act Adelaide |pet friendly planning met with open space and recreation planners from the City of Marion at a friendly little local cafe, Cafe@Finniss to discuss their ideas for new dog parks.  We were about to leave when a lady walked in to the cafe, replete with her little white fluffy best friend tucked under her arm.

Even though we know pet ownership rates is high in Australia, and that going for a walk with your dog is one of the best ways of getting incidental daily exercise, we actually don’t see many places where both humans and their beloved “best friends” can hang out in a cafe.

Is it legal to take a dog to a cafe in Adelaide?

It seems that many people still believe that its illegal for dogs to enter cafes. But this is not strictly so.

The Food Standards Australia New Zealand has removed restrictions on the presence of companion dogs in outdoor eating areas (15 August, 2012).

“The overall level of food safety risk from the presence of companion dogs in such a setting (outdoor dining) is expected to be very low to negligible,” the report said.

“As long as the dog is not in the food preparation area, and the kitchen staff maintain a clean food business, food-borne transmission of diseases is unlikely. While the proposal aims to provide a consistent approach nationally, businesses will retain the right to have the final say in whether pet dogs are allowed on their premises.”

SA councils have allowed dogs to eat with their diners for a number of years after changes to the Food Act and Dog and Cat Management Act, though business owners can use their discretion to ban dogs on their private property.

Some of our favorite pet friendly cafe’s are:

What does this mean for cafe owners?

This means that it’s possible for more cafes to make minor changes to their access points  to allow both pooch and owners in an outdoor eating area. With so many benefits (opportunities for increased patronage and turnover, new conversation points, smiles, pats, and nurtured friendships) Balancing Act Adelaide |Pet Friendly Planning hope to see spaces, places and communities more pet friendly.

If you would like to discuss practical ways to make your building, outdoor eating area more pet friendly please Contact Us.