Senate Approval of Canine-Friendly Patios Seemingly Imminent

It’s a beautiful day, so naturally you and your canine companion are ready to enjoy some fun in the sun. You grab your pup, strap on a leash and you’re out the door. Along your walk, you develop a hunger and thirst unlike ever before. What do you do? Stop by your favorite eatery and enjoy summers warmth on the patio of course. What a perfect way to take a break, while enabling you and your furry friend to remain basking in the sun. However, contrary to what you may think, man’s best friend isn’t welcome on the patio.

Under current legislation the state of Michigan typically prohibits dogs, and other live animals, on site aside from certain circumstances. According to a new bill, expected to hit the senate floor this Wednesday, a vote will be held to determine whether or not dogs will be allowed on restaurant patios.

The bill is expected to get the green light, which would enable owners to bring leashed pets on patios, however this will be met with some strict regulations if this new legislation sees the light of day. To accommodate health and food safety regulation requirements, owners would be prohibited from unleashing their pets, allowing them to sit on their laps, and entering the restaurant. Understandably, the introduction of pet hair and other potential food contaminants must be strictly regulated and enforced. Extra precautions will be taken by restaurants, as they will be required to thoroughly clean spaces occupied by pet owners immediately after their departure.

While circumstances for which pet entry is approved and restaurant requirements remain unsolidified, what’s clear is the optimism of the bill’s potential impact on tourism. For many pet owners, the main struggles of travel reside in the inability to bring pets along with them. This bill would be a step forward in counteracting this evident inhibitor.

Photo by: Erika Hodges

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Adam Lansdell

Adam Lansdell

Adam Lansdell is a Grand Valley State University alumnus, and currently a Communications Specialist with M3 Group of Lansing. With a passion for all things creative it comes as no surprise that he’s also a musician, movie buff and graphic designer. Adam spends his down time biking, and spending too much of his personal income on concert tickets or vinyl records.

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