Dog licking its mouth while wearing a bib and holding a fork and knife. Dinner plate in background

Debate photos courtesy of families; (all other images)

Do Dogs Belong in Restaurants?

Customers at a New York City café called Boris and Horton can dine with some special guests: their dogs. New York is one of 17 states that allow dogs at restaurants. In most cases, the dogs must stay in outdoor seating areas and be on a leash. But at some eateries, like Boris and Horton, pooches can roam free.

“It’s just a fun environment,” says Logan Mikhly, a co-owner of the café. 

Mikhly says her customers are grateful to not have to leave their furry friends home alone. 

But other people think restaurants should be pet-free. They point out that dogs might annoy or frighten some customers by barking, growling, or jumping on them. Also, some people say it’s unsanitary for pups to be in restaurants because they may drool or leave a mess on the floor. 

Here’s what two of our readers think.

Many people enjoy taking their pets when they go places. I know I do! Most restaurants already welcome service animals. They should allow non-service dogs too. With the right training, dogs can be calm and well-behaved. 

Some people say it’s unsanitary to allow dogs in restaurants. But health code rules help ensure that canines don’t go where food is being prepared.

I love dogs, but I don’t think they belong in restaurants. Many people are allergic to dogs, so just being near them can be a serious health risk. 

I have two mini huskies, and they shed a lot! At a restaurant, their hair could end up everywhere, including in people’s food. Plus, some dogs are noisy and cause a lot of commotion, which might disturb customers.

What does your class think?

Do dogs belong in restaurants?

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