Would you dine out with your furry pal?

By Zee Krstic
Updated: February 04, 2019

There are a lot of hoops to jump through before you're able to bring a pet into public places where food is served or sold, but for those who live in the beautiful state of Hawaii, taking your furry friend to dinner may soon be a whole lot easier. New legislation has been proposed that would allow restaurants, on a case-by-case basis, to have pets on their premises.

For now, it seems that the new bill would be limited to dogs. The Honolulu Star Advertiser reports that the new legislature “would allow a change in state health codes so that a restaurant owner or manager can allow dogs in their restaurants, providing that certain conditions are met.”

Some of the conditions outlined in the current proposed legislature include stipulations like ensuring your dog won't "disturb or interact with other patrons or dogs, except by invitation," which, as any dog owner will tell you, is somewhat ruff.

The list of conditions continue with, "The dog shall be housebroken," and, "Food service employees will be prohibited from having direct contact with a dog on duty."

More on feeding your pets:

These rules aren't all that surprising, since most pet owners certainly wouldn't want the chef playing with their dog (especially if they’re handling food!) But since there are reports of people using an ADA loophole to bring non-service pets inside restaurants, the new bill may actually be well received. In fact, the Advertiser reports that the bill was proposed after an online petition racked up 3,200 signatures.

Several other states have guidelines in place that allow diners and their dogs to be seated on restaurant patios, and in Virginia a new bill was passed in 2018 that allows owners to bring dogs into breweries and wine-tasting events. The current proposal now sits in committee in Hawaii, and if it passes, even more states may consider relaxing current rules so restaurants could accommodate furry friends.

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