Restaurants and bars can now welcome dogs onto their patios without approval from Alberta Heath Services.

Any establishment that wants to and is able to welcome pups onto their patio can. However, not every patio in the province is equipped to have dogs. Patrons should check restaurants’ policies ahead of their visit.

“As part of our commitment to cut red tape, we have responded to requests from restaurants to lift unnecessary hurdles so more businesses can welcome dog lovers who enjoy dining outdoors. I am pleased that this change will make it easier for Albertans to support our restaurant industry while they are out with their dogs this patio season,” said Premier Jason Kenney.

Establishments are still required to ensure food safety standards for all customers and follow two main requirements:

  • Non-service dogs are allowed on patios only and must not pass through any indoor food handling areas, such as dining and food preparation areas.

  • Customers must keep their dogs on a leash or in a carrier and have physical control of the dog at all times.

“AHS is supportive of dog-friendly patios as long as it’s being done in a safe manner. We will continue to be available to restaurant owners and Albertans to provide guidance and support in the establishment and maintenance of dog-friendly patios as needed,” added Dr. Laura McDougall, senior medical officer of health for Alberta Health Services.

An Alberta Health information sheet offers guidance to restaurants and outlines best practices to support food operators who choose to allow dogs on patios.