Dogs to be allowed on Texas restaurant patios due to State Bill 476

Dogs could now be allowed in all Texas restaurants

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AMARILLO, Texas (KFDA) - Eating out with your dog in Amarillo would become more accessible because of new rules that are implemented by the state.

These days, citizens are bringing their pets just about everywhere.

However, Amarillo was one of the few cities in the state of Texas that allowed dogs to be on restaurant premises.

Texas Senate Bill 476, which went into effect Sep. 1, gives every food and drink business in the state with a patio the option to allow customers to be accompanied by their dog.

Restaurant owners can still determine whether they will allow dogs on their patio, but the option is no longer ruled out.

If restaurant owners choose to allow canines to dine-in at their establishment, they must post a sign that notifies the public of the law.

As of now, Amarillo has 42 restaurants that are open to letting residents dine with their dog in their outside dining areas.

“I think you’ll see some real positive reactions from the community, definitely from travelers that come into our community," said Anthony Spanel, the environmental health director for the City of Amarillo. “Now, keep in mind, this isn’t automatic. If you’re a food or drinking establishment, you don’t have to allow pets on patios. This is just if you want to.”

Although restaurant owners have the option to allow pets on their patios, all owners are still required by law to allow service dogs onto their premises.

Customers who bring their dogs to a restaurant that regulate the new law cannot bring their dogs inside the establishment and must enter directly from the outside.

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