The state law which allows dogs on patios went into effect in October 2018 (Ohio Revised Code 3717.14), but as the weather warms up there are things dog owners need to know before bringing Fido to happy hour or Sunday funday.
“Make sure their dogs on leash while at the establishment,” said Morrow County chief dog warden Sarina Atwell. “Have ID on their dog and follow the laws in regard to allowing their dogs to be loose. They need to be under control the entire time.”
However, you can’t bring your dog onto just any patio. It’s still up to the establishment’s owner whether dogs are permitted.
“If they’re going to go to an establishment that allows dogs, or maybe if they don’t know if they allow dogs, they need to call ahead,” said Atwell. “Make sure they’re calling ahead and verifying that they’re permitted to have the dog there. Right, wrong, or indifferent– there might be establishments that may not allow certain breeds so verify that, too.”
Also, if they find it necessary for health reasons, a county or city director of agriculture and the director of health can prohibit dog as well.
(2) The director of agriculture and the director of health shall adopt rules allowing dogs in an outdoor dining area of a retail food establishment or food service operation. The rules shall include authorization for the directors to prohibit dogs in an outdoor dining area of an establishment or operation during a public health emergency.
Atwell says common sense is key.
“Make sure they are cleaning up after their dog. Nobody wants to go to a patio and have dinner with their family and maybe see something like that going on. Be courteous. Use some common sense and make sure their dog is being under control while they’re out to those places,” she added.
The law says dogs also must be vaccinated in accordance with all state and local laws.
“That’s mandated… that dogs have rabies vaccinations,” Atwell said. “It would be ideal if their dogs had other vaccinations as well simply because they don’t know who they’re going to come in contact with. If they have puppies, they don’t want to put puppies in a situation where their puppies aren’t vaccinated, they may come in contact with something. Again, just using good common sense in regard to making sure their dogs are healthy and otherwise protected why they’re out to those places.”