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Ohio Lawmakers May Waive Health Department Prohibitions of Dogs at Outdoor Dining Spots

photo of dog
KABIR BHATIA
/
WKSU

Two bills that would permit dogs on restaurant patios statewide are being introduced in the House and Senate. The measures are as much about business as it is about dogs.

Earlier this year, a few health departments sent letters to businesses telling them it’s illegal to allow dogs on their patios. Many restaurants who were doing that were upset. 

Natalie Walston with the Ohio Restaurant Association says some businesses think it’s a good way to compete with delivery services.

“It’s so easy to order your favorite food from delivery so you are competing with that. You want to get people in the door so if you can do that by allowing people to bring their pets then more power to you,” she said.

The new bills will leave it up to businesses to determine whether to allow dogs on patios. The legislation would not allow dogs inside the restaurants.