More customers looking to dine with their dogs on P.E.I. restaurant patios
Some dog lovers and restaurant owners on P.E.I. are hoping the provincial government will change legislation to allow pooches on outdoor patios.
Under the Public Health Act's food premises regulations, dogs and other animals — with the exception of service dogs — are not permitted in areas where food is stored or served, which includes restaurant patios.
In March, the Nova Scotia government changed its legislation to allow dogs on restaurant, bar and café patios, though it is still up to the discretion of individual businesses.
Kylie Ford, a dog owner who lives in Charlottetown, would like to see P.E.I. follow suit.
"I do think that it would probably attract more dog owners who want to enjoy like a meal or beverage and allow them to be able to do that without having to leave their dogs at home," she said.
"I work Monday to Friday and I take her to daycare, but I still feel bad whenever I get home. And then I want to go do something afterwards. So the more I can include her in things and still enjoy an Island summer, the better, in my opinion."
A spokesperson for the province said there have been no formal discussions about changing the legislation.
One restaurant owner in Charlottetown said he was given permission to allow dogs on his patio by changing the way food is served.
Mike Ross, co-owner of the Sugar Skull Cantina, said servers do not handle or deliver the food to tables. Instead, customers go to the bar to pick up their order.
Looking for treats
"It's worked out really, really well. It adds to what we do," he said. "Dogs love it, people love it and we especially love it."
Ross said he has received no complaints from those without dogs. He said dogs in the neighbourhood have become so familiar with the restaurant they usually look for treats whenever they walk by.