Doggy Dining Welcomed In Palm Beach County

December 29, 2021

With a new law unleashed, restaurants in suburban Palm Beach County can now welcome four-legged diners — legally.

Prior to 2006, the state banned dogs from all restaurants until now Palm Beach State Attorney Dave Aronberg (then in the State Senate) introduced a bill (Dixie Cup Clary law) that left it up to local governments to allow restaurants to apply for a permit to welcome dogs in outside seating areas. The permitting rule is “observed in breach,” stated Aronberg, since most restaurants welcome four-legged friends more often than not without permits.

Initiated by Lazy Dog Restaurants – a California chain that recently opened its first Florida chain in west Boca Raton – the request for “dog-friendly dining” has received raving review from dog owners, but some concerns from others.

The new rule requires drive-thru or sit-down restaurants located outside of municipal limits to get a health department permit that legally allows patrons and their furry companions to sit together outdoors.  A limited number of Palm Beach County municipalities have standing official rules for doggy dining, but others were quick to comply. Palm Beach Gardens, Boynton Beach, Juno Beach and Tequesta are just a few of the more popular dog-friendly local spots to pass a local ordinance.

For restaurants in unincorporated parts of Palm Beach County, dogs must be leashed at all times and can’t sit on tables or chairs. The outdoor tables are required to have hand sanitizer and staff must wash their hands after petting the dog.

Some may think it only makes sense to allow outside doggy-dining given the immense amount of dog owners in the area, the opportunity for out-door dining all year long, and the great number of fantastic restaurants located so close to other dog friendly areas like Jupiter Beach.

It’s highly recommended to always call and confirm the rules with any restaurant before showing up with your pup. If you need other recommendations on dog-friendly areas in our local community, let’s connect!