6 Reasons Why Pets Should Be Allowed in Restaurants

For many people, our pets are our entire lives. They make each and every day incredible. Leaving them behind at home is difficult for a lot of us. What if your pets were allowed in restaurants? Would that be advantageous?

Here are some reasons pets should be allowed in restaurants:

  • Service animals have paved the way
  • More revenue for the restaurant
  • Could drum up business
  • It’s very convenient
  • Pets make most people happy
  • Pets are not a huge health risk

In today’s post, let’s explore these 6 very convincing reasons why pets should be allowed in restaurants.

6 Reasons Why Pets Should Be Allowed in Restaurants

Service Animals Have Paved the Way

One of the questions that a restaurant owner who’s considering allowing pets on the premises might ask is how they would even go about doing it?

To answer that question, you needn’t look any further than service animals.

The Americans with Disabilities Act or ADA has established that a verifiable service animal is allowed into places that most pets are not, and that includes restaurants. 

People might not dine with their service animals all the time, but it does happen. 

Although under ADA law, a restaurant, café, or similar establishment has no right to kick out a customer with a service animal, they can ask the service animal to leave if the animal is causing disruption and the owner is not controlling them.

Now, we should note some differences here, as we’re not trying to compare entering a restaurant with a service animal to dining out with your pet.

A service animal, after all, is not a pet. Plus, the animal is highly trained, so stimuli that might upset a pet wouldn’t affect a service animal.

All we’re trying to say is this. If service animals have proven that dogs can be in a restaurant and that life goes on and the restaurant doesn’t have to shutter its doors for any health code violations, then it could be possible to broaden the rules to encompass the everyday pet.

Leads to More Revenue for the Restaurant

Here’s another reason that ought to entice restaurant owners to consider allowing pets onto the premises. You have significant revenue opportunities.

First, there’s the uptick in customers. We’ll talk more about this in the next section, but think of it this way.

If you own a dog, you can’t leave it alone for very long. Thus, some people who might have always wanted to visit your restaurant are forced to sit at home.

Once they realize they can take their dog to your establishment, they’re much more interested in going. This increases your bottom line as you grow your customer base. 

Further, you could earn side revenue streams by making menus just for pets. Although the items on the menu would be relatively low-priced, if enough people purchased them, your restaurant’s earnings increase even more.

If you really wanted to, you could even make pet-themed branded merchandise to sell. 

All these extra revenue streams add up to a more profitable establishment. You can use the revenue to expand your menu, change up your décor, buy higher-quality ingredients, or hire a new chef or two.

Could Drum up More Business

Besides the dog-owning customers who come to your restaurant now that you allow pets, you could grow your customer base in different ways. 

Through your marketing and advertising efforts, people may venture in from adjoining cities or towns to visit your restaurant. You were never on their radar before, but if you’re the only pet-friendly restaurant in town, you’re certainly on their radar now.

People who like animals could also want to venture to your restaurant, especially if your neighborhood is devoid of cat cafés or dog cafés. Those who don’t own pets need their furry fix and being around animals at your restaurant is one way to get that. 

The larger your customer base grows, the more your bottom line does as well. Your restaurant could be healthily in the green!

It’s Very Convenient for Pet Owners

Imagine this scenario.

A person is out walking their dog when they pass by your restaurant. They see happy canines intermingling with customers out on the patio. The people there seem to be enjoying their food and drink.

Why not stop in for a bite?

A person’s gotta eat, after all, and if they can feed both themselves and their dogs in one fell swoop, well, that’s simply killing two birds with one stone.

Even if your restaurant only serves people food and dogs can drink water or maybe lap up some whipped cream, that’s enough to make some pet owners happy. Their dog can chill and enjoy the ambiance of dining on the patio or even indoors. 

People love convenience, especially in the constant hustle and bustle of everyday life anymore. When you give people a convenient option, of course, many should be inclined to take advantage of it.

Pets Make Most People Happy

Those with pet allergies or traumas notwithstanding, being around domesticated animals like cats and dogs have been proven to be beneficial for human health in a variety of ways.

For those who own dogs, you have to get your pup outside and on walks. You can’t skip a day, even if it’s snowing or raining. Not only is it the dog who gets physical activity, but you as well. Staying physically active is greatly beneficial for your health.

Even if you own a cat, playing with your pet indoors is still a good way to get up and moving, which is something that we can struggle with sometimes.

Further, owning a pet and being active with them presents more social opportunities than those granted to you if you stay predominantly indoors.

Then there is the bevy of physical and mental health benefits that our pets deliver us. This 2002 study from the journal Psychosomatic Medicine suggests that pet ownership can reduce your blood pressure and heart rate.

Data published in 2009 by Hormones and Behavior posits that socially interacting with animals like dogs can increase your levels of oxytocin. This hormone lessens anxiety and stress. 

Plus, a 2018 article from the UK news site Independent surveyed 1,000 people and suggested that having a pet can wholly increase your lot in life, raising your chances of getting married, having children, earning a great degree, and finding that ever-elusive dream job.

The data is clear: animals make people happy. If your restaurant can be a source of happiness for the pet owner and non-pet owners alike, you could foster some very loyal returning customers.  

Domesticated Animals Are Not a Huge Health Risk

Finally, we have to talk about how much of a health risk allowing a dog into a restaurant really is. 

Although a dog that urinates or defecates or even vomits in a restaurant is not exactly the picture of hygiene and health, a well-behaved, otherwise healthy dog may not be as detrimental to everyone’s health as you would think.

A Healthline article on the topic of pets in restaurants featured an interview with a small animal veterinarian named Dr. Ava Evans. Here’s what she had to say.

“A healthy dog that is fully vaccinated and on a monthly parasite prevention, such as Heartgard, Interceptor, Sentinel, or Advantage Multi will pose an extremely low risk to human health…As long as the dog’s waste is kept away from the dining area, there is little concern for health risk to humans.”

We couldn’t have said it better ourselves!


Pets are, for many people, a member of the family as valid as any human. Thus, there’s a growing debate about whether it’s suitable and hygienic to allow pets into restaurants.

Although we always recommend following any state laws on pet entry in a foodservice building, the 6 reasons that we discussed today do bring up some fascinating points to think about. 

We can only hope that eventually, the day will come when more restaurants welcome pets. It would certainly be beneficial to almost everyone!

You Want To Open A Restaurant But Have No Idea Where To Start From?

Discover In This Free Report What You Should Know Before Spending A Penny!

You Want To Open A Restaurant, But Have No Idea Where To Start From?

Get my book ” The Ultimate Guide To Opening A Restaurant Business” and discover all you should know about this industry before spending a penny.