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Dogs in Cafes

By johnboy - 6 May 2010 43

Dogs in cafes

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There have been rumblings recently that the charming habit of taking dogs to sit in the outdoor areas of cafes and bars could be under threat.

So we asked ACT Health what that’s all about and got the following reply:

Dear Mr Griffiths

Thank you for your enquiry to ACT Health.

The laws concerning the presence of animals in food premises have not
changed. Under clause 24 of Standard 3.2.2 of the Australia New
Zealand Food Standards Code, animals other than assistance animals are
not permitted in dining and drinking areas and other areas used by
customers. These areas include a food premises and any associated
outdoor dining areas.

The Health Protection Service (HPS) of ACT Health has not changed its
approach to this issue, which is treated as any other food safety issue.
The HPS has not planned any “crack down on dogs in the outdoor areas of

Thank you again for your enquiry.



So it appears, given the widespread practice of people taking dogs to cafes which are happy to have them, that we have another bad law being widely ignored.


What’s Your opinion?

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43 Responses to
Dogs in Cafes
ACTing like a Mama 4:27 pm 06 May 10

When we first got our dog we walked it down to the local cafe, I had dreams of us sitting in the morning sunshine reading the papers, drinking our coffee while our pup would lie at our feets basking in the autumn sun.

Well, reality was that our dog just didn’t understand sitting. We were out, he was on a leash so surely we should be moving. My further ignorance showed when I had no water for him, there was no bowl and the staff were not interested in helping either (which is not their fault at all).

So, our dog does not join us at cafes now, and now that we have a three year old, we ourselves are very rarely seen at cafes anymore. I can’t think of anything worse than struggling with an energetic dog, unruly toddler and death stares from the other patrons.

That said, I don’t mind dogs at cafes, I just don’t want to bring mine.

Beserk Keyboard Warr 4:09 pm 06 May 10

I think taking your dog with you everywhere you go is a great idea… if you’re aspiring to be like Paris Hilton.

I love my dog, but if you ever see me with it in a cafe I would kindly request that you shoot me in the temple with a large calibre weapon.

Roadrage77 4:05 pm 06 May 10

I just got back from a holiday in the California where the social status of canines is equal to or greater than that of humans. I see us heading in the same direction and it scares the living $hit out of me.

Joel 2:56 pm 06 May 10

I have no issue with dogs. I have owned and loved more than a few in my life.

That being said, dogs can be filthy, smelly animals and they have no place in a cafe unless the owner has a medical need for the dog.

I also dated a women once who was terrified of dogs after having been bitten by one once, and I remember one occasion where we had to leave a cafe after a overly friendly lab repeatedly licked her – ‘don’t mind him he’s just being friendly’ said the owner.

Is it really so hard to tie up the dog outside the cafe? What’s the big deal. I strongly support them remaining banned from cafes.

Woody Mann-Caruso 2:51 pm 06 May 10

Were we really expecting to hear from those irresonpsible dog owners who don’t train their animals, don’t keep them on a leash and don’t keep them clean, but nonetheless insist on bringing them to cafes where they start fights with other dogs, snap at passing toddlers, jump on tables and generally stink up the place?

We can’t have an ‘any dog is OK’ rule, because not all dogs are OK. A ‘nice dogs are OK’ rule is useless, because everybody claims that of course their dog is a nice dog (until they aren’t, by which time it’s too late, and that other dog started it). So we’re left with a ‘no dogs’ rule, and I’m glad we it, and wish it was better enforced.

Pommy bastard 2:26 pm 06 May 10

+1 for banning smokers
+1 for banning feral kids.
+1 for allowing dogs to remain.

Can I add a request to ban soap dodging hippies from all cafe’s too? 😉

MsCheeky 1:52 pm 06 May 10

andym asks why people take their dogs out. Because dogs love a walk, and if the walk includes a stop in a cafe, that’s good for the owner too.

Interesting that HPS says there’s no crackdown – obviously had a lot of queries after the Sunday CT article. I read it and cranky thoughts of nanny state sprang to mind. I can’t see any health hazard in a dog sitting at an outdoor cafe, or even of it having a bowl of water to drink from. Yep, Johnboy, another stupid law, sensibly ignored.

My (well-behaved) dogs make my world a better place.

andym 1:15 pm 06 May 10

Frankly I dont understand why some people feel the need to drag their dogs everywhere with them. I suspect not many dogs enjoy the presence of a lot of people at large outdoor social occasions like fetes etc anyway. One women wondered why I was getting upset when her dog had wound itself and its lead around me for the second time!

Not that I appreciate feral kids or smokers either.

I wonder if people would turn a blind eye to my pet rat, pet pig or pet puma sitting under the table behaving themselves…..

Better left at home I’m afraid.

lobster 1:14 pm 06 May 10

There was a cafe in Gungahlin called “My Bone Cafe” that you could order food for yourself and food for your dog at. You could only have your dog outside though.
Was this illegal all along?
I belive the place has closed down now though.

54-11 11:58 am 06 May 10

I agree Morgan – feral kids are much worse than a well-behaved dog. And generally speaking, dog owners have more control over their pets than parents do over their kids. I guess part of it is that you can give a dog a good kick up the clacker, whereas this is not quite so acceptable (although often necessary) with feral children.

Genie 11:37 am 06 May 10

Morgan said :

I don’t own a dog, but if it is just sitting under the table at an outdoor cafe then who cares?

I think sitting next to a smoker or unruly children is a far bigger problem than someones retriever which is sitting quietly.


Hells_Bells74 11:35 am 06 May 10

I’m all for dogs in cafes (oops I typoed cages phew I noticed!).

But if you had your dog there Johnboy, I would be so distracted. That is all!

Aurelius 11:13 am 06 May 10

Presumably this law exists for health reasons?
As such, where is the evidence that a guide dog sitting in a cafe is having less of an effect on the health of the owner and nearby patrons than any other dog?

astrojax 11:10 am 06 May 10

set the animals free!

and there was this thread, of course:, so with no threatened crackdown, any more to add to that list?

Morgan 11:10 am 06 May 10

I don’t own a dog, but if it is just sitting under the table at an outdoor cafe then who cares?

I think sitting next to a smoker or unruly children is a far bigger problem than someones retriever which is sitting quietly.

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