the Ultimate Guide for Canmore's Dog Friendly Patios!

Last updated: 3 January 2022

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FAQs

Are dog-friendly patios legal in Canmore, Alberta?
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Recent changes in regulations have made it easier for dog owners to bring their pups with them to patios in Canmore. Currently, there are no rules on the books that prohibit or permit dog-friendly patios in Canmore, so it is up to the discretion of the restaurant owner. Restaurants and bars that allow dogs inside must obtain approval from Alberta Health Services.

Which province was first in allowing dog-friendly patios?
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In July 2018, Alberta began to loosen its regulations on how outdoor patios can be set up, moving from a requirement for a one metre enclosure to patios defined with furniture, planters, or other more organic boundaries. Patios also no longer need to be attached to thebusiness, and restaurants can set up benches and tables on sidewalks in front of their business. Because they are on public property, these patios are subject to less strict regulations and Canmore easily welcome pets.

Are there any restrictions that I need to know about?
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Because the rules are less clearly defined, you will want to check with the restaurant before bringing your dog to eat with you on a patio. Some will allow you to bring treats and water for your dog, while others are a little stricter. Regardless, your dog should be leashed, well-behaved, and ready to relax and enjoy the outdoors with you.

Even if it’s legal, do all patios allow dogs?
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No, not all patios in Canmore allow dogs; however, many have changed their restrictions following the COVID-19 pandemic. As a result, there are many more dog-friendly patios! Even if you see other dogs, it’s polite to ask before you stop with your pup to eat or check their website if you have a specific restaurant in mind.

Does this apply to service dogs?
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No, service dogs are allowed at all patios or in restaurants in Canmore, thanks to the Alberta Human Rights Act. No business can restrict access to a dog that helps its owner with normal, day-to-day activities.

Does my dog need to be leashed?
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Yes, as long as your dog is in public, they should be leashed unless otherwise stated. This is a safety precaution to protect you, your dog, and those around you.

What can I expect when I bring my dog to a patio?
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Dog-friendly patios still cater to humans first, so you will want to make sure that your dog is on their best behavior, out of the aisles, and not bothering other customers or dogs. Take your dog to the potty before stopping to prevent accidents, though if something happens, make sure to clean it up ASAP. Expect a relaxed dining experience with your four-legged best friend at your side!

Will there be food for my dog there?
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No, dog-friendly patios in Canmore will not typically provide food for your dogs, but some may have treats to hand out. Ask before you feed your dog as some patios do not allow dogs to eat on the premises.

Which province was first in allowing dog-friendly patios?
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Believe it or not, Alberta was actually the very first province in Canada to allow dog friendly patios, starting in the autumn of 2012. Since that time, Alberta has helped to drive Canada-wide trends towards dog friendly patios, leading the way for provinces like Ontario and Nova Scotia to follow suit, more recently.

Will I get thrown out if my dog starts misbehaving?
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It's possible yes. Being private property grounds, restaurants can remove any patrons and dogs that are being disruptive to the business, so it's best to pre-emptively always be ready to 'take the higher ground' and leave on your own volition if the vibe gets odd.

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