the Ultimate Guide for Halifax's Dog Friendly Patios!

Last updated: 3 January 2022

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Are dog-friendly patios legal in Halifax, Nova Scotia?
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Yes! You can now bring your dogs to eat with you on patios at outdoor restaurants and streetcafes in Halifax. This change was made possible following an exciting piece of pandemic legislature to make it easier for patrons to go out to eat without leaving their dogs at home.

When were dog-friendly patios first legalized in Nova Scotia?
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The province of Nova Scotia just started to allow dogs on patios in March 2021 based ongrowing feedback from its citizens. In addition to allowing dogs on patios, it reinforced that dogs can be present in dining areas for long-term care facilities and child-care facilities, but only when meals are not being served.

Are there any restrictions that I need to know about?
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Dogs are currently only allowed on patios that have street access. They are not allowed in restaurants, bars, cafes, or other places that serve food regardless of whether it is prepacked or made on site. Additionally, you want to make sure your pup is on their best behavior. Restaurant owners can ask you and your dog to leave if they are being disruptive. They can also limit the number of dogs that are welcome on the patio at any given time.

Even if it’s legal, do all patios allow dogs?
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No, it’s up to the discretion of the restaurant owner. However, restaurants must post a sign that indicates they are dog-friendly to potential customers, so it should be easy to tell. Keep an eye out for the pups on patio blue, green and white sign that will be posted near the door. If you have a specific restaurant in mind, it’s always a good idea to call or check their website in advance.

Does this apply to service dogs?
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No it does not. This does not apply to service dogs. Service dogs are welcome in all restaurants, regardless of the patio status. Patrons with disabilities should always be provided with reasonable accommodations.

Does my dog need to be leashed?
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Yes. According to province regulations and restaurant rules, your dog will have to be leashed. You can probably tie them to your chair or a nearby fence post.

What can I expect when I bring my dog to a patio?
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When seated, you should keep your dog away from aisles to prevent tripping hazards. If your dog has an accident, you need to clean it up immediately. Your dog will be leashed, but ensure that he doesn’t intrude on other customers or dogs unless they have given permission. There will be no running or playing on the patio. It is not a dog park, so you and your dog need to be respectful.

Will there be food for my dog there?
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Oftentimes, dog-friendly pubs and restaurants will have treats and water for your dog, but you probably won't want to rely on that. Instead, remember to pack your dog a water and food bowl, alongside some kibble and treats to sway their behaviour.

Will I get thrown out if my dog starts misbehaving?
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The restaurant has the right to remove you from the premises if other patrons start to feel uncomfortable around your dog. However, the best course of action is to always be prepared to leave if even the hint of bad feelings feel as though they're emerging. When bringing your dog to a patio, know that you may need to take the "higher ground" and leave in case patrons feel disrupted.

Receive Spot's 4-step puppy obediance training guide for your pup's next patios outing

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