the Ultimate Guide for Victoria's Dog Friendly Patios!

Last updated: 3 January 2022

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Are dog-friendly patios legal in Victoria, British Columbia?
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Yes! There have long since been unofficial dog-friendly patios in Victoria, but they are finally legal thanks to a recent change in province regulations. The bonus is that all patios must receive approval from local health and safety officers before they can welcome dogs on their patios. Dogs are still prohibited inside restaurants.

When were dog-friendly patios first legalized in British Columbia?
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British Columbia officially changed regulations to allow dogs on patios in 2021. However, since it is so new, some restaurants are not aware of the change. Restaurants can also choose not to allow dogs, which is completely within their rights as business owners. Bottom line, check where you’re going before you get there to make sure your dog will be welcomed.

Are there any restrictions that I need to know about?
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British Columbia has laws in place to regulate dog behavior in public lest you be subject to a fine, including, but not limited to being leashed, cleaning up after your dog, and more.Additionally, you may be requested to tie your dog up while at a restaurant. If you have questions, ask the restaurant about what your dog can and cannot do while on the premises.

Even if it’s legal, do all patios allow dogs?
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Restaurants are not required to allow dogs on their patios, even if it is legal. Check their website or call to ask if dogs are allowed prior to dropping by. Some restaurants haven’t caught up tothe latest regulation, so it’s better to be safe than assume your dog will be welcome.

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.

Does this apply to service dogs?
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No, this does not apply to service dogs. Service dogs are welcome at all restaurants, regardless of whether or not they have a patio. Service dogs are not pets. Instead, they help their ownerswith essential tasks and are allowed at all businesses.

Does my dog need to be leashed?
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Yes, your dog must be leashed while in Victoria unless otherwise stated, including on dog-friendly patios. Some patios require your dog to be leashed and tied to a fence.

What can I expect when I bring my dog to a patio?
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When you’re at a dog-friendly patio, your dog will be leashed and at your side at all times. Make sure you keep them out of the aisle and that they do not disrupt the other patrons at therestaurant. While it is best practice to potty your dog before sitting down, be prepared to clean-up accidents.

Will there be food for my dog there?
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No, typically the food offered at restaurants is only for people. While your dog may get a treat or two, it is important that you do not feed him or her table scraps for health reasons.

Will I get thrown out if my dog starts misbehaving?
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You want to make sure your dog is on its best behavior. If they start acting up and disrupting others, you may be asked to leave.

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