A new bill would make it easier for Colorado restaurants to allow dogs on patios

Attention all owners of good boys around Colorado: A bill introduced this month in the state Senate would make it easier for you to bring your dog onto restaurant patios.

Senate Bill 20-078 outlines rules for restaurants looking to cater to dogs and their owners. If it’s passed, restaurants can still choose to allow dogs, or not, moving forward.

“This isn’t just the ‘dogs run amok’ bill, it’s ‘good dogs on good patios,’” Sen. Kerry Donovan, who introduced the bill along with Rep. Alec Garnett, told The Denver Post.

“Colorado loves their dogs, so it seemed like it was valuable to make (the law) clear,” she added. “If you want to have some furry friends on your patio, you can go for it if you follow the rules.”

If passed, the new Colorado law would be permissive, meaning businesses can choose to opt in. And it would include guidelines for restaurants looking to allow furry friends outside but on-premise.

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Those guidelines include where a dog may sit or lay on a patio (on the ground), where food should be prepared if dogs are allowed (nowhere near the animals) and where pets can roam when they’re patronizing a restaurant (nowhere; they have to be on leashes or in carriers).

If made into law, it would likely take effect by late summer or early fall, just in time for the tail-end of patio season.