Pooches and food! While there’s a big “aww” factor in the combo, there’s also quite a bit of angst. A recent story about a drive-through breakfast joint that cooks up biscuits for dogs as well as people warmed my heart, but it may also have given health inspectors heartburn. There are no federal laws about dogs in restaurants other than the ADA requirement that service dogs be allowed, but state laws based on the (voluntary) FDA Food Code have usually come down on the “no dogs” side. Some cities and states are altering restrictions on dogs in outdoor areas, allowing restaurants with supplementary permits to serve pooches on the patio.

After all, “‘Dogs are the children of the new millennium,’ said Tina Valant-Siebelts, a Boca Raton photographer who sometimes dines with Mack, her Australian shepherd. ‘The greatest benefit is you’ll never have to dine alone.’”

The United States has a long way to go until it reaches the doggy dining levels of Europe—and Asia, where some restaurants go so far as to serve owner and pet at the same indoor table, and offer to walk your dog after.

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