Orange County commissioners approve dog-friendly dining ordinance


  • Photo cred: Pawsitive Shelter Photography
Starting Nov. 9, dog-friendly dining will be an option for Orange County restaurants with outdoor seating, but only if they get a permit.

On Tuesday, Orange County commissioners approved an ordinance allowing folks to bring their dogs to restaurants. With the ordinance's passage, the county falls in line with neighboring local governments that have passed dog-friendly dining laws, including Orlando, Edgewood and Mount Dora, and Seminole and Osceola counties.

Under the new law, restaurants are required to report any dog bites that occur on premises to Animal Services, regardless of whether a customer's dog or a customer was bitten. The ordinance also requires employees to wash their hands after petting dogs; employees aren't allowed to handle any dogs while they're serving or handling tableware.

Leashes are required, as is a designated outdoor dining area for the pups, which has to be appropriately marked. Waterless hand-sanitizer provided to all tables is also necessary, and dog poop must be cleaned up immediately and the area sanitized.

Application fees for restaurants are $46 and are nonrefundable.

Stay on top of Orlando news and views. Sign up for our weekly Headlines newsletter.

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Orlando Weekly. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Orlando Weekly, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at

Support Local Journalism.
Join the Orlando Weekly Press Club

Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.

Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.

Join the Orlando Weekly Press Club for as little as $5 a month.