Are dogs allowed in restaurants in North America?

by Gigi Griffis
dog in a hip carrier

Can dogs eat on patios in California? Are they allowed in restaurants in Quebec? What about Greenland? Or Mexico?

When you’re traveling with your dog, these questions become pretty top-of-mind pretty quickly. Especially if you’re solo. Because what are you supposed to do if you’re out all day with your pooch and no one will let you grab a bite to eat?

Which is why I started this series of posts. To share personal experiences from traveling the world with my pint-sized pooch and research on countries we haven’t been to. The goal? To give you the skinny on dogs in restaurants in every single country in the world.

I started with Europe, where I spend most of my time. And today it’s time to talk about North America.


Dog-friendly! Dogs are allowed in most restaurants and eateries.

Moderately dog-friendly. Dogs are allowed in some restaurants, but it’s hit or miss.

Not very dog-friendly. Dogs are allowed in outdoor spaces, but never indoors.

Not dog-friendly. Dogs are not allowed to dine with you, or there are reports of significant danger for dogs and/or humans and we’d caution against a visit.

Table of contents:
Canada    ·     Greenland     ·     Mexico     ·       United States


Not very dog-friendly. Unfortunately, the overall rule in Canada is that dogs are not allowed indoors at establishments that serve food. The good news is that some restaurants in certain parts of Canada do allow dogs on their patios, so in summertime you’re more likely to be able to find pooch-friendly dining options in places like Alberta. If you’re lucky, you might also find some restaurants quietly breaking the rules for well-behaved dogs.


Not very dog-friendly. “Due to the FDA legislations here, dogs are not allowed in restaurants. They are allowed on patios.” – Kalaallit Nunaanni Uumasut Ikinngutai


Moderately dog-friendly. In Mexico, I’ve found a wide range of dog-friendliness. In some cities (like Puerto Vallarta), several restaurants turned us away before we were able to sweet-talk our way into one (though normally even that restaurant wasn’t pet friendly; they just made an exception because my dog is so small and mellow). In other places (Sayulita, for instance), I had no trouble taking Luna into cafes and restaurants.

In general, in Mexico dog-friendliness seems to be up to the individual restaurant.


Not very dog-friendly. Unfortunately, the US still has outdated laws that prohibit dogs indoors at establishments that sell food. Some states and cities allow dogs on patios and occasionally restaurants ignore the law and allow pooches indoors, but in general don’t expect to find with-dog dining in winter.

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