Dog on Restaurant Patios

The State-written Texas Food Establishment Rules currently prohibit animals from being on the premises of a food establishment with the exception of K-9 police dogs and service dogs as defined by ADA regulations. In order for a food establishment to lawfully allow dogs on an outdoor patio, the establishment must apply and receive approval for a variance with the City of Sugar Land Food Inspections Program.

How do I know if a location is dog-friendly?

  • Locations that have obtained a variance from the City will have signage near the front door directing guests with dogs to access the outdoor patio via an exterior access.

What rules do I need to follow if I bring my dog with me to a dog-friendly patio?

  • All dogs must display a current rabies vaccination tag.
  • No dangerous or aggressive dogs are to be brought to a dog-friendly patio.
  • Dogs must be constantly under the control of the owner via a dog carrier or leash.
  • Dogs may not rest on any table, chair, or bench on which patrons sit.
  • Dogs may not be fed using any non-disposable wares.
  • Pet waste must be immediately removed and properly disposed of.

I own a restaurant and want to allow dogs on my outdoor patio. What do I do?

  • Assess whether your location has outdoor access to the patio. Dogs may not be brought to the interior of the establishment to access an exterior patio. A variance will not be granted if the location cannot meet this requirement.
  • Submit an application (Variance Application for Dog on Patio) and payment.
  • Receive approval following an inspection of the site and assessment of internal procedures that will be put in place to protect the health and safety of guests.
  • Inspectors will verify compliance with variance regulations during onsite routine and complaint inspections. Failure to comply will result in the revocation of the Dog Variance.