Colorado restaurants can welcome dogs on patios later this year

Although it may be hard to envision now, more Colorado dogs could soon be joining their owners on restaurant patios.

Gov. Jared Polis signed Senate Bill 78 into law Monday that would make it easier for Colorado restaurants to allow dogs on their patios and makes the guidelines for restaurants more clear.

“What the bill was aiming to do … was provide a permissive framework for people in restaurants who do choose to have dogs on their patios,” said bill sponsor Sen. Kerry Donovan, D-Vail.

It doesn’t force restaurants to do anything, but it gives clear regulations on what’s required if they choose to allow the pets to join their owners. It also doesn’t change local government rules.

Guidelines include requiring dogs to remain on the ground, not allowing food to be prepared on the patios and requiring dogs to be on leashes or in carriers.

Related Articles

Lawmakers angry over stay-at-home order want Douglas County to sever ties with Tri-Health

ICE can no longer make civil arrests at courthouses in Colorado

Colorado abolishes death penalty; governor commutes sentences of 3 on death row

Columbus Day no longer a state holiday in Colorado

Colorado lawmaker from Commerce City tests positive for coronavirus

Donovan called it a good-government bill that provides direction but also reflect’s Colorado’s culture of often putting dogs at the center of families.

“When businesses ask for clarity on issues, it’s important for lawmakers to respond to that, so hopefully (the law) gives them guidelines within those parameters,” she said.

The bipartisan bill passed with large support in both chambers. It will take effect Aug. 5 if the legislative session ends May 6, as originally scheduled — it goes into effect 90 days after the session adjourns.