New Alabama law on pet dogs at dining area went into effect August 1

August 5, 2021

New Alabama law on pet dogs at dining area went into effect August 1

MOBILE, Ala. — The 2021 Alabama legislative session has brought changes to the food rules that allow for pet dogs on outdoor dining areas of foodservice establishments under certain conditions.

This new law – designated as HB235 — went into effect on Sunday, August 1. The entire document can be found at

According to the Alabama Department of Public Health, one of the conditions in this new law requires the food service establishment to file for a “Waiver relating to pet dogs” with the local health department before beginning.  In an effort to streamline the waiver process, the ADPH central office has developed an “Application for Pet Dogs on Patios Waiver.”

Owners of food establishments may allow pet dogs if the following conditions are met:

  • Owner of the food establishment must elect to allow dogs at in their outdoor dining and apply for the waiver.
  • Employees of the establishment must abstain from petting the dogs and must wash their hands if contact with the dog is made.
  • Outdoor dining area must be at least 12 feet away from any bar where drinks are made.
  • Outdoor dining area must be cleaned and sanitized and maintain that level of cleanliness.
  • Restaurants must have a separate outdoor entrance that the dogs can come through that does not enter the food establishment.

For more information, pleases contact our Inspection Services division at 251-690-8116.