Alberta eateries no longer need approval from a public health inspector to allow pooches on patios. However, patrons should check restaurants’ policies ahead of their visit, as establishments are not required to offer dog-friendly patios.

Premier Jason Kenney said that this is part of the commitment to cut red tape.

"We have responded to requests from restaurants to lift unnecessary hurdles so more businesses can welcome dog lovers who enjoy dining outdoors. I am pleased that this change will make it easier for Albertans to support our restaurant industry while they are out with their dogs this patio season," he said.

Dr. Laura McDougall, senior medical officer of health, Alberta Health Service said that AHS is supportive of dog-friendly patios as long as it’s being done in a safe manner.

"We will continue to be available to restaurant owners and Albertans to provide guidance and support in the establishment and maintenance of dog-friendly patios as needed," Dr. McDougall said.

Establishments will continue to ensure food safety standards for all customers and follow two main requirements including non-service dogs being allowed on patios only and not inside any indoor food handling areas, such as dining and food preparation areas. Customers must keep their dogs on a leash or in a carrier and have physical control of the dog at all times.