Dining out in parts of Pinellas County will no longer mean leaving the dog at home.
Pinellas County Commissioners today unanimously approved an ordinance that lets bars and restaurants in unincorporated Pinellas include outdoor seating areas where patrons can bring their dogs.
Restaurants that want to cater to dog-lovers must apply for a $215 permit. The new rules, similar to ones already adopted in several cities, including St. Petersburg and Dunedin, require dogs to be leashed and tables in dog-friendly areas to include hand sanitizer.
Staff who pet dogs would be required to wash their hands before resuming work.
Because most of Pinellas is incorporated, the new rules will impact only a small percentage of restaurants – many of those in the Palm Harbor area.