Many people enjoy taking their dogs out with them when they go to retail stores and fast-food restaurants, although not all places are dog-friendly.
If you have a dog, you might be wondering, does McDonald’s allow dogs? Read on because we’ll tell you all about the McDonald’s pet policy and what kind of dogs are allowed.
Does McDonald’s Allow Dogs?
McDonald’s only allows service dogs in-store, and regular non-service dogs are usually not permitted inside the restaurant. However, particular McDonald’s locations might have an outdoor sitting area for customers, and dogs are allowed in these areas as long as they are restrained properly with their owners.
We’re going to explain the McDonald’s pet policy in more detail below, so read on!
Are Dogs Allowed in McDonald’s
McDonald’s allows service animals inside of their restaurants, including dogs that have been designated as service animals if the owner has disabilities.
The McDonald’s pet policy is that any service animal is allowed if the person either has a noticeable disability or a note from a physician stating the animal is needed for a disability.
What Does McDonald’s Consider a Service Animal?
McDonald’s policy is that a service animal includes guide dogs, mobility dogs, seizure alert dogs, autism service dogs, and other animals that have been classified as service animals.
Further, the service animal is allowed to be in any area within McDonald’s that the public is allowed to be, such as in the indoor dining area, restrooms, and other public locations.
If there is a reason that the particular service animal is excluded from service animal designation, then that animal is not allowed.
Does McDonald’s Question Customers Who Use Service Animals?
McDonald’s may question the customer about their dog if it’s not clear that the dog is being used as a service animal, which can happen at any location.
Additionally, the manager might ask the customer about the specific training and service the dog is providing, especially if a customer has complained about the dog being inside the restaurant.
Does McDonald’s Require a Dog to be Restrained?
McDonald’s does require that if a dog is on the premises and is used as a service dog, then it needs to be cared for by the customer at all times and also be in their control.
Further, control means that the person has the dog on a leash and it’s not running freely around the establishment, but muzzles are not required for the dog inside McDonald’s.
Can Non-Service Dogs Go to McDonald’s?
McDonald’s doesn’t allow non-service dogs to be inside the restaurants, but some locations offer outside seating and may allow dogs to be in those outdoor areas.
However, there’s no set policy to allow dogs in these outdoor seating areas, so it’s up to each location and manager whether dogs are allowed in outdoor areas.
It’s best to call ahead and ask your location if you know it has an outdoor seating area and ask about bringing your dog before heading up there with your animal.
Further, if the dog is allowed in the outdoor seating area, the owner must restrain and control it, which includes being on a leash and behaving since other customers are close by.
Other Dog-Friendly Restaurants
While McDonald’s policy is that it’s dog-friendly to dogs deemed a service animal, several other restaurants allow all canine friends regardless of service dog status, including:
- Bruster’s Real Ice Cream- You’re allowed to have your dog with you outside when you’re eating your ice cream, and most locations offer a lot of outdoor seating for both you and your dog!
- Shake Shack- Shake Shack allows you to bring your dog to the patio and enjoy a meal with them, and they are known as one of the most dog-friendly restaurants around.
- Starbucks- If your local Starbucks has a patio, then your dog is welcome to come and chill out with you while you drink your coffee and get work done.
- Outback Steakhouse- While not many Outback Steakhouse locations have a patio, those that do have patios allow dogs to join you while you’re eating at their establishment.
- Johnny Rockets- Johnny Rockets is dog-friendly and allows dogs to be on the patio with their owner while they enjoy a meal.
- Olive Garden- Olive Garden has started to include patios at their locations, and those with a patio are free to bring their dogs with them.
- Panera Bread- Locations of Panera Bread with a patio welcome dogs in this outdoor setting.
- Baja Fresh- Baja Fresh locations that have a patio are very dog-friendly and have no issues with you bringing your dog to the patio area while you eat.
As you can see, several restaurants with a patio are dog-friendly, and many also offer a dog-friendly menu item so that your dog can eat with you!
However, it’s up to each location whether dogs are allowed, so it’s always best to call ahead before bringing your dog with you to any restaurant, even if they have a patio.