Comment of the Day

Reader: I'd Like to Eat My Meal Without a Side of Barking Dog

Denver is a dog-friendly city. As far back as 2007, four-legged friends were welcome on some cafe patios, as long as there was no food service there. Then in 2014, the Mile High City became the first in the state to allow dogs on restaurant and bar patios where food was being served as long as certain requirements were met. And in 2020, just after the pandemic shut down indoor dining, a law was passed that expanded that allowance to the entire state, as long as certain regulations are followed.

Dogs are still banned from inside restaurants, though, unless they are actual service animals. Even so, they are frequent sights in local eateries. And Molly Martin's article on the rules — inspired by a recent Reddit post — led to hundreds of responses on the Westword Facebook post, where readers had plenty to say about dogs, dogs in restaurants, people in restaurants...and people in general. Says Ryan:
I love my dogs, but I don’t need to take them to restaurants. My dogs shed when people pet them, and it’s not fair to the people around me to have hair flying through the air and landing on people's food/drink.
Adds Sally:
 I'd like to eat my meal without a side of barking dog.
Responds Jason:
Lighten up. If people can bring their kids, dog owners should be allowed to bring their dogs.
Suggests Brendan:
 Dogs are better behaved than most people.
Adds Jayne: 
Dogs are cleaner and more well-behaved than most people's little brats.... I wish management would get involved with the brats screaming and making a mess in restaurants! I was at an expensive restaurant last week, a family came in right after we had ordered. The brats started screaming and crying. I just got up and left. Told the hostess why. I left $30 for our server for one glass of house wine and a coke. Was not going to listen to that when what we had ordered was over $200.
Offers Jay:
If dogs other than real service dogs can be in restaurants, we should be able to smoke in restaurants.
Replies Dena: 
How about neither? Smoke is nasty. Dogs in restaurants are also nasty. I want to eat my food without smoke, without animals, without general nastiness in my face. I don't think that's a lot to ask.
Adds Kelly:
The dog thing is way out of hand. It's not the dogs, it's their owners. It's too much. And when people take things too far, this is how we get overregulated: Complaints lead to rules. When common sense would have worked just as well. Do you REALLY need to take your dog everywhere? No, you don't.
Notes David:
There's a super-easy solution to this. If you don't feel comfortable eating in a privately owned establishment that allows dogs, don't eat there. There are more places that don't allow dogs than do.
Other than actual service animals, dogs are not allowed inside Denver restaurants...but that doesn't stop some people from bringing them. What do you think about dogs in restaurants? Post a comment or share your thoughts at [email protected]