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Seal of the Senate of the State of Texas
Welcome to the official website for the
Texas Senate
Senator Kelly Hancock: District 9
News Release
June 6, 2019
Contact: Caity Jackson
Hancock's Fido-Friendly Outdoor Dining Act Signed Into Law
Restaurants may permit dogs in outdoor dining areas, patios statewide

AUSTIN, TX - Gov. Greg Abbott this week signed into law SB 476 by Sen. Kelly Hancock (R-North Richland Hills), which allows restaurant patrons to be accompanied by a well-behaved dog in an outdoor dining area such as a patio or sidewalk café at the restaurant's discretion.

"There's not much that beats enjoying a beautiful Texas day on a patio with friends and family, man's best friend included," said Hancock. "This bill simply leaves it to restaurants to decide if they want to welcome dogs in outdoor areas and gets excessive government regulation out of the way."

While some restaurants with outdoor dining options already allow patrons to bring along their furry friends, certain cities have enacted onerous restrictions on these establishments including dog variance applications, periodic fees, extra inspections, and burdensome rules and regulations.

SB 476 closely mirrors the relatively permissive municipal regulation on this issue in the City of Austin. It allows food service establishments to permit a customer to be accompanied by a dog in an outdoor dining area as long as: the establishment posts a sign stating that dogs are permitted, the dog doesn't go inside the restaurant, the customer keeps the dog on a leash and under control, the dog isn't allowed on top of chairs or tables, and no food preparation takes place in the outdoor area.

To read the full text of the bill, visit Texas Legislature Online at

Sen. Hancock represents District 9, which includes portions of Dallas and Tarrant Counties. He currently serves as Chairman of the Texas Senate Committee on Business & Commerce and Vice Chair of the Texas Senate Committee on Transportation.