Dining with Dogs

New State Law Governing Dining With Dogs (Senate Bill 476)

At their September 30, 2019 meeting, the San Marcos City Council repealed section 18.120 of the San Marcos Code of Ordinances in response to a new state law (Senate Bill 476) regulating dining with dogs that passed during the recent 86th Texas Legislative Session.  The new State Law, effective September 1, 2019, allows fixed food establishments in San Marcos the option to allow dogs in the outside dining areas provided the following requirements of Senate Bill 476 (State Law) are met:

  • A sign is posted in a conspicuous location in the outside dining area stating that dogs are permitted;
  • The customer and the dog access the outside dining area directly from the exterior of the establishment;
  • The dog does not enter the interior of the establishment;
  • The customer keeps the dog on a leash and controls the dog;
  • The customer does not allow the dog on a seat, table, countertop, or similar surface; and
  • In the outside dining area where dogs are permitted, the establishment does not prepare food or permit open food other than the food being served to the customer.

The new State Law does not require fixed food establishments to allow dogs in the outside dining areas.  The decision to allow or not allow dogs in the outside dining areas is up to each individual fixed food establishment.  Please contact the Environmental Health Division at (512) 393-8444 or email at Healthinfo@sanmarcostx.gov if you have questions related to dogs at food establishments.

Information for bar only establishments: