Virginia law now allows dogs in outdoor dining areas if an establishment meets certain criteria. Please note that this only applies to dogs; other animals are not permitted.
Establishments that would like to allow dogs, must submit an application to the Public Health Division agreeing to comply with these criteria. Once Public Health approves your application, you will receive a new license, which specifies Dog Dining as a condition.
Criteria for Dog Dining:
- The outdoor dining area is not fully enclosed and is not a part of the interior physical facility.
- The outdoor dining area has a separate entrance for patrons and their dogs.
- The establishment posts a clearly observable sign stating that dogs:
- Are allowed in the outdoor dining area
- Must be kept leashed and under control
- Are not allowed on seats, tables, and laps
- Are not allowed to eat or drink from restaurant dishes
- The establishment provides effective means for cleaning up dog vomitus and fecal matter.
Service animals or patrol dogs are exempt from these requirements.
If you or your pet are bitten by a dog, contact Animal Control immediately at 703–931–9241 or 703-558-2222 (after hours).