Restaurants to admit pets on leads from May

The red-letter day for animal lovers has arrived. From May, they will be able to take their pets into “commercial establishments” that opt to welcome them.

The establishments – “primarily restaurants and cafés” – will have signs to say whether or not pets are welcome, say reports.

Under the terms of the new law, approved in parliament yesterday (Friday), animals will have to remain on a short lead (“unable to circulate freely”).

They will also have to keep away from areas where food is prepared or displayed.

The law allows for restaurants to reserve specific areas for pets and their owners, or opt to open the whole place to animals on leads.

Suggestions to the various proposals by PAN, the Greens and Bloco de Esquerda (click here) include a rule to limit the number of pets at any one time.

Says Lusa, guide and assistance dogs would not be included in this rule.

But what is perhaps most interesting in this story is the constant reference to “pet animals”. It is not specific to dogs, so May could see quite a few surprises walking, strutting, scuttling, writhing, lumbering or even hopping through restaurant, bar and café doors – on short leads, of course.

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