Dogs allowed to dine downtown

City’s Board of Health approves variance allowing dogs in outdoor dining areas

NASHUA – A ‘Dog-Friendly Outdoor Dining Variance’ was approved May 9 by the City of Nashua’s Board of Health, allowing dogs in outdoor dining areas.

The board approved this variance as a result of strong advocacy from the city’s Environmental Health Department and Mayor Jim Donchess in support of this measure.

Mayor Jim Donchess said, “By allowing dogs in outdoor seating areas, we’re sending the message that everyone is welcome and encouraged to enjoy all Nashua has to offer.” “I want to thank the Department of Environmental Health and Division of Public Health & Community Services for working to get this passed.”

Interested restaurants that offer outdoor dining areas can now apply to the Environmental Health Department for a variance to the 2009 FDA Food Code. That allows companion dogs in outdoor dining areas, provided they follow the rules outlined in the variance, and it only applies to dogs. Any restaurants interested in allowing dogs in their outdoor dining areas must obtain a variance.

According do a press release, “It is against New Hampshire state law for patron companion dogs to enter a food service establishment (RSA 466:44). If restaurants with outdoor dining elect not to allow companion dogs in outdoor dining, they still must allow service dogs as provided in RSA 167-D.”

The city’s decision came as a result of a survey conducted last year by the Division of Public Health and Community Services in which the majority of respondents support having dog-friendly outdoor dining.

The full variance can be found online at,https://www.nashuanh.gov/525/Food-Service-Program and question can be directed to Health Officer Heidi Peek-Kukulka or Deputy Health Officer Ren Beaudoin at 603-589-453.

Adam Urquhart can be reached at 594-1206 or aurquhart@nashuatelegraph.com.