Strict regulations on pets in Australian restaurants: McDonald’s enforces no-pet policy

Strict regulations on pets in Australian restaurants: McDonald’s enforces no-pet policy

...By Judah Olanisebee for TDPel Media.

The Risks and Penalties of Bringing Pet Dogs into McDonald’s Restaurants in Australia


In Australia, pet owners could face an on-the-spot fine of up to $880 if they are caught bringing their dogs inside McDonald’s restaurants.

Despite almost half of the country’s homes including a dog, dog-friendly dining is still rare.

Local councils enforce no-go zones such as parks, beaches, child care centres, and children’s playgrounds, while Food Standards Australia and New Zealand strictly bans dogs from being brought inside pubs, cafes, and restaurants.

Owners caught with a dog within 10 meters of a food preparation area could be fined from $330 to $880.

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The restaurant chain has a strict policy on dogs inside their restaurants, with the exception of service animals.

Emotional support animals are not welcome inside the restaurant regardless of their behaviour.


Pet dogs are allowed in McDonald’s outdoor areas as long as owners comply with the rules set by the restaurant.

Since 2012, Food Standards and Australia New Zealand have allowed restaurants, pubs, and cafes to choose if they allow dogs in outdoor dining areas.

The government regulatory body made the decision after determining the risk of dogs transmitting diseases to diners was “low to negligible.”

Permission is at the discretion of the business owner who must “decide whether or not you let customers have their dogs in outdoor dining areas.”

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Dogs are permitted in outdoor areas as long as the space is not enclosed and is accessible without having to go inside.

Owners must keep their dog on a lead, away from food prep areas, and not near surfaces where food is served.

Restaurants have the right to refuse animals as other patrons may be allergic to the animal or have a phobia.

Different rules apply to individuals with service dogs.


However, in 2020, New South Wales Greens MP Jamie Parker reintroduced a bill to change the laws that kept dogs from being allowed inside pubs, but the proposal has not yet been made law.

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The policy implemented by McDonald’s Australia banning pet dogs inside their restaurants is for safety and hygiene purposes.

The risk of dogs transmitting diseases to diners is not only high but also poses a significant threat to the health of McDonald’s customers.

While it is essential to promote pet-friendly places, restaurants, cafes, and other public places that serve food need to maintain strict regulations for the safety and well-being of their customers.


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