In 2020, Iowa Administrative Code 481 Chapter 31.1.(14) was updated so that Iowa food establishments may allow pet dogs on their outdoor patios without applying for a waiver from DIAL. 

Pet dogs are not allowed inside food establishments. Only service dogs are allowed inside food establishments.

The following rules apply to pet dogs on patios:

  • Dogs must access the outdoor area via a separate entrance (not through the inside of the establishment);
  • Food and drink preparation is not allowed in the outdoor area;
  • Reusable utensils (e.g., plates, silverware, glasses, bowls) are not allowed to be stored, displayed, or pre-set in the outdoor area;
  • Food or water provided to pet dogs must be in single-use disposable containers provided by the food establishment, or in a container provided by the pet owner that is filled without any contact with any dispensing item (e.g., pitcher) of the food establishment;
  • While they are on duty, employees of the establishment are not allowed to have contact with pet dogs;
  • Disruptive pet dogs must be controlled or removed from the premises;
  • The outdoor area cannot be fully enclosed (an enclosed area is considered part of the interior of the facility);
  • The outdoor area is maintained and clean, and any areas where excrement, urine, saliva, vomit, etc., are deposited, shall immediately be cleaned and sanitized by employees; and
  • Rules governing pet dogs shall be posted at each entrance of the food establishment and must at a minimum contain the following:
    • Pet dogs shall be leashed at all times;
    • Pet dogs shall not enter any interior area of the food establishment at any time;
    • Pet dogs must be controlled at all times by the dog’s owner or designee;
    • Pet dogs are not permitted on chairs, tables, benches or seats; and
    • Pet dog owners must immediately notify the food establishment’s staff in the event that excrement or bodily fluids (urine, saliva, vomit, or the like) are deposited.

Visit the website for the Civil Rights Division/Disability Rights Section of the U.S. Department of Justice for an overview of the ADA requirements for service animals and FAQs about service animals and the Americans with Disabilities Act.