Pretty soon your four-legged friend will be allowed to join you for a night on the town.

People love dogs and really don't like leaving them at home. Pretty soon you won't have to. Thanks to House Bill 476. Many cities throughout our state already have ordinances like this, but this would allow dogs at outdoor patios statewide. There are several provisions that will go along with this before bringing your dog to any outdoor patio restaurant.

First, the restaurant must have a permit to allow the dogs there. Second, the outdoor patio must have an entrance that is accessible from the outside. Basically, you shouldn't have to walk through the main dining area to access the outside patio. Finally, dogs must remain on a leash the entire time they're there.

I don't know exactly how much a fee is for the permit once the bill goes into effect. Right now in Houston, their permit is a one time fee of $110. Critics to the bill wanted this to be a city by city decision and not allow the Senate to make a statewide decision on this particular issue.

Wichita Falls already had something like this pass in 2016, but it will be allowed statewide soon. Be sure you check with the restaurant beforehand to make sure they have a permit so your dog can come with you and don't forget that leash.

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