This new law is all about the dogs.
“To all the cat lovers out there I do apologize," says the law's author, former state Assemblymember Mariko Yamada. "This does not extend to cats, at least at this time."
Several counties already have policies allowing dogs on restaurant patios, but state law actually prohibits it.
Lindsey Wright is with People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, or PETA. She says the group supports the law, although some dogs should probably stay home.
"We just encourage people of course to keep in mind that every dog’s an individual, and so not every dog is yearning for an evening out," says Wright. "Some dogs of course are shy and anxious and they don’t enjoy that bustle of activity."
Yamada says the new law doesn’t force restaurants to allow dogs. It sets up guidelines for how they can accommodate you if you bring your dog.
“And it has to follow certain rules of course," explains Yamada. "You can’t have chaos out there in the dining area.”
Yamada says those rules include keeping your animal on a leash or in a pet carrier and not allowing your dog to touch restaurant workers or vice versa.
Under the new law, cities and counties will still be allowed to impose local restrictions on dogs at restaurants.