Open doors for our four-legged friends. Fipe introduces the “pet friendly” revolution

After hotels and beaches, soon even bars and restaurants will be able to welcome our four-legged friends. The good news was launched by Fipe Confcommercio (Italian Federation of Public Establishments [General Commerce Confederation]), which had already announced it at Host 2013. Therefore, as of today, dogs accompanied by their owners and provided with leash and muzzle will have open doors to public establishments. No more no entry signs at the entrance of shops and public places. Details of the regulations are included in the Guide to Good Practice for the Restaurant Industry, Gastronomy and Pastry-making actually edited by the Italian Federation of Public Establishments. For more information, we interviewed Marcello Fiore, managing director of Fipe.

Why did Italy comply so late with this rule, considering that it has been in force since 2004 in the other countries?

Actually, there is no obligation to comply with a particular rule. Fipe drafted its own Guide to good practice based on the disposition of the regulation EC No 852/2004 on the hygiene of foodstuffs and the guideline of the Department of Health issued in 2011.

Is there a size limit for dogs?

No. There is no size limit. However, there is common sense of the owners as well as the shopkeepers.

Will it be compulsory for the storekeeper to let domestic animals in, even if not favourable?

The storekeepers can decide whether to welcome the four-legged dogs or not, enlarging the clientele of their business, but local health units and the Commune won’t be able to forbid their entrance for hygienic-health care issues, while as for guide dogs, holders of public establishments still have to let them in even without muzzle, otherwise large penalties apply.

Will free entrance of our four-legged friends in public places represent a double-edged sword for storekeepers? Some disapproving customers could avoid the place in question in the presence of animals in the room.

Free choice applies for both the shopkeeper and customer. You have to take into account that more than seven million Italian families own a registered dog and will undoubtedly choose a place that can welcome also animals. Therefore, it will definitely be an additional value for public places. However, even in this case the common sense rule applies.

How can the places equip themselves to make the place welcome even for dogs?

If the shopkeeper allows their entrance, it will be more convenient to put bowls and equipment inside the place. This service is useful and will be appreciated by the dogs as well as their owners.

Marcello Fiore,  managing director of Fipe

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