Does Walmart Allow Dogs? (2022 Updated)


Suburban Walmart Sign


Many people consider their pets as part of their family and like to spend as much time with them as possible.

This often means taking your pet everywhere and expecting to be allowed to enter various establishments.

Some stores welcome pets and are known for being pet-friendly, but others do not allow any animals or only allow service dogs to enter.

Before you try to travel with your pet or go to a location, make sure you are familiar with their pet policy.


Does Walmart Allow Dogs?

Man with a dog on his hands


A non-service dog is not allowed access to Walmart stores according to official policy.

Walmart offers its policy on its website as well as at its entrances.

Walmart cites food safety concerns as the reason for not accepting non-service animals.

Service dogs are defined by the company according to the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) standards.

Dogs in this category are critical to individuals with disabilities, including those with hearing or visual impairments, anxiety, mental health issues, post-traumatic stress disorder, and mobility challenges.

The size of a service dog varies depending on what the individual requires.

Service dogs are trained and certified before they are allowed to work.

A service animal, on the other hand, is one that offers comfort and emotional support.

Local health authorities can be notified if shoppers see untrained pets in food stores.

Each state has its own regulations governing food safety.


What Are Service Dogs?

Man with disability and service dog


Just as therapy dogs help people with disabilities, service dogs assist people with disabilities as well.

People suffering from mental illness, social anxiety disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, or mobility issues require the assistance of a service dog.

Depending on the circumstances, there are a variety of service dogs, ranging from large dogs to small ones.

Dogs receive certificates after undergoing special training.

The dogs must also learn some other special commands that will ensure good behavior.

People with diabetes can train dogs to detect subtle changes in blood sugar levels.

Some dogs can help the blind cross the street and go up and down stairs.


What Types Of Service Dogs Are Allowed In Walmart?

Dog training


Customers can bring their service dogs into Walmart stores.

Licensed service dogs that assist individuals with disabilities or medical conditions fall under this category.

There are several types of service dogs:


1. Regular Service Dogs

Guide dog is helping a blind man


Dogs that assist their owners with handicaps are the most common type of service dogs.

Blind people, deaf or hard of hearing people, people with mobility issues, or people who need assistance navigating certain areas are allowed to have dogs accompany them.

As part of their training, these dogs provide their owners with help in any manner necessary to enable them to live independently and safely.


2. Medical Alert Dogs

Girl in wheelchair with service dog indoors


A medical alert dog is a dog that accompanies or protects a person with a medical condition.

Some dogs can detect when someone is going to faint, their glucose levels are dropping, or when they may have a stroke.

Additionally, these dogs can warn people who are near their owners so that help can be summoned if something is wrong.


Do Walmart Stores Allow Pets In Strollers?

dog in stroller


Depending on the store manager’s discretion, this policy may be applied in certain stores.

There may, however, be complaints or reports regarding the presence of non-service animals in an outlet.

ADA rules do not define service categories that a store manager may allow people to bring in animals that provide emotional support.

You might want to call your local Walmart manager to confirm the company policy or to avoid disappointment.

According to the Walmart official dog policy, non-service animals will not be allowed in the store, regardless of their age, their emotional support role, or whether their stroller is in the store.

This means that puppies cannot accompany you to Walmart.

Walmart’s policy still does not allow pets, despite some retailers welcoming pets in strollers.

Some people consider strollers to be a viable solution for reducing the risk of food contamination.

Despite this, some experts believe contamination could still occur, and allergy sufferers may have adverse reactions.


Why Aren’t Pets Allowed In Walmart?



There are many reasons Walmart will not allow pets to enter the store.

Service dogs are only allowed because they are necessary for customers to have a safe shopping experience.

Here are a few of the reasons pets are not allowed in Walmart stores.


1. Sanitation

The stores can’t allow dogs because they are messy and unsanitary.

The store will be unable to clean up after too many pets if it does not have the manpower.

It can be difficult to clean up pet slobber, shedding, sneezes, and urination throughout the store.

In order to make sure their stores are as sanitary as possible, stores have to take a lot of measures.

There are food hygiene and protection concerns at Walmart, which is why dogs, cats, and birds are not allowed.

As part of the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) code of regulations, pets are not permitted in places that prepare food, such as grocery stores and restaurants, out of concern for contamination.


2. Toilet Issues

Dogs can get overly excited and use the bathroom in a store even when they are potty trained at home.

Most stores do not want to clean up after dogs.

This type of operation is dangerous as well as unhygienic.

A person could slip and fall on the mess on the floor if they don’t see it.

It is also possible for items falling off the shelves and racks to end up in dog poop or pee.

It spreads to other parts of the store as more and more people and things pass through it.

A bad smell and a bad appearance can also result.

People may not want to shop at an establishment that has dog poop and pee on the floor, so it won’t attract customers.


3. Property Damage

It is not uncommon for dogs to chew on objects to see what they are or to learn more about them.

Some pets are simply playful and rambunctious.

In stores, these behaviors are not acceptable because dogs at home are fine with them.

There is no need to worry about your dog chewing on the merchandise in a store.

They can even paw or chew at the carpeting and flooring.

There isn’t much point in allowing dogs inside a store since they are likely to cause a lot of damage.


4. Aggressive Behavior

Most stores allow service dogs, and while they are typically trained to behave properly, not every dog has the same training.

To assist their owners, service dogs must be able to navigate a store easily.

Service dogs might not be able to perform their duties if other dogs are poorly trained and aggressive towards them, which could be problematic for their owners and other people in the store.


5. Makes Shoppers Uncomfortable

Some people fear dogs.

Shoppers who are afraid of dogs can have a difficult time shopping and enjoying their shopping trip.

Many people will not go into a store if they know dogs are present, and some people may not enjoy being around dogs.

Dogs and other animals are not welcome in most stores, so they simply prohibit them from being inside a business, ensuring that all customers feel safe shopping there.


Do Service Dogs Have To Be On A Leash In Walmart?

Las Vegas - Circa July 2017: Walmart Retail Location


Whenever a service dog is inside a Walmart, it has to be on a leash.

A leash is required at all times.

While the dog is in the store, the owner must also control it properly.

A well-behaved dog should not be able to approach people, must be properly trained, and cannot approach people.


Are Dogs Allowed In Walmart If They Stay Out Of The Grocery Area?

Rows with products in Walmart


In many stores, dogs are not permitted since they would like to keep them away from food areas.

It isn’t possible to build a barrier to keep dogs from getting into the food aisles, so they simply do not allow dogs.

The same is true for Walmart.

There is a grocery section at Walmart, and dogs are not allowed in that area, as it may cause health hazards.

Walmart does not allow pets or dogs other than service dogs, even if you do not intend to take your dog to the grocery section.


Do You Have To Show Service Dog Papers At Walmart?

People going in and coming out of a Walmart store on a sunny day, south San Francisco bay area


A Walmart employee (or any store employee, for that matter) never needs to see proof of your dog’s ownership.

Anyone asking you to prove you are disabled or need a service dog is violating the law.

Your dog will not be questioned by Walmart employees due to this training.

Walmart employees do not require you to provide proof that your dog is a service dog.

If you know your rights, ask the manager to speak with you.

Applicants may not be asked to provide proof of their dog’s status as a service dog.

There is no need for the business to request paperwork or proof even if your dog is not wearing a collar or vest.

You don’t need to carry your service dog’s information everywhere you go.

Business owners are permitted to ask the following questions:

  • Is your dog a service dog?
  • What duties does your dog perform?


No further questions may be asked.

They cannot inquire about your medical condition or disability.

Depending on what they ask for, you can provide more detailed information.

Answering beyond those two questions is not required.

You can take legal action if the business continues to harass you about your paperwork.

American businesses are required to comply with ADA laws.

Those who do not comply can be sued, fined, and penalized.

In general, be wary of businesses that ask to see documentation after you’ve confirmed that your pet is a service animal.


Are Emotional Support Animals Allowed At Walmart?

thinking woman


Many people consider emotional support animals to be service animals.

Their service aims to provide comfort and calmness to those who suffer from a variety of issues such as anxiety or PTSD.

Walmart does not consider emotional support animals service animals, while some stores and businesses do.

Therapy dogs and emotional support dogs are not permitted in Walmart stores.

Some stores do allow emotional support animals inside with customers or may even consider them to be service dogs.

However, this is not the case for Walmart and if you bring your pet into a Walmart store and claim it is an emotional support animal, you may be asked to leave.

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