Are Dogs Allowed In Walmart Stores?


Walmart is one of the largest retailers in the world. The company currently employees over 2 million people and they have over ten thousand store locations in multiple countries.

I don’t think the size of Walmart even surprises their millions of customers anymore but if you are thinking about taking your dog to your local store then you might need to think twice about it.

This guide explains everything that you need to know about the pet policy of Walmart stores and how it applies to the millions of dog owners who are customers of the retailer.

Let’s get started.

Store Name:Walmart
Pet Policy:Not Friendly (only service animals allowed)
Headquarters:Bentonville, Arkansas, United States
Number of Locations:10,526+

Is Walmart Dog Friendly?

Walmart is not a dog friendly store because only dogs that are classified as service animals according to the definition provided by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) are allowed inside their stores. Any pet that is not classified as such will not be allowed to enter inside any of the 10,526 store locations operated by Walmart.

is walmart dog friendly

Walmart guarantees entry to all service dogs as defined by ADA but they still reserve the right to deny entry to any service animal that is behaving dangerously, threatening other customers or damaging store property.

All service animals are encouraged to control the behavior of their dogs and prepare a friendly environment for other customers.

Here are some of Walmart’s requirements for service animals:

  • Service dogs must be securely leashed.
  • No service dogs are allowed inside shopping carts.
  • All service animals must be well behaved.

Walmart Dog Policy

The official pet policy of Walmart is that no dogs are allowed inside their store locations unless they are classified as service animals as defined by ADA. The retailer actually released a statement regarding their policy and here is what they had to say;

Walmart welcomes service animals as defined by the ADA in our stores, and we recognize the important role they play in many of our customers’ lives. We do not allow pets in our stores.

Walmart’s pet policy was adopted in order to maintain hygiene and sanitary standards so customers are encouraged to comply with all requirements. Furthermore, Walmart has to comply with strict health codes of the towns and states that their stores are located.

This makes it a priority for Walmart to enforce their pet policy so they have actually pinned some posters in many of their locations.

walmart dog policy

Here is a quick summary of Walmart’s dog policy:

  • Non service animals are not permitted inside their grocery stores under applicable food safety regulations.
  • Service animals are defined as those that are individually trained to do work or perform tasks for persons with disabilities.
  • Comfort and emotional support animals are not recognized as service animals.

Are Service Dogs Allowed In Walmart?

Yes, service dogs are allowed inside Walmart stores as long as they are leashed and well behaved. Walmart has reiterated their recognition of the important roles that service animals have to play in the lives of their customers so the retailer is dedicated to allowing service dogs into all areas where they normally permit customers.

Walmart employees might ask you some questions when you get to the store with a service dog. Under ADA, institutions like Walmart are allowed to ask if a dog is a service animal required because of a disability and the task that the dog has been trained to perform.

However, the employees or store managers are not allowed to require any documentation for the dog, inquire about the specific nature of a customer’s disability or even require that the dog perform its trained task.

Why Are Ordinary Dogs Not Allowed In Walmart?

Ordinary dogs are not allowed inside Walmart stores because of various food safety regulations. Retailers of groceries and unpackaged food have to maintain hygiene and sanitary standards so they normally don’t allow dogs into all areas where food could be potentially contaminated.

Even service dogs are not allowed inside shopping carts due to risks of food contamination.

Does Walmart Allow Emotional Support Dogs?

does walmart allow emotional support dogs

Emotional support dogs are not allowed inside Walmart stores because they are not recognized as service animals. Any dog that is solely required for the purpose of comfort is not a service animal according to the definition provided by the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Are Dogs Allowed In Walmart Canada?

Walmart Canada does not allow dogs inside their stores. The retailer has released a statement that they only allow service animals that are required because of a disability and any dog or pet that is not classified as such will not be allowed to enter any of their stores.

As a grocery store, Walmart Canada has to comply with strict health and sanitary guidelines like the Safe Food For Canadians Regulations or other similar requirements. This leads to many grocery stores adopting a no pets policy in order to maintain hygiene and sanitary standards.

Store Name: Walmart Canada
Pet Policy:Not Friendly (only service animals allowed)
Headquarters:Mississauga, Canada
Number of Locations:408

Are Dogs Allowed In Walmart California?

Dogs are not allowed inside Walmart stores in California unless they are a service animal as defined by the Americans with Disabilities Act. The California Department of Public Health – Food Safety Program and the California Retail Food Code requires that grocery stores like Walmart maintain strict hygiene and sanitary guidelines so they have to adopt a no pets policy that only allows service dogs inside their stores.

Store Name:Walmart California
Pet Policy:Not Friendly (only service animals allowed)
Number of Locations:320

Are Dogs Allowed In Walmart Florida?

Dogs are also not allowed inside Walmart stores in Florida due to hygiene and sanitary reasons. The only exception is for dogs that are classified as service animals according to the definition provided by ADA. Florida’s Department of Health has a Food Hygiene Inspection Program which has set strict food hygiene standards for grocery stores like Walmart to follow so adopting a no pets policy can actually help them to comply with such regulations.

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