Are Dogs Allowed In Starbucks?


Coffee and dogs. Two things to keep an American calm.

I can only imagine how awesome it could be to take your dog to the nearest Starbucks on your coffee run every morning.

Many people would definitely love that and today I am going to be answering some important questions around that subject.

Are dogs allowed at Starbucks? Is Starbucks dog friendly? What is their overall pet policy.

Let`s dive in.

Is Starbucks Dog Friendly?

is starbucks dog friendly
image source: glamour.com

Dogs are not technically allowed inside Starbucks stores so we can conclude that the coffee giant is not dog friendly. Starbucks only allow service animals inside their stores.

Starbucks Division senior vice president, Joe Thornton has shared some light on the brand`s service animal policy. He said that…

Starbucks always welcomes service animals to our stores, and we want every customer who spends time in our stores to enjoy their visit. 

-Joe Thornton ( Starbucks Division Senior Vice President)

However, many people have shared experiences where they have been allowed to enter inside a Starbucks store with their dogs despite not being recognized as service animals.

So you might be allowed to get your coffee in the company of your pooch depending on the unique situation of your local Starbucks but the brand`s overall policy states that they only allow service animals.

You should enquire with your local Starbucks just in case you get lucky.

Why Are Service Dogs Allowed Inside Starbucks?

Service animals play a very crucial role in the lives of the disabled. They are trained to perform tasks for a person with a disability.

A very good example is when a service animal is trained to alert a person with diabetes when their sugar levels are high or low.

The Americans with Disabilities Act defines a service animal as a dog that has been individually trained to do work or perform tasks for an individual with a disability and requires retail stores to allow customers to do their shopping in the company of a service dog.

Other animals are not regarded as service animals according to the definition provided by ADA so you have a high probability of being turned away if you come with say a cat rather than a dog.

ADA also give room for companies to legally ask two questions when you want to enter their premises with a dog. The questions are:

  1. Is the dog a service animal and required because of a disability?
  2. What work or task has the dog been trained to perform?

Companies are not legally required to request any documentation for the dog, require that the dog demonstrate its task, or inquire about the nature of the person’s disability.

Why Starbucks Does Not Allow Ordinary Dogs

Starbucks is in the food business so they operate under strict health and sanitary guidelines.

Allowing all their customers to enter the store with dogs can be a sanitary risk. Dogs can leave excrement inside the store and do many other things that threaten Starbucks` commitment to sanitation.

Another point to note is that 1-15% of people in the United States are allergic to dogs so public areas like Starbucks have a huge responsibility for protecting such people.

Starbucks Pet Policy

Starbucks have what can be considered to be a very strict pet policy since they only allow service animals inside their store premises.

The American with Disabilities Act defines a service animal as a dog individually trained to perform tasks for a person with a disability so other animals have no chance of entering a Starbucks store according to their pet policy.

Senior executives at Starbucks have repeatedly mentioned their commitment to teaching employees on the company`s service animal policy. If your dog is considered to be a service animal you can freely enter inside a Starbucks store.

We will continue these efforts to engage with our partners on this topic to ensure they are educated on our policy and that our customers’ experiences exceed their expectations and are reflective of our mission and core values.

Joe Thornton ( Starbucks Division Senior Vice President)

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This site does not constitute pet medical advice, please consult a licensed veterinarian in your area for pet medical advice.