Are Dogs Allowed In Trader Joe’s?


So, you are thinking about taking your dog to a Trader Joe’s store? This guide covers everything that you need to know about the Trader Joe’s pet policy and how it affects you as a dog owner.

Let’s get started.

Store Name:Trader Joe’s
Pet Policy:Not Friendly (only service animals allowed)
Headquarters:Monrovia, California, United States
Number of Locations:540

Is Trader Joe’s Dog Friendly?

is Trader Joe's dog friendly

No. Trader Joe’s is not a dog friendly retailer because they only allow service animals inside their stores. All dogs that are not classified as service animals according to the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) will be denied entry inside any Trader Joe’s store.

This is because grocery stores like Trader Joe’s have to comply with strict food safety regulations and guideline set by the county or state of operation. Allowing dogs into a store that sells groceries or unpackaged food makes it difficult to maintain sanitary and hygiene standards so a no pets policy is usually best for such retailers.

However, even service animals can be kicked out of the store if they are behaving dangerously, disturbing other customer or damaging store property. It is important for service dogs to be well-behaved when inside the store. Trader Joe’s requires that all service dogs be securely leashed and well-behaved when inside their stores.

Trader Joe’s Dog Policy

The official pet policy of Trader Joe’s only allows service animals inside their stores. Any dog that is not regarded as a service animal in accordance to the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) will not be allowed to enter any area where customers are normally permitted.

Although, Trader Joe’s might love pets as a company, they are prohibited by law from allowing dogs inside their stores. Grocery stores and food outlets have to comply with strict food safety regulations of their county or state so adopting a no pets policy actually helps them to comply with such regulations.

Why Does Trader Joe’s Allow Service Dogs?

does Trader Joe's allow dogs

According to the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), a service animal is defined as any dog that has been individually trained to perform tasks or work for an individual with a physical or mental disability. These dogs should perform work and tasks that are directly related to an individual’s disability and such tasks can include pressing an elevator button, retrieving dropped objects, being a guide to a person who is blind and many other things.

The role of service dogs requires them to be with their owners at all times so institutions like Trader Joe’s are required by law to allow all service dogs into all areas where customers are normally permitted.

Some of the areas where service dogs can go into are:

  • Restaurants
  • Shops
  • Hospitals
  • Schools
  • Hotels

However, the Americans with Disabilities Act does not make provision for service dogs to be allowed into certain types of housing like emergency shelters, housing at public and private universities, public housing programs run by state, county, and city governments.

The bottom line is that institutions like Trader Joe’s are required by law to allow service dogs inside their premises.

Why Are Ordinary Dogs Not Allowed In Trader Joe’s?

Ordinary dogs are not allowed inside Trader Joe’s due to strict food safety regulations that the retailer has to comply with. Grocery stores and retailers of unpackaged food are supposed to maintain specific hygiene and sanitary standards set by the county or state of operation so a no pet’s policy helps them to comply with all the regulations and guidelines.

Does Trader Joe’s Allow Emotional Support Dogs?

No. Trader Joe’s does not allow emotional support dogs inside their stores. This is because emotional support dogs are not recognized as service animals according to the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

According to ADA, any dog that is needed for the sole purpose of comfort is not regarded as a service animal. Here is an official statement on emotional support dogs from the ADA National Network;

Emotional support animals, comfort animals, and therapy dogs are not service animals under Title II and Title III of the ADA. Other species of animals, whether wild or domestic, trained or untrained, are not considered service animals either. The work or tasks performed by a service animal must be directly related to the individual’s disability. It does not matter if a person has a note from a doctor that states that the person has a disability and needs to have the animal for emotional support. A doctor’s letter does not turn an animal into a service animal.

The bottom line is that emotional support dogs are not considered to be service animals so they are not allowed into all areas where customers are normally permitted inside a Trader Joe’s store.

So, Can You Bring Dogs Into Trader Joe’s?

No. You can’t bring dogs into a Trader Joe’s store unless the dog is considered to be a service animal according to the Americans with Disabilities Act. Any dog that is not considered to be a service animal will not be allowed inside a Trader Joe’s store due to strict food safety regulations and guideline that the retailer has to comply with.

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