How To Not Get Kicked Out: Are Dogs Allowed In Walmart?

If you’re a pet lover, you would know how exciting it is to be able to bring your pet with you while shopping. However, there are some stores that do not allow big pets inside the store such as big dogs. Unless they are “service dogs”.

As for today’s article we will be answering the question: are dogs allowed in Walmart? Stay tuned to find out! Major retail stores such as Macy’s, Walmart, Costco and Barnes & Noble among all others are some of the most common destinations where taking pets seem to be a good idea, after all.


What Are Service Dogs And Why Are They Allowed?

  • There has been this issue recently that dogs will only be allowed inside stores/malls if they are service dogs. Service dogs are similar to therapy dogs. They are specifically trained and meant to be of help to people with disabilities.​
  • People with visual and/or hearing impairments, mobility problems, mental illnesses or even those with post traumatic stress disorder (or PTSD) are usually the ones assisted by these service dogs. However, there are still different types of service dogs and ways to get your furry friend certified as a service dog.

How Do I Get A “Service Dog Certificate” For My Dog?​


Getting your dog certified as a service dog can be one of the most fulfilling experience if you’re a dog lover and owner. However, it might not be as easy as getting your puppy registered online.So, if you are ready to take this process, here are several things you need to know first.

Before anything else, you have to get his/her health, age and personality. (Tip: Before getting your dog checked, knowing how to keep your dog clean is a good start). This will determine if your dog is fit to be a service dog.

If your dog passes, you can now train him/her to learn the most basic commands such as sit, heel and fetch/run. However, for the more intricate tasks such as proofing and tasking, you might need a professional trainer.

If you feel like your dog is ready, you can already get him/her tested for their skills. Then finally, if your dog has passed the test, you can get him/her registered and equipped before finding a person who’s in need of a service dog.​

​But the best part is? That person can be you. Getting your dog might seem like a long process. But it is a surefire way to strengthen your bond with your dog.

So, Are Ordinary Dogs Allowed In Walmart?


Now, back to the real question. Are dogs allowed in Walmart?

So to answer this question: technically, yes, they are allowed. However, only if they are service dogs. They won’t ask you of any certifications if your dog is a service dog. But keep in mind, that it might not be the same for all Walmart branches. Some store managers carry out different policies.

There are a lot of experiences as well that you can read online testifying to this. For a few weeks you might find that you can bring your dog as smoothly. But the week after (with a different greeter), you and your furry friend might find yourselves kicked out.


For short, sometimes it isn’t even consistent.

Before bringing your dog, It would be best to call the store first and confirm if the branch you will be going to allows dogs. Unfortunately though, some people get away with this rule by claiming that their dog is a service dog even if the dog isn’t.

That is also the reason why technically speaking, Walmart allows dogs (service or not) into their stores. This idea, however, is not something we are promoting.

Although there are no heavy sanctions from malls for bringing pets (other than getting kicked out or not being allowed inside), it is best to play by the rules. There are reasons as to why our dear pooches aren’t allowed into a lot of stores (especially those that sell food).

At The End Of The Day...

If your branch doesn’t allow pets inside, just remember that Walmart won’t be the only place where you can bring your dog. There are also a lot of other pet-friendly stores out there, probably within your vicinity as well.

Do not feel too bad if your dog has missed a shopping day with you. Aside from sanitary purposes, stores have their reasons for not allowing pets inside. Especially dogs who aren’t service dogs. It is best not to take things like these personally. At the end of the day, you and your dog can bond in more ways than shopping.

Roy Jr.

Click Here to Leave a Comment Below 13 comments
Laura - January 23, 2018

To qualify for a service dog you MUST be disabled. It is the handler that has federal protections, not the dog.

Also, in the US, there is no certification required. You dog must be trained with actual tasks that you cannot do for yourself due to the disibility. They must have the right temperament and training.

Please, as a disabled handler, do not abuse the system. We NEED our dogs to have a functioning life. People that bring in untrained pets, fake certificates/IDs used to get into stores harms us.

The ada.gov site is a great place to learn about service dogs, who they are for and the federal protections granted to handlers

    kate - June 8, 2018

    I was just at Walmart; a lady had a dog. It was clearing a companion dog; the dog helped in no way.

    What about ticks? What about people tripping over these smaller dogs? This is a common problem for people with balance issues.
    What about allergies?

      Frank - October 30, 2018

      Allergies to animals and fear of dogs is not a reason to keep a service animal out of a public place. Emotional Support animals are not Service Animals, a certified Service Dog is a good way to tell a fake. If you paid for an ID then you were scammed or you’re a fraud. Little dogs, toy breeds are usually fake unless they are in a baby chest bag close to handlers face.

        dylan - December 5, 2018

        hey frank! you’re right, but i am actually a handler of a small service dog. Just due to the fact that my house is very small and isnt big enough for a larger breed. My small service dog goes to school and work with me every day! her work ability and her being a legit service dog is not defined by her size. So please remember not to judge a SD by their size and not to jump to conclusions based on size.:)

Rishu - February 23, 2018

Even if the the person says their pets a service dog
1. Only dogs and miniature horses can be a service animal, otherwise it’s emotional support which are allowed in no pet housing but not in no pet stores
2. If the dog isn’t focused on the human, not a service dog, if it’s barking, not a service dog, if it’s pulling on the leash/not right next to them, not a service dog
3. It’s a crime to, reject service dogs into PUBLIC places, and it’s a crime to fake a service animal

    bill - March 13, 2018

    these people are a joke and so are the dogs .They will cause a problem for people who need help. I love dogs but I respect the rights of other people. I leave my dog at home or I take it for a walk while my wife shops.

    Frank - October 30, 2018

    Miniature Horses are only allowed in California. They are not allowed by the ADA. there could be a be other states also that allow.

bill - March 13, 2018

I have been in Walmart in no. windham me seen dogs pee & poop on the floor and the owner just walk off and the maintenance person has to clean up the mess. . This is not right there is open food it is wrong.

Ron - November 1, 2018

Dogs in stores not a good idea. Manges, rabies, ticks, fleas. Licks their private parts then licks the dairy and meat produce. Constantly shedding. Will they bite you if too close to the owner? Sure they say my dog does not bite or has rabies or fleas or- my favorite this is mt “emotional support dog” maybe so, but their presence with “Fluffy” enables all people to bring their dogs. Dogs are not humans. They could try to be more considerate.

Stacey - November 11, 2018

Service dogs are very important to people who need them I have a service dog and I need different kinds of service dogs are those who military personnel need greatly not just for something they can do physically for them but also because of PTSD their emotional service dogs most dogs that I know that are service dogs are well trained mind were trained at the cost of three to four thousand dollars mine are very well trained. but there’s also people to never leave their house without a companion dog for anxiety I don’t think other people need to be tolerant of it if you had a disability that mean in a dog you would want to have one too so just because you don’t like them or you feel that the abuses that use the system I’m making it harder for those who need them but that’s a different story. I asked everyone to be patient and to realize unless you’re that person you don’t know what kind of day they’re having what kind of like to have and why they need their dog yes you’re going to see very few people abuse the system they’re always there they always happen they always will be but remember those who need their pet even a companion dog which helps with anxiety and are not certified helps you get out of the house thank you

Jade - November 23, 2018

Your article stating service dogs are similar to therapy dogs is one big lie.
You have zero respect for disabled people.
I have had niw 3 service dogs in over 30 yrs of disability the. Total lack of respect for disabled has gone away with pervert generations
If you force your non service dog into a area where

service dog is working your breaking fed laws and state laws by interfere


h service dogs
That means your a dam criminal and you belong in jail or mental hosp immed. America is in big trouble. The china army will eat your dogs cause your mental.

valerie - December 13, 2018

Hello. I have a BS degree in Rehabilitation. The Americans With Disabilities Act IS a LAW. A Service Dog is legally allowed to go any where a person can go as long as either is not causing a disturbance. In regards to stores such as super Walmart and grocery stores that serve food, most of the comments here are silly. Dogs do not climb into the meat departments and lick food. Almost hilarious to read that. If the person has a service dog, large or small, it is a trained dog for care of it’s owner. If a person has a small dog within a purse/carrier, whether service dog or not, what difference does it really make to anyone? The answer, NONE. If the store is not going to allow dogs, they should not allow children or dirty people. Children sneezing on the food, screaming and hollering and spitting and kicking and carrying on like a raging rabies animal. What about adults? Adults cough and sneeze on the food. Adults walk in after going to the restroom, dirty hands, handling food items. Lets get real here folks. Can we truly be honest and reasonable? As long as a dog, is small and in a carrier and cannot get to food, that should be fine. As long as a dog being large, is muzzled that should be fine. In todays world we have become educated on what animals can do. Animals protect us in many cases. Animals go to war for us. Animals have attacked criminals, robbers, and yes even protected people in stores. Please use some common sense. By the way, no one is going to lose their rights to have a service dog in public places no matter what someone else says or does.


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