Are Dogs Allowed in Walmart?: People feel more comfortable shopping with their pet at the store; they have become so emotionally bonded with their pet that they take their pet along everywhere they visit or shop.
It is not absurd to walk into a store and find a visitor with a pet in the cart, stroller, or on a leash.
It has become so normal that people seem to forget that some stores have a “no pet” policy and restrict visitors from entering with their pet.
This article encompasses all FAQs about Walmart’s pet policy and gives a guide on what to do before shopping with your service dog.
What is Walmart’s pet policy?
Walmart stores operate a “no pet” policy in accordance with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Code.
Here is what the code says:
“practical, science-based guidance, and enforceable provisions for mitigating risk factors known to cause foodborne illness and a model code and reference document for state, city, country, and tribal agencies that regulate restaurants, retail food stores, vending operations, and food service operations in institutions such as schools, hospitals, nursing homes, and child care centers.”
Read more about the pet policy code
Are Dogs Allowed In Walmart Stores?
By any chance, Walmart does not allow dogs into its store because it operates on a “no pet policy.”
But there are some exceptions to the “no pets” rule that mean Walmart might let dogs in if they are service dogs that help people with disabilities do certain things.
Why Does Walmart Restrict Pets From Its Stores?
Walmart has a policy that says “no pets,” which is in line with the FDA code and is meant to keep food safe.
But Walmart stores give special treatment to service dogs that have been legally cleared by the FDA to do certain tasks for their disabled owners.
In another perspective, Walmart’s no pet policy hinges on the obvious fact that;
- Some customers may be scared of dogs.
- Some dogs may be infected with fleas and ticks, which can contaminate food.
- Some customers may have a strong allergy to dog odor, which can trigger a health attack.
- Dogs can be quite messy, especially if they need to poop and pee
- Some dogs cannot be properly classified and may cause direct harm to customers if let loose.
The presence of dogs in stores can scare other customers who have a strong phobia for dogs.
Read Also: Is Overnight Parking At Walmart Allowed?
What are service dogs?
Service dogs, as defined by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), are dogs that are individually trained to work or perform tasks for their owners with disabilities.
The service dog must do something that is directly related to the person’s disability.
People with service dogs are allowed to train their dogs by themselves so as to create that unique bond and connection with the dog.
Service animals help a lot of people with disabilities do everything they want to do in their daily lives.
Specific task(s) carried out by service dogs include;
- provides stability for its owners who have difficulty in walking.
- Helps its owner on a wheelchair to pick up items from stores.
- Detects an epileptic seizure, asthmatic attack, or an increase in blood pressure of its owner.
- Prevents its owner with autism from wandering away.
- Alerts its owner with hearing loss when a person or vehicle is approaching.
- Helps detect anxiety attacks and other related health casualties.
- Helps the visually impaired to cross the road and go up and down the stairs.
- Allergen detectors.
- Psychiatric support.
- Diabetic insulin monitoring.
Service dogs help their owners stay safe in cases like the above.
Does Walmart Allow Emotional Support Pets Into Its Store?
Walmart does not allow emotional support pets into its stores.
Service animals are the only ones that are allowed in Walmart stores because they are a medical necessity and help people with disabilities.
Emotional support Pets aren’t properly trained to do specific tasks; they just make their owners feel better by being around them.
However, emotional support pets cannot qualify as service animals.
How can a Walmart store attendant differentiate service animals from regular pets?
A Walmart store attendant can find out if an animal is a service animal by simply asking.
He or she can further ask what task the dog is trained to perform to be entirely certain.
But this kind of helper can’t ask for proof of the person’s disability or ask what kind of disability it is, nor can he or she demand that the dog show how it does its job.
Service dogs don’t wear vests or carry tags that say they are service animals, so it can be hard to tell them apart from regular pets.
So, it will be important to ask nicely if the animal is a service animal or just a pet, so as not to hurt the feelings of the person with a disability.
Can Walmart allow more than one service dog into its store?
Yes, Walmart can allow more than one service dog into its store.
Individuals with more than one disability can use two service animals to perform different tasks.
In situations where an individual has a visual disability and a seizure disorder, two service dogs would be needed: one to help him detect a seizure attack and keep him safe during such episodes, while the other will help him or her wayfind within the store as well as pick up items depending on the nature of the task it is trained to handle.
Does Walmart Allow Service Dogs Undergoing Training Into Its Stores?
Service dogs undergoing training are not allowed into Walmart stores.
Walmart stores are only open to people with fully trained service dogs who need them for medical reasons.
Can my pet pass as a service dog?
A service dog carries out a specific task for its handler with disabilities.
If you do not have any disabilities, then you do not need a service dog but a pet.
So the answer to that question is no, your pet cannot pass as a service dog because it has zero training and does not carry out medically inclined tasks for people with disabilities.
A pet can only be a service dog if you train it to do something medically related to help you do something you can’t do by yourself because of a disability.
What Rules Guide Service Dogs in Walmart Stores?
You must make sure that your service dog is trained well enough to follow your every command and not bother other people in the store.
The FDA code gives special preferences to service dogs, but there are some exceptions where a store attendant is permitted to ask you to leave with your service dog.
Here are the things that a service dog should do and should not do in public;
What Service Dogs Should Not Do in Walmart Stores
- A service dog should not whirl around visitors or bark at visitors at the store.
- A service dog should not mess up a store with its poop or pee.
- A service dog should not be out of control, but should obey cues given by its owner.
- A service dog should not pick food or objects from the floor, and should not steal.
- A service dog should not whine, grumble, growl or bark inappropriately, except if it is an alert to notify a handler who is experiencing a seizure.
- A service dog should not sniff staff, floor, tables, counters, products or surfaces unless it is carrying out a specific task of detecting allergen or substances dangerous to their handlers.
- A service dog should not stink or appear unkempt.
- A service dog must not be unruly, enraged, agitated, anxious, or aggressive.
- A service dog must not engage with other dogs, people, or children, or in any form constitute distress.
A service dog must not wander off from its handler or drag its handler for any reason.
As much as the FDA code gives special preferences to service dogs, there are exceptions. The U.S. Code of Federal Regulations, which states that;
A public accommodation may ask an individual with a disability to remove a service animal from the premises if:
(i) The animal is out of control and the animal’s handler does not take effective action to control it; or
(ii) The animal is not housebroken.
(3) If an animal is properly excluded If a public accommodation properly excludes a service animal, it shall give the individual with a disability the opportunity to obtain goods, services, and accommodations without having the service animal on the premises.
What Service Dogs Should Do in Walmart’s Stores
- Be able to carry out tasks relatable to its owner’s disabilities.
- Respond quickly and readily to its owner’s command, cues, and directions.
- Keep it’s nose to itself at all times and not get distracted with food or other interesting objects.
- Appear professional, well groomed and well taken care of.
- Be quiet and not constitute a nuisance, except in cases it wants to alert people to its handler’s distress.
- Focus on its handler at all times.
What Do I Do With My Pet At Walmart?
The best thing to do when coming to shop at Walmart is to leave your dogs at home in the care of another person.
The reason is that bringing the dogs to the store might endanger them by tying them outside the store premises.
Sometimes going shopping can take a long time, and sometimes bad weather can make your dog feel bad, which can be bad for its mental health.
Nevertheless, if you are caught up with your dog and find the need to shop at Walmart, kindly tie your dogs somewhere presumably safe and do not take a long time to shop.
Ordinary dogs or pets are not allowed in Walmart stores. The only dogs that are allowed are certified service dogs that support their owners with disabilities based on ADA rules.
Even emotional support dogs are not allowed in Walmart stores because they do not count as service dogs.
If you want to shop at Walmart, it is best to leave your dogs at home or in the care of a trusted individual. That way, you can have a pleasurable shopping experience.
Although if you bring your dog to the store, either intentionally or not, just tie it up somewhere safe and nice and make your shopping brief.