Most grocery stores are not dog-friendly or pet-friendly since they are required to follow federal and local regulations concerning food safety.
We investigated the pet policies of the largest national and regional grocery store chains and found that all of them only allow service animals.
During our research, several corporate customer service representatives and store associates cited the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Food Code, in addition to state and local regulations, when asked why they don’t allow dogs and other pets.
The FDA Food Code states that because animals may carry pathogens transmissible through food, animals other than service animals should be prohibited in businesses that sell or serve food.
While we weren’t able to find any grocery stores that allow dogs and pets, some stores like Whole Foods Market allow dogs on their patios — just not in stores.
If there is a local grocery store near you that allows pets, be sure your pet is well-behaved and is kept on a leash. And, as a courtesy to others, you should not put the animal in a shopping cart.
Keep in mind, most store policies require service dogs to be leashed or harnessed while in stores.
Grocery Stores That Don’t Allow Dogs or Pets
We contacted the following grocery store chains and found that their official pet policies only allow service animals.
Since stores are not allowed to require documentation of a customer’s disability or the animal’s service registration, it can be hard to enforce a “service-animal only” policy.
Customers of many of the grocery store chains listed below have reported seeing animals (in particular, dogs) in stores. This does not, however, mean that dogs are allowed in stores.
- BJ’s Wholesale Club
- Food Lion
- Giant Eagle
- Giant Food
- Harris Teeter
- Piggly Wiggly
- Sam’s Club
- Stop & Shop
- Trader Joe’s
- Whole Foods Market
- WinCo Foods