Short Answer: Grocery stores are generally not dog-friendly or pet-friendly due to local regulations and FDA guidelines regarding food safety. All of the national and regional grocery store chains we contacted — including Albertsons, ALDI, Costco, Kroger, Publix, and Whole Foods Market — only allow service animals. For more details, see below.
Are There Dog-Friendly Grocery Stores Near Me?
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 Do Not 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
- Walmart (as previously reported)
- Whole Foods Market
- WinCo Foods
We were unable to find any dog-friendly or pet-friendly grocery stores after contacting more than 20 national and regional supermarket chains. Grocery stores are generally not pet-friendly because animals pose a health risk where food is sold and served. However, grocery stores do allow service animals and cannot ask for documentation. If your local grocery store does allow pets, it’s best to keep the animal on a leash and out of the shopping carts.