Costco is a wonderland for humans, and it’s no surprise that many people want to bring their dogs along for the ride. However, you might be wondering, are dogs allowed in Costco? The answer is yes, but there are some policies involved.
Dogs are allowed in Costco as long as they are on a leash and under the control of their owners. Additionally, only service animals are allowed inside the store due to health codes regarding food handling.
So, if you’re looking to do some grocery shopping with your pup by your side, you’ll, unfortunately, have to leave them at home. Fortunately, there are plenty of other dog-friendly places to take them!
Only Service Animals Are Allowed
The main reason for this policy is that Costco sells groceries and wants to avoid contamination. For example, if a non-service animal urinated or defecated in the store, it could contaminate the food and pose a health hazard. In addition, many people are allergic to animals, and allowing them into the store would make it difficult for those people to shop there.
Another reason for the policy is that Costco is a membership-only club that wants to keep its members happy. Allowing non-service animals into the store would be a courtesy to pet owners, but it would not be fair to the majority of members who do not own pets.
Can Staff Ask Questions About A Customer’s Service Animal?
Yes. Staff can ask two questions:
- Is the dog a service animal required because of a disability?
- What task has the dog been trained to perform?
Employees cannot inquire about the nature or extent of an individual’s disability. Allowing service animals into a store can be a great way to accommodate customers with disabilities. The ADA requires that businesses provide reasonable accommodations for individuals with disabilities, including service animals.
If you’re planning on bringing your service animal into Costco, be prepared to answer these questions from employees. It’s also a good idea to have documentation or identification for your service animal, such as a vest or ID card. This will help staff to make the correct decisions.
Store Policy Varies From Store To Store
When it comes to store policies regarding non-service dogs, different Costco stores have different rules. In some cases, store employees will allow non-service dogs inside as long as the dog is well-behaved and the owner keeps the dog on a leash. However, other stores are less lenient and do not allow any dogs inside, except for service dogs.
If you’re planning on bringing your non-service dog to Costco, it’s best to call ahead and ask the store what their policy is. That way, you can avoid any potential embarrassment or problems. Most Costco stores are willing to accommodate well-behaved dogs as long as their owners are mindful of other shoppers and keep them under control.
What About Therapy Dogs?
You might see a dog in a grocery store wearing a vest that says “service dog.” You might also see a dog in a hospital lobby wearing a vest that says “therapy dog.” But what are the differences between these two kinds of dogs?
Service dogs are specifically trained to perform certain tasks for their disabled owners. These tasks can be anything from opening the door to ensuring their owner doesn’t lose their balance. To be recognized as a service dog, the dog must be trained to perform specific tasks that alleviate its owner’s disability.
Therapy dogs, on the other hand, are not trained in this manner. Instead, they provide emotional support and comfort to people in nursing homes, hospitals, schools, and natural disaster areas. While therapy dogs are not allowed in public places like restaurants and stores, they are often seen in settings such as airports and hospitals.
Service Dog Handler Responsibilities
First and foremost, it is important to know that service dogs are not considered pets but are working animals. Store employees and other shoppers may not be familiar with the difference, so it is up to the handler to educate them.
If someone asks about your dog or tries to pet him without permission, politely explain that he is working and not to be distracted. It is also essential to keep your dog under control at all times; service dogs should be calm and focused while in public places.
Costco has a few specific policies regarding service dogs which you can find here. In short, service dogs are allowed in the store as long as they are leashed and under the control of their handler. They must be responsible for cleaning up after their dog if he makes any messes while in the store.
Finally, remember that not everyone may be comfortable around dogs, even service animals. So be considerate of other shoppers and keep your dog away from anyone who appears uneasy. If possible, shop during less busy times so you won’t have to worry about navigating crowded aisleways with your dog.
Before you head out with your dog, make sure you know whether the businesses you’ll be visiting are pet-friendly. There’s nothing worse than being turned away at the door because you didn’t know ahead of time that your four-legged friend wasn’t welcome. So save yourself the trouble and do some research before you go!