Are Dogs Allowed In Walmart?

As any dog owner knows, our furry friends can be wonderful companions. They give us love, happiness, and loyal companionship. For many of us, they’re family members. That’s why it can be so frustrating when we’re out and about and unable to bring them into businesses or other public places.

One of the best-known places where this is an issue is Walmart. Walmart is the world’s third largest retailer, and as such, they have a strict policy regarding dogs in their stores. So, why does Walmart only permit service dogs? Let’s look closely at the “why” behind this policy.

Are Dogs Permitted In Walmart?

On their corporate website it states the following:

“Walmart welcomes service animals as defined by the ADA in our stores, and we recognize the important role they play in many of our customers’ lives. We do not allow pets in our stores.”

What Is A Service Animal?

If you’re a dog owner, chances are you’ve heard the term “service animal” before. But what does that term actually mean? Simply put, a service animal has been trained to assist a human with a disability.

Service animals are not the same as emotional support animals or therapy dogs. Therapy dogs offer comfort and support to people in nursing homes, hospitals, schools, and other places. Emotional support animals provide companionship and emotional support to their owners but do not receive special training to perform specific tasks.

Service animals are specifically taught to perform tasks their owners cannot do for themselves because of a disability. These tasks can include everything from opening doors and picking up dropped items to providing balance assistance and alerting their owners to the presence of allergens.

To be considered a service animal, a dog must undergo special training that teaches it how to perform specific tasks that assist its owner with a disability. The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) states that service animals are dogs that are trained to assist disabled people. In addition, these tasks must be directly related to their owner’s disability.

Service animals are allowed in public places like restaurants, hotels, stores, boutiques, theaters, sports arenas, and other businesses open to the public—areas where pets are typically not allowed. This is because the ADA requires business owners to make reasonable accommodations for people with disabilities.

Are Service-Dogs-In-Training Allowed In Walmart?

You might have seen a dog in a vest at Walmart and thought to yourself, “Aww, how cute. Someone is training their service dog.” But, unfortunately, you would be wrong.

According to the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), service animals are not considered fully trained until they have been registered and certified by a credible organization. Until then, they are simply dogs in training and are not allowed in Walmart or any other public place.

Are Emotional Support Dogs Allowed In Walmart?

Those furry friends accompany their owners everywhere, from the grocery store to the office. They’re emotional support animals (ESA), and while they make great companions, it turns out that they’re not always welcome in public places. Recently, Walmart made headlines when they announced that ESAs would no longer be permitted in their stores. So let’s take a closer look at why this decision was made and what it means for emotional support animal owners.

What Is An Emotional Support Animal?

An ESA is a pet that offers companionship and emotional support to people with mental or emotional disabilities. Unlike service animals, emotional support animals do not need any special training. In most cases, simply having the animal present is enough to provide some level of comfort and support.

In the case of Walmart, their decision to no longer allow emotional support animals was based on feedback from customers and employees. According to a statement from Walmart, “Customers have expressed concerns about a decline in shopping experience due to increased number of pets in our stores.” In other words, too many emotional support animals were causing disruptions and making it difficult for customers to shop comfortably.

If My Dog Is In A Stroller, Can I Take Them Into Walmart?

The answer, unfortunately, is no. Even if your dog is in a stroller, it is not allowed inside Walmart (or most other stores). Only service animals are allowed inside; even then, they must be leashed or harnessed at all times. So, if you’re planning on doing some shopping with your furry friend, you’ll have to leave them at home or tie them up outside.

What About My Puppy?

The answer is still a resounding no since only service animals are allowed. And the fact is, there is no such thing as a service puppy!

Reasons Walmart Does Not Allow Dogs (Except Service Dogs)

Many people are familiar with the fact that Walmart does not allow dogs in their stores except service dogs. There are several reasons for this policy.

Let’s take a look at why Walmart has this rule in place.

  • The FDA considers animals, including dogs, to be potential disease carriers. When animals are present in food establishments, there is a risk of contamination from their fur or from the waste they may leave behind. In order to prevent the spread of disease, the FDA requires that all food establishments keep animals out of areas where food is prepared, stored, or served.
  • In addition, Walmart also has a strict policy in place regarding store cleanliness. Allowing dogs in the store would increase the amount of hair and dirt that would need to be cleaned on a daily basis. This would not only make it more challenging to keep the store clean, but would also cost Walmart more money in terms of janitorial services.
  • Lastly, many people simply do not feel comfortable around dogs. For some people, dogs can be aggressive or scary; for others, they may have allergies or other medical conditions that could be exacerbated by being near a dog.

For these reasons, Walmart has decided to err on the side of caution and not allow dogs in their stores.


While there are a few reasons why Walmart does not allow dogs in their stores, the main reason is to protect customers from possible contamination and illness. In addition, keeping the store clean and free of animal hair is easier said than done, and many people simply feel more comfortable shopping in a dog-free environment. So next time you’re tempted to bring your dog into Walmart with you, remember that it’s not just for Fido’s safety—it’s for everyone’s safety!

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