Walmart is a retail giant that provides a fun shopping experience for customers worldwide. With a global scale of over 11,500 stores, Walmart is arguably the world’s biggest retail store. With so many stores, if got us wondering whether or not dogs were allowed in Walmart?
We quickly learned that Walmart has a no pet policy for all its stores. The Company gives exemptions for service dogs for people with disabilities. The Company’s dog policy seeks to maintain health and safety regulations while providing equal service to people with disabilities.
Walmart aims to offer a wholesome experience to both able and disabled customers by applying policies that meet sanitary and safety guidelines while embracing the needs of all shoppers.
Does Walmart Allow Dogs?
Walmart does not allow dogs in its stores. The Company only allows service dogs for people with disabilities. While Walmart recognizes that your dog plays an important role in your life, the Company applies a strict no pet policy. The no pet policy can be because of several health and safety reasons.
The safety reasons might include:
- Dogs can attack customers if allowed inside the premises
- Dogs can scare customers or make them uncomfortable
- Dogs can make a mess
- Dogs can destroy items on the shelves
Health reasons might include:
- Dogs can cause some customers to suffer allergic reactions
- Some dogs can contaminate food
- Some dogs can be unsanitary and spread fleas and ticks
Are Service Dogs Allowed in Walmart?
Walmart allows service dogs for people with disabilities. As a business that offers a service to the public, Walmart has a legal obligation to allow service dogs into their premises for people with special needs.
Walmart’s definition of a service dog aligns with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), which states that a service dog is one that has special training to help a person with a disability by performing tasks related to the disability.
A disabled person is anyone with a mental and/or physical impairment that can significantly limit one or more life activities that are essential to perform regular tasks.
Access to a service dog enables people with disabilities to perform supportive tasks like walking. A service dog can be like an assistant that can be with you at all times, even in public places.
Walmart allows customers with the following disabilities to shop with a service dog:
- People with visual impairments
- Persons with hearing impairments
- Persons with mobility problems
- People with mental issues such as PTSD and anxiety
Does Walmart Require Proof That A Dog Is A Service Dog?
The simple answer is no. Walmart employees can ask the handler if the dog is for a disability and the task it can perform. You do not need to disclose your disability, nor do you need to demonstrate the task the service dog can perform.
Once you access the Walmart premises, you maintain the sole responsibility for your service dog.
What is the Difference Between Service Dogs and Regular Dogs?
The difference between service dogs and other dogs is that service dogs are necessary for people with disabilities. Service dogs can help people with tasks that range from guiding a blind person, protecting a person experiencing a seizure, reminding a sick person to take medications, and calming an individual experiencing a Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).
A service dog can receive training from a professional or a person with a disability. The service dog training focuses on teaching the dogs how to respond to their owners’ disability needs and also how to behave in public.
Service dogs are unlikely to attack people, destroy property or relieve themselves in public places. Unlike regular dogs, service dogs can remain calm during stressful conditions.
Are Emotional Support Dogs Allowed in Walmart?
Unfortunately, emotional support dogs cannot go inside Walmart stores. This is because emotional support dogs are not service dogs. Walmart follows the ADA guidelines on the qualification of service dogs.
While emotional support dogs provide comfort to their owners, they lack the training to perform tasks related to a disability.
Under the ADA, the lack of training disqualifies emotional support dogs from receiving service dogs’ exemptions in public places. For this reason, Walmart faces no legal requirement to allow access to emotional support dogs.
Can I Carry My Dog Inside Walmart?
Taking your dog to Walmart and keeping it away from people and items on shelves is not okay. Walmart has a strict no pet policy. Carrying your puppy or small dog inside Walmart can be an offense that can get you thrown out.
It’s against the rules to carry your pets in a stroller or bag at Walmart, no matter how cute they are.
To prevent the experience of being turned away or thrown out at Walmart, you can leave your pet at home with a trusted caregiver.
Are There Grocery Stores That Allow Dogs?
If you are a dog-centric person, leaving your dog at home to go grocery shopping can be heartbreaking. Shopping can take hours. Having a four-legged best friend dog your every move can be fun.
Sadly, because of federal and state regulations, grocery stores do not allow dogs inside. The federal and state health codes prohibit animals from accessing places with food for human consumption.
People with disability have an exemption and can take their service dogs to the grocery store. Grocery stores are not legally required to allow access to emotional support, companion, and therapy dogs.
The shopping experience can be fun and therapeutic. The feeling of walking down aisles and selecting random items or zeroing on a product you have been saving for is incomparable.
Walmart provides a euphoric shopping experience for all customers regardless of age, shopping budget, and physical and mental abilities.
If you are a customer that values a company that enforces policies that can protect your overall wellbeing and safety, Walmart is the shopping centre for you. The
Company prohibits dogs inside their stores to protect shoppers from possible health and safety risks such as allergic reactions, dog attacks, and food contamination.
Walmart allows service dogs for people with disabilities to enable them to have a fun experience with trusted assistance inside the store.