Are dogs allowed in Walmart?

Dogs are the companion animal par excellence, over the years these pets have grown to be considered a fundamental part of a family. A dog provides company and affection to its owner, so it is normal to want its company when it has to go out and not leave it alone.

Dogs are trained to behave appropriately in public and to interact both with other dogs and with humans other than their owners. That’s why it’s normal to wonder if you can take your dog to go shopping with you at Walmart. Here we will explain all about it.

Does Walmart allow animals in its stores?

Walmart has a policy stating that no animals, whether they are pets, dogs or cats, are allowed in any of its stores worldwide. This will be regardless of size, and age or whether the pet is in a car, bag, kennel, or similar space.

The only animals allowed in Walmart are Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) approved service animals.

Why are dogs not allowed in Walmart?

Walmart’s policy states that they reserve the right to admit animals due to food safety on the premises. However, this answer does not give a full explanation, so we will give some reasons why Walmart does not accept pets in its stores.


Dogs innately do not fit in sanitary spaces, this does not mean that they are dirty animals, but they do cause uncleanliness. A dog or cat sheds fur wherever it walks. They also generate drool and can be disastrous when they are getting to know a new environment.

If a dog approaches a product to sniff it, it affects the store’s sanitation. Additionally, the store cannot disinfect the area every time a dog walks by, the employees are not tasked to, which would mean hiring additional labor.

Walmart, in compliance with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) law, does not allow any type of pet in the food environment because of the potential for food contamination.

Toilet Issues

When overexcited, dogs tend to urinate. This also happens when they feel threatened or uncomfortable. Exposing a pet to an unfamiliar environment can cause it to act out by peeing, which affects sanitation and makes clients uncomfortable.

Likewise, potty training is not hygienic and can cause a bad reputation for the store.

Property Damage

Pets are curious and playful, they may cause damage to merchandise when they are exploring, they may break something with their tail, trip over a fragile item and even try to chew on an item that catches their attention.

Makes Shoppers Uncomfortable

Not everyone has pets or likes a particular type of animal, so encountering a dog can be uncomfortable or even frightening to the customer. Walmart cannot lose a customer because they feel uncomfortable in the environment as a result of the pet.

What about service dogs?

In the case of service animals stipulated by Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) standards, they are allowed in any Walmart store so that they can perform the relevant functions.

A service animal is a dog that has been trained to perform specific functions or tasks for a person with a disability. This training is individualized, as they are trained to perform tasks related to the owner’s disability.

walmart dog service

The ADA states that any person with a disability has the right to be accompanied by a service animal for assistance and guidance. However, the dog must remain on the floor on a leash, or the person must carry the dog in their arms. Another option is a bag on the chest or back.

What this means, is that the dog cannot run loose at its own pace around the store, it must be at all times accompanying its owner to accomplish its tasks successfully.

Do I Have To Show Service Dog Papers At Walmart?

A service dog cannot be questioned by a Walmart employee or by any other abled individual. If any employee asks you to prove that you have a disability or that they really need the service animal, they are breaking the law, as it is not legal.

Therefore, no Walmart employee can demand proof that a dog is a service animal, if their integrity is questioned, they can appeal to their rights and demand to speak to a manager to report the employee for legal and authority abuse.

Now, a Walmart employer may ask you “Is your dog a service dog?” and a yes will suffice. Another question that might come up is what the functions of the service dog you carry are, not as a way to doubt the person but just to be aware in case of an emergency.