Does Walmart Allow Dogs? – All You Need To Know

For many pet owners, bringing their furry friends along while running errands is a delightful experience. However, when it comes to shopping at large retail stores, such as Walmart, the question arises: “Does Walmart allow dogs?” This article will explain the subject of Walmart’s dog companion on your next shopping trip.


Does Walmart Allow Dogs?


No, Walmart does not allow dogs in their store. With a few exceptions, Walmart’s general policy does not allow dogs or other pets inside their stores.

Service animals, as defined by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), are an exception to this policy.


These animals are specifically trained to assist individuals with disabilities. They are legally permitted to accompany their owners in public places, including Walmart stores.

However, it’s important to note that store policies may vary by location and local regulations.

Some Walmart stores may have pet-friendly policies allowing small, well-behaved dogs on leashes.


These store-specific policies are unique and can vary from one location to another.

What Are Service Dogs?


Service dogs are professionally trained animals that assist individuals with disabilities.

They perform tasks that mitigate their owner’s limitations, such as retrieving objects, guiding visually impaired individuals, or alerting them to sounds.

Service dogs usually have public access rights under the ADA. They are allowed in places where pets are typically not permitted.

They undergo extensive training and develop a strong bond with their handlers. Service dogs play a crucial role in enhancing independence and improving the quality of life for people with disabilities.

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Why Aren’t Pets Allowed In Walmart?

Pets, in general, are not allowed in Walmart stores for several reasons, including:

  1. Customer comfort and safety: Some customers have allergies or fears related to animals, and allowing pets could cause discomfort or health issues.
  2. Hygiene and cleanliness: Allowing pets can create sanitation issues due to shedding fur, accidents, and unpredictable behavior.
  3. Liability and safety concerns: Pets, even well-behaved ones, can behave unpredictably or pose risks in a crowded retail setting.
  4. Compliance with regulations: Health codes and zoning regulations often prohibit animals, excluding service animals, in areas where food is prepared, sold, or consumed.

Service animals are trained to assist individuals with disabilities, are an exception to this policy, and are allowed in Walmart stores as per ADA regulations.

What Types Of Service Dogs Are Allowed In Walmart?


Under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), service dogs of any breed or size are generally allowed in Walmart stores as long as they are individually trained to perform tasks that mitigate their handler’s disabilities.

The ADA does not restrict specific breeds or types of service dogs. Here are some examples of service dogs that may be allowed in Walmart:

1. Guide Dogs


Guide dogs, also known as seeing-eye dogs, are specially trained to assist individuals who are blind or visually impaired.

They navigate their handlers through various environments, avoiding obstacles and ensuring safety.

The bond between guide dogs and their handlers is based on trust and teamwork.

These well-mannered dogs have legal protection under the ADA, allowing them to accompany their handlers in public places, including Walmart stores.

Guide dogs provide essential mobility and independence to individuals with visual impairments.

2. Hearing Dogs


Hearing dogs undergo rigorous training to develop the skills necessary to recognize and respond to specific sounds.

They play a vital role in the lives of individuals with hearing impairments by alerting them to important environmental sounds, such as alarms or approaching vehicles.

These highly trained dogs are dedicated helpers and provide companionship and emotional support.

With their assistance, individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing can navigate the world with increased confidence and security.

3. Mobility Assistance Dogs


Mobility assistance dogs are professionally trained service dogs that provide invaluable support to individuals with mobility limitations.

They perform tasks such as retrieving items, opening doors, and offering stability while walking.

These dogs enhance independence, reduce reliance on mobility aids, and assist in navigating obstacles.

They also aid in retrieving objects, promoting daily independence for their handlers.

4. Medical Alert Dogs

Medical alert dogs are highly trained to detect and alert their handlers to specific medical conditions.

They provide timely warnings or assistance during emergencies, helping individuals with diabetes, epilepsy, severe allergies, and more.

These dogs undergo specialized training to recognize medical cues and play a vital role in enhancing the safety and well-being of their handlers.

5. Psychiatric Service Dogs

Psychiatric service dogs are well-trained to assist individuals with mental health problems (conditions) such as anxiety disorders, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), or depression.

They can comfort, interrupt harmful behaviors, or alert you to anxiety or panic attacks.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Are Dogs Allowed In Walmart?

Walmart generally does not allow dogs or pets inside their stores. However, service animals, such as guide dogs for individuals with disabilities, are an exception and are typically allowed following the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

Are Esa Dogs Allowed In Walmart?

Emotional Support Animals (ESAs) do not have the same legal protections as service dogs under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

Therefore, Walmart and most other public places are not obligated to allow ESAs inside their premises.

Does Walmart Allow Emotional Support Animals?

Walmart has no national policy allowing Emotional Support Animals (ESAs) inside their stores.

Walmart follows the guidelines set forth by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), which only provides legal protection for service animals specifically trained to perform tasks for individuals with disabilities.

Does Walmart Allow Dogs In Carts?


Walmart does not allow dogs in shopping carts. However, service animals trained to assist individuals with disabilities are an exception.

It is best to check with the specific Walmart location regarding their pet policy and any exceptions they may have.

Do Walmart Stores Allow Pets In Strollers?

Walmart does not allow pets in strollers inside their stores. It is recommended to check with the specific Walmart location for their pet policy regarding pets in strollers.

Do You Have To Show Service Dog Papers At Walmart?

No, under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), businesses like Walmart are not allowed to ask for service dog papers or documentation.

They are only allowed to ask only two specific questions:

  1. Is the dog a service animal required because of a disability?
  2. What tasks or work has the dog been trained to perform?

Service dog owners are not required to carry or present specific paperwork or identification for their service dogs.

Can You Take A Dog Inside Walmart With You In Texas?

No, you can take a dog inside Walmart with you in Texas. Allowing dogs inside Walmart varies by location in Texas.

Before bringing your dog inside, it is best to check with the specific Walmart store regarding their pet policy.

Can I Bring My Small Dog Into Walmart?

With a few exceptions, Walmart does not allow small dogs inside their stores. 

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