While the dollar store might be more like a five dollar store these days, Dollar General is still one of the nation’s leading discount stores. But are they dog friendly?
As of 2022, dogs are not allowed in Dollar General stores. The only exception to this rule is for service animals, which are required entry per the Americans with Disabilities Act.
Why aren’t dogs allowed in Dollar General?
If you were looking forward to bringing your pup to your local Dollar General, you’re probably wondering why they prohibit pets.
The pet ban is due to food contamination. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulates what kinds of stores pets are allowed in. Any establishment that prepares or serves food is not allowed to permit pets on the premises. This is because dogs and other pet animals carry all kinds of germs that you probably don’t want to touch the food you eat. Therefore, stores like Dollar General are a no-go.
What about service animals?
Dollar General makes an exception for all service animals. Note that this does not include emotional support or therapy animals. Due to health regulations, your animal may not ride in the cart or “otherwise come into direct contact with the shopping carts.”
Confused on whether your dog counts? The ADA defines a service dog as “a dog that has been individually trained to do work or perform tasks for an individual with a disability.” If this applies to your pup, you’re more than allowed to bring them into Dollar General with you. Your service animal does not have to wear a vest, ID, or any other identifying information. Your dog does not have to be registered to qualify as a service animal.
There is a chance that Dollar General employees may stop you and ask about your service animal. Employees are allowed to ask two things: 1) Is your dog a service animal? 2) What tasks does your dog perform as related to your disability? Employees can not ask you to provide documentation, ask your dog to perform any tasks, or question you further about your disability—these constitute ADA violations.
If your pet is not a service animal, please do not try to bend the rules. Many Americans rely on service animals to go about their daily lives. To pass off a pet as a service animal can create distrust towards the people who need them and make the lives of disabled people harder.
So where should I take my dog?
If you’re bummed about Dollar General’s pet ban and want to find a pet-friendly place to take your pup, then DogFriendly can help. You might search our list of dog-friendly restaurants where you and your pet can enjoy some fine dining outdoors, or search our list of other dog-friendly stores. And if that doesn’t cut it, you can search through our thousands of other listings, from dog parks, to campgrounds, to beaches, to just about anywhere you can think of—we’ve got you covered.