Are Dogs Allowed in Sam’s Club?

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If you’re a Sam’s Club member, you know Sam’s Club stores are humongous. In fact, the company calls them “warehouses.” With ample space, Sam’s Club might seem like the perfect shopping adventure for you and your pup. But are they dog-friendly?

Unfortunately, as of 2022 Sam’s Club stores are not pet-friendly. Dogs are not allowed in Sam’s Club, nor are other pets. The exception to this rule is for service animals. If you have a service dog, you may bring them into the store to assist you while you shop.

Why aren’t dogs allowed in Sam’s Club?

If you were looking forward to bringing your pup to your local Sam’s Club, 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. Dogs and other animals carry all kinds of germs that you probably don’t want to touch the food you eat. Therefore, stores like Sam’s Club are a hard no-go.

What about service animals?

Sam’s Club 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 about 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 Sam’s Club with you. Your service animal does not have to wear a vest, ID, or other identifying information. Your dog does not have to be registered to qualify as a service animal.

There is a chance that Sam’s Club employees may stop you and ask about your service animal. Employees can ask two questions: 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 Sam’s Club’s no-pet policy 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.

Tyler Kupcho
Author: Tyler Kupcho

Animal lover, proud husky parent. Writing Intern at

Tyler Kupcho
Author: Tyler Kupcho

Animal lover, proud husky parent. Writing Intern at

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