If you’ve got some medication to pick up or a couple quick errands to run, odds are you’re going to Walgreens. And if you’re one of the 50% of US Households that own a dog, you might want to bring your pup along. But is Walgreens a dog-friendly store? Are dogs allowed in Walgreens?
Does Walgreens allow dogs?
Unfortunately, most Walgreens stores are not pet-friendly. Dogs are not allowed in Walgreens, 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.
This ban does not apply to every store. There are select Walgreens stores that allow pets. While most stores are not pet-friendly, the decision is up to each store manager. You should call your local store to find out what their pet policy is. If you’re not sure what your local store is, you can go here to locate your nearest location.
Why aren’t dogs allowed in Walgreens?
If you were looking forward to bringing your pet to your local Walgreens, you’re probably wondering why most stores disallow pets. This is because of the Food and Drug Administration, which regulates what types of businesses pets may visit. 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.
What about my service animal?
While regular pets are not allowed in Walgreens stores, there is one exception to the ban. Service dogs are permitted in every Walgreens, as regulated by the Americans with Disabilities Act.
There is a chance that Walgreens employees may stop you and ask about your service animal. Employees are allowed to ask two things: 1) is your dog a service animal? and 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.
What qualifies as a service animal?
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 Walgreens with you.
You do not have to identify your dog as a service animal. There is no need for a vest, registration, or any other kind of identification. Your dog does not have to be registered to qualify as a service animal.
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 go?
Before you rule out taking your dog to Walgreens, make sure to call up your local store and ask the store manager if they allow pets. There’s always a chance!
If your Walgreens is not pet-friendly, DogFriendly can help you find all kinds of places to take your pup. 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.