Are Small Dogs Allowed in Walmart? (All You Need to Know!)

Are Small Dogs Allowed in Walmart

Have you ever asked yourself or your friend if small dogs are allowed in Walmart? Well, you are at the perfect place to find the answer to such a question.

Walmart is a friendly place with large spacious aisles and happily smiling faces that greet you at the door. This would be the perfect place to bring your little dog shopping with you. You could keep him in your purse, and he wouldn’t bother a soul, right? Wrong.

Walmart does not allow small dogs in any of its stores. In fact, Walmart has a policy that clearly states that any dog or pet – whether it be a cat, snake, gerbil, pig, etc. – is not allowed to enter to premises.

In this article, we will cover what circumstances Walmart will allow dogs in their stores and whether or not emotional support dogs are allowed in Walmart.

We will also review the reason behind Walmart’s “no dog” policy and what may happen if you do decide to bring your pup shopping.

What Kind of Dogs Are Allowed in Walmart?

Walmart has a strict “no pet” policy, but it will allow service animals on the premises. Dogs that are clearly marked with a service animal harness or vest that is fully trained can accompany their owners into Walmart.

Certain individuals that qualify for service animals under the Americans with Disabilities Act may need their service dogs with them at all times.

Walmart understands this exception and those who fall under that category such as physically handicapped, epileptic, or blind patrons who rely on service dogs for everyday function or to prevent life threatening events may keep their animals with them while shopping in Walmart stores.

However, Walmart also reserves the right to ask a patron to escort his or her service dog off the premises if the animal is exhibiting aggressive behavior, cannot control its bodily functions, or displays any other action that can put Walmart’s customers at risk of harm.

Read also >> Are Dogs Allowed in Walmart? (Here Is What To Do)

Are Emotional Support Dogs Allowed in Walmart?

Although Walmart allows service dogs in its stores, it does not allow emotional support dogs. Walmart’s dog acceptance policy is limited to patrons who need service animals according to the definitions of the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Emotional support animals do not qualify as service animals.

Service dogs usually have an active participation in the assistance of their owners while emotional support animals merely need to be present to perform their job.

This indicates that there is no requirement for intensive or strict training like that which service animals undergo so emotional support dogs may behave no better than a regular pet.

Read also >> Are Cats Allowed in Walmart (Pet Policies To Know)

Why Doesn’t Walmart Allow Dogs in Its Stores?

It’s not that Walmart is anti-dog or hates dogs – take a look at the extensive pet department and you will see it’s definitely not true.

The reason why Walmart does not allow dogs in its stores is for the health and safety of its customers.

Your pooch may be the best behaved, least aggressive, potty trained dog in history, but Walmart has no way to confirm that.

They cannot guarantee that someone’s dog will not bite or attack other patrons, destroy merchandise, or urinate or defecate on the floor.

For that matter, no pet owner can guarantee that either. To eliminate the possibility of any of these occurrences which could cause harm to Walmart’s patrons, cost money in damages, and bring potential lawsuits, Walmart simply says please don’t bring your pets.

What Will Happen If I Bring My Dog to Walmart?

Unless your dog is a legitimate service animal with the apparel to indicate his or her position in your service, you will be asked to escort your dog off the premises should you choose to walk into Walmart with your pup.

There’s really no way to sneak your dog in either as Walmart has greeters posted at each entrance.

Most likely you will be asked to bring your dog home or leave him or her in your vehicle and be invited to shop in the store without your pooch.

If you make a scene and protest your inability to bring your pet inside the store, security may be called to escort you off the premises and you may be asked not to return.

In any event, the best way to avoid finding out how just how strict Walmart is about its “no dog” policy is to just leave Fido at home.


If you were thinking it’s okay for you to take your purse-sized chihuahua into Walmart, think again. Walmart does not allow any dogs, large or small, on the premises with the exception of legitimate service animals.

If you have a service dog, they must be well trained, have a job that requires them to be at your side at all times, and be marked with a service harness or vest in order to accompany you into Walmart. Even still, misbehaved service dogs can be asked to leave. Emotional support dogs do not qualify as service animals.

Walmart does not allow dogs in its stores in order to protect the health and safety of its customers. Walmart cannot guarantee that a patron’s pet will not attack another customer, destroy merchandise, or defecate on the premises.

In order to avoid financial losses, harm to its customers, and potential lawsuits, Walmart does not allow any animals.

If you choose to bring your dog to Walmart, you will be asked to escort the animal off the premises. So just leave your dog at home, get your shopping done, and come home again to enjoy the company of your furry friend.



Lindsey graduated with an MBA in 2009. Since then, Lindsey has worked in the retail and consumer service industry as a manager, advisor, and marketer. Lindsey is also the head writer and Co-founder of Lindsey is based in Morgantown, West Virginia.

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