Walgreens, a well-established chain of pharmacies that has been in operation since 1901, with a presence of over 9,000 stores, as of 2023, operating throughout the United States. For a lot of individuals, Walgreens serves as a convenient destination store for acquiring prescription medications, household essentials, and snacks. Nevertheless, if you’re contemplating the idea of bringing your beloved pet along during your shopping trip, you might be wondering about Walgreens’ pet policy. With all this in mind the question arises: are dogs allowed in Walgreens? In this article, we’ll explore Walgreens’ Policy on dogs.
What’s Walgreens’ Official Pet Policy?
At first glance, Walgreens does not have a specific nationwide policy that explicitly allows or prohibits dogs in their stores. Unlike some other retailers, such as pet supply stores or home improvement centres, Walgreens’ official policy is somewhat ambiguous when it comes to allowing dogs inside their premises.
The verdict on whether Walgreens is pet-friendly, however, hinges on the specific store location. As stated about the official policy of Walgreens, only service animals are sanctioned to enter their premises. Service animals, these are extensively trained to carry out specific tasks that assist individuals with disabilities, such as guiding the visually impaired or alerting to medical emergencies, are granted access by law to all public places, encompassing stores, dining establishments, and lodgings.
Can Walgreens Deny My Service Dog?
State laws regarding service animals do vary, but you can expect you can expect your state to have some kind of protection in place when it comes to service animals i.e. Dogs. For Walgreens staff to deny you and your dog entry, there must be a number of reasons, such as;
- Your dog is out of order and not following up to you.
- Your dog is creating distraction, destroying items in the store.
- Your dog is posing a threat to staff and customers at the store.
- Your dog is not properly bathroom trained and is creating a health hazard in the store.
In addition, ordinary pets are not accorded entry into Walgreens outlets. Emotional support dogs do not have the same rights as service dogs. Also, therapy dogs are not service dogs. This stringent policy has been put in place with the primary objective of ensuring the safety and comfort of all patrons and staff members.
A trained service dog that is required to assist you is allowed in any Walgreens store under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Service dogs going to Walgreens do not need to wear a special service dog vest, harness or tag but store employees have the right to ask you two questions of your service dog i.e. whether the service animal is required because the person has a disability, type of work or task the service animal is trained to perform. Depending on where you live, presenting your dog as a service dog while it isn’t can lead to a fine of up to $1000.
The reason behind this restriction is that pets, due to their unpredictable behaviour, have the potential to cause accidents or discomfort to fellow store visitors. Consequently, if you intend to accompany your dog to Walgreens, it is imperative to ascertain that they have undergone the requisite training to qualify as a service animal.
Individual Store Variations
One of the reasons for this ambiguity is that Walgreens allows each store manager some discretion in determining whether dogs are allowed. This means that while there is no overall policy, individual stores might have their own rules regarding dogs. Some Walgreens locations may be more welcoming to dogs than others, depending on factors such as local ordinances, store layout, and customer preferences.
What Are Some Of The Considerations Before Bringing Your Dog To Walgreens?
If you’re considering taking your dog to Walgreens, it’s essential to keep a few things in mind.
Call Ahead: Before heading to your local Walgreens with your dog, it’s a good idea to call the store and ask about their specific pet policy. This way, you can avoid any potential misunderstandings and inconveniences.
Keep Your Dog Well-Behaved: Regardless of the store’s policy, it’s crucial to ensure your dog is well-behaved. Keep them on a leash, and if your dog tends to be anxious or aggressive around strangers, it’s best to leave them at home.
Clean Up After Your Dog: If you do bring your dog inside a Walgreens store, be responsible for any mess they might make. Carry waste bags and promptly clean up after your pet.
Respect Store Staff: Always respect the store employees’ decisions regarding your dog. If they ask you to leave with your pet, do so without any argument.
Look for Dog-Friendly Stores
Even though you can’t take your dog into Walgreens on your shopping trips, you will find many dog-friendly stores across the US.
Frequently Asked Questions(FQS)
- What should I teach my dog before going in public?
Before taking your dog shopping in public with you pleases exercise the following;
Teach them some basic skills and manners that help them succeed in public relations. Your dog should respect walk sides following up to you. They should be bathroom trained and learn to listen to your commands like, stop, sit and wait for you. All of these skills are essential if you want your dog to enjoy their time in any store you visit and also for safety.
- What if am asked to provide proof of my dog being a service dog?
If you are asked to show proof of your dog being a service animal or are denied access because staff don’t believe you, this is a violation of the American With Disabilities Act. Asking for proof may look like asking for registration. You may be able to pursue legal action against the business to ensure you are allowed to enter in future depending on the situation.
- What are some of the dog friendly stores other than Walgreens?
There are several stores besides Walgreens that allow dogs. For example, some shopping centres have dog parks or outdoor sitting areas where you can take your dog while you wait for someone to finish shopping. The stores that allow dogs to enter whether they are service dogs or not include the following.
- Petco and PetSmart
- Bass Pro Shops
- Harbor Freight Tools
- Victoria’s Secret
- Michaels and many more others
In conclusion, Walgreens does not have an overall policy regarding dogs in their stores. The decision often depends on the individual store manager’s discretion, local regulations, and customer considerations. If you plan to take your dog to Walgreens, it’s best to call ahead, keep your pet well-behaved, and be prepared to respect any requests made by the store staff. Ultimately, while some Walgreens locations may be dog-friendly, it’s essential to approach each visit with consideration and courtesy to ensure a positive experience for all customers.