Are Dogs Allowed in Walmart? (2023)

Kristi Carignan
May 9, 2023
May 9, 2023
5 minutes
Unsure whether your dog is allowed into Walmart? Learn more about the specific rules for bringing your dog out in public with Pettable.

If you have a trusty canine companion who is always by your side, you’re likely wondering if dogs are allowed in Walmart. Many dog owners like to bring their furry companions on daily outings, with many enjoying the bonding experience and comfort dogs bring to everyday experiences like shopping trips. 

If you’re considering bringing your dog to Walmart, this guide contains all the important information you need to avoid disappointment and potential hassle.

Are Dogs Allowed in Walmart?

 Yes, and no. The Walmart policy stipulates the following:

“Walmart welcomes service animals as defined by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) in our stores, and we recognize the important role they play in many of our customers’ lives. We do not allow pets in our stores.”

This means that only service dogs and psychiatric service dogs (PSD) are allowed in Walmart stores.

What is Walmart’s Dog Policy?  

Walmart’s dog policy is in adherence with the Americans with Disabilities Act. The Act defines service animals as those who support their owner with a specific disability by performing a disability-related functional task. This might include a service dog pulling its owner’s wheelchair or a psychiatric service dog offering its owner tactile stimulation whilst they’re having a panic attack or nightmare. 

Nonetheless, certain individual Walmart stores may have slightly relaxed policies, and it’s always a good idea to call the store ahead of time or chat with the manager if you want to bring your dog along. 

Are Service Dogs Allowed in Walmart? 

Yes. Psychiatric service dogs and service dogs are allowed in Walmart as per the ADA. These animals can access any area that the general public can, including restaurants, supermarkets, department stores, and shopping malls. 

Service dogs should be well-behaved in public and not cause any health or safety issues within the store. 

Psychiatric Service Dogs 

Psychiatric service dogs help their owners through psychiatric disabilities – like anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder, and depression – by performing a specific action related to their owner’s disability. They have the same rights as service dogs under ADA regulations. 

Service Dogs for Physical Disabilities 

Service dogs for physical disabilities help owners with a range of tasks related to physical disabilities. For example, they might help a blind owner to avoid obstacles, give an owner momentum by pushing their wheelchair, help an owner to retrieve objects that have fallen on the floor, or help an owner change their physical position. 

Service Dogs in Training (SDIT)

Service dogs in training are those who are still undergoing service dog or psychiatric service dog training. They are in the process of becoming a service animal. 

Are Emotional Support Dogs Allowed in Walmart?

Unfortunately, only service animals are officially allowed in Walmart stores. This means that emotional support animals and pets will usually have to stay at home. However, it’s always worth contacting the specific Walmart store directly and asking about their unique pet policy. 

Are Leashed Dogs Allowed in Walmart? 

Yes, leashed service dogs and psychiatric service dogs are allowed in Walmart stores.  

Can I Take My Dog to Walmart in a Stroller? 

Only if the dog is a service animal and if the stroller is needed for it to fulfill its disability-related functions. 

Can Walmart Ask for Proof of a Service Dog?  

Legally, stores cannot ask owners for proof that their animal is a service dog or a psychiatric service dog. They can, however, ask the handler two important questions.

Firstly, is the dog required because of a specific disability? And secondly, does the dog perform a specific function or task concerning the disability? 

As per the ADA, service dogs must be able to perform at least one task that directly links to a disability, whether it is a physical disability, an intellectual disability, a sensory disability, or a psychiatric disability.  

List of Dog-Friendly Stores  

While Walmart might not have a super dog-friendly policy for ESAs and pet dogs, many US stores welcome all dogs. Try visiting these stores:

  • Barnes & Noble if you want to get lost in some literature. 
  • Bass Pro Shops if you want to up your camping or fishing game. 
  • Home Depot if you want to show off your DIY skills and embark on some home improvement. 
  • Michaels if you feel like getting arty and crafty.
  • Petco if you want to spoil your furry friend. 

Always call specific stores in advance about bringing your dog along to avoid disappointment. 

Online Psychiatric Service Dog Training with Pettable 

If you want to explore online psychiatric service dog training options, why not chat with the team at Pettable? We have an online, self-paced course run over 15 sessions by a professional trainer. Our course offers students the resources and knowledge to train their dogs to become PSDs.

You’re also welcome to contact us if you’re looking to organize an official ESA letter. These are vital for avoiding unfair housing discrimination and wavering certain pet tariffs. Answer a few simple assessment questions, and we will happily connect you with a licensed mental health therapist in your state.

Meet the author:
Kristi Carignan

Kristi Carignan is a seasoned freelance writer with over 20 years of experience crafting copy for global agencies and brands. When she's not writing, she enjoys spending time with her furry companions, Sugar the PomChi and Rudy the Shiba Inu, and indulging in hobbies like crafting and home renovation.