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Does Dollar Tree Allow Dogs? 2024 Pet Policy

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By Nicole Cosgrove

American Pit bull Terrier dog inside a shopping cart trolley

Dollar Tree is one of the country’s leading retail chain stores. The retail giant offers a unique value proposition: customers can buy anything in the store for just a dollar. Dollar Tree also has exceptional product variety and, with over 16,000 stores across the US, is one of the most convenient places to shop.

If you’re looking to get the most bang for your buck, Dollar Tree is just what the doctor ordered, but should you bring your dog with you?

No, you shouldn’t because Dollar Tree doesn’t allow dogs inside their store. However, there are certain exceptions. Read on!

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Dollar Tree’s Official Policy on Dogs

Dollar Tree’s official stance on pets and other animals in the store is straightforward. The retail giant only allows service animals (service dogs) inside their stores.

Pet dogs and dogs that offer emotional support aren’t allowed inside these stores. This policy also applies to most retail stores, and Dollar Tree is no exception.

Employees have the right to ask you to leave should you bring your pet dog with you inside the store. The same applies to cats, birds, and other pets that aren’t ADA-certified service animals.

man and his dog at a pet store
Image Credit: Erickson Stock, Shutterstock

Does Dollar Tree Animal Policy Vary by Store and Location?

Unlike other retail stores, Dollar Tree’s policy on dogs and other animals applies across the board. The decision rests with the very top management.

However, it’s not uncommon for some store managers to turn a blind eye to this policy. That’s why you might have seen dogs inside Dollar Tree despite the no-dog policy. It’s either that or you might have spotted a service dog.

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What Are Service Dogs?

Service dogs are canines that help people with disabilities perform specific tasks, increasing their capabilities. Service dogs are a staple for people with mental and physical disabilities.

These canines will perform specific actions to mitigate the person’s disability. They also have full public access rights, meaning they can go where other animals aren’t typically allowed.

Guide dogs, for instance, help blind people navigate their environments. Hearing dogs will alert their owners in case of important sounds like a car hooting. Mobility dogs, on the other hand, help people bound to wheelchairs and other walking devices maneuver different terrains.

The American Disability Acts (ADA) Act of 1990 states that state and local governments and non-profit and for-profit organizations serving the public must accommodate service dogs on their premises. The service dog must be in control of their handler and must be leashed, tethered, or harnessed.

blind man with service dog near escalator
Image Credit: Africa Studio, Shutterstock

What Are Dollar Tree’s Rules on Service Dogs

Despite allowing service dogs, all serviced dog handlers must abide by the rules stipulated by the store. These rules include the following.

Full control

The handler must ensure full control of the service dog at all times. This means keeping the dog on a leash, harness, or tethered to a stationary point.


The owner must restrain the dog with verbal or hand commands should it behave inappropriately.

Right of admission

The store reserves the right of admission and could ask you to leave if your dog behaves inappropriately or poses a danger to employees and customers. You must leave the premises with your dog if asked to do so.

Shopping assistant

If management asks you to take your dog outside, you can still get the help of a shopping assistant to help with your shopping. These assistants are trained to help people with disabilities shop with ease.

Do You Need Documentation for Your Service Dog?

No, you don’t need to show documentation like a certificate to prove that your dog is a service dog. However, the employees might inquire about your dog’s capabilities and ask you to demonstrate them. It’s important to comply with their request to dispel any doubt and suspicion.

Moreover, employees can easily tell service dogs from pet and emotional support dogs. For starters, service dogs are typically calm and won’t reach for items on the shelves or jump on strangers. They’re also calm and don’t display aggression towards other people and other animals.

Service dogs are also trained on proper hygiene and won’t defecate on the floors or ride on shopping carts. They also don’t go sniffing everywhere and are typically reticent, and will only bark to relay information to their handlers.

Plus, service dogs can easily show their capabilities on demand.

Dachshund outside store pet parking
Image Credit: Masarik, Shutterstock

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Why Doesn’t Dollar Tree Allow Pets Inside?

Dollar Tree is one of many retail stores that don’t allow dogs and other pets inside their stores. Most stores have transitioned to pet-friendly policies, but Dollar Tree has remained adamant about its no-dog policy. Here are a few reasons why.


Dogs are inherently unhygienic animals and harbor more than 600 different types of bacteria in their mouths, let alone the rest of their body. The germs from the dogs’ fur could contaminate the food in the store.

What’s more, non-trained dogs could easily do their business on the store’s floor. This is extremely unhygienic and an absolute turn-off to customers. What’s more, it means employees working their shifts must stop whatever they’re doing to tend to the mess.


Aggressive dogs may pose a safety threat to customers in the store. The dogs might attack unsuspecting customers and scare them away. The former could lead to hefty lawsuits, costing the retail giant thousands to millions of dollars in settlement fees.

Health Concerns

According to the American Asthma and Allergy Foundation, 15% to 30% of Americans are allergic to pet dander.

The presence of dogs in Dollar Tree stores may be uncomfortable for people with allergies, triggering their allergies and making their shopping experience unpleasant. The retail giant can’t risk negative reviews from disgruntled customers.

What’s more, some customers may feel uncomfortable around dogs and other animals. Allowing dogs in the store means locking out such customers and compromising the store’s profit.

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Final Thoughts

Dollar Tree has a strict no-dog policy for every store countrywide.

While this may seem restrictive and counter-intuitive, it works for both the customer’s and the business’s interests. If you plan to shop in Dollar Tree, be sure to leave your pup at home with its favorite toys or in the company of your kids.

That way, you won’t run into any issues with the employees at Dollar Tree.

Featured Image Credit: ravipat, Shutterstock

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