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Does Safeway Allow Dogs? 2023 Pet Policy & Shopping Tips

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By Nicole Cosgrove


Safeway is a popular grocery store chain in the United States, with over 1,300 locations across the country. If you own a dog, you might be wondering if you can take them in the store with you. Unfortunately, dogs are not allowed in most locations, with the exception of service dogs. But keep reading as we explore the Safeway store policy to see if there are any exceptions and provide you with tips on how to create a safe and comfortable shopping experience for both you and your pet.

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Safeway’s Policy on Dogs

Safeway’s official policy regarding dogs inside the store can vary depending on the location. Most stores do not allow dogs inside due to state and local laws regarding the presence of pets in food stores. However, some stores may allow dogs inside, especially in areas where many people walk their dogs, like near the beach or other areas with many dog-friendly locations nearby. If you want to know if your local Safeway accepts dogs, call ahead and speak with the local manager. They will be able to tell you if you can bring your pet.

Are Service Dogs Allowed in Safeway?

Yes. As per the Americans with Disability Act (ADA), service dogs, such as guide dogs, are allowed to accompany their owners into the store.1 However, it’s important to remember that emotional-support animals are not service dogs and are not protected by the ADA, so they may not be allowed in the store. According to Safeway’s official statement, “For health and safety reasons, we do not allow pets in our stores, except for service animals.”

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

Why Doesn’t Safeway Allow Pets?

Safeway’s decision to restrict pets inside its stores is mainly due to health and safety reasons. The presence of pets in food stores can pose various health risks, such as the transmission of bacteria, parasites, and viruses. Additionally, pets might destroy property, scare other shoppers, and make a mess by shedding or relieving themselves. Many people are also allergic to dogs and can suffer a reaction if they get too close, which will disrupt their shopping experience and may cause them to choose another shopping location.

Top 5 Tips for Shopping at Safeway With Your Dog

1. Check With Your Local Store Before Bringing Your Dog

The policy regarding dogs inside Safeway stores can vary depending on location. Therefore, calling the store beforehand is a good idea to avoid any inconvenience or misunderstanding once you arrive.

woman making telephone call
Image Credit: Patrice Audet, Pixabay

2. Keep Your Dog on a Leash and Under Control

If your local Safeway allows dogs or you are visiting with a service animal, keep the dog on a leash and under control at all times to prevent any accidents or disruptions that can cause an inconvenience or disrupt the shopping experience for other customers. If your dog has an accident, clean it up so the maintenance crew doesn’t have to.

3. Be Mindful of Your Dog’s Behavior and Temperament

If your dog is anxious, aggressive, or easily distracted, leaving them at home is better because they will likely get you into trouble by disrupting other customers. It’s also not a good idea to shop with your pet if they have medical conditions or allergies that might cause them to behave strangely in the store.

4. Consider Using a Pet Carrier or Stroller

If your pet dog is small enough, you may consider using a pet carrier or stroller to bring them inside the store. It’s usually easier to control the dog in a carrier, and it can help them be more comfortable while you shop.

dog in blue stroller
Image Credit: anela.k, Shutterstock

5. Respect Other Customers and Store Employees

It’s important to remember that while many people enjoy being around dogs, some are afraid and uncomfortable around them. Be respectful of other customers and store employees while you shop with your pet, and keep a safe distance, avoiding unnecessary interactions. You should also be ready to leave the store immediately if your dog becomes disruptive.

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Are There Any Stores That Allow Dogs?

While most Safeway stores don’t allow pets, there are several other stores that you can shop at with your pet. Pet-friendly stores include Home Depot, Petco, Lowe’s, Tractor Supply Company, Nordstrom, Bass Pro Shop, Pottery Barn, LUSH cosmetics, Macy’s, TJ Maxx, Barnes and Noble, and Harbor Freight Tools. However, it’s still a good idea to contact any of these stores before visiting to check on their pet policy to ensure that it hasn’t changed.

woman shopping with her dog at the mall
Image Credit: manpeppe, Shutterstock

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Safeway doesn’t allow pets except for service dogs in most locations. The policy is mainly due to health and safety reasons, as pets in food stores can pose various health risks to customers. However, some stores will allow dogs inside, so try calling ahead. If you can visit the store with your dog, keep them on a leash and under control, and be mindful of their behavior and temperament so you don’t disrupt other shoppers or employees.

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Featured Image Credit: Safeway (Image Credit: TaurusEmerald, Wikimedia Commons CC BY-SA 4.0)

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