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Does Walgreens Allow Dogs? 2024 Policies & FAQ

Nicole Cosgrove Profile Picture

By Nicole Cosgrove


If you’re like most dog owners, you adore your four-legged friend and take them everywhere. Many dog owners take their dogs to stores, restaurants,  and even on vacation. Not all establishments allow dogs, though; some only allow service dogs. That begs the question; does Walgreens allow dogs? If yours is a certified service dog, Walgreens will allow them inside. Other than that, however, your dog will not be able to enter Walgreens.

Knowing you can only bring a service dog into Walgreens, you might be wondering about the dog-friendly policies at other pharmacies, stores, and restaurants. Read on to find out, and take your dog with you to as much as possible!Divider 3

Why Does Walgreens Allow Service Dogs Only?

If you’re wondering why Walgreens allows people to bring service dogs into their pharmacies but not ordinary dogs, the answer is simple; the federal government forces them to do so. The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) compels Walgreens to allow service dogs into all their stores without hesitation.

If your dog is a service dog trained to provide a vital service, ADA rules state that you can bring it to any public place, including restaurants, stores, and pharmacies like Walgreens. That’s also why you can take your service dog on planes, trains, and other public transportation.

man with disability with his service dog
Image Credit: 24K_Production, Shutterstock

Can You Go Into Walgreens with an Emotional Support Dog?

Like many stores and businesses in the United States, Walgreens does not allow emotional support dogs inside. The main reason is that emotional support dogs are not trained service dogs and thus don’t fall under the ADA guidelines. In other words, no federal rules force them to allow emotional support dogs. Unless your dog is a trained service dog and you have the license or paperwork to prove it, Walgreens can deny your dog access to their stores.

Do Any Walgreens Locations Allow Ordinary Dogs Inside?

What’s interesting about Walgreens is that they allow their store managers to dictate some of their in-store policies. One of those policies is whether to allow dogs to enter, and that’s why, at some Walgreens in the United States, you can go inside with any dog you choose. Even if they allow you inside, you should have your dog on a leash when you enter your local Walgreens.

Which Stores Are Dog-Friendly?

Over the last few years, many stores have changed their policies to allow customers to enter with their dogs. That includes service dogs, of course, but also ordinary dogs and emotional support dogs. Below is a list of some of the largest store chains that allow dogs to enter.

  • Apple Store
  • Ace Hardware
  • American Eagle Outfitters
  • Ann Taylor
  • AutoZone
  • Banana Republic
  • Barnes & Noble Books
  • Bass Pro Shops
  • Bed, Bath & Beyond
  • Bloomingdale’s
  • Cabela’s
  • Footlocker
  • GAP
  • Harbor Freight Tools
  • Hobby Lobby
  • JoAnn Fabrics
  • Lane Bryant
  • L.L. Bean
  • Michaels
  • Nordstrom
  • Old Navy
  • Patagonia
  • Pep Boys
  • Petco
  • PetSmart
  • Pet Supermarket
  • Pet Supplies Plus
  • Pottery Barn
  • Ross
  • Sephora
  • TJ Maxx
  • ULTA
  • Urban Outfitters
  • Victoria’s Secret
  • Yankee Candl
Couple sitting with dog at restaurant
Image Credit: sirtravelalot, Shutterstock

Which Restaurants Are Dog-Friendly?

While you can’t bring your dog inside due to health codes and regulations, many restaurants today allow you to have them with you outside on a terrace or other outdoor eating areas. Below is our list of the most well-known restaurant chains that are dog-friendly.

  •  Applebee’s
  •  Baja Fresh Mexican Grill
  •  Busters Real Ice Cream- Get the Doggie Sundae for free!
  •  Cracker Barrel
  •  Dairy Queen- Let your pooch try the Pup Cup!
  •  In-N-Out Burger- Ask for their Pup Patty!
  •  Joe’s Crab Shack
  •  Johnny Rockets
  •  Olive Garden
  •  Outback Steakhouse
  •  Panera Bread
  •  Shake Shack- Offers several dog-based treats available.
  •  Sonic- Many servers keep dog treats in their aprons!
  •  Sprinkles Cupcakes
  •  Starbucks- Ask for a Puppuccino; it’s free!

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Useful Rules to Follow When Entering a Store or Restaurant With Your Dog

Before visiting a business with your pup, take a look at the list of rules (spoken and unspoken) we put together below. Following them will reduce problems, stress, or unfortunate incidents when visiting your favorite store(s) with your favorite dog.

Call the Store Before You Go

It only takes a moment to call a store and ask if they are dog friendly.

Only Go with a Well-Trained Dog

Bringing an untrained, hyperactive dog into a store is never a good idea. The only place you should bring an untrained or ill-behaved dog puppy is a pet store for training.

Make Sure Your Dog Goes Potty Before Entering

Few things are as embarrassing as your dog pooping or peeing in a store. That’s why you should ensure they go potty before you go inside.

Keep Your Dog on Its Leash

Keeping your dog leashed in a store or other business is almost always necessary. The only exception would be in a company that caters to dogs specifically, like a dog park, pet store, etc.

Go When the Store or Restaurant Isn’t Busy

It might not always be possible, but when it is, going to a store or restaurant when they aren’t busy is always ideal.

Keep Your Dog From Barking

This goes back to the well-trained dog rule. If you can’t stop your dog from barking, you shouldn’t go inside a store or a restaurant until your dog is trained.

Bring Bags and Wipes to Clean Up Accidents

It’s always best to be prepared for accidents, just in case. Plastic bags and wipes are small and lightweight, so bringing them shouldn’t be a problem.

Bring a Bowl for Water

Most restaurants will not provide a bowl so that you can give your dog water. However, most will gladly provide you with water if you bring your dog’s water bowl.

Always Tell the Truth About Your Dog’s Status

Not only is it unfair and wrong to tell a store or restaurant establishment that your dog is a service dog, but it’s also illegal. For the sake of all dogs and dog owners, always tell the truth if asked about your dog’s status as a service dog.

Image Credit: Stephanie Rhee, Unsplash

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Final Thoughts

In most Walgreens locations, you can’t enter with your dog unless they’re a trained service dog (and you can prove it). Walgreens, like many stores, has a no-dogs policy and only allows service dogs because of the ADA rules and regulations. However, some Walgreens locations allow ordinary dogs inside if the general manager changes their policy at the local level.

The best way to find out is to call your local Walgreens before you go. Many will allow dogs in their locations.

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Featured Image Credit: Jennifer Shishmanian, Unsplash

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