Have you ever considered taking your furry friend to your local Meijer store? If so, this guide will shed some light on Meijer’s pet policy for the current year. To answer the question up front, Meijer is not pet-friendly.
But don’t put away the leash just yet; there’s an exception for service dogs, which we will get into throughout this article.
Are Dogs Allowed in Meijer in 2023?
The straightforward answer is no, dogs are not allowed in Meijer. Service dogs classified according to the Americans with Disability Act (ADA) are the exception to this rule. Meijer enforces this policy stringently to comply with food safety and sanitary regulations.
What Is Meijer’s Pet Policy?
There are a few important rules that pet parents and service dog owners need to be aware of before going into Meijer:
- Only Service Dogs: If your canine companion is recognized by the ADA as a service dog, then you’re good to go. However, non-service dogs are prohibited due to health concerns and other potential issues.
- Leash Required: Got a service dog? Make sure it’s on a leash and behaves well in the store. Meijer expects service dogs to be as disciplined as their human counterparts.
- No Room for Misbehavior: A misbehaving dog might have a short shopping spree, as they are not allowed to threaten the peace of other shoppers. Most service dogs, however, won’t exhibit such behavior as they are typically well-trained animals.
Knowing these rules beforehand will help ensure that you and other guests have a positive shopping experience in the store. So, make sure you know these going in, and you shouldn’t run into any problems.
Why Aren’t Pet Dogs Allowed in Meijer?
Here’s where it gets a bit technical. Untrained dogs could cause chaos in the aisles or perhaps sample some of the produce without paying first! The key is training and respect for other shoppers’ personal space.
For the most part, service dogs are incredibly obedient and loyal animals. So, they aren’t really the issue here. The problem is pet dogs. If everyone were allowed to bring their dog to Meijer, it would undoubtedly cause some commotion.
Not everyone trains their dogs the same way (or at all!), and not all dogs get along with other dogs or people. As you can probably imagine, such free-for-all rules would lead to pandemonium.
Service Dogs and Meijer
Service dogs that align with the ADA’s requirements are allowed in Meijer. But they must be identifiable, and the owner must state the task the dog performs. Note that a poorly behaved service dog could be shown the exit.
As for general Meijer rules for service dogs, there aren’t many in place. The only thing Meijer asks is that service dogs not be placed inside shopping carts or come in direct contact with them. It’s a health and safety violation for obvious reasons.
What Counts as a Service Dog in Meijer?
It must be clarified that “emotional support” dogs are not the same as service dogs. The following are a few examples of the types of services that Meijer deems acceptable for customers to require a service dog:
- Guide dogs for the visually impaired
- Hearing dogs for the hearing-challenged
- Seizure alert dogs for those with seizure disorders
- Dogs assisting with physical tasks or stability
- Psychiatric service dogs to aid with mental health needs
There are others that might not be listed above, but that doesn’t make them any less important or urgent. If you’re worried that your service dog might be rejected at the door, don’t hesitate to reach out to your local Meijer to discuss your needs. They will most likely be more than happy to accommodate you and your service dog.
What Does Not Count as a Service Dog in Meijer?
As we mentioned, if your dog is providing emotional support but isn’t recognized by the ADA, it’s a no-go at Meijer. The same is true for dogs providing therapy. If you’re unsure whether your dog is recognized by the ADA, it probably isn’t and, therefore, is not permitted inside Meijer stores.
Can Meijer Ask if Your Dog Is a Service Dog?
Yes, Meijer can inquire if your dog is a service dog, but they can’t put you through a legal inquisition. Just two questions can be asked about the necessity and task of the dog:
- Is the dog a service animal required because of a disability?
- What work or task has the dog been trained to perform?
Most Meijer stores should handle such scenarios quickly for a hassle-free experience. You shouldn’t have any worries about bringing along your service dog.
Why Are Service Dogs Allowed in Meijer?
Simply put, service dogs are trained professionals. They assist their owners with specific tasks and make the shopping experience smoother. Whether pulling items off shelves or alerting owners of potential health issues, they earn their place next to the shopping cart.
They’re no different than someone using a cane or crutches or having an assistant helping them with errands. As such, service dogs should be treated with immense respect and given space to perform their tasks.
While Meijer might not be a paradise for every pet owner, it makes concessions for those in need of service animals. The policy is in place for health and safety, not to ruin a Saturday outing. If you have a service dog that fits the ADA criteria, you can shop without worry.