Costco is a shopper’s paradise for those who love buying in bulk. While the store offers an array of products tailored for the whole family, including your canine companions, it’s essential to know their pet policy before heading over with your dog. Here are two crucial rules to remember when considering bringing your dog to Costco.
General Policy: Pets are Not Allowed Inside
Costco has a strict policy against allowing pets inside their premises. This stance is consistent with most grocery stores and establishments that handle and sell food. Food safety and cleanliness are paramount, and preventing potential contamination is a top priority. It’s also in the interest of ensuring a comfortable shopping environment for all, considering that some shoppers might have allergies or phobias related to animals.
Exception to the Rule: Service Animals
While the general pet policy is stringent, service animals are an exception. In adherence to the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), Costco allows service animals to accompany their owners. Howevevr, it’s worth noting that there are specific guidelines.
- Determination of a Service Animal: Costco employees can inquire if an animal is a service animal and ask about the tasks it has been trained to perform. These questions are not intrusive but aim to ensure the safety and well-being of everyone in the store.
- Therapy vs. Service Animals: It’s crucial to differentiate between service animals and therapy or emotional support animals. The ADA does not currently recognize therapy dogs as service animals. This means that therapy dogs don’t have the same rights to enter establishments like Costco. However, always keep abreast of the latest regulations, as laws can evolve.
- Responsibilities of Service Dog Handlers: Having a service dog does not provide an absolute right to shop undisturbed. If a service dog is not behaving appropriately or poses a threat, Costco reserves the right to ask the owner to leave. Furthermore, it’s the handler’s responsibility to ensure the dog is well-trained and up-to-date with vaccinations.
It’s always best to be informed. If you’re ever uncertain about a store’s pet policy, a quick call in advance can save both you and your pet potential inconvenience. While shopping, always be respectful of the rules and mindful of other shoppers.
The photo featured at the top of this post is © Roman Mykhalchuk/iStock via Getty Images
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