Are Dogs Allowed In Starbucks? 6 Important Rules to Know

Written by Maura Hoff
Updated: October 26, 2023
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If you’re a coffee enthusiast and the owner of a loving dog, you’ve probably wondered if you can bring your pet along for a Starbucks run. Sipping your latte with your furry companion is an appealing thought to a dog lover.

Jerry Baldwin, Gordon Bowker, and Zev Siegl founded Starbucks Coffee Company in 1971. Today, the company has expanded to over 15,000 stores in the United States, and they expect to achieve a goal of 45,000 stores worldwide by 2025.

Understanding the rules and guidelines that dictate canine companionship at this popular coffee chain is crucial before you leash up your pup. Whether you’re a seasoned customer or a new patron interested in a visit, here are the six essential rules every dog owner should know before going to Starbucks.

#1: Can I Bring My Dog to Starbucks?

Four jack russell terriers sitting in front of cups in cafe

The Starbucks pet policy allows service dogs inside their stores.

©Ksenia Raykova/

Like many establishments, Starbucks has a policy regarding pets inside stores. Starbucks follows the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), meaning they only allow service animals inside their stores.

According to the ADA, a qualified service animal is any breed or size of dog qualified to perform a task related to their handler’s disability. While someone technically cannot ask for documentation of your service animal, people may ask if you require the animal for a disability or about the dog’s task.

#2: Can I Sit Outside with My Dog at Starbucks?

A group of young friends and dog have delicious dinner, having great summertime together at the backyard of the country house

You should leash your dogs at all times on a restaurant patio.


You can often bring your leashed, well-behaved dogs to accompany you on the outdoor patio at participating locations. Starbucks patios are usually spacious, so many people bring their dogs for socialization training. Be aware if your dog is disruptive or showing signs of aggression, a Starbucks employee has the right to ask you to leave.

Many people choose to place their order in the Starbucks drive-thru and enjoy their drink on the patio with their dogs. Of course, when taking your pet to a Starbucks patio, the best practice is to call the location prior to ensure they allow pets.

#3: Can I Bring My Small Dog Indoors at Starbucks?

Happy satisfied smiling dark skinned man carries small pet of french bulldog breed, spend leisure time together, expresses positive emotions during photoshoot with dog, isolated over blue background

While patrons can bring small dogs to many outdoor patios at Starbucks, a dog may not enter a Starbucks store unless it’s a service animal.

©Cast Of Thousands/

You may not bring a small dog into a Starbucks store unless it is a service animal. While smaller dogs may seem less disruptive and easier to control, they still qualify as pets. While the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulations vary by state, health codes dictate that pets may not enter restaurants.

This rule also applies to those who carry their small dogs instead of walking them on a leash as well. Regardless of the size or breed of the dog, only service animals may be inside Starbucks stores.

#4: Is Starbucks Dog-Friendly?

Adorable pug dog sitting in his owner's lap in cafe bar. Selective focus on dog.

Many people bring their dogs to Starbucks for a Puppuccino.


While pets aren’t allowed inside Starbucks buildings, Starbucks identifies as a pet-friendly coffee shop. Many animal lovers enjoy bringing their dog through the Starbucks drive-thru to order the popular secret menu item, a “Puppuccino.” Also commonly known as a “pup cup,” this goody for your pet is a dollop of whipped cream inside a small Starbucks cup. The best part about it? Puppuccinos are free!

Starbucks patrons enjoy ordering this sweet treat to film or photograph for social media. Many Starbucks locations will print these photos and display their satisfied customers in their stores!

While a Puppuccino can add some fun to your dog’s day, remember to order them sparingly. A small amount of whipped cream is not harmful for dogs, but excessive sugar can cause health problems.

#5: Can I Bring My Emotional Support Dog to Starbucks?

Happy woman relax with her dog on sofa for mental health, wellness or emotional support, love and care. Young person relaxing on living room couch and stroking puppy pet, animal or Labrador retriever

Emotional support animals help those with mental health and psychiatric challenges.

© – Yuri A/

If you plan to bring an emotional support animal (ESA) to Starbucks, it’s important to understand they do not qualify as a service animal. An ESA provides therapeutic comfort to its handler but does not perform specific tasks for a disability. They are very beneficial to those who struggle with mental health or psychiatric challenges.

Plan to order at the drive-thru or sit on the patio to enjoy your beverage if you bring your ESA to Starbucks.

#6: What About Cats and Other Animals at Starbucks?

red cat sniffing a mug of black coffee while standing on a table with paper and pen

Cats can qualify as emotional support animals but not as service pets.

©Germanova Antonina/

Whether your cat is a pet or an ESA, cats are prohibited indoors at Starbucks stores due to health code regulations. However, participating locations allow cats in the drive-thru and outdoor patio. Many people order a Puppuccino for their kitty to enjoy as well!

Like dogs, it’s always best to call before bringing an animal to a restaurant or retail store.

The photo featured at the top of this post is © Benevolente82/

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About the Author

Maura Hoff is a writer at A-Z Animals where her primary focus is dogs, travel, and hiking. She has been writing for over 10 years and earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Communications from Pennsylvania State University in 2016. When Maura isn't writing, she spends time with her husband and two Golden Retrievers, Basil and Sunny, in the Colorado mountains. Her passions are cooking, reading, music, and quoting her favorite show, The Office.

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