Are Dogs Allowed In Costco?

Ever found yourself in the midst of a bulk shopping spree at Costco, looking at the pet food aisle, and wondered if your dog could tag along? Well, you’re not alone. Many pet owners share this curiosity, especially when it comes to our beloved dogs.

While Costco is a haven for bulk buyers and offers a range of quality products for your whole family, including your four-legged family members, there are some rules to keep in mind. Let’s get a handle on Costco’s pet policy, shall we?

Are Dogs Allowed In Costco?

No, Costco’s policy generally restricts animals from entering its stores, allowing only service animals that are specifically trained to assist a person with a disability. This means that pets, including dogs that are not service animals, are not allowed inside Costco stores. This policy is in place to ensure a safe and sanitary environment for all shoppers, adhering to health regulations typically found in grocery stores and food retail environments. If you plan to shop at Costco and have a dog, it’s best to leave your pet at home unless it is a certified service animal.

Official Pet Policy of Costco:

  • Costco’s official policy prohibits pets in their stores with the exception of service animals.
  • This policy is in place for health code regulations and to ensure a safe and comfortable shopping experience for all customers.
  • There may be signs posted at the entrance of the store outlining this policy.


Service Animals: Costco is required by law to allow properly harnessed and leash-controlled service animals into the store.

  • Service animals are defined as dogs trained to perform tasks to assist people with disabilities.
  • Emotional support animals or therapy animals are not considered service animals under the law.

Why No Dogs in Costco?

There are several key reasons why Costco, and most grocery stores for that matter, don’t allow dogs inside, with the exception of service animals:

1. Health Codes and Hygiene:

  • Food Safety Concerns: Maintaining a clean and sanitary environment is crucial for grocery stores like Costco. Dogs, even well-behaved ones, can shed fur and dander, which can be allergens for some people. Paw prints can track in dirt and bacteria, potentially contaminating food products or surfaces.

2. Customer Comfort and Safety:

  • Not Everyone Loves Dogs: While many people adore dogs, not everyone feels comfortable around them, especially in a crowded shopping environment. Costco prioritizes the comfort of all their customers, and allowing dogs could create anxiety or fear for some shoppers.
  • Potential for Accidents: Dogs, even well-trained ones, can be unpredictable. An excited bark or sudden movement could startle a customer, leading to spills or accidents.

3. Animal Welfare:

  • Stressful Environment: Costco stores can be overwhelming for dogs. Loud noises, moving carts, and unfamiliar sights and smells can create anxiety and stress for them. Leaving your dog at home or in a calmer environment is the best way to ensure their well-being.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I bring my dog to Costco Canada?

Costco’s policy does not typically allow dogs in their stores. However, an exception is made for service dogs. These are dogs trained to perform specific tasks for individuals with disabilities and are legally permitted to accompany their owners in publicly accessible places.

Is Costco dog-friendly?

Although some Costco locations may seem more accepting of pets, this is often due to misunderstanding and not official policy. To avoid confusion, it’s best to check with your local Costco before bringing a dog, unless it’s a certified service animal.

How do you tell someone they can’t bring their dog?

When communicating a no-pet policy, be straightforward yet compassionate. You could say something like, “I’m sorry, but our policy disallows pets.” Providing an explanation and suggesting an alternative can also be helpful, while remaining firm but understanding.

Are pets allowed in grocery stores in California?

In California, pets are generally not allowed in food facilities, including stores that prepare, package, serve, or sell food for consumption by people. Exceptions do exist, but they are few.

Can an American bring a dog to Canada?

Dogs over 3 months old can be brought into Canada from the United States, providing they have valid proof of current rabies vaccination. An exception exists for certified assistance dogs, such as guide, hearing, or service dogs, accompanying their users.

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