Are Dogs Allowed in Costco? Costco’s Pet Policy [Updated]

Last updated: 12 Mar, 2024 |
Are Dogs Allowed in Costco Costco's Pet Policy [Updated]

Have you ever considered taking your furry best friend on a shopping trip to Costco? It sounds like fun to have your dog come along, right? However, Costco has specific rules about pets in its stores.

Let’s learn more about these rules and find different ways to make your shopping trip easy and enjoyable, whether you’re a regular Costco shopper or just someone who loves your pup a lot.

Are Dogs Allowed in Costco? Costco’s Official Dog Policy

The answer to whether pets can go into Costco has two parts. Generally, pets are not allowed inside Costco. This rule applies to all dogs except service animals trained to help people with disabilities. These service animals are allowed because of a law called the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

Are Dogs Allowed in Costco Costco's Official Dog Policy

Knowing the difference between service animals and emotional support animals (ESAs) is important. ESAs are great for comfort and support, but they are not the same as service animals. The ADA doesn’t consider ESAs service animals, so they can’t enter Costco.

What is Costco Service Animal Rules? What You Need to Know

Costco follows the rules set by the ADA about service animals. If you want to bring your service dog to Costco, there are some things you should know:

First, your service animal should always have a harness or leash.

Second, the Costco staff can ask you two questions to determine whether your dog is a real service animal.

They can ask, “Is this a service animal?” and “What task is it trained to perform?” These questions are allowed by the ADA law.

Lastly, your service dog should behave nicely and avoid bothering other shopping people.

Why No Pets in the Warehouse Aisle?

Like many other grocery stores, Costco believes it’s important to keep things clean and follow the health rules of the area. Even if pets are well-behaved, having them in the store can be a problem for maintaining sanitary conditions, especially when there’s food around.

Dog hair can fall off even the best-groomed dogs and land on different things in the store. Also, accidents sometimes happen, which can make the store less clean for everyone shopping.

What is the Difference Between Service Animal vs. Pet?

It is important to understand the difference between a service animal and a pet you love a lot. Service dogs are trained very well to do special jobs that help their owners with disabilities.

For example, they can help people who can’t see well or give balance and support to those with trouble moving around. Emotional support animals, or ESAs, are great for giving comfort and being good friends, but according to the ADA rules, they’re not the same as service animals.

What Alternative Solutions for Shopping with Your Dog?

Even though your dog can’t go with you to Costco, there are many ways to ensure you and your furry friend have a great day. Think about these ideas:

One option is to find someone you trust to look after your pup. You can leave your dog with a good pet sitter or dog walker while you do your shopping. This way, your dog can play and have fun while you’re out.

What Alternative Solutions for Shopping with Your Dog?

Another idea is to use curbside pickup at Costco. Many Costco stores let you order online, choose a time to pick up your stuff, and then someone from Costco will put your groceries in your car. This means you can shop quickly without leaving your pet at home.

You can also plan shopping trips to stores where pets are allowed. This lets your dog have an exciting trip while you shop elsewhere.

Shopping at Costco with Your Dog (Outdoor Areas Only)

If your local Costco lets dogs be in outdoor areas, here are some tips to make your shopping trip go smoothly:

First, always keep your dog on a leash and make sure they behave well.

Next, bringing water and a bowl is very important so your dog can drink and stay hydrated. Also, be a good pet owner by bringing poop bags to clean up after your dog.

Lastly, avoid going to Costco when it’s hectic, like during peak hours. There can be many people and long lines, which might stress your dog.

What if you don’t want to leave your pet alone?

If shopping at Costco without your dog makes you sad, don’t worry! There are other choices you can think about:

One idea is doggy daycare. Many places that take care of pets have daycare where your dog can play and make friends while you’re shopping. You could also ask someone you trust, like a friend, neighbor, or professional pet sitter, to watch your dog at your home.

Another option is to use Costco’s curbside pickup. This way, you can quickly get your shopping done and then return to spending time with your dog.

Lastly, you could shop online. Costco has a great website where you can look at and buy many different things without leaving your house.

What is The Importance of Following the Rules?

If you bring a dog, not a service animal, into Costco, there could be trouble. You might be asked to leave the store. In dire situations, they might even call the police or other authorities.

Also, if your dog hurts someone or breaks something in the store, you could be responsible for it. This means you might have to pay for any damage or problems your dog causes.

Maintaining a Safe and Sanitary Shopping Environment

Costco’s rules about not allowing pets are there to ensure everyone shopping and working there is safe and has a good time. Here’s how these rules help:

First, not having pets in the store reduces the risk for people allergic to pet hair or dander.

Second, it is very important to keep the store clean, especially around food. Keeping pets in shopping carts or close to food can be against health rules.

Lastly, stores can be stressful for pets who do not need to be trained for such places. This stress can make them bark or even have accidents, disrupting everyone’s shopping.

Do Pet Policies Differ Between Costco Locations?

Costco has the same rules about pets in all of its warehouses, no matter where they are. This means the pet policy is the same in Costco stores in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, and Australia. So, wherever you go to a Costco, the rules about bringing pets will be the same.

What other Stores Have Similar Pet Policies?

Just like Costco, many other well-known stores also have rules about pets.

For example, at Target, only service animals can go inside. This means emotional support animals, unlike service dogs, can’t come in.

Walmart has a similar rule. Pets are not allowed in Walmart stores, but they make an exception for service animals.

So, if you go to Target or Walmart, remember that these stores have rules about pets, just like Costco.


Even though Costco doesn’t allow most pets in its stores, it does allow service animals, as the ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) requires. Knowing about this policy and following it helps ensure that shopping at Costco is safe and fun.

So, remember, if you have a service animal, they’re welcome at Costco, but other pets will have to stay at home.


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Can I take my emotional support animal (ESA) to Costco?

Well, no, you can’t. Emotional support animals aren’t the same as service animals under the ADA, so they’re prohibited in Costco stores.

Do Small Dogs Get Special Treatment?

At Costco, the size of your dog usually keeps their rules about pets the same. Most Costco stores have a rule that says no pets are allowed, no matter how big or small your dog is. However, regarding service animals, some stores might have rules about their size. If you have a service animal, the size might matter, depending on the store’s rules.

Are there any dog-friendly alternatives to Costco?

Yes, there are! Several stores are happy to welcome dogs. These include pet stores, home improvement stores, and some outdoor outfitters. But remember, it’s always a good idea to check with the store before you go.

What if I see someone bring their pet into Costco?

Remember, Costco only allows service animals. So, if you see a pet in the store, it’s best to think it’s a service animal, and avoiding confrontation is good.

Can I leave my dog in the car while I shop at Costco?

You might think about doing this, but there are better ideas than this. If the weather is okay, it might be possible. Ensure your dog has fresh air and isn’t left in the car too long. This is important when it’s very hot or freezing.

Can dogs be brought into Costco?

No, dogs are not allowed inside Costco warehouses in the United States and Canada, except if they are service animals. This follows the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) in the U.S. and similar rules in Canada. These laws help people with disabilities who need trained service dogs.

Is Costco Canada dog-friendly?

For example, in the U.S., Costco Canada only lets service animals inside. So, if your dog is not a service animal, it can’t go into Costco in Canada.

Can Costco ask if your dog is a service dog?

Yes, they can. The staff at Costco can ask two critical questions to see if your dog is a service animal. They might ask, “Is that a service animal?” and “What work or task is the dog trained to perform?” These questions help keep the store safe and welcoming for everyone.

Does Walmart Canada allow dogs?

Like many big grocery stores in Canada, Walmart doesn’t let pets inside. This is to keep the store clean and to follow local health rules.


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Faisal Mian

With a decade of experience as a manager, advisor, and marketer in the retail and consumer service sector, I understand the intricacies of the shopping landscape. I’m committed to delivering valuable insights to enhance your shopping endeavors.

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