Are Kroger Grocery Stores Dog-Friendly? Kroger Pet Policy Explained (Updated for 2022)
Do you love your pet but feel guilty leaving them home alone while you grocery shop? Or maybe you have a service animal but have been turned away from Kroger? Either way, you might be wondering if you can bring your dog grocery shopping at Kroger.
The Kroger grocery store chain is one of the largest grocery store chains in the United States, with over 2,000 stores spread throughout the country. It offers a variety of food and non-food products like groceries, pharmacy items, and home goods.
In this article, we’ll discuss Kroger’s pet policy, why their pet policy only allows certain animals, and give you some actionable tips on traveling to grocery stores with your dog.
But first, let’s get down to it. No, Kroger is not a dog-friendly store. Kroger does not allow dog owners to bring their pet dogs into their stores. Kroger pet policy does allow for service animals, per ADA guidelines.
Many shoppers choose Kroger because of its convenient locations and affordable prices, which makes it an attractive choice for many consumers.
According to the official policy of this popular grocery store chain, however, only service dogs are permitted inside their stores. This can be discouraging, but we’re going to cover exactly why a service dog is the only animal you can bring to Kroger grocery stores and how you might choose to move forward from this.
Join us as we dive in and learn more about Kroger stores and their pet policy, which prohibits dogs. We’ll answer the questions: “Does Kroger Allow Dogs? And, are any Krogers dog-friendly stores?”
Does Kroger Allow Dogs?
The quick answer to this question is no. Kroger does not allow pets in their stores with the exception of service dogs. This policy has been in place for many years and is enforced at all of their locations across the country.
Why Doesn’t Kroger Allow Dogs?
While many people want Kroger to allow dogs into the store, it’s simply not allowed. There are some good reasons for this sensible and common policy. Here is why Kroger doesn’t allow dogs in their stores.
Creating a Clean, Safe, and Hygienic Environment for Customers
The reason for this policy is likely two-fold. First, Kroger wants to create a safe and clean environment for its customers and employees. They are also obligated to uphold food safety regulations, which means they need to prohibit those with a regular pet dog.
Food serving establishments typically can’t allow animals, with the exception of service animals, inside stores for that reason.
Safety is also a concern. Nobody knows how a dog will react in a grocery store environment. Allowing pets into the store would increase the chances of accidents and injuries, and would also create more of a mess for employees to clean up.
Store Management Has Safety Concerns
Second, Kroger likely has liability concerns when it comes to animals in their stores. If a customer’s pet were to injure another customer or employee, Kroger could be held responsible.
This opens up tons of financial risk for Kroger. Like most grocery stores, they have decided that it doesn’t make financial sense to allow a dog owner to bring their dog into their establishment.
Kroger Wants all Guests to Feel Welcome
While Kroger’s policy of only allowing service dogs may be inconvenient for some pet owners, it is likely in place for good reasons. By remaining vigilant about enforcing this policy, Kroger can help to ensure the safety and cleanliness of their stores as well as the safety of their guests.
In the shopping business, it’s all about providing a good experience for customers. Kroger store management clearly believes that by prohibiting dogs indoors at their grocery stores, they can create a better environment for shoppers.
Kroger’s Policy Regarding Service Dogs
Looking to learn more about Kroger’s pet policy? You’re in the right place. We’re taking a look at the pet policy for Kroger stores so that we can learn more about what is or isn’t allowed in your local Kroger store.
Pets Aren’t Allowed in Kroger Stores
Like many regional grocery store chains, Kroger does not allow dogs inside of its stores. This is mostly due to safety and hygiene issues that stem from the possibility of dogs being allowed inside Kroger stores.
Obviously, there are exceptions to the rule. For instance, service animals are allowed in Kroger stores. Hopefully, that answers your question: “Does Kroger Allow Dogs?”
Service Dogs Allowed
Kroger is required to follow the rules imposed by the ADA for retail stores as well as the FDA food code, so that means service dogs allowed in Kroger stores. This includes animals such as blind police dogs, seizure alert dogs, and other (certified service) furry friends.
Kroger has a policy in place that all service dogs must be on a leash, and the handlers must have proper ID with them. Kroger also asks that customers do not pet the service dogs, as this can distract them from their work.
Disabled people are protected from discrimination under the Americans with Disabilities Act, which outlines a set of regulations designed to protect them. A part of this effort would be to ensure that service dogs are permitted in public spaces, including, but not restricted to open spaces.
The ADA was enacted in 1990 and has since then been amended a few times. The latest changes were made in 2008. The ADA covers a wide variety of disabilities, including physical, mental, and emotional disabilities. It also applies to both visible and invisible disabilities.
Types of Working Dogs
Assistance dogs, therapy dogs, and emotional support dogs are the three basic types of service dogs. Assistance dogs are trained to complete particular duties that their impaired handlers are unable to complete on their own. These jobs might involve pulling a wheelchair, picking up dropped objects, and opening doors, among other things.
Hospitals, nursing homes, and other care facilities benefit from the emotional support and companionship that therapy dogs offer their patients. People who suffer from mental health conditions like anxiety and depression might find solace and support from emotional support dogs.
Though these dogs can have a great impact on the lives of their owners and patients that see them, they are considered non-service dogs and thus aren’t allowed inside regular retail stores, including Kroger. Non-service animals are rarely allowed inside grocery stores.
The ADA requires that assistance dogs be allowed in all public places, such as restaurants, hotels, stores, and government buildings. This also includes places of worship. However, it’s optional when it comes to therapy and emotional support dogs.
The ADA also requires that businesses and other public places make accommodations for individuals with disabilities. This includes allowing service animals inside establishments.
Other Pets Not Allowed
Non-service dogs aren’t the only animals that are prohibited from Kroger. Chances are, your pet furry friend is off-limits when it comes to bringing them to a Kroger or Whole Foods market. This is due to the challenges and health hazards that they can pose to other customers.
If you try to bring a pet into Kroger or your dog exhibits aggressive rambunctious behavior, the chances are that the store manager or other Kroger employee will ask your dog and you to leave.
Testimonials From Kroger Employees
Reading the pet policy for a store is one thing–hearing it from an employee or store manager is another. If you want to know the best and most accurate information, then going right to the employees is the best source.
Employees know what actually happens on a daily basis when it comes to the Kroger pet policy. They know the difference between what store policies and local regulations say vs. whether people can actually bring dogs to Kroger.
Luckily, we were able to track down some of these employees and see what they had to say when it comes to the topic of pets in Kroger.
I have seen customers bring their dogs into my stores too. Not including service dogs, obviously. Nobody ever says anything so I guess it’s okay. But I think the actual policy is no animals allowed inside unless they’re service animals.
-Anonymous Kroger Employee
I thought the policy pertained strictly to service animals being allowed. As I think there was woman that used to come in all the time with her chihuahua. And then not sure if someone spoke to her about it or not. But he went from not having a service anything on him, to wearing a vest and then a over grown badge thingie that said he was a service animal. I still don’t buy it. But haven’t really seen that lady since either.
And I know there used to be a lady that would bring in her miniature poodle in a front carrier she would wear across her chest. But haven’t seen her either in a while. So I guess somebody stepped up and said something to them about it.
-Anonymous Kroger Store Manager
Our store allows service animals only. However, only store management can verify if it’s a service animal and all they can do is ask if it is such. They can’t ask for any verification or what it’s a service animal for. So essentially, any dog can come in. It’s frustrating.
-Anonymous Kroger Associate
As you can see, there are varying results when it comes to the pet policies of Kroger and the applicable FDA guidelines for stores that sell fresh food. Though it seems to be that the official position of Kroger is that service dogs are the only exception to their non-pet-friendly policy, many employees and managers have reported that some people have had success bringing their dog into the store regardless.
It’s common for these people to convince staff to allow their pet on the grounds that it helps with their emotional health issues or that their dogs are considered comfort animals.
Are Emotional Support Animals Considered As Service Dogs?
It’s important to note that service dogs are not the same as emotional support animals (ESAs).
Service dogs are specially trained to perform certain tasks that their owners cannot do for themselves, such as guide them around obstacles or fetch items that are out of reach. ESAs, on the other hand, provide emotional support and companionship, but they are not trained to perform specific tasks. As such, they are not allowed in Kroger stores.
There are a number of reasons why Kroger might have a policy of only allowing service dogs in their stores and prohibiting all others to outdoor spaces.
For one thing, service dogs are less likely to cause disruptions than other types of pets.
They are also less likely to spread diseases, since they undergo regular health checkups and are vaccinated against common illnesses. Some dogs can carry pathogens transmissible to vulnerable humans. That is why many restaurants do not allow any animals inside their doors.
Another reason why Kroger might prefer service dogs over other types of pets is that they can be helpful to customers who want to shop at their store. It is beneficial for the store to allow these dogs to enter the store when they might assist their customer in completing their purchase.
Ultimately, Kroger’s pet policy is likely based on a combination of factors. They want to provide a safe and comfortable shopping environment for all of their customers, and allowing only service dogs is one way to achieve that goal.
Things To Remember When Bringing Service Dogs To Kroger
If you need to bring a service dog with you to Kroger, there are a few things to keep in mind.
First, make sure that your service dog is well-trained and well-behaved. You will likely be asked to leave the store if your dog is causing a disturbance.
Second, be prepared to show proof that your dog is a service animal. This can be in the form of a badge or certification from a training program.
Finally, remember that service dogs are not allowed to eat in the store or sit in shopping carts. If you need to take a break during your shopping trip, you can ask an employee for a chair so that your dog can rest.
By following these guidelines, you can help to ensure a positive experience for yourself and other shoppers.
Kroger Pet Policy FAQ
Though Kroger complies with the guidelines of ADA, it doesn’t allow emotional support animals or pets for food and guest safety reasons, according to their policy.
Kroger stores do not allow pets. Some locations may be more lenient than others, but you probably shouldn’t attempt to bring a dog in a backpack to a Kroger grocery store.
Kroger’s official policy is that pets are not allowed in their stores, regardless of the size of that pet. No, small dogs are not allowed in Kroger.