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Are Dogs Allowed in Costco?

Are Dogs Allowed in Costco?

If you have been asking yourself if dogs are allowed in Costco, we have an answer for you. Keep reading to learn more. 

Over the years, pets have proved their qualities as very loyal friends, good companions, and emotional support.

For these reasons, many people tend to keep dogs. Pets, especially dogs, are generally social creatures and may struggle whenever their handlers are not at home.

Many handlers may consider taking their lovely companions to the places they visit from time to time, such as their local stores. 

Does Costco Allow Dogs?

Costco complies with the regulations of the Americans with Disability Act (ADC) and is considered relatively pet-friendly.

They allow certified service dogs into their warehouse. However, the store does not allow emotional support animals or everyday pets into their warehouse.

Although some Costco locations take a relaxed approach to dogs, most of the locations are very strict.

Service dogs are trained either individually at home or by professionals to perform specific tasks or offer assistance for the benefit of a person with different types of disabilities.

The dog should be trained to perform a task that directly relates to the disability of the owner. Emotional Support Animals (ESA) are prohibited because they are not trained to perform any specific task. Although they are usually very helpful to their owners by relieving loneliness or depression and providing companionship, they do not meet the qualification of being service dogs.

costco shop - Are Dogs Allowed in Costco?

Are All Service Dogs Allowed in Costco?

According to the Costco policy, members accompanied by a service dog or any other service animal will be given immediate access to all Costco’s warehouses. However, you will have to be aware that certain rules apply before taking your dog with you to Costco. 

Both the dog and its owner must consider health and safety laws during their shopping time. This means that as the owner, you will have to be in full control of your dog all the time. On the other hand, the dog should be on a leash. 

In addition, your service dog will not be allowed to wander because it can damage or contaminate various products in the store. The dog can also raise other customers’ concerns. 

Does Cosco Ask If Your Dog Is A Service Dog?

Although you can legally and freely take your service dog to any Costco store, their employees have a right to ask you whether the pet in question is a service dog. This is done to comply with the ADA guidelines. It is meant to ensure that health and safety laws are not breached.

The employees at Costco may also ask you what functions or tasks the service dog is trained to perform. Any other request to see proof of disability in the documentation form is not allowed. 

Are Emotional Support Dogs Allowed In Costco?

No, emotional support animals, including emotional support dogs, are not allowed in Costco. This is because such dogs are not classed as service animals under the ADA. Emotional support pets do not offer practical assistance to their keepers. Instead, they provide therapeutic benefits to individuals who are struggling with mental health issues. They help in reducing the symptoms of their owners through companionship.

Can You Put A Dog In Your Shopping Cart At Costco?

Some customers have reported cases incidences where they have seen some animals and dogs being carried around in shopping carts at Costco. However, the practice is strictly against FDA guidelines. 

Shopping carts should only be used to carry groceries and other products. Therefore, transporting a dog or any other animal in a shopping cart is unsanitary and not allowed. A Costco employee will likely as you to leave the stores if you are found carrying your dog in a shopping cart. By carrying your pet in a shopping cart, you will not be adhering to the required health and safety laws. 

Costco Dog Policy

As stated earlier, all Costco stores comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The stores welcome only service animals into their warehouses. This means that individuals who use service animals can freely access Costco’s warehouses. However, the service animal must always be under its owner’s control while in the warehouse. In addition, the service animal must be vaccinated and housebroken in accordance with state laws.

Costco, like most other businesses, permits service dogs into their warehouses. They recognize the fact that these dogs serve a crucial role. They can help their owners to do shopping in the stores and even save their lives. 

However, Costco employees have a right to ensure that your dog is a service animal. Therefore, they will ask you two questions to confirm this;

  1. Is the dog a service animal?
  2. What task is the dog trained to perform

Beyond the above questions, Costco employees should not ask :

  • About the owner’s disability 
  • To see any medical documentation
  • Ask for documentation or ID for the service dog
  • Whether the dog performs the task, it has trained to perform it or not.

Therefore, if you see a service dog in Costco, it means:

  • The store does not break safety and health laws
  • The service dog is trained to perform a task for the owner
  • The acceptance of a service dog in the store complies with the ADA.

It is also good to remember that there are times when Costco can decide to have a service dog turned away or removed from the warehouse for their own reasons. One of the reasons why your service dog could be removed is when it misbehaves or bothers other shoppers at the store. Your service dog can also be removed if you fail to control it. 

service dog - Are Dogs Allowed in Costco?

Are There Any Differences Between Costco US, Canada, UK, Or Australia?

There are no significant differences when it comes to dog policies between Costco UK, the US, Australia, or Canada. The stores only allow service animals. Emotional support animals are not allowed. 

Confusion With Therapy Animals Or Emotional Support Animals

ADA has clearly stated that both therapy animals and emotional support animals (ESA) are not service animals. The task of any service animal must be directly related to the disability of its owner. For example, a seeing-eye dog can help a blind owner to cross the streets or go where the owner goes.

Emotional support animals do not meet the definition of a service dog even when they are used as part of medical treatment. Here are some of the things that ESAs do:

  • They provide companionship
  • Dogs can relieve loneliness
  • They help with phobias and depression
  • They comfort their owners or keepers with their presence

In addition, emotion support dogs are not taken through any special training to assist people with disabilities. 

How To Identify a Fake Service Dog

If you have ever been to Costco, then you probably could have seen dogs with their owners in the warehouse. Did you ask yourself if the dogs are service animals? 

Here are a few ways to tell that a dog is not a service animal:

  • If the dog steals food from the shelf
  • If the dog is aggressive
  • Jumping at people
  • Sniffing everything
  • Whining or barking at people
  • Pulling on the leash
  • Riding a shopping cart or being carried
  • Urinating or defecating on the floor or on products.
  • Seeking attention from other customers.

Abuse of the Service Animal Policy

Many pet owners and keepers pass off their pets as service dogs. They do so just to get the opportunity to bring their dogs to stores like Costco. Did you know that there is a penalty for those caught doing this?

Some dog owners pretend that their pet is a service and even go ahead to buy them service dog vests and get them fake certifications. Costco employees have encountered such scenarios on several occasions. They knew it was not a real service dog.

a service dog - Are Dogs Allowed in Costco?


So how did such pet owners get away with the act? One of the reasons is that some establishments would not dare challenge a dog or pet. Many stores fear lawsuits. Therefore, leniency will occur if they do not have a clear stand on pet or dog policy. In addition, it can be very embarrassing and a hassle to ask every pet owner that visits the store if their dog is a service animal. Therefore, employees tend to let it be whenever owners say that their dogs are service animals. 


Generally, it is a crime to pretend that your pet is a service animal in the United States. Thankfully, laws have been put in place to combat this problem. Penalties are meant to deter individuals from passing their dogs off as service animals. 

Penalties vary from one state to another. Today, there are more than 20 states in the US that have laws against the owners of fake service animals. 

Tips When Going To Costco

Have you been thinking of taking your dog to Costco? If it is not a service animal, then just leave them at home. If it is a service dog, make sure of following Costco’s rules for the sake of your dog and for the welfare of service dog teams. 

Here are a few things you can do:

  • Keep the dog on a leash
  • Outfit pet with a service animal patch
  • Make sure your dog defecate and urinate before you enter Costco


If you have been asking yourself whether you can take your dog to Costco, then you have an answer. Costco allows service dogs in their warehouses. They do not allow emotional support dogs. When visiting the store with your dog, you must always observe their rules and regulations concerning dogs. 

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