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Are Dogs Allowed in Whole Foods? 2024 Pet Policy & FAQ

Written by: Ed Malaker

Last Updated on June 5, 2024 by Dogster Team

woman holding shopping cart at a market

Are Dogs Allowed in Whole Foods? 2024 Pet Policy & FAQ

Many people like to shop with their pets, and you likely have seen a few dogs in stores during your shopping excursions, which might cause you to wonder if you can take your dog to the local Whole Foods. Unfortunately, Whole Foods does not allow animals in its stores, but there are exceptions, so keep reading while we list a few reasons that you might see a dog at the store.

What Is the Whole Foods Policy on Dogs?

The Whole Foods grocery chain has a strict no-pet policy, so shoppers must leave their pets at home. Guidelines set up by the Food and Drug Administration and local laws regarding food safety require animals to be kept out of grocery stores except under special circumstances1.

When Is a Dog Allowed in Whole Foods?

The only dogs allowed in Whole Foods are service animals per the Americans with Disabilities Act2. These animals have special training that enables them to assist shoppers with disabilities, so they are allowed in many locations that other pets are not, including grocery stores.

woman in wheelchair with the assistance of a trained dog buying groceries at the market
Image Credit: Jose Luis Stephens, Shutterstock

Do I Need to Take Steps Before Entering a Whole Foods Store With My Service Dog?

Your service dog should be easy to identify; ensure that they are wearing their service vest or harness. It’s also a good idea to call ahead to let the store manager know that you intend to visit, so there is no confusion or hold-ups. This is also a good opportunity to let the manager know if you have any special requirements, like a motorized cart.

Can I Take My Emotional-Support Animal to Whole Foods?

Unfortunately, emotional-support animals are not full-fledged service animals, so the ADA does not permit them access. It is unlikely that they will be allowed to accompany you into the store.


Why Do I See People With Dogs in Whole Foods?

Unfortunately, a few people don’t follow the rules and might sneak in their pet, especially a small dog that they are carrying or pushing in a stroller. Some people might also mistakenly believe that they can legally take an emotional-support animal into the store. The store managers might prefer to avoid confrontation or be unsure about the rules regarding service and support animals, so they allow the dog to remain in the store against policy.

Does the No-Pets Rule Apply to All Whole Foods Stores?

There are more than 500 Whole Food stores across the United States and several more in other countries, and all prohibit dogs unless they are registered service animals.

Cute little puppy dog sitting in a shopping cart
Image Credit: skrotov, Shutterstock

PK paw divider


Dogs are not allowed in any Whole Foods locations in the United States unless they are service animals, which do not include emotional-support pets. If you have a service animal, we recommend calling ahead to let the on-duty manager know that you are coming into the store, to ensure that there are no hold-ups when you arrive. Your dog should also wear their proper vest and harness so other shoppers and employees know that the dog is not breaking any rules.

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Featured Image Credit: Kwangmoozaa, Shutterstock

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