Owning dogs is proven to extend humans’ lifespans and improve their quality of life, so it seems natural that we want to take our canine friends with us everywhere we go.
From vacations to patio dining to lazy days on the couch watching TV, they are the best possible companions.
But you might be wondering does grocery chain Aldi allow dogs in their stores? They sell plenty of pet items, so can your furry best friend join you on your weekly grocery trip? Here is everything you need to know about Aldi stores’ pet policy.
Does Aldi Allow Dogs?
Aldi does not allow dogs, or any type of pet, in their stores, with one exception. Dogs that are working service animals, as defined by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), are allowed inside Aldi stores. This does not, however, include emotional support animals.
Wondering why Aldi doesn’t allow dogs in their stores or what constitutes a service dog versus an emotional support animal? Read on, because I have answers to your questions!
Why Doesn’t Aldi Allow Dogs?
While the Aldi website itself leaves its dog policy curiously blank, we decided to reach out to a slew of supermarkets, Aldi included, to inquire whether they allow pets inside.
Aldi was among the many – actually, all – who replied that dogs and other animals are not permitted inside store premises, with the exception of service dogs.
Dogs being barred from entering Aldi can be summed up in two words: Health safety.
While the dirt and germs our own dogs bring into our homes are negligible, imagine if everyone who had a dog brought their pet to Aldi, every day.
It would be a direct violation of FDA health safety regulations, as well as many local health safety laws.
Simply put, the presence of dogs around food being prepared, packaged, or sold for human consumption, especially in confined spaces, is not a good mix.
Further, we could theorize that since Aldi stores pride themselves on efficiency and cleanliness, the presence of dogs – who are, by nature, irascible, moody, unpredictable, and messy – would upend all that order and create a headache for employees.
Aldi’s business model trains customers to bring their own carts back to the corrals so that they don’t have to hire extra employees to do it; would the company really want to hire employees to clean up after pets?
Does Aldi Allow Service Dogs?
Aldi does allow service dogs, of course, as it is a federal law that they are permitted in public spaces.
The ADA states, “State and local governments, businesses, and nonprofit organizations that serve the public generally must allow service animals to accompany people with disabilities in all areas of the facility where the public is allowed to go.”
The ADA further stipulates that service animals must be “under the control of the handler” and must, in any case where it will not interfere with the person’s disability, “be harnessed, leashed or tethered.”
So controlled, leashed service dogs or service dogs who are shown to be under the control of their handler’s “voice, signal or other effective controls” are always welcome at Aldi stores.
Can Aldi Ask If Your Dog Is A Service Animal?
Per the ADA, employees at Aldi can ask if the dog is in fact a service animal, due to the handler’s disability.
The only other questions they can ask – and this can get tricky – is what kind of work or what kinds of things is the dog trained to do?
What is not allowed are inquiries into the nature of the handler’s disability or any training or documentation proving that the animal is a service dog or requests for a demonstration of the dog’s abilities.
Can You Take Your Emotional Support Dog Into Aldi?
You cannot take your emotional support animals (ESA) into Aldi stores. They are not covered by the ADA, which stipulates that the service animal must be trained to perform a specific task.
ESAs are not trained for specific abilities; instead, they are certified that their general presence provides emotional reassurance and support to their human handlers.
Can You Sneak Your Little Dog Into Aldi?
You might still be tempted to take your small-breed dog to Aldi. After all, there are carriers that look like purses and totes, and there are slings and other wearables that keep dogs close to the owner’s body.
No one can stop you from trying this, but it could still violate your local public health safety laws, as well as Aldi’s store policy.
Aldi staff would be in the right to ask you to leave, and you could cause your local public health department to get called on the store.
Do Any Grocery Stores Allow Dogs?
Because the combination of dogs and food being sold in an enclosed, public space does not mix, it is entirely likely that no grocery stores around you will allow you to bring your dog inside.
From our research, we found many national and regional chains that are not dog-friendly, including Harris Teeter, Giant Eagle, Costco, Trader Joe’s, Whole Foods Market, and Sam’s Club.
How Can You Get Groceries From Aldi If You Have Your Dog With You?
You’re in luck! You can still get your Aldi grocery haul, even when you can’t be parted from Fido.
Aldi offers grocery delivery and pick-up in partnership with Instacart. You can shop online using their mobile app and schedule delivery (complete with instructions not to ring the doorbell and alert the dog) or pick-up – and every dog loves a car ride!
To learn more, you can also see our related posts on:
Aldi does not allow dogs that are not service animals inside stores, particularly for public health safety reasons. Service dogs are always welcome to join their handlers, provided they are well-behaved and under the handler’s control.
And if you simply cannot bear to leave your pup at home but you need groceries, you can always order your Aldi haul via Instacart.