Is Big Lots Pet Friendly? (All You Need to Know)

With the increasing involvement of pets in daily outdoor activities, most consumers have considered taking their pets with them on a shopping experience.

Since Big Lots is one of the most popular retailers, customers may need insight into the store’s pet policy and ask – is Big Lots pet friendly? Here’s all you need to know!

Is Big Lots Pet Friendly In 2024?

Unfortunately, Big Lots is not pet-friendly and does allow pets in stores unless the pet is a service animal as of 2024. The store maintains adherence to the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) by allowing disabled consumers to enter the stores with service animals. Big Lots does not ask for special jackets or proof of pet training.

If you want to find out more guidelines on pets at Big Lots, whether you can take service animals to Big Lots and much more, keep reading for more facts!

Can I Bring a Dog Into Big Lots?

You cannot bring a dog into Big Lots unless it’s a service animal, as the company is staunch in promoting a “service dog-only environment.”

According to the company policy, customers with pet dogs may be restricted entry into the store unless they enter without the dogs.

The company maintains the policy mainly because dogs may be a liability to the company’s fragile and expensive merchandise.

Therefore, before visiting Big Lots, you should consider finding a suitable and safe place to keep your dog.

Are Service Pets Allowed in Big Lots Stores?

Service pets are allowed at Big Lots without any need for special jackets and proof of pet training.

Since the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) dictates that all businesses must accommodate service pets, Big Lots allows the entry of the service pets into the company premises. 

Typically, the service pets are individually trained dogs that perform tasks for a person with disabilities, making them aides to consumers with disabilities to shop at Big Lots.

However, it’s important to note that service dogs at Big Lots should always be within the owner’s reach at all times.

Why Are Pets Not Allowed at Big Lots?

Why Are Pets Not Allowed at Big Lots?

Just like most companies, Big Lots does not allow the entry of pet animals due to a handful of reasons.

For example, Big Lots does not permit the entry of pet animals into stores to prevent pet contamination in the interest of consumers who might be allergic to pets. 

Furthermore, Big Lots denies pet entry to prevent any damages that consumers’ pets may cause.

Can Big Lots Ask If Your Dog Is a Service Pet?

Big Lots associates can ask you whether or not your pet is a service pet.

However, the store does not need proof of pet training since the ADA’s Handler’s Rights do not allow employees to ask for proof of disability or service pet documentation.

Why Does Big Lots Only Allow Service Dogs?

Big Lots allows the entry of service dogs into its stores because they are specially trained to handle duties in the assistance of persons with disabilities, unlike other normal pets.

Service dogs are also trained against defecating or urinating on indoor floors, making it safe to roam around.

Furthermore, unlike other dogs, service dogs are trained to remain calm under stressful conditions and refrain from attacking customers at the store.

Therefore, since service dogs do not pose a danger to customers and store merchandise at Big Lots, they are an exception to the company’s no pets policy.

Although Big Lots may not request proof of service, customers are discouraged from entering the store with ordinary pets.

Are Emotional Support Dogs Allowed at Big Lots?

Emotional support dogs are not allowed at Big Lots since the ADA guidelines do not include them with service animals.

Ideally, Big Lots allows the entry of service dogs because they recognize the pets’ vital role in providing physical assistance and may not allow emotional support dogs due to the functionality.

Therefore, since emotional support dogs primarily provide comfort for individuals struggling with mental health and are not involved in the practical day-to-day tasks, they are not allowed in stores.

To find out more, you can also see our posts on where is Big Lots, what do Big Lots sell, and how much do Big Lots pay.


Big Lots is not a pet-friendly retailer and does not allow the entry of pet animals unless it’s a service animal to an individual with disabilities.

Generally, Big Lots allows only service pets in the stores in adherence to ADA guidelines that dictate businesses to acknowledge service pets and their roles to disabled individuals.

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Marques Thomas

Marques Thomas graduated with a MBA in 2011. Since then, Marques has worked in the retail and consumer service industry as a manager, advisor, and marketer. Marques is also the head writer and founder of

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