Does Trader Joe’s Allow Dogs? (Why You Can’t Bring Your Dog Inside)

Dog owners bring their pets wherever they go, especially in the United States. You’ll see them in parks, shopping malls, and even in some restaurants. However, are dogs allowed in grocery stores?

Not all stores allow dogs inside, especially when you’re in Trader Joe’s. Since operating in 1967, this renowned grocery store has not been a pet-friendly one for dog-lovers. 

Does Trader Joe’s Allow Dogs in 2023?

No, Trader Joe’s does not allow dogs in 2023 since management observes the “No Pet Policy” for everyone’s safety. Since groceries are public areas, not everyone you encounter in these stores is pet-friendly. Additionally, dogs pose potential sanitation problems, as they are in close proximity to fresh and prepared food.

Only service dogs can come inside the store, as these animals serve people with disabilities and is mandated by the Americans with Disabilities Act’s Law. If you have a service dog but don’t have any psychiatric or disability issues, you still can’t bring your dog inside. 

Are Dogs Allowed in Other Trader Joe’s Branches? 

No, pet dogs are not allowed in any of its nationwide stores. Sanitation issues keep these pets out, especially in food stores. However, service dogs are allowed in any Trader Joe’s branch. 

Why Are Animals Not Allowed in Trader Joe’s? 

Animals are not allowed in Trader Joe’s because most grocery stores, including Costco, IKEA, and Walmart, follow state and local rules in the United States. Management doesn’t let animals inside the store because there is sold, stored, and prepared food, which can be contaminated by dogs or other animals.

Why Do Customers See Dogs Inside Trader Joe’s Sometimes?

Despite having a “No Pet Policy,” Trader Joe’s lets service dogs inside. The company still needs to comply with the ADA or Americans with Disabilities Act’s Law. Still, if these dogs cause disturbances, the store manager has the authority to question the dog’s eligibility.    

There’s no mechanism in determining a service dog’s legitimacy. Plus, if a staff meddles with a disabled person’s rights, they might receive penalties.  

Why Can Service Dogs Enter Food Stores? 

Service dogs can enter food stores because they have been properly trained for years to not cause public disturbances and disruptions. With proper training, bringing one in any store is possible.

Are Service Dogs Dangerous to Other People in the Store? 

Service dogs are not a threat to people in public, which is why these animals need to undergo special training to qualify. Also, handlers should wear a special harness or jacket on their service animal. If a dog doesn’t have any benefit to a person with disabilities, then this animal is not allowed inside at all. 

pexels helena lopes 4453109

What Can Staff Members Do if They Encounter Service Animals?

Store owners need to conduct staff training when service dogs are in the store. These employees have responsibilities in assisting those who have disabilities. If the customer allows the staff to engage with the pet, they can work together with the service animal in assisting the customer. 

They don’t have to ask for any documentation to verify whether the dog is a service animal or not. These members only need to ask two simple questions, like the following: 

  1. Is the dog a service animal?
  2. What task can it do? 

Will Trader Joe’s Let My Dog in if I Train My Pet? 

Letting your pet undergo special training for well-behaved behavior is not a bad idea. However, you still can’t bring your pet inside the store if you’re not a person with a disability or psychiatric issues. Service animals should serve their purpose to handlers with such issues, and it’s the only instance that the store will permit these animals inside. 

Can I Bring My Emotional Support Pet to Trader Joe’s? 

No, you can’t bring an emotional support dog when you shop in Trader Joe’s. These dogs don’t provide the necessary services a disabled person needs. Also, if you’re not a disabled person, there’s no point in proving with the management that your pet is a service animal. 

Why Are Emotional Support Dogs not the Same as Service Dogs?

Emotional support dogs are far different from service dogs because these animals didn’t undergo any training. The policy under ADA also doesn’t recognize emotional support dogs as service animals. 

You have the option to train your emotional support pet to be a service animal if you have any family member with disabilities. 

pexels maria orlova 4916298

Can I Leave My Dog Outside Trader Joe’s While Buying Groceries? 

Yes, you can at your risk. However, it’s not highly advisable because the store will not be liable for any undesirable thing that can happen to your pet. The best thing to do is have a babysitter or leave your pet at home where it’s safe. 

If you want to know about the dog food or matcha that this store sells, or if you want to confirm whether the store delivers, check out the rest of our posts. We have all the things you need to know about Trader Joe’s. 


Trader Joe’s is a renowned grocery store in the US where you can find almost anything, but the policies don’t always go in favor of pet owners. If you want to shop with your pet, you can’t bring your dog inside the store due to sanitation risks. There are unpacked foods inside for demo samples, so exposing an animal inside is not advisable. 

Only service dogs can enter the store, along with a handler who’s disabled or has a psychiatric issue. If you’re not disabled, don’t bother bringing your dog because the store will not let the animal inside.  

Leave a Comment