Is Costco Pet Friendly?

Updated on
Home » Stores » Is Costco Pet Friendly?
Photo of author
Written By Ramis Kalkan

I'm on a mission to help pet owners discover the best pet-friendly locations through

For many pet owners, bringing their furry friends along on shopping trips is just another part of their routine. But when it comes to Costco, one of the nation’s largest retailers, there’s been some confusion about their pet policy. In this article, we’ll take a closer look at whether or not Costco is pet friendly, and explore how their policy compares to other retailers. We’ll also provide tips for shopping with pets, and alternative options for pet owners. Lastly, we’ll discuss the benefits of advocating for pet-friendly policies and how to encourage retailers to adopt them.

Understanding Costco’s Pet Policy

First and foremost, it’s important to note that Costco’s pet policy will vary depending on the location. However, as a general rule, Costco does not allow pets inside their stores. This policy applies to all animals other than service animals. Whether or not a particular location is pet friendly will be up to the local management.

Costco’s policy on pets is in place to ensure the safety and comfort of all customers. While many people love their pets and consider them to be a part of the family, not everyone shares this sentiment. Some customers may have allergies or a fear of animals, and allowing pets in the store could make their shopping experience uncomfortable or even dangerous.


However, for those who do want to bring their furry friends along on their Costco run, there are some locations that do allow pets. It’s important to note that these locations may have certain restrictions in place to ensure the safety of all customers.

General Rules and Regulations

For those locations that do allow pets, there may be certain restrictions in place. Customers may be asked to keep their pets on a leash or in a carrier to prevent them from running loose in the store. This is especially important for larger dogs, who could accidentally knock over displays or cause other hazards if they’re not properly controlled.

Additionally, customers with pets may be asked to clean up after them if they have an accident inside the store. This is not only courteous to other customers, but it also helps to maintain a clean and hygienic shopping environment.


It’s important to follow these rules and be respectful of other customers and their possible allergies or fear of animals. If you’re unsure about whether or not a particular location allows pets, it’s always a good idea to call ahead and ask.

Exceptions for Service Animals

Under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), service animals are allowed in all public areas, including retail stores like Costco. Service animals are defined as dogs or miniature horses that are specifically trained to assist individuals with disabilities. These animals are not considered pets and are therefore exempt from no-pet policies.

It’s important to note that not all animals are considered service animals. Emotional support animals, for example, are not considered service animals under the ADA and are not allowed in Costco stores. If you have a service animal, be sure to bring their identification or certification with you to avoid any confusion or misunderstandings.


In conclusion, while Costco’s pet policy may vary depending on the location, it’s important to be respectful of the rules and regulations in place. Whether you’re a pet owner or not, everyone deserves to have a safe and comfortable shopping experience at Costco.

Comparing Costco to Other Retailers

So how does Costco’s pet policy compare to other major retailers? The answer is that it varies widely. Some retailers, like Petco and PetSmart, are specifically designed to cater to pet owners and welcome pets inside their stores. Others, like Home Depot and Lowe’s, allow pets as long as they’re on a leash or in a carrier. And still, others, like Walmart, have a strict no-pet policy.

Pet-Friendly Retailers

For pet owners looking for a truly pet-friendly shopping experience, there are several retailers to choose from. Petco and PetSmart are widely regarded as the most pet-friendly, with in-store grooming services, pet adoption centers, and a wide selection of pet products. Pet owners can bring their pets into the store and even try on clothes or test out toys before purchasing them. These stores also offer training classes and workshops to help pet owners improve their pets’ behavior and obedience.


Bass Pro Shops, Cabela’s, and Tractor Supply Co. are other pet-friendly retailers that allow pets inside their stores. Bass Pro Shops and Cabela’s are outdoor recreation stores that sell hunting and fishing gear, camping equipment, and outdoor clothing. They welcome pets inside their stores and even have designated pet relief areas. Tractor Supply Co. is a farm and ranch supply store that sells livestock feed, farm equipment, and pet supplies. They allow pets inside their stores and also offer grooming services.

Retailers with Strict Pet Policies

On the other hand, some retailers have strict no-pet policies. This can be due to a variety of factors, including concerns about allergies, cleanliness, and safety. Retailers like Walmart, Target, and Kroger generally do not allow pets inside their stores. However, some locations may make exceptions for service animals.

RELATED: Are Dogs Allowed in Target


Walmart is known for its low prices and wide selection of products, but it does not allow pets inside its stores, except for service animals. Walmart’s pet policy is in place to ensure the safety and comfort of all customers, including those with allergies or phobias of animals. Target also has a no-pet policy, but it does allow service animals inside its stores. Kroger, a grocery store chain, also has a no-pet policy, but it allows service animals inside its stores as well.

It’s important for pet owners to be aware of each retailer’s pet policy before bringing their pets inside. Some stores may have restrictions on the type of pets allowed, such as only allowing dogs or cats, while others may require pets to be on a leash or in a carrier. By knowing each retailer’s policy, pet owners can ensure a safe and enjoyable shopping experience for themselves and their furry friends.

Tips for Shopping with Your Pet

If you’re planning to bring your pet on a shopping trip, there are a few things you can do to make the experience more enjoyable for you and your furry friend. Shopping with your pet can be a fun and bonding experience, but it’s important to be prepared and take the necessary precautions to ensure their safety and comfort.

Preparing Your Pet for a Shopping Trip

Introducing your pet to new environments can be overwhelming, especially if they’re not used to being around crowds or unfamiliar smells and sounds. To make the transition easier, start by taking them on short walks around the block and gradually increase the distance and duration of your outings. This will help them develop the skills and confidence they need to handle a shopping trip.

It’s also a good idea to expose your pet to different types of people and animals. Take them to a dog park or a pet-friendly coffee shop where they can socialize with other pets and their owners. This will help them feel more comfortable and less anxious when they encounter new people and animals during a shopping trip.

Ensuring Your Pet’s Safety and Comfort

When shopping with your pet, safety should be your top priority. Make sure your pet is comfortable and secure at all times. If possible, use a leash or carrier to keep them close to you and prevent them from wandering off or becoming lost. It’s also a good idea to bring along a collar with identification tags, just in case they do get separated from you.

Be mindful of your pet’s needs during the shopping trip. Bring along plenty of water and treats to keep them hydrated and happy. If your pet is prone to anxiety or motion sickness, consider giving them a natural calming supplement or talking to your veterinarian about prescription medication options.

Always be prepared to clean up after your pet if necessary. Bring along waste bags and be mindful of any signs or rules regarding pets in the store. Some stores may require pets to be carried or may not allow them in certain areas, so be sure to check before bringing your pet inside.

Overall, shopping with your pet can be a fun and rewarding experience for both of you. By taking the necessary precautions and being mindful of your pet’s needs, you can ensure a safe and enjoyable outing for everyone involved.

Alternatives for Pet Owners

If bringing your pet to a brick-and-mortar store isn’t possible or desirable, there are alternative options available. Many online retailers, such as Chewy and Amazon, offer a wide selection of pet products that can be delivered right to your doorstep. This can be especially convenient for pet owners who have busy schedules or limited mobility. Plus, with the ability to read reviews and compare prices online, it can be easier to make informed purchasing decisions.

Another alternative for pet owners is to shop at local farmer’s markets or pet supply stores that allow pets. These types of stores often have a more personalized touch, with knowledgeable staff who can offer advice on products and care for your pet. Plus, shopping locally can help support small businesses in your community.

Pet-Friendly Shopping Centers

If you’re looking for a shopping center that is pet friendly, there are several options to choose from. The Grove in Los Angeles, CA, and The Domain in Austin, TX are both known for their dog-friendly policies. Many smaller, locally-owned shopping centers and outdoor marketplaces may also be pet friendly, so it’s worth doing some research to find one near you.

When visiting a pet-friendly shopping center, it’s important to remember to keep your pet on a leash and clean up after them. Some shopping centers may also have specific areas designated for pets, such as dog parks or outdoor seating areas where pets are welcome.

In addition to shopping, many pet-friendly shopping centers also offer pet-related events and activities. For example, The Grove hosts a monthly “Puppy Hour” where dogs can socialize and enjoy treats, while The Domain has a “Yappy Hour” with live music and pet vendors.