I love shopping at Dollar Tree. A couple of times a month, my mother and I hit up these stores where most items are just $1.25. But do I bring our dogs to Dollar Tree? The answer is no–because dogs are not allowed in Dollar Tree; this chain of stores are not dog friendly.
Why Doesn’t Dollar Tree Allow Dogs?
Dollar Tree–like Walmart and any other store selling food in the US–does not allow dogs (other than service dogs) into the store due to health regulations.
Dollar Tree has an extensive selection of candies, bread, frozen food and more so, in spite of the many cosmetics, craft supplies, decor and more in the store, it follows the same rules as a traditional grocery store.
If you need something at Dollar Tree, you’ll need to leave your dog at home–or order online or via Instacart for delivery to your home.
But I’ve seen dogs in Dollar Tree!
The same pet policy covers all the Dollar Tree stores, a chain of over 5,000 stores with locations in the US and Canada that date back to the 1950s (and in 2015 the company acquired Family Dollar).
However, some store managers may turn a blind eye to dogs in the stores or may not ask customers if their dog is a service dog.
Or you may be seeing a service dog but it just isn’t apparent that he is a service dog.
Service dogs are not required to wear any type of harness, vest or tag–so it’s not always apparent that a dog is working.
Service dogs can include Diabetic Alert Dogs, Seizure Alert Dogs, Hearing Dogs and many more.
If your dog is not a trained service dog, do not attempt to misrepresent your dog as a service dog. Depending on where you live, misprepresenting your dog as a service dog can carry a fine of up to $1000.
Can I bring a service dog in the store?
Yes, you may bring a service dog into Dollar Tree stores.
Just which dogs are defined as a service dog? According to the American Disabilities Act (ADA):
Under the ADA, a service animal is defined as a dog that has been individually trained to do work or perform tasks for an individual with a disability. The task(s) performed by the dog must be directly related to the person’s disability.
As mentioned above, you do not need to have a special vest or harness on your dog to identify your dog as a service dog, but store employees are allowed to ask you two questions:
(1) is the dog a service animal required because of a disability?
(2) what work or task has the dog been trained to perform?
According to ADA rules, “Staff are not allowed to request any documentation for the dog, require that the dog demonstrate its task, or inquire about the nature of the person’s disability.”
Can I bring an emotional support dog to Dollar Tree?
Emotional support dogs don’t have the same protections as service dogs under the ADA rulings so they cannot go to locations that are limited to service dogs only.
Understandably, in some circumstances can be difficult to draw the line as to whether a dog is a service dog or emotional support dog. ADA gives this example:
If someone’s dog calms them when having an anxiety attack, does this qualify it as a service animal?
A. It depends. The ADA makes a distinction between psychiatric service animals and emotional support animals. If the dog has been trained to sense that an anxiety attack is about to happen and take a specific action to help avoid the attack or lessen its impact, that would qualify as a service animal. However, if the dog’s mere presence provides comfort, that would not be considered a service animal under the ADA.
Service dogs do not have to be professionally trained.
In conclusion, don’t bring your dog to Dollar Tree unless your dog is a service dog. Leave your dog at home for a quick run to Dollar Tree or look for other dog-friendly stores.