Aldi is a huge international discount grocery store with more than 2,000 stores in the United States and 10,000 stores across the globe. Most of the items they sell are store-brand items, but they are all high-quality items and items that people look for the most.
If you’re curious about whether you can bring your furry family member into any Aldi store, the answer is “no,” you cannot. This is because there are food items in the store, and, therefore, the FDA doesn’t allow animals of any kind to be in there.
Does Aldi Allow Dogs in Their Stores? Are There Exceptions?
The Aldi allow-pet policy is clear: the only animals allowed inside any of their stores are service animals that are there to help people who have certain disabilities.
According to the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), passed in 1990, no public facility can prevent service animals from entering their buildings. Of course, the dog must still be on a leash and well-behaved to be there.
In case you’re wondering, emotional support animals (ESAs) and therapy dogs are not permitted. Why? Because ESAs and therapy dogs are not trained, whereas service animals are.
Service animals are trained not only to help their owners but also to be around other people and behave in all types of situations. ESAs and therapy dogs have no specific training and therefore are not allowed in Aldi.
Of course, the main reason Aldi doesn’t allow dogs or other pets inside of their stores is that, according to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), no facility that either sells or prepares food is allowed to have animals enter the premises.
Obviously, this law is there for sanitary reasons because the mixture of animals and food is usually not a good combination.
The Aldi Pet Policy in More Detail
It can be disappointing for pet parents to learn that their furry family members cannot go with them when they shop at Aldi, but the reasons make sense when you think about it.
For sanitary reasons, it’s just best to keep live animals away from food items, especially when it comes to items such as fresh produce and items you might use to prepare deli food.
The FDA has very strict guidelines when it comes to the conditions surrounding any food items, which affects grocery stores, restaurants, and diners specifically.
Any time there’s food involved or even ingredients to make certain dishes, animals are simply not allowed near the facility. In fact, even customers with service animals can be asked to leave if they are running amok or unleashed.
This rarely happens, of course, because of the extensive training that service animals receive. Nevertheless, it’s important to remember that if you do use a service animal wherever you go, you’ll have to make sure you keep it on a leash and that it never runs off in a different direction or bothers any of the other customers shopping in the store.
Other Reasons for the Ban
The ban on animals inside the Aldi stores is also in place to make sure the shopping experience is as enjoyable as possible for everyone involved, not just animal lovers.
In addition to sanitation, other reasons for not allowing pets in the store include that shoppers can be allergic to animals or even afraid of them. The ban is there in part so that no customer is uncomfortable while shopping.
Aldi takes their commitment to customer service seriously, and they do not want any of their shoppers to be uncomfortable or fearful. They also don’t want these customers to get sick due to the spreading of debris and bacteria that is sometimes tracked into the store when pet owners bring their pets with them. In order for all customers to be safe, healthy, and enjoy shopping there, Aldi bans most animals.
Service animals are allowed under federal law, but even these animals must be well-behaved. On the rare occasion when a service animal starts to roam around, gets off of their leash, or starts to wreak havoc in an Aldi store, the owner will be requested to leave by store management.
Most service animals act just fine in the stores, but Aldi has a “plan B” for those times when they do not.
If You Bring in a Service Dog
If you bring a service dog into Aldi, just know that you are not going to be interrogated over the legitimacy of the animal.
Aldi employees are not allowed to ask for any type of certificate to prove that they are service animals. They can ask if the animal is required for your disability and what task the dog can perform—nothing else.
In other words, you will never be harassed because you’re entering the store with a service dog. This makes things much easier if you’re a customer with a disability that isn’t obvious to the average person.
Aldi is a popular discount grocery chain that, because they sell food, does not allow any dogs or other pets in the store.
This is due to the FDA’s strict requirement that no facility selling or preparing food is allowed to have dogs or other animals on the premises. The only exception is service dogs, but that does not include emotional support animals (ESAs) or therapy dogs.
If you visit an Aldi store, just know that you are not allowed to bring any pets with you, and the reasons for this include sanitation and convenience for the shoppers.