Walking or Riding? That is the Question! 

 

Does a Service Dog belong in a shopping cart in the grocery store? Short answer, No! If you have a fully trained Service Dog they should be able to walk quietly next to you and be unobtrusive. If they are so small that you are worried about them getting stepped on then carry them or put them in a pack, not in the cart where people put food.

 

I realize that people put their dirty, drooling children in the shopping cart, so why not your dog? Well, for one, it is a Health Code Violation in most states to have a dog in a shopping cart, whereas it is not a child. Two, your Service Dog or Service Dog in Training should be at a level of proficiency when going into a grocery store that they can walk next to you. If they are not at that level of proficiency then they are not mature, trained, or old enough to be in the grocery store yet and need to continue their training in other places.

 

I am not saying that they can not be in shopping carts in places that are appropriate, such as PetCo and PetSmart which are pet oriented store and do not carry human food. This is the ideal type of place to expose a young dog to sights and sounds before they are fully vaccinated and can not be in contact with other dogs or the ground (you will want to make sure to keep them separated from the cart by a blanket or sanitize the cart first). You want to make sure that you clean up after your dog if they leave anything “behind” so the next person doesn’t have to deal with it. {A Clean Up kit containing paper towels, sanitizing wipes, potty bags, and disposable gloves can all fit into a quart (for the sanitizing (wet) wipes inside a gallon (along with everything else). This takes up about the area of an overstuffed legal-size envelope.}

 

If your dog is an Emotional Support Animal, Comfort Animal, Just Makes You Feel Better Animal or pet then they don’t belong in the store at all, let alone in a shopping cart. Leave them at home in the hot weather or in the car, if it is cool. Only Service Dogs, dogs that have been trained to mitigate a disabled person’s disability are allowed in the store. If your dog does not do work or tasks that relate to your disability, then it is not a Service Dog.

 

Okay.. I will get off my soap box now.