Dogs are not allowed in Safeway stores, except for service dogs when they accompany visitors with disabilities. Many laws around the country control the presence of pets around food for safety and health reasons. Plus, even when laws don’t keep pets out of food stores, there is still a cleanliness concern.
With that said, some stores may decide to allow dogs in on a case-to-case basis. If a store is located in an area where visitors often walk their dogs (such as near a dog-friendly beach), then the store might be the exception.
To know your local Safeway’s regulations, you should call ahead and speak to the local manager. For the most part, Safeway doesn’t allow dogs inside their stores. However, there are some exceptions.
What is the Official Safeway Dog Policy?
The official policy of the corporation is that no dogs are allowed within their stores with the exception of service dogs, which the company must do to comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act. The stores don’t allow companion animals or emotional support dogs.
The store states that this policy is in place for health and safety reasons, especially because the store sells food.
Does Safeway Policy Vary from Store to Store?
Officially, no, all stores are supposed to follow the company’s pet policy. However, a search online makes it pretty obvious that not all stores do. Some stores don’t follow the corporate’s official stance and may allow dogs inside, especially if the area is very pet-friendly.
Furthermore, even stores that technically follow the policy may not actually prevent anyone from bringing a dog in. You may not be asked to leave or stopped at the door.
However, even if the local store isn’t going to stop pets from entering, it may be unlawful to take your dog into a location that sells food. There are many local laws prohibiting pets around food that’s being sold, which is often why they aren’t allowed in grocery stores.
Why Doesn’t Safeway Allow Pets?
Safeway doesn’t allow pets mostly because it sells food. The FDA Food Service Code states that no live animals are allowed into businesses that serve or sell food due to the potential safety risk. For the safety of buyers, pets aren’t allowed in Safeway for this reason.
You’ll also find that most grocery stores don’t allow pets for this reason. The stores don’t want to risk contamination of food.
What About Service Animals?
With that said, Safeway must allow service animals. These dogs are individually trained to perform work and tasks for the person with a disability. The task must be directly related to the disability.
Service dogs aren’t required to have any specific documentation or training. There isn’t a national ID service that verifies what dogs are trained and which aren’t. Store employees and owners aren’t allowed to ask for documentation, either.
With that said, service animals are different from emotional support animals. ESAs aren’t trained and simply provide comfort with their presence. These dogs aren’t protected under the law and aren’t allowed in any Safeway stores.
Safeway doesn’t allow dogs to enter their stores per corporate policy. Of course, this doesn’t include service animals, which are allowed.
With that said, Safeway stores may allow pets inside—even if that doesn’t match up with the official policy. It’s also possible that individual employees or managers may not care, which can lead to pets being unofficially allowed.
However, the FDA and many local laws do limit the access of dogs to grocery stores and other stores that sell food. Therefore, it’s often best to leave your dog at home if you’re visiting a Safeway.