Is CVS Dog Friendly? 7 Cool Tips From Pet Policy

Most dog owners often fear going shopping with their pets due to fear that their pets might be locked out of stores. Walmart and Target are some stores that offer a “No Pets” policy in the US. Luckily, Walgreens and CVS allow animals from all locations without discrimination. All these stores allow service dogs under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

Is CVS dog friendly? Do CVS Pharmacy allow dogs? CVS stores are dog friendly in most locations. There is no discrimination against breed of dogs, all dog breeds are allowed in stores where dogs are allowed. When in doubt, call and ask the local store before bringing your pet.

Next, we will look at how CVS is dog friendly, which dogs are allowed, CVS dog policy, and tips to note when taking your dog to a CVS Pharmacy.

Is cvs dog friendly
Is CVS Dog Friendly – CVS dog policy – CVS pet policy


Does CVS Allow Dogs?

Is CVS dog friendly? Yes. CVS allows dogs from all locations with no discrimination. In addition, service animals receive special permissions even to areas limited to other pets. This is because they assist people living with disabilities under the ADA act.

A quick mention; all dogs are required to be on a leash and well-mannered. It is therefore important to leash your pet to control it because its behavior will obviously get out of control upon seeing other pets. This stops your dog from misbehaving and disturbing other customers.

So make sure your dog is on a leash next time you visit your store. Let’s break the tips to help you remember easily. When taking your pet to the store, inquire about local CVS pet policy.

  • Your dog must be on a leash whether it is disciplined or not.
  • It is your duty to ensure the leash is suitable for your dog, it should be secure and comfortable for your dog to avoid uneasiness. For little dogs, you can opt to carry them in a crate or a carrier.
  • Be responsible, and control your pet so that it does not cause disturbance.
  • Make sure that your dog is properly fed.
  • Ensure that your dog relieves itself before Visiting the store.


CVS Dog Policy

Although there is no official CVS dog policy given out by CVS, it is clear that dogs are allowed in their stores.

What is the CVS dog policy? There is no verified policy. Depending on one store to another, you might notice a different attitude towards your pet. But in most locations, policies are dog friendly. Do not be surprised to come across stores that are not dog friendly too.

Some CVS stores, especially CVS pharmacy stores, disallow pets due to their regulations by the local health act of the towns or states where they are located. It is because drugstore smells can cause allergies to dogs.

To hedge your bet, always call your CVS stores to determine their CVS pet policy lest you are charged due to unauthorized entry into the retail stores. Fortunately, most CVS stores guarantee entry in most locations. Please always note the above points to learn how to prepare your pet when visiting the store.


Are Dogs Allowed In CVS NYC?

Is CVS dog friendly in CVS NYC? Luckily for New Yorkers, dogs are allowed in CVS retail stores. As a pet friendly store, you don’t have to worry as long as your pet behaves. An employee of CVS New York in Reddit states that, they are very friendly towards dogs, and particularly well-behaved pets.

Additionally, CVS Pharmacy recommends visitors to comply with their guidelines. You are supposed to be vaccinated whenever visiting their stores in accordance with their Health Policy.


Is CVS Dog Friendly?

Is CVS dog friendly? Yes. All dogs, and other pets, are permitted within a CVS store. Your dog must be on a leash and well-behaved when on the pharmacy premises. Some stores are not dog friendly while others allow service dogs only.


This is what a former Assistant CVS manager, Martha Calkins, says about it: Is CVS dog friendly?

I can say that they are very friendly toward legitimate and well-behaved service animals. Guide dog puppies in training are a special joy. Other dogs (aka pets) are tolerated. That’s the old, true definition of the word, which is NOT a synonym of embraced, celebrated, encouraged, but is closer in meaning to “endured”. It has more to do with biting one’s tongue and keeping the customer happy than it does with thinking it’s a particularly good idea.


Is CVS dog friendly to all dogs? Service dogs have more privileges in CVS stores, and are allowed in almost all locations while non-service dogs are limited to some locations. This is from the Americans with Disabilities Act policy.


How Can I Know If My Local CVS Allows Dogs?

Is CVS dog friendly in all locations? Since there is no official CVS dog policy, you must confirm with your local stores to find out if dogs are permitted. Fortunately, in most stores, they permit disciplined dogs that should always be on a leash. If your dog offers a special service, it has a higher chance of being allowed even in areas where dogs are prohibited. 

Sometimes, you might feel the need to do a quick shopping with your pet from a store. It is convenient to do so with your pet to avoid theft and loneliness. 

Instead of believing that dogs are allowed, please consult from your local store because stores have different policies.

Is cvs dog friendly
Is CVS Dog Friendly? – CVS dog policy


Do All CVS Locations Allow Animals?

As aforementioned, there is no official nationwide policy. This means CVS stores have varying policies. Some are dog friendly while others are not.

Is CVS dog friendly to service dogs? If your service dog is certified, then you can go shopping with your pet in spite of any store rules. Dogs that offer emotional support are also welcomed to most stores. Please be aware of the training your service dog has to provide an answer where a situation requires you to. 

Stores that sell food products, or grocery stores, will commonly disallow pets within their premises.

These are some opinions from CVS customers towards taking pets to the stores. They can be reasons why you should avoid taking your pet to stores.

  • It is pointless to take a highly-allergic animal into a retail store to shop for products that will be taken home. More unhealthy is to encourage it to stores that offer foods and drinks.
  • Some say that, regardless of whether a dog is trained or not, it still will get provoked easily since it can’t control its instincts effectively like humans do. 
  • Dogs are non-human and should be kept away from certain privileges.


Although store managers allow pets to the stores, most customers have a negative feeling towards bringing pets. Some pet owners feel better when their pets are around them. If you adore your pet and want to strengthen your bond, or socialize with other pets, do not leave it behind. However, if the space is little or congested, you will have to hold your furry friend. 


Does CVS allow emotional support dogs?

A common question I get is whether CVS will allow service dogs and emotional support (ES) dogs. This can be a tricky issue as Federal law does NOT protect ES dogs in any way shape or form but there are some State laws that do provide some protection for ES dogs.

First off, what is the difference between an ESA and service dog? The definition of a service dog is available here

There are two important things to note about this definition:

  • It applies to service animals only (it does not apply to ES dogs)
  • The work or tasks performed by the service animal must be for the benefit of a specific person with a disability.

This is why you rarely see ES dogs at work, because they do not provide direct support to its handler.  I am sure you have heard of the dogs that drive cars for blind people.  While this does sound cool, it is not service dog work and thus not legal for a person to claim they are using an ESA at work.


How the ADA applies to ES dogs?

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) requires businesses to allow disabled persons who use service animals into their facilities.  This is called the “service animal” rule.

The ADA does NOT protect ES dogs, however there are some state laws that specifically mention ES dogs.

There are about 20 states that may have laws in place that allow persons with disabilities to use ES dogs in public places (see here

Note however, that these laws are State based and do not apply in other states or Federal areas (such as national parks).  There is also no Federal requirement to follow these laws, even if they apply.

So how does this affect CVS? The bottom line is that CVS can choose to allow ES dogs in their stores.  They may have a policy that bans them, they may not.  There is no way for the general public (including employees) to know if an animal is a service dog or an ESA unless its handler tells you.


How should one handle this situation?

So what do you do if you are unsure?

The nicest thing to do is talk with the dog’s handler.  Politely ask them if they need assistance and politely ask what kind of support their dog provides.  Most people won’t mind answering these questions.  If the person does not answer or becomes annoyed, then it is clear that the dog is not a service animal.  If they are nice and explain what the dog does for them, then you know it is legal for them to be there.


Do they have ID?

Since ES dogs must be certified by a doctor, my instinct is to ask for proof that the dog in front of me was actually certified by their doctor.  This is not a requirement though and just like asking if the dog is a service animal or not, it can come off as rude.

If you suspect that an ES dog may be aggressive, ask if the person has been asked to leave by another establishment for this reason.  If they have, then I would suggest staying away from the dog.  If this has not happened, then I would recommend to consult with a manager and see if you can work out something where the person is more separated from other customers (for example move them away from the food section).


If asked by an employee to leave

What do you do if as a customer, an employee tells you that you need to leave?  If you are accompanying a person with disabilities, the ADA requires that businesses still allow them access to a public place even if their dog is not welcome (as long as they have ID).  So my best suggestion would be to kindly tell the employee that they can’t ask you to leave and you will contact your lawyer.


Is CVS Pet Friendly?

What about pets other than dogs? Who says you can’t bring your pet to work? Not CVS Pharmacy!

The retail pharmacy giant has partnered with Pet Assure , a full-service travel company that caters to those who want to take their pets along for the ride. In addition to offering its customers discounted rates, CVS sponsors 20 on-the-road comfort stations where dog walkers and pet sitters can care for pets while their owners are shopping.

Pet Assure also offers a 24-hour toll free emergency line that pet owners can call with any concerns. The company provides food, water bowls, leashes and portable litter boxes.


Final Verdict – Is CVS Dog Friendly

So, is CVS dog friendly? Yes. According to most stores, they allow dogs into their stores. However, note that it might vary. Always confirm with your local stores CVS pet policy before visiting with your pet. Provided you pet is behaving while inside the store, no one will question you.

Is cvs dog friendly
Is CVS Dog Friendly – CVS dog policy – CVS pet policy

To be on the safer side, avoid taking non-service dogs to CVS stores. If your dog is a service animal, you might be required to produce a warrant of recommendation. It is also mandatory to follow each retailer’s policy. Where pets are disallowed do not take them, and especially non-service dogs.


If you like to frequently shop with your dog at other stores, then quickly check their store pet policy

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The information, including but not limited to, text, graphics, images and other material contained on this website are for informational purposes only. No material on this site is intended to be a substitute for professional veterinary advice, food recommendation, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your veterinarian or other qualified health care provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition or for pet food related questions.

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