Service Animals in Shopping Carts


There are some animals that need to be close to their owner’s face to properly alert or complete the tasks they were trained to do to mitigate someone’s disability. Glucose alert dogs are a good example. As explained in one of my previous posts about these types of dogs from Dogs4Diabetics, the dog smells a certain scent from their handler’s mouth and then they alert. These dogs were labradors and other bigger dogs, so it wouldn’t work but I know that there are some smaller dogs that can perform this same task so it would make sense they would need to be closer to the person’s face. So, when shopping, it would kind of make sense that they could benefit from being in a shopping cart.

But to me, that’s gross, especially at a food store – where trace dog hairs, slobber, etc. could get onto the cart and then potentially get onto food. Also, a lot of fake service dog handlers put their dogs in carts and whatnot because their dog isn’t trained to properly walk along with them and ignore what they are supposed to ignore. This keeps them calmer.

Recently there was a court case, discussing this very topic: http://creeclaw.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/01/2014-01-17-17-2-Butler-v-WinCo-Amicus-Brief.pdf

This ruled that generally, service dogs are required to keep “all four on the floor.” It is generally up to the business to decide whether they will allow it or not, though. I imagine most will say they don’t allow it, for very good reason. Now, maybe in a home improvement store, I wouldn’t mind this too much, but most other stores, I would have a problem with this. For example, Bed Bath and Beyond, I wouldn’t want a dog in a shopping cart that could then quickly be re-used by someone else who has a dog allergy.. just too much room for disaster, I think.

What are your thoughts?

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Jessica N and Makiko

Jessica is a proud Texan. She graduated in 2014 with her Master of Science in Rehabilitation Counseling and is now employed. She is visually impaired and has a retinal disease, Retinitis Pigmentosa. Originally Jessica started blogging about everything from being diagnosed with the disease to where she is now, almost 9 years later. Then, Jessica went to Guide Dogs for the Blind and was blessed with Makiko, her new guide dog. Now, her blog "The Way Eye See The World" is about everything related to visual impairments, including guide dogs.

2 thoughts on “Service Animals in Shopping Carts”

  1. We absolutely agree. But I suppose if it WAS a real medical alert dog and it had had proper training then it would be acceptable. However I think it would be best for everyone that the handler provide a mat or clean towel for their dog sit/lay on while in the cart.

  2. Not a fan of animals in carts. Some labs and goldens lick for the high sweet taste. This happen at ecad with one of their veteran’s sd. Had to rush the vet to the va hospital.

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