Last updated on August 24th, 2023 at 08:13 pm

Does BI-LO allow dogs inside? Pet Policy Guide

In accordance with health, safety, and legal considerations, BI-LO does not permit animals other than service dogs inside their grocery stores and pharmacies. This policy aligns with the regulations set forth by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), which grants legal protections exclusively to trained service dogs assisting individuals with disabilities. For a comprehensive understanding of BI-LO’s pet policy and related details, continue reading below.

Is BI-LO Dog Friendly?

BI-LO stores, which were part of the American grocery supermarket chain owned by Southeastern Grocers, headquartered in Jacksonville, Florida, unfortunately, do not extend dog-friendly provisions. Similar to many other grocery stores and pharmacies in the United States, BI-LO adheres to a policy that restricts animals other than trained service dogs from entering their premises. This policy is rooted in considerations of health, safety, sanitation, and compliance with the ADA, which exclusively recognizes service dogs as protected companions for individuals with disabilities.

BI-LO’s presence was notably felt in states such as Georgia, South Carolina, and North Carolina. Despite the convenience and variety that BI-LO stores offered, the policy remained firm in ensuring a safe and accessible environment for all customers, including those with disabilities who rely on service dogs.

For those seeking to bring their furry friends along while shopping, it’s important to understand that the majority of grocery stores and pharmacies across the United States uphold similar policies due to the aforementioned considerations. While BI-LO was not dog-friendly in the traditional sense, their commitment to providing a secure and welcoming shopping experience remained a priority.

Remember, it’s always advisable to check with individual stores for the most up-to-date information on their pet policies, as these policies may be subject to change based on various factors.

What is BI-LO Official Dog Policy?

BI-LO’s official dog policy is centered around maintaining a safe and hygienic shopping environment while accommodating the needs of individuals with disabilities who rely on service animals. Here are the key provisions of BI-LO’s dog policy:

  • Service Animals: BI-LO stores adhere to the regulations set forth by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), which recognizes service animals as those trained to perform specific tasks for individuals with disabilities. These animals are permitted inside the store to assist their handlers.
  • Domestic Dogs Only: BI-LO’s policy only applies to domestic dogs that are specifically trained to assist individuals with disabilities. Other animals, including pets, emotional support animals, and therapy animals, are not covered by this policy.
  • Behavior and Control: Service animals must be under control at all times. They should be harnessed, leashed, or tethered, unless such devices interfere with the animal’s work or the individual’s disability prevents them from using these devices.
  • Health and Hygiene: Service animals must be clean and well-groomed. If an animal is not in proper hygienic condition, store staff may ask the handler to remove the animal from the premises until it can be appropriately cared for.
  • Disruption and Removal: BI-LO reserves the right to ask a handler to remove a service animal from the store if it becomes disruptive or poses a direct threat to the health and safety of others. In such cases, the individual must still be allowed to shop without the service animal present.

It’s important to note that while service animals are permitted, BI-LO’s policy does not extend to emotional support animals or therapy animals, as these do not fall under the ADA’s definition of service animals.

Can I bring my dog to BI-LO?

As per BI-LO’s official dog policy, only trained service dogs are allowed inside their stores. This policy is consistent with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) guidelines, which define service animals as those trained to perform specific tasks for individuals with disabilities. Therefore, if your dog is a trained service dog that assists you with a disability, you are welcome to bring them into BI-LO stores. However, if your dog is not a trained service dog, it is generally not permitted inside the store due to health, safety, and sanitation concerns.

Does BI-LO Allow Service Animals?

Yes, BI-LO does allow service animals inside their stores. According to BI-LO’s official policy, service animals are welcomed to accompany individuals with disabilities as mandated by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Service animals are specifically trained to perform tasks that assist their handlers with disabilities, making them essential companions for those in need.

“I’ve been visiting BI-LO with my service dog for over a year now, and the staff has always been understanding and accommodating. They recognize the importance of my service dog in helping me navigate the store and manage my disability.”

– Service Dog Owner

It’s important for BI-LO staff and other customers to be aware that service animals are not pets; they are working animals trained to provide vital assistance. Therefore, while other pets may not be allowed, service animals are an exception and are permitted inside BI-LO stores.

What are the Laws Regarding Service Animals in USA?

In the United States, there are specific laws that govern the rights and responsibilities of individuals with disabilities who rely on service animals. These laws include:

  • Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA): This federal law prohibits discrimination against individuals with disabilities and requires public places, including stores like BI-LO, to allow service animals to accompany their handlers. The ADA defines a service animal as a dog that is trained to perform tasks for an individual with a disability.
  • Fair Housing Act (FHA): The FHA covers housing situations and extends protections to individuals with disabilities who may require service animals in their homes, even if there are “no pets” policies in place.
  • Air Carrier Access Act (ACAA): This act ensures that individuals with disabilities can travel with their service animals on commercial airlines.

Under these laws, businesses like BI-LO are required to allow service animals inside their premises, provided that the animal is trained to perform tasks directly related to the individual’s disability.

Are Emotional Support Dogs Allowed in BI-LO?

No, emotional support dogs are generally not allowed inside BI-LO stores. While emotional support animals provide important comfort and companionship to their owners, they do not have the same legal status as service animals under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). As such, BI-LO’s policy aligns with the ADA’s definition of service animals and does not extend to emotional support dogs.

“I love bringing my emotional support dog everywhere I go, but I understand that not all places can accommodate her. When it comes to shopping at BI-LO, I leave my emotional support dog at home and only bring her to places where she’s allowed.”

– Emotional Support Dog Owner

It’s important to respect BI-LO’s policy and only bring service animals into the store if they are trained to perform tasks that assist with a disability.

What is BI-LO Official Emotional Support Dog Policy?

BI-LO’s official policy regarding emotional support dogs is rooted in their commitment to the ADA’s guidelines for service animals. While emotional support animals play a valuable role in providing emotional comfort to their owners, they are not recognized as service animals under the ADA.

  • Service Animal Distinction: BI-LO only recognizes dogs that are specifically trained to perform tasks for individuals with disabilities as service animals. This distinction is important as it aligns with legal definitions and ensures that the rights of individuals with disabilities are upheld.
  • No Emotional Support Animals: Emotional support animals, including emotional support dogs, are not covered by BI-LO’s service animal policy. Therefore, they are generally not permitted inside BI-LO stores, as they do not meet the criteria set forth by the ADA.
  • Creating an Inclusive Environment: BI-LO strives to create an inclusive and accessible shopping environment for all customers. Recognizing the unique role of service animals in assisting individuals with disabilities, BI-LO supports their presence in their stores.

It’s important for customers to understand the distinction between service animals and emotional support animals to ensure compliance with BI-LO’s policy.

What are the laws on emotional support dogs when shopping in the US?

In the United States, emotional support animals are not granted the same legal rights as service animals. While service animals are recognized and protected under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), emotional support animals are not covered by the ADA’s guidelines. Instead, the primary laws governing emotional support animals include:

  • Fair Housing Act (FHA): The FHA allows individuals with emotional support animals to request reasonable accommodation in housing situations that have “no pets” policies. However, this accommodation is specific to housing and does not extend to public places like stores.
  • Air Carrier Access Act (ACAA): The ACAA allows individuals with disabilities to travel with their emotional support animals on commercial airlines. However, airlines may have specific requirements and documentation needs.

It’s important to note that emotional support animals do not have automatic access to public places like stores, restaurants, and other businesses. Therefore, while emotional support dogs may offer emotional comfort, they are not typically allowed inside stores like BI-LO due to their distinct legal status.

Dog Products at BI-LO

While BI-LO’s policy does not generally allow dogs inside their stores, they do offer a range of dog-related products for pet owners. As part of their commitment to serving their community, BI-LO provides a selection of items that cater to dog owners’ needs:

  • Pet Food and Treats: BI-LO stocks a variety of dog food brands, including dry kibble, canned food, and specialized diets for different breeds and dietary requirements. You can also find a selection of dog treats and chews.
  • Pet Supplies: BI-LO offers essential pet supplies such as leashes, collars, harnesses, bowls, and feeding accessories.
  • Grooming Products: You can find grooming supplies such as shampoos, conditioners, brushes, and nail clippers for maintaining your dog’s hygiene.
  • Bedding and Toys: BI-LO provides a range of dog beds and cozy bedding options. You can also find dog toys for playtime and entertainment.
  • Health and Wellness: Look for items like flea and tick prevention, dental care products, and health supplements to keep your dog in good health.

Even though dogs may not be allowed in the store, BI-LO understands the importance of catering to pet owners’ needs by offering a selection of products that contribute to the well-being of their furry companions.

BI-LO Gifts for Dog Owners

BI-LO offers a range of gifts and products that make great choices for dog owners, whether for themselves or for fellow dog-loving friends and family members:

  • Dog-Themed Accessories: Look for items like dog-themed mugs, keychains, and t-shirts that showcase a love for dogs.
  • Pet Care Gift Sets: BI-LO may offer gift sets that include grooming products, toys, and treats, providing a thoughtful present for dog owners.
  • Training and Care Books: You might find books on dog training, care, and behavior that are informative and valuable for both new and experienced dog owners.
  • Gift Cards: BI-LO offers gift cards that dog owners can use to purchase the specific products their furry friends need.
  • Decorative Items: Look for decorative items like dog-themed home decor, frames for pet photos, and more.

These gift options are designed to celebrate the bond between dog owners and their beloved pets, making them thoughtful choices for special occasions or simply to show appreciation.


Q: Can I bring my emotional support dog to BI-LO?

A: No, BI-LO’s policy allows only trained service dogs inside their stores, not emotional support animals. Service dogs are specifically trained to perform tasks for individuals with disabilities, while emotional support animals primarily provide comfort and companionship.

Q: Are there any exceptions for small dogs or puppies in BI-LO?

A: Generally, BI-LO’s policy is based on the distinction between trained service dogs and other animals. Small dogs and puppies that are not trained service animals would not be allowed inside the store for health, safety, and sanitation reasons.

Q: Can I leave my service dog outside the store while I shop?

A: While BI-LO’s policy allows trained service dogs inside the store, it’s recommended to keep your service dog with you at all times. Leaving your service dog unattended outside the store can be risky and may cause unnecessary stress for your dog.


BI-LO’s pet policy reflects their commitment to providing a safe, accessible, and inclusive shopping experience for all customers. While only trained service dogs are permitted inside their stores, BI-LO offers a range of dog-related products to cater to the needs of pet owners. By understanding the distinctions between service animals, emotional support animals, and pets, customers can help maintain the harmony and compliance with store policies. As laws and regulations continue to evolve, BI-LO’s commitment to supporting individuals with disabilities and their service animals remains unwavering.

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