Last updated on January 12th, 2024 at 12:53 pm

Does Big Lots Allow Dogs Inside? Is Big Lots Pet Friendly? Pet Policy Guide

Does Big Lots Allow Dogs? Short Answer: no, dogs are not allowed in Big Lots stores unless they are service animals. Dogs that are working service animals, as defined by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), are allowed inside Big Lots stores.

Does Big Lots Allow Dogs

Does Big Lots Allow Dogs Inside?

Big Lots does not allow dogs in their store, with the exception of service animals. This is because dogs can pose a liability to the store’s merchandise. If you are planning on visiting Big Lots, you should make arrangements for your dog ahead of time.

Emotional support animals and pet dogs are not welcome inside the store, regardless of their behavior. 

The following is a summary of Big Lots pet policy in their stores.

Is Big Lots Pet Friendly?

No, Big Lots stores are not dog-friendly. Pets are not allowed inside the store. Some shoppers have reported that they have been able to bring their dog into a Big Lots store, although this is not the posted pet policy.  

Big Lots employees may make exceptions on a case-by-case basis, depending on the individual situation. If you are considering bringing your dog into an Big Lots store, it is best to call ahead and speak to a manager to see if they would be willing to make an exception in your case.  

In general, Big Lots are not pet-friendly and pets are not allowed inside.

Are Dogs Allowed In Big Lots?

Is Big Lots Pet Friendly
Photo from (IG) @pepperblueheeler

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What Is Official Big Lots Dog Policy

Big Lots official pet policy is that only allows service animals as defined by the Americans with Disabilities Act. Unfortunately, Big Lots doesn’t allow emotional support or companion animals. This policy is in place to create a comfortable and safe environment for all customers and employees, as well as to protect the equipment and merchandise in the store.

Compliance with this policy in each individual store Big Lots is determined by the store manager. In addition, each local store’s pet policy is governed by federal laws, state laws, and local laws.   

Official Big Lots Pet Policy
– Big Lots only allows service animals as defined by the ADA.
– Emotional support and companion animals are not permitted.
– Compliance with this policy is determined by the store manager.
– Pet policy is influenced by federal, state, and local laws.

Does Big Lots Dog Policy Vary By Location?

Yes, as mentioned, the pet policy at Big Lots can vary depending on the store location. However, dogs who are not service animals should not be taken into Big Lots supermarkets. 

According to the official Big Lots website, the company’s pet policy does not vary by location. However, from reading online reviews, it seems apparent that not all Big Lots stores adhere to the corporate’s official stance. Some Big Lots stores allow dogs inside and even have dog treats available, while other locations strictly forbid any non-service dogs.  

Why Does Big Lots Not Allow Pets?

Big Lots does not allow pet dogs in their stores for a variety of reasons:

Big Lots Dog Policy
Photo from (IG) @sophia_the_spoiled_dog
  • The first and most important reason is that some people are allergic to dogs
  • Secondly, dogs can be disruptive and cause messes in the store
  • Third, Big Lots wants to create a safe and comfortable environment for all shoppers, and having dogs in the store may not be conducive to that goal
  • Fourth Big Lots no-dogs policy helps to keep the store clean and free of pet hair. Dogs shed, and their hair can end up all over the place. Allowing dogs into the store would mean extra work for Big Lots cleaning staff.
  • Finally, Big Lots employees are not trained to deal with dogs, so it is not fair to them or the dog to have them in the store.  

For these reasons, Big Lots has implemented a strict no pet policy for all animals except service dogs. While this policy may be inconvenient for some pet owners, it is necessary to maintain a safe and healthy environment for all Big Lots customers.

Which stores allow dogs? You might be surprised at the answer:

Is HomeGoods Dog Friendly?

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Big Lots Pet Policy (Summary Table)

Here is a table summarizing the information related to Big Lots’ pet policy:

Does Big Lots Allow Dogs
Officially, the pet policy does not vary by location, according to the Big Lots website. However, some stores may not adhere strictly to the official policy.

What Are Service Dog and Emotional Support Animals?

What is the distinction between an emotional support animals (ESA) and a service animal? There are a few key distinctions between emotional support animals (ESAs) and service animals. 

Does Big Lots Allow Pets
Photo from (IG) @benzo_conley
  • Firstly, service dogs are individually trained to perform specific tasks or work for their disabled handler, whereas an ESA does not require any specific training. 
  • Secondly, service animals are protected under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), which means that they are allowed to accompany their handler in public places, whereas an ESA is not protected under the ADA and therefore may not be allowed in certain public places. 
  • Finally, a service dog must have a strong bond with their handler and be well-behaved in order to perform their tasks or work effectively, whereas an ESA does not need to have such a strong bond or be well-behaved in order to provide emotional support to their owner. 

An emotional support animal does not need to have any specific training and provides companionship and emotional support to its owner. While both ESAs and service animals can provide companionship and emotional support, it is important to note that they are two distinct types of animals with different roles and protections. 

If you plan on bringing your service dog to a Big Lots store, please be sure to keep them on a leash at all times and clean up after them if they happen to make any messes.

Does Big Lots Allow Service Animals?

Yes, service dogs are allowed in Big Lots under the Americans with Disabilities Act and as long as they are well-trained. This pet policy is in place to ensure the safety and comfort of all shoppers. Service dogs must be under the control of their handler at all times, and handlers must be prepared to clean up any accidents that may occur.

Are All Service Animals Allowed In Big Lots?

Yes. Big Lots only permits well-trained service dogs to enter their locations. Service dogs are trained to perform a variety of tasks for persons with any sort of disability, whether mental or physical. As a result, we do not consider service animals to be pets. They are helpers that assist their owners in leading more self-sufficient lifestyles.

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) protects the rights of those who utilize service animals in public areas. This means that Big Lots staff members cannot deny entry to someone and their service animal, so long as the animal is acting appropriately. In very rare cases, however, an animal may be asked to leave if it becomes disruptive or poses a safety hazard.

What Are The Service Dog Rules At Big Lots?

Big Lots has strict rules in place for clients who want to take their service animal into its stores, much like any other business.

  • At all times, the handler must control the service animal;
  • The dog must always wear a harness, rope, or leash (unless the handler is unable to use the harness or leash due to a disability and the restraint would impede the animal’s service to the handler);
  • If the handler is unable to utilize restraints, he or she must control the animal using signals or voice commands;
  • Big Lots will request that you leave the animal outside of the store if it is a danger to others’ health or safety, or if it is uncontrollable;
  • If an animal is a problem and has to be eliminated, a shopping assistant may be given to the shopper if they request it, allowing them to continue their store at Big Lots.
Service Dog Rules at Big Lots
– Service dogs must be well-trained.
– Handlers must keep dogs under control, on a leash or harness.
– Identification is not required, but advisable.
– Employees may ask if a dog is a service dog but cannot request
additional documentation.

Does Big Lots Ask If Your Dog Is A Service Dog? Do You Need To Show Service Dog Documents In Big Lots?

The Big Lots employees have the right to ask whether the animal in question is a service dog, according to Americans with Disabilities Act. ADA – regulations intended to make sure that health and safety laws are followed. Employees may also inquire about the service dog’s capabilities or tasks.

However, they are not allowed to request any other documentation proving disability.

How To Identify a Fake Service Dog

There are a few key ways to tell if a dog is not a service animal. If the dog is stealing food from shelves, jumping at people, or sniffing everything, it is likely not a service animal.

Other signs include barking or whining at people, pulling on the leash, riding in shopping carts, or urinating or defecating in the store. If the dog is seeking attention from other Big Lots members, it is also likely not a service animal.

Are Emotional Support Dogs Allowed In Big Lots?

Big Lots has a pet policy in place that does not allow emotional support dogs into their stores. The concern is that emotional support dogs are not covered by the Americans with Disabilities Act, therefore they do not have the same legal protections as service dogs.

This pet policy is in place because it can be difficult to determine if an individual actually needs an emotional support dog, and therefore the store does not want to risk violating any laws. 

However, this pet policy may make it difficult for some people who actually need an emotional support dog to get the assistance they need.

Emotional Support Dogs at Big Lots
– Not allowed due to lack of legal protections under the ADA.
– Difficulty in determining legitimate need cited as a concern.

Tips For Taking Service Dogs To Big Lots

Here are some tips for taking your service dog to Big Lots:

  1. Familiarize yourself with Big Lots’ pet policy. Big Lots only allows trained service animals inside their stores. It’s important to understand the definition of a service animal and the specific tasks they are trained to perform to assist their handlers.
  2. Keep your service dog under control. While your service dog is allowed inside the store, they must remain under control at all times. This includes being on a leash or harness, as well as being well-behaved and not disruptive to other customers or employees.
  3. Prepare your service dog for the shopping experience. Big Lots can be a busy and crowded place, so it’s important to prepare your service dog for the environment. This may include desensitizing them to crowds, practicing obedience commands in busy areas, and ensuring they are comfortable with navigating aisles and other obstacles.
  4. Be mindful of other customers and employees. While your service dog is allowed inside the store, not everyone may be comfortable around dogs. Be respectful of other customers and employees by keeping your service dog close to you and out of the way of foot traffic.
  5. Clean up after your service dog. Accidents can happen, even with trained service animals. If your service dog has an accident inside the store, it’s important to clean it up promptly and thoroughly to prevent any health or safety hazards for other customers or employees.
  6. Have your service dog wear identification. While not required, it’s a good idea to have your service dog wear identification, such as a vest or patch, indicating that they are a service animal. This can help prevent any misunderstandings or confrontations with other customers or employees who may not be familiar with service animal laws.
  7. Be patient and understanding. It’s important to remember that not everyone may be familiar with service animal laws and regulations. If you encounter any issues or misunderstandings while shopping at Big Lots with your service dog, remain patient and understanding, and educate others on the purpose and importance of service animals.
Tips for Taking Service Dogs to Big Lots
– Understand Big Lots’ pet policy.
– Keep the service dog under control and on a leash or harness.
– Prepare the dog for the store environment.
– Be mindful of others and clean up after the dog.
– Patience and understanding in case of misunderstandings.


Can I Bring a Dog Into Big Lots?

Big Lots strictly adheres to a “service dog-only environment,” thus you cannot bring your pet dog inside the store.

Can I leave my pet outside while I shop at Big Lots?

Big Lots does not allow pets to be tied up or left unattended outside their stores. It’s recommended that you make alternative arrangements for your pet while you shop at Big Lots.

Does Big Lots have any outdoor seating areas for pets?

Big Lots does not have designated outdoor seating areas for pets. If you have a service animal, they may accompany you inside the store, but otherwise, it’s recommended that you leave your pet at home or in your car.

What should I do if I see someone with a pet inside Big Lots?

If you see someone with a pet inside Big Lots, it’s important to remember that only trained service animals are permitted inside the stores. You can inform a store employee, who can then politely remind the pet owner of the store’s pet policy.

Are there any Big Lots locations that allow pets inside?

No, Big Lots has a company-wide pet policy that only allows trained service animals inside their stores. All locations adhere to this policy.

Can I bring my pet to Big Lots if I’m shopping in Big Lots outdoor garden center?

While Big Lots may have an outdoor garden center, pets are still not allowed inside the store or in the garden center area. The pet policy applies to all areas of the store.

Does Big Lots Allow Pets In Strollers?

It’s always best to ask the store directly about their personal policy on stroller-bound pooches. Some stores might not allow dogs in strollers for safety reasons, as strollers can be easily toppled over. It’s always polite to ask the store employees before bringing your pet inside.

Can You Put A Dog In Your Shopping Cart At Big Lots?

Customers have reported seeing animals and dogs being transported in Big Lots shopping carts. However, this is against the law (FDA guidelines).

Shopping carts should only be used to carry groceries and other items. As a result, transporting a dog or any other animal is not permitted. If an Big Lots employee sees you carrying your dog in a shopping cart, you will likely be asked to leave the store.

Can Service Dogs Sit In Shopping Carts At Big Lots?

Service dogs are not allowed to sit in shopping carts at Big Lots, or be on a mat or inside of baskets. This policy has always been in place. Exception to the rule are not easy to come by.

Conclusion. Are Dogs Allowed In Big Lots?

In conclusion, Big Lots is not a very pet-friendly store, allowing only service dogs inside. However, unofficially some Big Lots locations may be more lenient than others when it comes to animals inside the store.   

It’s ultimately up to the store manager to enforce company policy. If you’re unsure, it’s always best to call ahead or ask an employee before bringing your pet inside.

Here is a reference table summarizing the information related to Big Lots’ pet policy:

Pet TypeAllowed in Big Lots Stores
Pet DogsNo
Service DogsYes (Allowed as per ADA guidelines)
Emotional Support DogsNo
Does Big Lots Dog Policy Vary By Location?
– Officially, the pet policy does not vary by location, according
to the Big Lots website. However, some stores may not adhere
strictly to the official policy.
Note: The information on the provided article and may be subject to updates or changes by Big Lots. It's advisable to check with the store or the official website for the most current pet policy information.

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