Last updated on April 27th, 2023 at 11:21 am

Does Goodwill Allow Dogs Inside? Is Goodwill Pet Friendly? Pet Policy Guide

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

Does Goodwill Allow Dogs

Does Goodwill Allow Dogs Inside?

Goodwill has implemented a strict no pet policy for all animals except service dogs. Emotional support animals and pet dogs are not welcome inside the store, regardless of their behavior. 

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

Is Goodwill Pet Friendly?

No, Goodwill 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 an Goodwill store, although this is not the posted pet policy.  

Goodwill employees may make exceptions on a case-by-case basis, depending on the individual situation. If you are considering bringing your dog into an Goodwill 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, Goodwill are not pet-friendly and pets are not allowed inside.

Are Dogs Allowed In Goodwill?

Is Goodwill Pet Friendly
Photo from (IG) @emmas_8

So, are dogs allowed in Goodwill? According to Goodwill’s official website, dogs are generally not allowed in any of their stores. This policy extends to all other pets as well. Service animals are the only exception to this rule.

What Is Official Goodwill Dog Policy

Goodwill official pet policy is that only allows service animals as defined by the Americans with Disabilities Act. Unfortunately, Goodwill 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.

Are Dogs Allowed In Goodwill
Photo from (IG) @wilson.goldenretriever

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

Does Goodwill Dog Policy Vary By Location?

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

According to the official Goodwill website, the company’s pet policy does not vary by location. However, from reading online reviews, it seems apparent that not all Goodwill stores adhere to the corporate’s official stance.

Some Goodwill stores allow dogs inside and even have dog treats available, while other locations strictly forbid any non-service dogs.  

Why Does Goodwill Not Allow Pets?

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

  • 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, Goodwill 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 Goodwill 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 Goodwill cleaning staff.
  • Finally, Goodwill 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, Goodwill 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 Goodwill customers.

What Are Service Dog and Emotional Support Animals?


Stay in the loop with us and we’ll keep you updated on all places that allow your furry friend:

Does Lululemon Allow Dogs Inside? 

Does Macy’s Allow Dogs Inside? 

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. 

  • 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 Goodwill 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 Goodwill Allow Service Animals?

Yes, service dogs are allowed in Goodwill 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 Goodwill?

Yes. Goodwill 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 Goodwill 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 Goodwill?

Goodwill 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;
  • Goodwill 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 Goodwill.

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

The Goodwill 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.

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

Does Kohl’s Allow Dogs Inside?

Does Ross Allow Dogs Inside?

Is JC Penney’s Pet Friendly? 

Is Nordstrom Pet Friendly?

Does Old Navy Allow Dogs? 

Does TJ Maxx Allow Dogs?

Is Marshalls Pet Friendly?

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 Goodwill members, it is also likely not a service animal.

Are Emotional Support Dogs Allowed In Goodwill?

Goodwill 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.

Tips For Taking Dogs To Goodwill

Here are some tips for taking dogs to Goodwill:

  1. Check Goodwill’s pet policy: Before bringing your dog to a Goodwill store, it’s important to check the store’s pet policy. Some stores may not allow pets at all, while others may only allow service animals. It’s best to call the store in advance or check their website to see if they allow pets.
  2. Prepare your dog: If your dog has never been to a store before, it’s a good idea to prepare them before going to Goodwill. Practice walking on a leash in crowded areas and teach them basic obedience commands like “sit,” “stay,” and “leave it.” Make sure your dog is comfortable in their carrier or on a leash and that they have been properly exercised and fed before going to the store.
  3. Bring necessary supplies: If your dog is allowed in the store, be sure to bring any supplies they may need, such as a leash, collar, or carrier. If your dog is not fully house-trained, you may also want to bring cleaning supplies just in case they have an accident.
  4. Be respectful of other shoppers: Not everyone may be comfortable around dogs, so it’s important to be respectful of other shoppers. Keep your dog on a short leash and make sure they are well-behaved. If your dog is anxious or reactive around people, it may be best to leave them at home.
  5. Watch for signs of stress: Even if your dog is normally well-behaved, the sights, sounds, and smells of a store may be overwhelming. Watch for signs of stress in your dog, such as panting, pacing, or hiding. If your dog becomes stressed, it may be best to leave the store and try again another time.
  6. Keep your dog safe: Make sure your dog is safe at all times while in the store. Keep them on a leash or in a carrier and avoid leaving them unattended. Watch for any hazards, such as sharp corners or items that could fall off shelves, and keep your dog away from them.
  7. Follow store rules: If the Goodwill store allows pets, make sure to follow their specific rules and guidelines. Some stores may have designated areas where pets are allowed or may require that pets be carried or in a carrier. Be respectful of store employees and follow their instructions.
  8. Clean up after your dog: If your dog has an accident in the store, it’s important to clean it up immediately. Bring cleaning supplies with you or ask a store employee for assistance. It’s also important to take responsibility for any damage caused by your dog.
  9. Have a backup plan: Even if a Goodwill store allows pets, there may be times when it’s not feasible to bring your dog. Have a backup plan in place, such as leaving your dog with a friend or family member or using a pet-sitting service.
  10. Have fun!: If you follow these tips and your dog is comfortable and well-behaved, taking them to Goodwill can be a fun and rewarding experience for both of you. Enjoy your time together and happy shopping!


Does Goodwill 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 Goodwill?

Customers have reported seeing animals and dogs being transported in Goodwill 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 Goodwill 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 Goodwill?

Service dogs are not allowed to sit in shopping carts at Goodwill, 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.

Can I bring my pet into a Goodwill donation center?

Goodwill donation centers are not typically set up to accommodate pets, so it’s best to leave them at home. If you have a service animal, however, they may be allowed inside the donation center.

What should I do if my pet has an accident inside a Goodwill store?

If your pet has an accident inside a Goodwill store, it’s important to notify store staff immediately so they can clean up the mess. It’s also important to take responsibility for any damage caused by your pet.

What should I do if I see a pet inside a Goodwill store when pets are not allowed?

If you see a pet inside a Goodwill store when pets are not allowed, you should notify store staff immediately. They can then take appropriate action to ensure the safety and comfort of all shoppers.

Does Goodwill sell pet-related items in their stores?

Goodwill stores may sell pet-related items, such as pet carriers, toys, and accessories, but the availability may vary by location. It’s best to check with your local store or visit their website to see what pet-related items they may carry.

Can I adopt a pet from a Goodwill store?

Goodwill stores do not typically have pets for adoption, as that is not their primary focus. However, some Goodwill stores may partner with local animal shelters or rescue organizations to hold adoption events or fundraisers.

Can I bring my pet into a Goodwill store in a shopping mall?

If a Goodwill store is located in a shopping mall, their pet policy may be subject to the mall’s rules and regulations. It’s best to contact the store or the mall management to confirm their policy before bringing your pet inside.

Does Goodwill have any resources or programs for pet owners?

While Goodwill’s primary focus is on job training and employment services, they may partner with other organizations to offer resources or programs for pet owners in certain communities. It’s worth checking with your local Goodwill store or their website to see if they offer any pet-related resources.

Conclusion. Are Dogs Allowed In Goodwill?

In conclusion, Goodwill is not a very pet-friendly store, allowing only service dogs inside. However, unofficially some Goodwill 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.

Leave a Comment