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Aldi pet policy does not allow pets in any of its stores. So if you plan to take Bingo along with you on your next shopping trip, don’t. Your best option is to leave him outside the store or at home. However, there are exceptions.
If your dog is a service animal, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) supports bringing it into the store. Service animals refer to animals that have been trained to assist disabled people. That includes blind or deaf people. Service animals are mostly limited to dogs. So no other animal can be tagged as a service animal.
Note that a service animal is different from an assistance animal. If your dog is an assistance animal, then you can’t bring it into Aldi stores.
Are you struggling to understand the difference between both animals? Let’s help you out.
What is the difference between a service animal and assistance animal?
A service animal’s role in the life of its owner is to aid them in doing physical things they can no longer do on their own. This is the significant difference between a service animal and assistance animal.
For example, a service dog directs a blind person taking a stroll around their neighborhood. The dog acts as its owner’s eyes and helps them avoid obstacles. The dog also aids them in finding their way back home. If they are in danger, the dog will bark to signal them.
In this case, the dog has been trained to recognize a situation where it is needed. This training doesn’t have to be done by a professional. The owner can train the animal themselves.
On the other hand, an assistance animal performs a supportive role. Just by being near its owner, the animal already provides comfort. E.g., giving emotional comfort or relieving stress.
Service animals are usually dogs. The reason is because dogs are intelligent creatures. They have the emotional capacity to show genuine care and loyalty to their human partners. You can train them to fetch items, push buttons, and rescue someone in danger. This makes them not only man’s best friend but also the perfect service animals.
Meanwhile, assistance animals can be any animal as long as it helps its owner deal with emotional stress or trauma. E.g., cat, rabbit, parrots, hamsters, etc.
Why doesn’t Aldi allow dogs into its stores?
Although the store’s website doesn’t say anything about an Aldi pet policy, contacting the store will give you the same answer. Pets of any kind are not allowed. Service animals are an exception.
It makes sense why Aldi doesn’t allow pets into its stores. Pets carry germs. And since Aldi sells fresh produce and other consumable products, they wouldn’t want to take any contamination risks.
Remember that federal laws regulate grocery stores and supermarkets like Aldi. For example, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) prohibits pets from entering grocery stores. So if Aldi were to allow customers to bring their pets, it would violate that policy.
Will Aldi employees ask if your dog is a service animal?
Aldi employees can, and have the right to, ask you if your dog is a service animal. They can also ask you what disabilities the dog is helping you manage in cases where it isn’t obvious. The reason they’re asking is to ensure that your dog is a service animal and not an assistance animal.
If your dog is the latter, the employee will inform you that such animals are not allowed. The employee may ask you to take the pet out of the store. Another reason store employees ask such questions is to ensure that you’re not lying or trying to sneak your pet in. Some dog owners sneak their pets into stores and give them rides in the shopping carts, which is not allowed.
Store employees are not supposed to dig into the nature of your disability. It would be an intrusion of privacy. E.g., asking for vivid details on how you became disabled or the history of your condition. They are also not allowed to ask you for documentation or proof for your service animal. By proof, we mean that they can’t ask you to demonstrate how the dog is helping you. The ADA prohibits such questions by stating that:
Staff are not allowed to request any documentation for the dog, require that the dog demonstrate its task, or inquire about the nature of the person’s disability.
So if you say your dog is a service animal, store employees can’t investigate further. But if your dog misbehaves, poops, or becomes aggressive to other shoppers, then store employees have the right to ask you to take it out of the store.
There you have it. Aldi pet policy prohibits bringing pets into the store. So what if you need to go shopping, but you can’t leave your dog alone at home? It’s simple.
Just order your groceries online. Though Aldi doesn’t do deliveries as a standalone store, you can get your items delivered to your apartment via Instacart.
All you need to do is go to Instacart’s website and select Aldi as your preferred store. After that, order anything you want. Once you’ve done that, an Instacart driver will bring the groceries to your doorstep. If you’d rather collect your items at the store where it’s easier to make a return, opt for Aldi’s curbside pickup, which is also powered by Instacart.
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Irene is a Freelance content writer who helps professionals and startups build an audience with original content online. She has written over +100 articles, and is backed up by 3 years experience. She loves gaming and listening to music, while she’s not tapping furiously on her laptop.