Leave Your Dog at Home


Cayla Martin

Toby is on his way to Petco, the only place for non-service dogs.

Dogs are man’s best friend. However, people are abusing the “service dog” label, taking advantage of the benefits that are inaccessible to them. Just because you love Fido doesn’t justify the excuse of bringing a dog into a supermarket, restaurant, or establishment.  

It’s ridiculous to see how persistent people are when it comes to dragging their pets around. It’s impossible to walk through a mall or store without seeing at least one poor pooch stuffed inside a purse or pushed around in a baby stroller. Dogs love to run around free. To keep them confined on a shopping trip is unjust.

The health risks associated with dogs in supermarkets also becomes an issue.

As wonderful as they are, dogs are ultimately dirty.

No matter how many times it has been bathed, a dog is always capable of carrying and spreading germs. They play outside, which soils their paws. Some dogs clean themselves by licking their fur, which means germs from within the mouth are then transferred all around their body. Dogs shed, which means their fur can easily get blown in the wind and land wherever it pleases.

When dogs are brought into a store and food, such as produce, is exposed, other customers are subjected to germs.

Imagine going to the produce section of the local Foodland and picking up a beautiful, red apple covered in Corgi hair, all because his owner refused to leave him at home. This probably happens more than usual now since more dog owners are insisting on carting their canines around the supermarket.

According to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, dogs naturally carry allergens in their dander, saliva, and urine, which can trigger various allergic reactions depending on the person’s severity.

Here is another risk that these animal lovers are taking. It may be beneficial for the owner to have his dog with him, but what about the people around him? That small choice to carry Fido around the store could mean an asthma attack for someone else.

No matter how much training a dog has had, accidents can still happen.

Dogs are apathetic if a product or display is ruined. Naturally, dogs wag their tails. Depending on the size of the dog, that tail wagging could do some damage, especially around fragile items. A store’s layout is designed for consumers as opposed to four-legged friends. Therefore, when people insist on bringing their dog inside, they are toying with disaster.

The craziest part in all this is that staff are only allowed two basic questions when confronted with an animal inside their store. “Is the dog a service animal because of a disability?” and “What work or task has the dog been trained to perform?” But these questions mean nothing if the owner chooses to lie.

Working at a store with easily breakable items, it’s upsetting to see how some people disregard common courtesy. There have been multiple moments where canines have accidentally messed up one of our displays due to an uncontrollable tail or excited jump.

Despite the love that dog owners have toward their animals, they should be considerate and refrain from bringing their dog into public businesses.