Dogs in stores: What do you think?

Just out of the WSB inbox, a request for discussion. We’re looking up the law – meantime, what do you think?

As I stood at the deli counter in the Jefferson Square Safeway today, waiting my turn to get lunch, a woman wheeled one of the store’s little shopping carts up to the counter with her pet dog standing in the top basket, nose sniffing at all the food smells. The dog wasn’t tucked under an arm or sitting in a purse, he was standing up with front paws on the rim of the cart with all his boy doggy parts hanging out. It was disgusting. I told the checker on the way out that I was disgusted Management allowed pets in the store and in the carts we all use. I asked her to please tell the store manager about my comment.

Earlier in the week it was QFC in Westwood Village where I stopped to get the last minute ingredients for dinner when I saw a woman with her little pug on a leash wandering through the store. Why do these neighbors of ours think it is ok to bring their pets into the place where we purchase food? There is no good reason to do this.

On both occasions I thought about confronting the shoppers with the dogs, but worried about their reactions. Instead I chose to tell store personnel how I felt about the dogs being allowed in the store. I would love to hear from other neighbors on this topic. If more people feel as I do, that only service animals need to be allowed in areas where food is purchased or consumed, then maybe we can get the Management of these stores to do something.

Dogs are not accessories that complete an outfit. Being a dog owner/lover myself I would never consider taking my dog into a grocery store. Are there City Ordinances about this, and what about liability issues for the stores?

Interested in my neighbors’ view,
Linda Thomson

(Other similar issues have been discussed here, and in the WSB Forums, before, but we still can’t find the exact rule/statute; summaries boil it down to, pets aren’t supposed to be in grocery stores, unless they’re service animals, and proprietors generally are advised not to push for proof.)

108 Replies to "Dogs in stores: What do you think?"

  • JanS October 16, 2008 (12:29 am)

    I saw a woman with her dog on a leash at Admiral Safeway last week. Thought it was odd, but, hey, if the store allows them, and the law allows them, there’s no argument. I agree, I don’t particularly want them sniffing around the food that I’m going to eat or sitting in the cart where I’m putting my food. But I suppose if one was really cranky, one could say the same thing about little kids – colds, diapers, dirty shoes, etc. etc…definitely makes one think, and makes one want to really wipe the cart down with the wipes provided :(

  • Mac J October 16, 2008 (12:35 am)

    Ive notice that Bakery beau has recently discretely posted the applicable statute in their front window. I’m a dog lover as well, and in the store I work in, I wish the posted statute would be followed more closely in other stores, including the one at which I am employed.

  • Mac J October 16, 2008 (12:37 am)

    Also I apologize for my sloppy, lazy iPhone-from-the-couch typing.

  • Jason von Nieda October 16, 2008 (12:46 am)

    I’ll sort of agree with JanS and play the really cranky devils advocate.

    To me it’s just as gross to see a toddler walking down an aisle, picking items up, putting them in their mouth and then the “concerned” parent grabbing it out of their hand and putting it back on the shelf.

    I don’t see a good reason to take your dog to the market, but then, I don’t see a good reason to take your kids either and everyone certainly accepts that.

  • Scott October 16, 2008 (1:16 am)

    I’d rather see a well behaved dog in a store than the many snotty nosed kids running down the isles pulling stuff off the shelves while their parents stand by not paying any attention to the mess their humans are making and then leave without a care for the trip hazards they’ve made.
    Note that I said ‘well behaved’.
    Many dogs are cleaner than those that might oppose then in stores! Dogs are also quieter too! Last time I was in Safeway there was a kid just screaming at the top of his lungs, when was the last time you heard a dog at the top of his lungs in a store?
    I used to take my dog into the grocery store all the time, he’d just sit there in the kid seat and not say anything, people would walk by and ask if he was real (because he was so well behaved and just minding his own manners) and want to pet him. The check-out folks would lean over and pet him on the head, everyone enjoyed the experience.

  • gwen c. October 16, 2008 (1:22 am)

    i’m disabled, though not the kind of disabled that needs or would opt for a service animal.

    i love dogs; i’ve had dogs in the past and i train service dogs.

    i’m really getting sick of people taking dogs where they should not. it’s bad for people who are allergic, it’s open and smug flouting of the law, and, oh yeah, it makes life hell for my friends and family who need service animals and get harassed because someone with an attitude who wanted to have their pooch with them messed it up for everyone. there’s nothing like dealing with the management of a coffee shop screaming at someone for having a legit, harnessed, papered guide dog because they’ve had too many “bad incidents” with dogs that weren’t service animals.

    it’s disrespectful to your dog, to disabled folks who need service animals, and the law. pretty simple, actually.

  • mellaw6565 October 16, 2008 (2:01 am)

    In many places in Europe, this is a really big non-issue. I remember my first time in a McD’s in Germany many years ago and the guy in line next to me had his bulldog with him on a leash. He kind of laughed at the shocked reaction on my face and told me that it was common, which I saw on many more trips overseas.

    I’ve seen more dirt and germs from kids and people in stores than dogs – like JanS – so it never really bothers me unless I think about a shedding or drooling dog which would shake inside the store. So unless we make the doorways of stores “decontamination” zones, I don’t see well-behaved leashed animals being a problem from a germ standpoint.

  • littlebrowndog October 16, 2008 (4:54 am)

    The law is really clear about service dogs. You must have a formally diagnosed disability that qualifies under the Americans With Disabilities Act. Minor issues like a little bit of pain, shyness, etc. don’t meet ADA requirements for a significant impact on one’s life functioning due to a diagnosable disability.

    Service dogs must be trained to perform one or more tasks that mitigate a person’s disability. Because people have different sorts of disabilities, not just physical ones, they may or may not have a harness. Many only use a regular collar and leash (e.g., one trained to notify impending seizures, etc.). The law does not require that service dogs must wear a cape that identifies them as a service dog, although I personally always have one on my dog when taking him in to public accommodations. It makes life a lot easier to do that, although on the other hand it elicits many comments from strangers (“What’s wrong with you?” “What kind of disability do you have?”).

    Service dog etiquette says that a service dog should NEVER be allowed to sit in the grocery cart or on a seat in a restaurant with the ability to put its nose on the table. For the most part service dogs belong on the floor, with the occasional exception. People I know for whom it is MEDICALLY NECESSARY to have their small service dog immediately adjacent their torso while shopping carry the dog in a shoulder bag. For the most part that is not necessary.

  • sea-sea October 16, 2008 (4:59 am)

    Anyone comparing children in grocery stores to dogs needs there head examined! (Directed to Jason above} I really don’t care where you live in the world- we shouldn’t be bringing our PETS into a foodplace…period!! This country has gone dog crazy…forgetting that animals carry worms and parasites that can spread very easy. I don’t want some dog shedding it’s hair or panting all over my next meal thank you very much. Come on people…this is not right..leave your dogs outside where they belong.

  • Kayleigh October 16, 2008 (5:50 am)

    I agree with Scott. I’m not bothered by dogs in stores, but am often annoyed by ill-behaved children. It’s become an inside joke in our house: almost every time I’m in the Westwood Target, a child is having a screaming tantrum. I’ve never gotten parasites or worms from my pets (???) but I’ve gotten plenty of flus and colds from disrespectful people coughing without covering their mouths.

  • Wendy October 16, 2008 (7:37 am)

    I would like to feel comfortable taking my small (can be carried under one arm) dog into Safeway to pick up a few things as I am trying to walk more and drive less and would like to combine walking the dog with errands. (I’m scared to leave him tied up outside for the few minutes I would be shopping because I worry about someone stealing him.) He’s not on the ground and unable to reach any food items. However it would be difficult to enforce which dogs could go in or not.

  • Jim October 16, 2008 (7:48 am)

    Dogs are not equivalent to children. Children are human beings who will grow and change and play a part in making our society better or worse. Our attitudes towards them contributes in the formation of their worldview. They are to be patiently loved and nurtured and educated. Dogs are pets. Their value starts and stops there.

    Ergo – the conversation should be about whether or not it is sanitary to have animals around food, not whether children and dogs should be treated in the same way.

  • Kids are a joke? October 16, 2008 (7:52 am)

    All of you who are comparing dogs with children, as sea-sea said, need your heads examined. Regarding the comment by Kayleigh – clearly you do not have children and I hope that you never do. You will be the parent with that screaming toddler who is yelling right back wont you?

    Why dont you all keep this to the point. The law is clear. I doubt that most people would react negatively to Wendy with her little dog under her arm for a quick trip to the store.

    I hope that I get to be at Target when you are there Kayleigh, I will follow you around and have my kids scream the entire time. You are now my inside joke!

  • AReader October 16, 2008 (7:54 am)

    Linda, would you please just take a chill pill and move on with life? There are far bigger fish to fry.

  • Trick October 16, 2008 (7:58 am)

    Seeing a behaved dog in the grocery store should be allowed.
    I’ve never seen a pet owner letting their dog sniff food or a dog breathing so hard that I’m affected at all.
    What I do cringe at is the over powering of perfume in the checkout line, using a debit card for a pack of gum, or the person leaving their cart in the middle of the aisle while chatting on their cell phone.
    In Europe it’s such a non-issue, and yet we’ll always have that one or two people that feel threatened by a 4 lb Pug sitting in the cart, happy as a clam.
    I’m now going to write QFC and thank them for allowing dogs in their store. Signed by a non-dog owner.

  • Thank you letter October 16, 2008 (8:01 am)

    Writing a letter to QFC will do nothing but make you feel better. There is a law regarding this and it should be followed. End of story.

  • GB October 16, 2008 (8:03 am)

    I agree with the kid in store problem! I’ve actually seen a kid LICKING!!! produce while the mom just stood there. YIKES! The good part…I’m now very diligent about washing my produce!

  • Kids are not a problem? October 16, 2008 (8:05 am)

    I already had one comment deleted, not sure why. But this needs to end, comparing kids to pets in stores??

    “Kid in the store problem”? Really?

    I will keep a few of you in mind when I am at the store and my kids have a ‘tantrum’, something every parent and child deals with at one point or another.

  • Junctionite October 16, 2008 (8:06 am)

    I’m not inclined to “patiently love, nuture and educate” someone elses child who is disrupting my dinner by running not only around their own table, but also mine while their parents are drinking beer and chatting obliviously. This happened to me recently in a WS restaurant.

    I think what is being communicated here is not that pets and children are societal equivalents, but that many people selfishly a) take their small children to places where they should not be (nicer restaurants, for example) or b) do not supervise them properly when in public.

    In these situations, I’ll admit I would also prefer the company of a well-behaved dog over an unsupervised, unruly child. However, I do think food establishments (grocery stores, restaurants) should adhere to state laws on this issue.

  • WSratsinacage October 16, 2008 (8:15 am)

    I believe there is a law banning all but service dogs so this should be a non arguement. I don’t like seeing dogs where they shouldn’t be. There is probably a good health reason for this law. There may be a liability reason why this law was enacted as well. No matter how you feel, if a customer at a business is harmed by a dog not allowed by law then the dog owner and business owner could be sued/fined, etc.. If you don’t like this law then work on changing the law. Until then, obey the law and you have nothing to worry about. I have kids and agree they can be annoying but I disagree with comparing them to animals and I am glad to see others have commented to support this.

  • Ben M. October 16, 2008 (8:18 am)

    I think it’s kind of ridiculous, the reasons that people are so upset over this. The dog hasn’t peed on your food, nor has it licked your food. The dog simply being in the store is not bringing in any more germs or diseases than what you bring in on the bottom of your feet.

    That said, I don’t bring my dog in the store, because of people like the one who wrote this letter. I would love to. I hate leaving my dog tied up outside where I can’t see her. That’s not why she comes out on walks with me, be it to the park or the store, to sit outside.

    Applied to the masses, no, I would agree that not everyone has great control over their dog. The majority, though? Probably not. Especially among those that would actually consider bringing their dogs to the store in the first place.

  • Rick October 16, 2008 (8:19 am)

    Petting the nice puppy in the checkout line before handling all my food. Maybe they just got done cleaning the bathrooms so I guess I shouldn’t stress.

  • KatHP October 16, 2008 (8:19 am)

    “I don’t see a good reason to take your dog to the market, but then, I don’t see a good reason to take your kids either and everyone certainly accepts that.”
    Uh no, Jason. You are incorrect. Everyone certainly doesn’t accept that. A child is not a dog you can leave in the back seat of your car with a cup of water and the window cracked. Not everyone has nannies, babysitters, family members, or their partner/spouse available to watch their child so they can have the luxury of going shopping by themselves. It’s called the real world.
    Fortunately our first-grader is well-behaved and I don’t have to be concerned about taking him shopping with me. Yes, it’s annoying to me too when I’m at a store and some kid is having a melt-down or a parent is allowing their child to touch everything. I never think though, that the parent should not bring their child with them. Instead I think that the parent needs to set better limits.

  • AE October 16, 2008 (8:25 am)

    I’m opting for a leash law for the kids and let the ‘well behaved’ dogs out on the town! I’m not an advocate for taking a dog everywhere (maybe not even in a grocery store), but in some places it should just be allowed. Fellow ‘well behaved’ dog owners enjoy getting together with friends (with and without furry creatures in tow) for a drink, coffee and/or treat, dogs are great social ice breakers and companions. If you have allergies, it seems pretty simple to me – dont go where the dogs are.

  • Z October 16, 2008 (8:27 am)

    You people are all crazy! Dogs are disgusting and should be banned from everything! Give me a break about kids – hey, remember everyone that you were once a kid! How easy it is to forget huh?? Get a life!

  • I was not aware October 16, 2008 (8:29 am)

    This is news to me…. “many people selfishly take their small children to places where they should not be (nicer restaurants, for example)”.

    Last I heard places that small children “should not be” does not include nicer restaurants, other than the bar. And people who do take their kids to “nicer restaurants” are not selfish.

    Now if you want to talk about people who let their kids run around a ‘nicer restaurant’, that is another story all together.

  • Mike&Kate October 16, 2008 (8:32 am)

    I agree that there is no difference between having a dog in a cart or a child with it’s dirty shoes all over the cart – runny, snotty nose and hands grabbing everything in site. To many people a dog is as important as a child. And most dogs don’t scream and throw a tantrum when he doesn’t get that doggy treat he so likes. Ban the kids if you are going to ban the dogs!

  • This has got to end... October 16, 2008 (8:35 am)

    “Ban the kids if you are going to ban the dogs!”

    I am just going to assume that Mike & Kate are trying to get people mad. Because if they are even a little serious, I feel sorry for them.

  • beef October 16, 2008 (8:37 am)

    sigh. really we should just ban everyone from everything.

    dogs in the cart, not good. well-behaved dog on a leash. meh.

    adults have the same issues as children. they both can be sick and dirty while touching produce or any other product in the store. how are you able to try on clothes at the store? someone else may have already worn it. OMG!

    if the dog issue is your biggest concern – be thankful.

  • B-squared October 16, 2008 (8:38 am)

    Since the law is clear, the only effective means i see to change the situation is to bring it to the attention of the store/restaurant manager. Until someone complains and threatens to take their business elsewhere, there isn’t much incentive for the store/restaurant to enforce the law (unless the health department were to somehow get involved by way of a citizen complaint). Confronting the individual isn’t likely to help as we live in an increasingly selfish society.

    For the record, i like dogs, but they don’t belong around food that doesn’t belong to me. Also, i have been stricken with illnesses far more from children than animals.

  • th October 16, 2008 (8:44 am)

    I cannot believe this dissolved into an arguement about Dogs v. Kids. People on this blog claim to be so compassionate – but see a mother who is having a hard time in the grocery store with her young child(ren) and all the compassion and wanting to help “our fellow man” goes out the window. Dogs are not people. Some human beings are allergic, some are very frightened of dogs – they should not be in grocery stores or restaurants except for guide dogs.

  • Joe October 16, 2008 (8:51 am)

    I have actually seen dogs pee on boxes of cereal in the store. I’ve also seen dogs pee on the floor and the owners not see or clean it up. I think it all has to do with a responsible owner, but unfortunately you can’t enforce that so it ruins it for everyone.

  • B'sMomma October 16, 2008 (8:54 am)

    Seriously?! There is NO comparison between kids and dogs. If you think there is, apparently your parents didn’t train you well. Human Beings are allergic to DOGS not Kids. If you have a dog, you are able to send them to obedience school…. not an option for parents. Life IS our classroom. I would never put my child in a cart without a diaper. Which I would say is just about equivalent to a dog sitting in a cart. Nasty. Dogs can have fleas. Dogs shed and have the potential to do there business on the floor. DOGS LICK THERE BUTTS! As for the person that has the “kid licking the produce” issue, I can guarantee that the kid encountered more germs that what they left behind. But bottom line there are rules in place that do not allow animals in a store. I’m sure someone spent time putting it together and there’s a good reason why it’s in place.

  • MissKayJ October 16, 2008 (9:09 am)

    I say no dogs/pets in stores. My father is blind and has a guide dog and I can’t count the number of times he has been harrassed by people and their pets while trying to go about his business in the grocery store or other establishments that DO NOT allow pets by law. Imagine trying to fend off an animal that you can’t see that is snarling and barking and possibly attacking your service dog. Not only that, but what about fleas? Do you really want that in a grocery store? There are good reasons for these laws and after some frightening instances, I know my family would appreciate everyone respecting them.

  • hunterG October 16, 2008 (9:11 am)

    I work in a grocery store, the law is no dogs unless it is a service animal. They could get in a lot of trouble from the Health Dept.

  • Kayleigh October 16, 2008 (9:11 am)

    “Kids are not joke?”, thank you for the kind words. I can see by your maturity and sensitivity that you are undoubtedly a great parent, far better than I would ever be.
    But, you might want to work on your reading comprehension.

  • Jim October 16, 2008 (9:12 am)


    My point is not that you have to nurture someone else’s child, but that a child deserves respect, in both our thoughts and actions, that an animal does not.

  • m October 16, 2008 (9:14 am)

    Kids have germs that are transmittable to humans. AFAIK, unless bitten by one, dogs pose less of an illness danger to us two-legged critters – so, they don’t bother me at all, even around food, even in stores.

    Yeah, dogs lick their butts. But from years of working in offices with shared bathrooms I can assure you that the number of humans who wash their hands before leaving is in the minority. So, it’s all relative.

  • cary October 16, 2008 (9:19 am)

    Relax its a dog

  • Thanksforbeingtolerant October 16, 2008 (9:35 am)

    Wow. Way to stay on topic, people. I guess I’ll just leave my kids tied up outside next time I need to go to the grocery store, so there’s less chance of them groping your produce with their grimy hands. I wonder what the age limit should be in order to let people into these exclusive grocery stores; I mean, teenagers have been known to roam in noisy, rude packs, so they should probably excluded too. And while we’re at it, how about a maximum age? Don’t get me started about those old people–they sure can be smelly. And what about people in wheelchairs? They take up so much space– so rude. I find it very difficult to maneuver down the aisles past all of these difficult obstacles.

  • Abe Froman SKC October 16, 2008 (9:41 am)

    As long as they sell dog food in grocery stores, why not? but on the other hand, one word: POOP. FACT – Dogs are not allowed on COS beaches.

  • westello October 16, 2008 (9:41 am)

    1) don’t paint all of Europe with a brush. You would NEVER find a dog in an Italian supermarket or food store. Maybe on a leash at an outdoor restaurant but that’s it.

    2) Dogs aren’t kids and kids aren’t dogs. You just can’t compare them.

    3) I noticed this at University Village (they are, indeed, a dog-friendly shopping mall). I was really aghast in Pottery Barn where a large dog was sticking his nose into every seat cushion and pillow. Supermarkets and other stores usually do have little kids around who like doggies but the doggies may not like them. All it will take is one kid getting bitten and then the store will learn – no dogs unless they are service dogs (who don’t bite).

    4) What’s up with this taking the dog everywhere? When did this become fashionable? Home Depot has now banned dogs because of the fights they were having with dogs lunging at each other. And they don’t even sell food.

  • B\'sMomma October 16, 2008 (9:42 am)

    Well, if KIDS (are HUMANS by the way) have germs that are transmittable to humans then we should just ban Human beings from the stores and restraunts and let the animals rule the world! I know that people do not wash there hands after going to the bathroom and Yes, it’s VERY disgusting. There are places that are not meant for animals and there are places that are not meant for children. It’s a matter of boundaries. You have to have them. If animals were allowed in a store, then they’d have to be allowed at work, then the doctors office and pretty soon you’d see a place at IKEA to leave your animals to play while you shop.

  • austin October 16, 2008 (9:48 am)

    A lot of dog owners have an unhealthy codependency with their pet. It is bizarre.

  • TeresaP October 16, 2008 (9:55 am)

    This has made me laugh out loud this morning! I think there is a time and place for dogs as well, but the whole kid talk has made me feel better about myself. Every dog I have ever seen in a store is well behaved and clean. Can’t say the same for some peoples kids.

    And for the record, if you are one of the parents that walk around a store while your kid is screaming bloody murder, I will be the one who asks you to leave. And if you are insulted, too damn bad!

  • heb October 16, 2008 (10:03 am)

    I don’t know why I let myself get sucked into reading these forums. But everytime I do, I question my decision to move to West Seattle.

  • This has got to end... October 16, 2008 (10:06 am)

    Hey Kayleigh –

    What does reading comprehension have to do with your ignorant post or my reply?
    You misquoted my name anyway, it says “Kids are a joke?”, not “Kids are not joke”.

    Go figure.

  • Kayleigh October 16, 2008 (10:34 am)

    I said “Dogs don’t bother me.” Not “Dogs are more important and deserving of love than kids”.

    I said that it was an inside joke that there were always children screaming in the Westwood Target, not that children themselves, on the planet or in stores, are a joke. It’s also an inside joke that when I go to Safeway, they always seem to be playing “Sister Christian” by Night Ranger on the P.A. system.

    Learn to read. And try some anger management.

  • Traci October 16, 2008 (10:38 am)

    Geez people, go outside and get some fresh air. All this overreacting about the original overreaction is nuts!

  • buttercream October 16, 2008 (10:39 am)

    the difference between a child with a cold and a dog: dogs eat poop. and vomit. and dead animals. children are human. the end.

  • No worries.. October 16, 2008 (10:45 am)

    No anger management needed, but I will take Traci up on the fresh air.

    If you plan to have kids you might want to take some mommy and me classes, god forbid you ever have an ill-behaved child who has a “screaming tantrum” in public.

  • derf October 16, 2008 (10:50 am)

    Dogs and kids are kind of alike in many ways…and I am a parent. I think animals and children should be treated with respect in both thought and action. I love to see dogs in the store, it is funny to see these dog crazy people, so interesting to watch and ponder! They really are a bit nutty. People who bring their kids usually have no choice — who wants to go shopping with a cranky child, for that matter, who wants to go shopping with a happy child – they still like to touch stuff and run around – their cells are multiplying at an enormous rate – they can’t help it! We do need to bring our kids to restaurants and shopping to teach them, duh, that is a no brainer. If you are in Target with screaming tantrum children, you should just be grateful it isn’t your child. Regarding dogs -I like dogs. I personally don’t mind them in the stores. But I now see the point made about service dogs and their owners, having to fend off other dogs -so probably that is the best argument for not having pet dogs in stores. It is true, in many parts of Europe (maybe not Italy) where I’ve been, dogs run around in restaurants and markets -are tolerated in lots of public places — I think it has to do with the fact that in many places in Europe, people walk to the store, don’t drive, and they bring their dogs with them to walk there – and there seem to be a lot more OLD people with dogs there too. Old people need their furry companion, so I don’t mind them in the store if it is an older person with the dog, in all honesty. When all your human friends are dead, it could be important to have your dog friend. So have a heart.
    But, if the law bans dogs from supermarkets, then complain to the store management if you see a dog and don’t like it. Truly -dogs in stores– BFD!
    And by the way, most curious toddlers lick produce if they get the chance, this is very normal behavior. You should be more concerned with all the adult germy hands that touch produce before you buy it – you better wash it!

  • Scott October 16, 2008 (10:51 am)

    “the difference between a child with a cold and a dog: dogs eat poop. and vomit. and dead animals.”
    Not much difference here…

  • Dog&KidLover October 16, 2008 (10:57 am)

    Good grief!

    The kids vs. dogs thing is a total red herring people. I think you over-reactors have been officially punked.

    Do we not have more pressing concerns?

  • Someresponsibilityplease? October 16, 2008 (10:59 am)

    Pets and non-disciplined children do not belong in grocery stores. This comment excludes children with special needs and service animals. It is completely disrespectful to have your dog in a place someone would buy something to eat. I say this as a pet owner, which has very silly, and sometimes dirty pets :) Basically, those without previously mentioned situations should have the self-control to a) leave their pet at home, or if cool enough, in the car b) discipline their kids or choose to not have them. I am sick and tired to having to stop some else’s child from pulling the bottom apple to see the other ones fall, or having the kids run into me because they are playing tag in the bakery section, while mom pretends it isn’t happening or talks on her cellphone. I work with kids, and special needs kids, and it sickens me when parents cannot take responsibility for their neurotypical child when there are so many parents struggling to raise a child with special needs.

  • Neighbor October 16, 2008 (11:03 am)

    Kids are not the problem, and dogs are not the problem. Adults who are unaware of the impact of their behavior — and that of the dogs or kids in their charge — are the problem.

    I am just as happy to see a well-behaved dog sitting next to me in a cafe or store as I am a well-behaved child. And I am just as appreciative of the adult who knows when it’s time to take Fido outside or Junior back home.

    Imagine living in a place where civility and common decency drive our behavior…

  • th October 16, 2008 (11:03 am)

    Since this has gotten so bizarre – I will say the inevitable. If you can bring in your dog – why not your pet cat, hamster, rabbit, iguana, etc?? I am sure someone out there has a snake as a companion animal. Bring them all in. What the heck….

  • Realistic October 16, 2008 (11:05 am)

    derf, well said :)

  • E October 16, 2008 (11:10 am)

    Yuk! Dogs in a food store? Totally gross. Makes me want to puke.

  • Kayleigh October 16, 2008 (11:12 am)

    I’ll take some “Mommy and Me” classes if you take some “Common Courtesy and Me” classes. How about that?

  • margaritaville October 16, 2008 (11:14 am)

    Ditto Westello’s comments.
    Whether or not dogs are appropriate in places of business, this lively discussion has made my day!

  • GreenSpaces October 16, 2008 (11:35 am)

    It’s not like anyone else needs to contribute to this conversation, but I will say as a dog owner and lover, I have identified dog-friendly stores where my Italian greyhound is welcome, and I would never dream of taking my dog into a store that sold food, since the Health Department does not permit it, unless it is a service animal necessary to the shopper. I do think the attitudes here are a little ridiculous, as I too have been to Europe (France and Italy) and dogs are everywhere there. For all of the “pampering” of our pets and how much money we spend on them, in Europe they really are treated as citizens and are included in everyday society.
    But until the law changes, you won’t find me taking my darling little dog some place she is not welcome.

  • No worries.. October 16, 2008 (11:39 am)


  • JT October 16, 2008 (11:50 am)

    The DIRTY & DISGUSTING facts about grocery shopping carts & restaurant high chairs. Below are many articles regarding the germs and bacteria’s found on grocery shopping carts. You will be amazed and disgusted at what they found. Shopping cart covers have been found to harbor: blood, mucus, saliva or urine, staphylococcus aureus, enteroccocus facaelis (fecal matter), Streptococcus pneumoniae, E. coli (Hemolytic Uremic Syndrome (HUS), caused by the E. coli 0157:H7 virus), Rota Virus, Hand, Foot and Mouth Disease and even hepatitis B. As well as bacteria from meat and poultry.

    I think my dog is cleaner than your grocery cart or child if you go by the studies of the seat kids sit in. But don’t worry, me and my dog order Amazon Fresh from home. And when my kids were little I shopped after they went to sleep. Nothing worse than a screaming, poorly behaved, diaper wearing, running nosed child. Both for you and me. And whoever said there are more germs on produce than a child’s mouth. Seriously?

  • Rick October 16, 2008 (11:53 am)

    There is a big difference between not welcome and not legal but I ‘spose I’ll just blur those lines if it suits ME.

  • WOOF October 16, 2008 (12:04 pm)


  • J October 16, 2008 (12:06 pm)

    I am tired of running into dogs everywhere they should not be; I don’t understand why people think they have a right to do whatever they want, regardless of the law.

    I like dogs. I am also allergic to them. They are not supposed to be allowed in stores or restaurants; please don’t bring them, even if they fit in a handbag.

  • Alki Res. October 16, 2008 (12:07 pm)

    I often walk with my sister & brother-in-law AND their dog. The dog has to pee on everything it goes by… even when there’s not a drop left. What about scraping the pile of poop off the floor!?!? Can’t get it ALL, especially if it is runny. (stinky store) Also dogs have to check out other dogs butts, some do it friendly others not so much. I do not want to be in the way of a dog fight while grocery shopping.

  • derf October 16, 2008 (12:13 pm)

    SERIOUSLY!!!! I can’t wait for the off leash area to open in the Metropolitan Market. Next time you go to Safeway, or your favorite market, why not try taking a gerbil and let it run around inside its little plastic exercise ball at the bottom of your shopping cart. Would that be OK, disgusting, or just silly? How ridiculous are the comments on this thread….I’m so glad I came :)

  • Jessica October 16, 2008 (12:15 pm)

    Stop bringing your dogs into stores. It’s rude.

    I saw a girl with a small white dog in Safeway and it crapped on the floor. She didn’t clean all of it up.

    I have always been bothered by people bringing their dogs inside with them, but this was the last straw for me.

  • Alki Res. October 16, 2008 (12:25 pm)

    above typo… some do it friendly, others not so much.

  • Lindsey October 16, 2008 (12:28 pm)

    I work in a store that doesn’t sell food. We welcome both kids and dogs. However, I only see a dog in the store about 2 times a month. The presence of children or dogs doesn’t seem to bother anyone. Obviously that’s different in a store that sells or makes food.

  • homesweethome October 16, 2008 (12:31 pm)

    Seattle really has gone to the dogs – I thought it was my imagination but from this thread I see its totally real. In the 2000 census, it became clear Seattle is one of the most kid-less cities in the nation – with the attitude of many folks on this blog I can see why lots of parents head to friendlier towns.

  • ranquet91 October 16, 2008 (12:38 pm)

    Really what is the issue with dogs? I personally do not own a dog since I don’t have the time to properly care for one. How can one judge a dog walking through the store and not judge a poo filled diaper toddler walking through the store. Most dog owners I know are very responsible and consistently make sure their pet is groomed, fed and receiving regular vet checkups. I have been in stores where toddlers have stuck items in their mouth only to see parents put them back on shelves. I have seen toddlers vomit in the middle of stores. One the thing I have never seen is a dog defecate, vomit, lick or urinate on anything in a store. Now I realize some people may have allergies to dogs and those I feel really have a right to complain. And to the OP try going to the Beverage Place Pub sometime I sure a few drinks and conversation with responsible pet owners may quell your fears.

  • Alki Res. October 16, 2008 (12:42 pm)

    P.S. if there is a pitt bull blocking the item on my list… I am not getting my shopping done. My sister just said “don’t but anything off the bottom shelf.

  • Alki Res. October 16, 2008 (12:59 pm)

    actually she said “don’t buy anything off the bottom shelf”

  • JT October 16, 2008 (1:11 pm)

    Probably not wise to but anything either :)

  • Elizabeth October 16, 2008 (1:21 pm)

    While I don’t live in Seattle, I feel very strongly about this issue. First, even before becoming a devoted pug mother, I delighted in the fact that people would bring their canine companions with them. Therefore, I obviously do not have a problem with dogs in any store. Second, whenever a child is brought into a store or restaurant and causes a scene or makes a mess, no one thinks twice about allowing them in to the establishment or not!

    According to the AVMA, over 50% of dog owners feel their dog is like a child. I certainly feel this way. I bring my dog everywhere! That said, my dog is small and can be carried in a bag or my arms and he is extremely well behaved and house trained. Additionally, he doesn’t accompany to places such as nice restaurants but then again, I don’t think children should be allowed there either.

    My point is that today, people are treating their pets like children more and more so it is an extremely personal matter for them when others criticize their pet for an action that really does not harm anyone.

  • Alki Res. October 16, 2008 (1:22 pm)

    agreed :-)

  • cmc October 16, 2008 (1:30 pm)

    Crazy how this has become about kids vs. dogs…….the poster just wanted to know how her community feels about dogs in stores…….oy vay

  • MsBette October 16, 2008 (1:36 pm)

    It would be very scary if EVERYONE brought their dogs in the store with them. We have a wonderful dog that is practically perfect. At the store, she visits with the customers that choose to come see her, leashed to something secure outside. It is against the law for dogs to be in stores, service dogs excepted. Small dog owners seem to think that because of their size it’s okay. I have been tempted to carry my 55 pound perfect dog on my shoulders, and have her help me shop for groceries!

  • cmc October 16, 2008 (1:39 pm)

    Thank you Ms Bette for sharing your perspective!! Thankfully there are people like you out there that realize that we all have to coexist….nothing more irritating then a dog owner who knowingly breaks the rules and uses the excuse, “oh don’t worry he is a friendly one…..”

  • Andrea October 16, 2008 (1:43 pm)

    I am officially disgusted at some of the comments on here. A few good points have been made but for the most part all I hear are rude comments from, more than likely, people without kids OR dogs.

    The bottom line is this, dogs are not allowed in restaurants or Grocery Stores unless they are service dogs.

    Kids are allowed in these places and if you want to assume that they are dirty, or have poop filled diapers, that is your problem and not mine.

    Personally, my kids are always clean when they have their moments at the store, does that make it okay? :P Geesh – get over it.

  • WSB October 16, 2008 (1:45 pm)

    CMC, we have had several related discussions before both on the main page here and in the Forums, and that seems to be where some people are determined to go. Some of the points being made about kids (disclosure, we have one, although he’s months away from teenagehood!) seem to be points that could be made about some adult humans as well.

  • Junctionite October 16, 2008 (1:53 pm)

    I’ll stand by my opinion that there is no logical reason to take a 3 year old to a restaurant that will likely be more than $100 for a couple. It is impossible to guarantee that a child this age will be able to behave (not their fault, by the way) and a SELFISH risk for some parents to impose on other diners, just so they can go there (because the child would be just as happy at McDonalds).

    If you can afford this type of dinner, you can also afford a babysitter.

    By the way, I love my dog, but wouldn’t take her anywhere where she isn’t legally allowed or welcome. I respect other who might not appreciate a dog indoors where they are eating or buying food. I leave her at home on these trips.

  • cmc October 16, 2008 (1:54 pm)

    WSB, yes, I know that this is a common topic and I do agree that the things said about kids can also be true (unfortunately) for some adults but I guess I just think it’s silly that it’s become about humans vs. dogs. That wasn’t what the poster was asking about. She wanted to know how people feel about dogs in stores. It’s become “if your dirty kid can be in a store then my dirty dog can too…” na, na, na, na, na!

  • WSB October 16, 2008 (2:00 pm)

    Oh, I know … I guess maybe the moral of the story is next time something similar arises (I hadn’t seen one about dogs in STORES lately, previously it was dogs in restaurants/pubs), we can say “OK, the last three times anything similar came up, the discussion went in X direction, free treats TBA to whoever manages to offer a different opinion” … Would have to work on the free treats, though!

  • cmc October 16, 2008 (2:02 pm)

    Sounds like a great idea! I will start asking local businesses to donate some treats! ;-)

  • JT October 16, 2008 (2:19 pm)

    The OP’s complaint consisted of “He was standing up with front paws on the rim of the cart with all his BOY doggy parts hanging out. It was disgusting. I told the checker on the way out that I was disgusted Management allowed pets in the store and in the carts we all use”

    Am I exempt from this complaint since both my dogs are female? And the reason children were brought in to the discussion centered on the abundance of germs coming from both saliva and diapers. As is well documented from several studies. It was presumed sanitation was a concern, and a primary source of germ contamination is from kids, not dogs. At least I’m assuming it’s kids wearing diapers in the carts.

    And for the record have dogs, had small children (grown now), don’t/didn’t bring either to the grocery store. Just don’t understand the big deal.

  • Ron Burgundy October 16, 2008 (2:22 pm)

    Has anybody looked up the WAC or SMC yet?

  • WSB October 16, 2008 (2:29 pm)

    Ron, I tried to find the letter of the law, so to speak, and obviously wasn’t using the right search terms, because it’s just not coming up …so anyone who CAN find it, I’d be grateful.

  • Linda October 16, 2008 (2:36 pm)

    Wow, this is the first chance I’ve had to get back to the blog and see what people are saying.

    Lots of variety, thanks neighbors for your feedback, it’s just about as expected, maybe off task with the kid comparisons.

    Most of you missed the point since I was trying not to be to graphic. The MALE dog was aroused, meaning his little red penis was sticking out as the cart was pushed against the class case of the deli dept. That’s just too much for me.

    I liked the comment from “Neighbor” the best, “Imagine living in a place where civility and common decency drive our behavior…”

    That’s what it’s about, being courteous to all. Too many people are deciding which laws apply to them and which don’t. I don’t take my dog on any beach in the city/county anymore. I do off leash at the dog park. I scoop poop off my neighbors parking strip. I do it because it’s the right and neighborly thing to do.

    I do enjoy living in West Seattle and I usually see someone I know everytime I’m out, another reason to be neighborly.

  • JT October 16, 2008 (2:39 pm)

    This article calls it a *rule*.


    Health officials said the state rule banning pets from restaurants and bars is based on a food code standard set by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

    “Animals don’t use the toilet and they shed and they sometimes drool, and those are potential issues with food,” said Joe Graham, public health adviser for the Washington state Department of Health.


  • quiz October 16, 2008 (2:55 pm)

    Amen. I love my dogs, but I don’t expect everyone else to.

  • JT October 16, 2008 (3:12 pm)

    FDA guidelines: Page 101, section 435 and 436, animals



    Essentially states live animals are not allowed in areas where food is prepared.

  • mickeymouse October 16, 2008 (4:10 pm)

    Thank you for the link to the FDA. “Live animals are NOT allowed where food is prepared”. If I saw this I would call and report it to the local health department.
    I like dogs but there is a time and place for them. They carry different bacteria than humans.
    Thus the rules/laws/health dept regs !

  • tnc October 16, 2008 (4:26 pm)

    it is funny how the blog goes off into right field… ie: comparing kids to pets in stores… come on people, really! my two cents are i dont remember my kid licking his butt but i have seen a dog do this in a store… i have a 75 lb “well behaved” boxer, but i would NEVER bring him in a store because i know its not a place for him.. i mean really…do we even need to talk about it…. ive been to europe plenty of times, and yes, ive seen the dogs everywhere , but i also have seen plenty of them pee all over their century old restaurants and hotel…

  • Tim E October 16, 2008 (4:46 pm)

    Keyword: “Prepared” (as in referring to kitchen or vicinity of…) anybody else within the State of Washington?

  • Brandon October 16, 2008 (5:38 pm)

    The next time you check out at a grocery store and worry about germs: think about all the gross people that have touched the same keypad you just did; think about all the germs on the money the cashier has handled and given back to you, and spread over every single item you just bought; how about the bagger that has to return all the carts; and hope that every produce employee has washed their hands before putting it away; and hope that the produce you buy hasn’t already fallen on the floor. If you don’t wash all your food when you get home, well, good luck to ya.
    It sure is funny and obvious who the posters are that don’t have any kids of their own. Its easy to assume that parents can “exert absolute control” over thier child at all times (my god, will someone tell me how they do it???).
    Oh, and TeresaP, right back at ya! too bad -g/ng-

  • T.A.M October 16, 2008 (5:50 pm)

    If dogs are allowed in store, there should be no problem. For the gal that wrote about disgusting boy dog parts, it’s a dog, not a man. Get a life!

  • fiz October 16, 2008 (8:52 pm)

    Dogs don’t belong in stores selling food, with the exception of service dogs. Period.

  • Jennie October 16, 2008 (9:11 pm)

    I think this has devolved into a dog vs. child conversation because there are so many people in Seattle who have dogs but not kids. It is deserving of a psychological study.

  • Chris Weinmann October 16, 2008 (10:20 pm)

    Get over yourselves. Who cares? Dogs, people, kids, shoes, the air… they’re all dirty. Humans are designed to live in the dirt. If there is a “disease”, it’s the outbreak of self-righteousness in this country. Be courteous, but if you encounter someone whose idea of being courteous doesn’t jibe with yours, then move on. (And seriously, you think a dog sniffing an apple in the produce department is going to make you sick? No.)

  • Kristina October 16, 2008 (10:39 pm)

    Wow – this thread was entertaining! Thanks for the laughs. Some of these posts have me seriously wondering about your home lives…. there is some serious grouchiness and lack of tolerance for children and pets going on!
    A well behaved dog is a delight; a well behaved child is a delight. And ill behaved dogs and children….not so delightful. But why on earth the comparison of dogs and children?
    I have a large black lab, and a lovely five year old daughter. I keep my lab out of grocery stores, though I can promise you that if I brought him in I’d control him and he’d be delighful -he’s the kind of dog that non-dog lovers like because he’s gentle and obedient. And my daughter can hold her own in any resturant, knowing full well that if she did not we’d have to leave immediately. As for touching everything in the store – she doesn’t. Ever. We talk about what we’re buying and she helps me get things and I interact with her so that she doesn’t need to throw fits. Most parents I know are the same. Sure, there are exceptions…but c’mon, they’re exceptions, not the rule.
    It is inappropriate to paint all children and/or dogs with the same broad brush. Some are wonderful to be around, some not. In both cases, it is often the “parents” who are to blame, more than the child/animal.
    But the law is the law. No (non-service) dogs in food establishments. Grocery stores should enforce the law. Period.

  • Anna October 17, 2008 (10:12 am)

    I have no issues with dogs or kids in stores. I don’t worry about germs. I grew up on a farm where germs and bacteria abound and I ate my sandwiches without washing my hands like any other average kid. I am now one of the healthiest adults I know. I think intolerance is a terrible thing. Intolerance breeds contempt and ugliness. All this makes me think about the cows that walk through an Indian marketplace. Do you think there are Indian women running for management to complain about the “filthy” animal in their store? I say get over yourself and try to be more accepting. That dog in the store isn’t going to kill you.

  • rjb October 17, 2008 (12:52 pm)

    I was in the Jefferson Square Safeway last week. A woman was in line with her small dog on a leash. A child, probably 10 or so, came up and asked if he could pet her dog. She said yes. He started to pet the dog and it smapped at his hand. She just smiled. She was also very occupied in her scratch tickets to care too much.
    I don’t care about kids being in the supermarket until the parent thinks it would be fine for the kid to steer the cart. You parents annoy me so much. I don’t think it’s cute your 7 year old is steering when they get in my way and crash into other shoppers.
    Oh, and one more thing about kids in the store – please don’t put them in those car-carts. Those are the most irritating thing to ever be introduced. They take up the entire aisle, and the kids never really seem to be too thrilled with the concept. My favorite lately was seeing a 8 year old pushing the car-cart. Ugh.

  • INOSH December 12, 2008 (1:55 pm)

    I have two dogs, I used to take them into the store when they were a puppies who fit into a bag and usually slept the whole time. Now they’re to big to fit in a bag, and, most importantly, I am at the grocery store to shop for groceries and I need both hands available, which I don’t have if I’ve got dog leash(s) to hold onto.

    As for the Dog v. Kids debate, it is a valid argument, I was a nanny for 5+ years and they are similar for so many reasons I don’t have room here to list them all; the poo, pee, snot, drool, noise… generated by either, just comes with the territory.

    The only difference, I’ve noticed, is how other people respond to you. If a dog is misbehaving, barking for example, people can (and do) make disparaging remarks about the situation and have no problem telling the owner “learn to control you dog” Yet if that same person sees a screaming 3 year old they would never, never, in a million years tell the parent “learn to control you kid”.

    As for the allergy issue, if you are allergic to my dog and my dog is too close for comfort, say something NICELY and I’ll promptly move my dog away. I’ve had people at the park, politely ask me to keep my dog away from them because of an allergy and I’ve had people freak out at me because my dog sniffed their pant leg as they walked by… who do you think got the best response from me. People are allergic to all sorts of things; grass, trees, flowers and they don’t yell at their neighbors for planting them or enact laws making them illegal. I, myself, am allergic to fabric softeners and I frequently end up with a rash on my arm(s) after sitting next to somebody on the bus, or after someone at the store brushes against me. That’s life, dealing with the slight inconveniences that the other people on earth will inevitably inflict on you. If dealing with these slight inconveniences is the worst thing to happen to you, be grateful.

    I, also, only shop at (non food related) stores that will allow my dogs, I don’t take my dogs with me everywhere I go and I won’t always have them with me. If you don’t ever want my dog in your store that means you don’t want my business, but statistically: happy people spend more money than unhappy people, and people with pets are much happier that those without them.

Sorry, comment time is over.