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Are Dogs Allowed in HEB?

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HEB is synonymous with Texas, our home state. With over 420 stores across Texas and Mexico, HEB is part of life here. And, since we want to share so many parts of our lives with our dogs, you may be wondering: are dogs allowed in HEB?

The quick answer is no, pet dogs are not allowed in H-E-B stores.

As you’ll see in this official HEB tweet: “H-E-B currently only allows service animals in our stores. For the health and safety of all our customers, we do not allow pets to be placed in our shopping carts.”

Why Aren’t Dogs Allowed in HEB?

HEB–and any other grocery store in the US–does not allow dogs (other than service dogs) into the store due to health regulations.

This is the same reason why dogs are permitted only in outdoor patio restaurants, not inside the restaurant itself.

What if I need to go to HEB while I’m out?

If you need to get groceries while you’re out with your dog, the best thing to do is run your dog back home then tend to your grocery shopping.

Please do NOT ever leave your dog alone in the car. The temperature can soar to fatal levels even on what seem to be fairly temperate days. (And don’t forget that there’s always the risk of dognapping while you are in the store.)

You do have the option of both curbside and home delivery from HEB in many areas. With curbside delivery, order your groceries online then you and your dog can swing by to pick up the groceries together.

You can also opt to have groceries delivered from HEB via Instacart.

Are dogs allowed in Central Market?

HEB’s Central Market stores–which compete with Whole Foods stores–have the same rules as HEB stores: no dogs except service dogs.

Are dogs allowed in Mi Tienda stores?

You already know the answer to this one, right?

HEB’s Mi Tienda stores also do not allow pet dogs in the stores, only service dogs.

Who makes the rules about dogs in grocery stores?

Although you might at first think the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulates grocery stores, you’d be wrong. (They do regulate the pet food in the grocery stores, however.)

According to the FDA:

Examples of Food businesses NOT regulated by FDA:

Retail food establishments (i.e. grocery stores, restaurants, cafeterias, and food trucks), which are regulated by state and local governments.
Farmers markets

Instead, state laws prohibit admittance of pet dogs into grocery stores.

Can a Service Dog Go Into HEB?

Yes, a trained service dog that is required to assist you is allowed in any HEB location under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA):

Service animals are defined as dogs that are individually trained to do work or perform tasks for people with disabilities. Examples of such work or tasks include guiding people who are blind, alerting people who are deaf, pulling a wheelchair, alerting and protecting a person who is having a seizure, reminding a person with mental illness to take prescribed medications, calming a person with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) during an anxiety attack, or performing other duties. Service animals are working animals, not pets. The work or task a dog has been trained to provide must be directly related to the person’s disability. Dogs whose sole function is to provide comfort or emotional support do not qualify as service animals under the ADA.

Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)

However, the service dog has to be performing a service for the person shopping. (So, for example, if a husband has a service dog, a wife cannot take the service dog into the store by herself. The dog has to be with the person for whom he is a service dog.)

And remember: H-E-B asks that service dogs not be put into shopping carts.

Here in Texas, the home state of HEB, the law states: “The Texas Health and Safety Code, Chapter 437, Section 437.023 requires a food establishment to allow people with disabilities to bring their service animal into all areas of the facility where customers are normally permitted.”

However, by Texas law the store does have the right to ask two questions of the person with the service dog:

“If a person’s disability is not readily apparent, for purposes of admittance to a public facility with a service animal, a staff member or manager of the facility may inquire about:

(1) whether the service animal is required because the person has a disability

(2) what type of work or task the service animal is trained to perform.”

A service dog is not required to wear a vest or any special tag identifying the dog as a service dog.

Please note that emotional support dogs do not have the legal rights of service dogs.

If your dog is not a trained service dog, do not attempt to misrepresent your dog as a service dog. Depending on where you live, misprepresenting your dog as a service dog can carry a fine of up to $1000.

Be sure to check our list of 100+ dog-friendly stores for places you may be able to shop with your dog in your home town.

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Are dogs allowed in HEB stores?
Paris Permenter
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