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Is Buc-ee’s Dog Friendly?

I guess it’s true that many things in Texas are, well, Texas-sized. That’s definitely the best way to describe Buc-ee’s, a Texas-based chain of convenience stores that holds the record for world’s largest convenience store and world’s longest car wash. But is Buc-ee’s dog friendly?

Are Dogs Allowed at Buc-ee's?

Can you bring your dog in Buc-ee’s?

Because Buc-ee’s stores are filled (to the brim) with food, both packaged and prepared, you cannot bring your dog into Buc-ee’s. As a combination grocery store and fast food restaurant, health regulations prohibit dogs other than service dogs just like you’ll find at Walmart or Texas-based H-E-B grocery stores.

You’ll need to take turns with your travel partner entering Buc-ee’s while the other one remains outside with your dog (which is what we do).

You will find a pet section in Buc-ee’s with collars, leashes, toys and more Buc-ee’s swag.

Don’t miss the dog relief areas at Buc-ee’s!

two dogs at Buc-ee's in Luling, Texas

Buc-ee’s are legendary for their enormous and clean restrooms (and they were voted world’s cleanest restrooms at one point–and I can attest to that at every Buc-ee’s we’ve visited).

Aside from the indoors human restrooms, Buc-ee’s also has huge dog relief areas around the outside of the stores. These grassy areas are well-maintained, mowed and include poop bag dispensers and disposal units.

dog relief area at Buc-ee's in Luling, Texas

And our dogs LOVE them. They know the moment we drive into a Buc-ee’s parking lot and get excited. We unload the dogs and I walk them while John fills up the car.

The dog relief areas are large enough that even when the store is packed you’ll find plenty of room to walk your dog without interacting with other dogs.

Also, Buc-ee’s does not permit 18-wheelers to enter their parking lots, so the dog walking areas are a bit quieter than you might find at other gas stations and travel stops.

Did You Know?
Buc-ee’s is named for founder Arch “Beaver” Aplin and his Labrador Retriever, Buck. You’ll find the beaver mascot featured on a statue in front of each Buc-ee’s location (and on t-shirts, cups, bandanas and a whole lot more.)

two dogs at Buc-ee's dog relief area

Share your Buc-ee’s photos on social media

Be sure to share photos of your dog enjoying the pet relief areas or sporting some Buc-ee’s gear. Use hashtags #Bucees #BeaverNuggets.

Can I bring a service dog in Buc-ee’s?

Yes, a trained service dog that is required to assist you is allowed in any Buc-ee’s store 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.”

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 Buc-ee’s by herself. The dog has to be with the person for whom he is a service dog.)

Here in Texas, the home state of Buc-ee’s, 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.

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This post originally appeared on DogTipper.com and is the sole property of DogTipper.com.