Do you need to head down to Asda for your next food shop? Wondering whether you can take your dog along with you and whether you will even be admitted into the store? Well, here is what you should know.
So, are dogs allowed in Asda? Dogs are not allowed in Asda, neither the larger superstores, smaller supermarkets, or petrol stations. The one exception is assistance/ service dogs – which are legally allowed to enter all public spaces to be able to support and undertake essential tasks and responsibilities for their people.
Likely not the news you were hoping for.
Especially if you are currently en route, or perhaps even outside an Asda with your dog at this precise moment in time.
But here’s the thing.
Asda has a nationwide no-dog policy.
It does not matter what breed you have, how small they are, or how well behaved they may be.
It’s a blanket no-dog policy. No exceptions.
Except one, which we will soon explore.
Does UK Law Ban Dogs In Asda?
There is no law or health and safety regulations that ban dogs from being allowed to enter Asda, or any other supermarket where food and drink are sold.
We can see this referenced on the Dog Laws UK page over at Blue Cross:
Dogs in pubs, restaurants and cafes
There is no law or any health and safety regulations that ban dogs from being in premises where food and drink is served or sold. However, they must not enter areas where food is prepared, handled or stored, for example the kitchen.
It’s up to the owner of the establishment that serves food and drink whether they’d like to welcome dogs.
Law: Food Hygiene Regulations 2013, under EU Regulation (EC) 852/2004, Annex II.
Here are some points of note:
- Whether dogs are allowed is at the discretion of the estbalishment or business.
- Dogs cannot enter areas where food is prepared, so this would be in places like kitches (as referenced), cafes, or bakeries.
For Asda specifically, and in reference to point one above, they have taken the decision not to allow dogs.
Here is why.
Why Asda Does Not Allow Dogs
Asda has taken the decision not to allow dogs for both hygiene reasons and customer safety reasons.
First and foremost, we must acknowledge that Asda is a food store.
Now even though most of their food is properly packaged, it is true that there is food that is open and not sealed.
Take fruits, vegetables and bakery items are such examples.
Dogs are a contamination risk, and there is the possibility that a dog could transfer something over to such foods.
It’s hardly hygenic for dogs to be wandering around, perhaps potentially licking or trying to eat any low-hanging fruit (no pun intended!)
From another hygiene angle, it is fair to say that a dog may try or actively go to the toilet.
Now, this is not to say that all dogs would. But some may.
Then there are other considerations about allowing dogs.
As a large supermarket chain, Asda has a social responsibility to keep their customers, and staff, safe.
Again, well-behaved and trained dogs are not the issue here.
But there is a real possibility that some dogs, especially young or unsocialized dogs, could cause issues.
It could be aggression, it could be just being in the way (and being a trip hazard!)
Or, it could just be the anxiety caused to customers and staff who are scared of dogs!
Did you know that 1 in 10 brits are allergic to their pets? (source)
Now that’s current pet owners.
Not taking into account the general public.
But by using those figures alone, if we consider how many customers are in Asda at any one time.
Odds are that dozens of people have pet allergies.
Again, this could include the staff.
Now, banning dogs makes Asda a safer place for these individuals.
Who should have to shop/or go to work when dogs they are frightened of are present, or that cause symptoms such as sneezing, coughing, or a running nose?
It wouldn’t be good for business, either.
So, with these three factors in mind (among others), it does make sense that Asda does not allow dogs.
And it also makes sense that they have installed a universal no-dog policy.
It would be impossible to manage or implement on a store-by-store or dog-by-dog basis!
The Exception – Assistance Dogs
The only dogs that are allowed in Asda are certified assistance dogs.
Now, Asda (among other supermarkets and all public establishments) is legally required to allow assistance dogs/guide dogs.
Now, these are dogs who are purposefully trained to support disabled individuals.
They are registered and they are purposefully assigned to individuals who are dependent on them to go about their day-to-day lives.
To the point where it has been written into law.
The Equality Act of 2010 clearly specifies the rights of these individuals:
The Equality Act 2010 prohibits service providers, including taxis and restaurants, from discriminating against those who need an assistance dog with them. It also requires service providers to make reasonable adjustments for disabled customers.Source: UK Parliament Research Briefings
Put differently, assistance dogs must be allowed and accommodated by supermarkets such as Asda.
Now, we must acknowledge that these dogs are very different from your typical family companion.
They are highly trained, of particular breeds, and have been purposefully bred and raised under strict care and guidance.
These dogs are fully vetted and accredited. They are also usually visually identifiable by a special collar/harness/another form of identification.
In fact, it is common for an individual with an assistance dog to be carrying some form of ID that explains the purpose of their dog.
Should they be challenged.
But here’s the thing.
Asda staff are trained and advised not to challenge (under most circumstances).
They cannot look to be discriminating.
Besides, there have been reports of incidents of wrongful ejections of individuals with assistance dogs.
It’s resulted in some pretty bad press and PR for Asda and other supermarkets.
So for the most part, staff will not proactively challenge or ask customers to leave if they have a dog with them.
Instead, there will be signs outside and staff may only ask questions about the nature of the dog being brought in.
That being said, this is not to say that anyone can or should take a dog into Asda claiming they are assistance dogs (if they are not).
While this is a store policy that could be taken advantage of, it’s important to remember why Asda bans dogs in the first place, and be mindful of the needs of individuals who need support dogs, to begin with.
Dogs are not allowed in Asda. And that is true regardless of their breed, their nature, or their size.
That’s right, they are not welcome even if you could carry them or put them in a basket/trolly.
Assistance dogs are the only exception here.
So, either leave your dog at home, leave them outside in a safe place and under the supervision of a friend/family member, or shop at a later time/date.
It’s not the most convenient, but it’s a policy that does make sense under closer inspection.
Wondering what other supermarkets and stores’ dog policies are? Check out my other guides below:
- Are Dogs Allowed In Sainsburys? [You’ll Be Glad You Checked]
- Are Dogs Allowed In Waitrose? [According To Their Staff]
- Are Dogs Allowed In Marks And Spencer? [In Any M&S?]
- Are Dogs Allowed In UK Hardware Stores? [Store Policies Guide]
- Are Dogs Allowed In Dunelm? [According To Their Staff?]
- Are Dogs Allowed In Lidl? [The Only Exception Is…]
- Are Dogs Allowed In Costa? [The Answer Is Not So Simple…]
I am a practiced pet owner with decades of experience owning a number of different pets. I am also the main writer and chief editor here at Pet Educate; a site I created to share everything I’ve learned about pet ownership over the years and my extensive research along the way.