Key Takeaways

  • Petco is one of the most pet-friendly stores, allowing all types of domesticated and vaccinated pets inside to visit the store.
  • The leniency of the pet policy can vary by location, but most stores require vaccination, proof of registration, and a leash to bring a pet into the store.
  • Before visiting Petco with a pet, we recommend feeding them first, bringing a bag of treats to the store, and taking them for a walk outside to use the bathroom first.

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Petco is the number one place to go for pet supplies, so people wonder about the pet policy and if they are allowed to visit the stores too.

Petco is one of the most pet-friendly stores, and they allow all types of pets in stores as long as they follow the rules. Pets visiting Petco should be vaccinated, licensed, restrained on a leash or crate, and behaved. Any pets acting aggressively will be asked to leave the store.

Petco's pet policy is clear and easy to understand because it is open, unlike many other stores. We also contacted local Petco stores in different regions to ask about the current pet policy and what rules we should know. Keep reading to prepare for the next trip to Petco with a pet.

Table of contents


Petco's Pet Policy: Are They Allowed

As a pet owner, it’s not uncommon to become a regular at a place like Petco because of everything they can offer. This is also why many customers ask if they allow pets inside too.

Luckily, Petco is one of the most pet-friendly stores with an easy-to-understand pet policy. All domesticated household pets are allowed in the store.

And the truth is, even animals not often seen at home are also allowed. Here’s an example of when they let an African Watusi in the store on a leash.

Petco makes it clear all pets and animals can come inside for a visit. They must be well-behaved, friendly with other guests, and on a leash with their owners at all times.

All Pets Are Allowed In Stores

It’s possible to see all types of pets inside a Petco on any day. They allow owners to bring friendly animals for a visit, so don’t be surprised to pick up some supplies on the next trip.

Of course, it’s most common to see dogs and sometimes cats. As long as a pet is domesticated, Petco employees will allow the animal in the store.

Pets Should Be Vaccinated

All pets visiting Petco should be vaccinated and up to date on their shots. This is an important rule to protect others and keep other animals safe if anything were to go wrong.

This includes rabies shots and other vaccinations depending on the state or country where the store is located.

Typically, they won’t ask for proof of vaccination for a pet like a dog entering the store, but this may vary. However, anybody looking to get services like pet grooming must show proof of rabies vaccination.

Pets Need To Be With Their Owners & Restrained

Petco has one of the loosest pet policies for guests, but this is one rule that must be followed. All pets must be restrained with a leash, a crate, a tether, or anything similar.

This rule aims to keep the stores safe for other guests and employees while allowing people to bring their pets into stores.

If anybody brings a pet without a leash, they will be asked to get one, or they need to leave the store with their pet.

For anybody who doesn't believe us, here’s a pet bird on a leash in the store looking for a new perch. When a pet is behaved and is restrained, Petco is happy to allow them inside for a visit.

What Types Of Pets Are Allowed In Petco?

Petco is friendly to nearly all animals as long as they meet the following requirements. In the past, they have allowed some unique animals in the store because they followed these guidelines.

Legally Owned Animals

Petco decided to allow all animals in their stores as long as they are legally owned. This includes domesticated animals such as dogs and cats and more unique animals like birds.

The only exception is for extinct or illegal exotic animals that cannot visit the store. Every household pet will be welcomed with open arms on the next visit to Petco.


All animals and pets visiting Petco should ideally be domesticated. As we have shown, some animals enter the stores that clearly aren't household pets, like the African Watusi.

This is the most flexible of rules in the Petco pet policy. However, most stores would not allow an animal of that size inside, and most of the pets allowed in are domesticated, household pets not too big in size.

We recommend sticking to this rule. Otherwise, there is a possibility Petco does not allow a specific animal inside.

Vaccinated & Licensed

Before bringing a pet to Petco, one should ensure that the animal is up-to-date on its vaccinations and has been registered and licensed. Petco's requirement is enforced to keep other animals in the store safe.

All pets should be vaccinated and up to date on their shots. This is an important rule to protect others. This is because it protects the pet, its owner, and those around them.

Some Petco locations may ask for proof of vaccination and license before entering, but in our experience, this is rare. It only happens when getting grooming and bathing services in stores.

What To Do Before Bringing A Pet To Petco

Bringing a pet to Petco can be a great experience when the rules are followed, and pet owners are prepared. Please take a look at this list of things to do before bringing a pet on its first visit.

Feed Them First

Before visiting Petco, we recommend feeding pets because they will be less restless. In our experience, the visits always improved when our puppy had breakfast, lunch, or dinner before the trip.

This is not a requirement, but it should make the visit more enjoyable, and pets tend to be on better behavior when they are not hungry.

Bring Treats

We also recommend bringing treats or buying a bag in the store. This is helpful to reward the pet’s behavior when they do something good and show their best behavior around strangers and other animals.

Many Petco stores will also offer free treats to animals during their visit. They also can get a water bowl if needed to accommodate most pets.

Take Them For A Walk

Lastly, take them on a walk before going inside so they can use the bathroom. This is important because an accident in the store can be disruptive and embarrassing for many people.

Luckily, Petco is one of the most understanding stores, and they will not ask pet owners to leave when this happens. But the pet owner will likely be asked to clean up the mess.