Are Dogs Allowed in Tesco? Canine Convenience

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Author: Jacob Kay

It is so common to see a shopper strolling down the aisle at Tesco casually, holding the leash of his/her dog in one hand and the shopping cart in the second. Usually, for pet owners, bringing their dogs along with them on the grocery shopping is a common routine. This leaves many dog lovers wondering – Are Dogs Allowed in Tesco?

However, while Tesco aims to be accommodating to all customers, they also have to consider the comfort and safety of all shoppers in regards to allowing a pet inside the store.

In this article, we’ll take a closer look at Tesco’s official policy regarding dogs in their stores. We’ll discuss where pets are allowed, several restrictions every shopper should be aware of, and tips for smoothly shopping with your dog.

Whether you’re a regular Tesco shopper or an occasional visitor, understanding the retailer’s rules on pets can help ensure your next trip is enjoyable for you and your canine companions.

Are Dogs Allowed in Tesco

What is Tesco?

Tesco PLC is a British multinational grocery and general merchandise retailer headquartered in Welwyn Garden City, England. Founded in 1919 by Jack Cohen, Tesco started as a market stall selling war-surplus groceries in London’s East End. The Tesco brand officially appeared in 1924 when Cohen bought a shipment of tea from Thomas Edward Stockwell and used the initials of the supplier’s name (TES) along with the first two letters of his surname (CO) to form the word “TESCO”.

What is Tesco

Over the years, Tesco has diversified its offerings beyond groceries. Today, it operates 7,000 stores worldwide, employs over 500,000 people, and serves tens of millions of customers each week. While its core business structure depends on grocery retail, Tesco has expanded into retail banking, assurance, clothing, electronics, furniture, and more. It is the market leader in groceries in the UK, with a market share of around 28.4%.[1]

Tesco’s Official Policy on Dogs

Tesco's Official Policy on Dogs

Tesco’s Policy on dogs is focused on maintaining a pleasant shopping environment for all the customers visiting. While leased dogs are generally allowed in stores, there are some restrictions pet owners should be aware of.

Dogs are welcomed in most sections of Tesco stores, including the main shopping areas, food halls, and cafes. They can accompany you while browsing products and doing your grocery run. However, there are certain areas where dogs are not permitted, including food preparation areas, warehouses, and anywhere serving freshly cooked, ready-to-eat food.

The store manager has discretion over whether a dog can stay. Reasons a dog may be asked to leave include behaviour like barking, poor hygiene, or throwing health hazards. On the other hand, guide dogs and assistance dogs are always welcomed in Tesco stores, even in restricted areas. These working animals must be identified through harnesses or leashes.

To avoid any issues and inconvenience for both the customer and the retailer, all dogs must always be kept on a lead to prevent tangling or products being knocked off shelves. Additionally, any dog waste within the store or surrounding premises must be cleaned up immediately by the owner.[2]

Things to Keep in Mind When Shopping with Your Dog

Things to Keep in Mind When Shopping with Your Dog

Bringing your dog to Tesco can be fun, but there are a few tips to avoid getting your dog into any trouble:

  • Before entering the store, quickly check that your dog is clean and free of fleas/ticks. Well-groomed dogs are less likely to be perceived as a health hazard.
  • Equip yourself with the necessary dog supplies – doggy cleanup bags, a compact water bowl, and dog treats can help you manage your pup’s needs.
  • Keep your dog close by your side at all times. Use a short lease and discourage them from wandering or jumping. Refrain from lengthy conversations that distract you from monitoring your pet.
  • Skip visiting during the busiest hours, as crowds may stress some dogs. Opt for weekdays or early/late hours.
  • Be attentive and skip the food aisles if your dog has food aggression issues. Prevent barking outbursts and acknowledge good behaviour.
  • Be ready to promptly leave if your dog appears overly anxious or the retail staff requests you to depart. Don’t take it personally.

What to Do If Asked to Leave with Your Dog

What to Do If Asked to Leave with Your Dog

If a Tesco employee requests you leave with your leashed dog, it’s best to comply calmly. You can politely ask the reason for the request. There may be an isolated issue, like a barking outburst or accident. If it seems unjustified, you can clarify your dog is leashed and under control. However, arguing is counterproductive for everyone in this situation.

Accept that staff are enforcing store policy. If you feel the request is discriminatory, refrain from debating in-store. Collect the employee’s name and complain through proper channels later. Remember that scenes caused by refusing to comply may result in being banned from the store.

Staying respectful improves your case if disputing unfair treatment. Understand that the request is a personal or targeted insult, but is based on perceived disruption or health hazards caused by your specific dog’s actions.

Cooperating with Tesco staff avoids conflicts and in most cases, they are just unfolding policies meant to protect all customers. Remain polite and take necessary actions later if you feel wrongly singled out.

Alternatives for Pet Owners

Alternatives For Pet Owners

You as a customer should always put your comfort and your dog’s safety as a priority. If bringing your dog to Tesco doesn’t work out, you can consider some other options like these:

  • Many local pet stores allow leashed dogs, through call ahead to confirm. You can purchase pet supplies while out with your pup.
  • Look for dog-friendly farmer’s markets or outdoor shopping areas. These allow you to bring pets while getting necessities.
  • Try a pet care service to watch your dog if you’ll be shopping for more than just a quick trip. This avoids leaving them alone at home.
  • For grocery runs, use Tesco delivery services. This allows you to shop from home while keeping your dog comfortable and avoiding issues.
  • Swap pet duties with your partner or friend. They can watch your dog while you go to Tesco solo for a faster trip.
  • Visit Tesco early morning or late evening when fewer crowds make it easier to shop with a pup.


Are Dogs Allowed in Tesco?

Yes, leashed dogs are allowed in most areas of Tesco stores, though some sections have restrictions, such as food prep areas.

Do I need to have my dog on a leash in Tesco?

Yes, Tesco requires that all dogs be kept on a leash and under control at all times while in their stores.

What kind of leash should I use for my dog at Tesco?

Tesco recommends using short leashes (4 feet or under) to keep better control of your dog and prevent tangling or knocked-over products.

What should I do if a Tesco employee asks me to leave with my dog?

You should comply calmly without arguing. If you feel the request is unfair, file a complaint through proper channels later.

Can I leave my dog tied up outside Tesco while I shop?

No, Tesco does not allow dogs to be left unattended outside their stores. Your dog must accompany you inside on a leash if bringing them along.


For many pet owners, bringing their pets along on errands just makes sense. As one of the UK’s largest retailers, Tesco aims to make their stores as welcoming to dogs as any other customer, while maintaining a safe environment for everyone. The retailer’s official policy allows leashed dogs in most areas, with some reasonable restrictions.

Bringing your pets to Tesco can be a smooth experience by following the rules, being prepared with supplies, and keeping your dog under control. While pet owners will rarely be asked to leave for all valid reasons, this is not meant as discrimination of any sort. TESCO staff are simply enforcing policies developed with all customers in mind.

With open communication and cooperation from the dog owner, Tesco can continue serving pets and their people alike. A bit of planning goes a long way in making shopping trips enjoyable for both you and your pet. So next time you’re questioning “Are Dogs Allowed in TESCO?” and whether to bring them along, remember – dogs are indeed allowed at Tesco!


  1. Wikipedia – Tesco
  2. Maintaining and improving animal welfare – Tesco PLC
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Jacob Kay
Jacob Kay is a Veterinary Advisor and Editor at WWD. He’s also a dog lover and has two pet dogs of his own. He has extensive knowledge in the field of veterinary medicine and is always happy to share his insights with others.

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