Cover photo credit: Wikimedia Commons
Not to be confused with Farm & Fleet, Fleet Farm has 47 stores in Iowa, Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Wisconsin (with another store opening in Minnesota later this year).
The store itself offers “top brand dog and cat foods, treats, and even medications… collars, beds, crates, training systems, litter, carriers, and cat furniture” and they want to make “you and your pet happy.”
But do they allow dogs in-store? Fleet Farm does not allow non-service dogs in store in Iowa, Minnesota, North Dakota or South Dakota. Fleet Farm does allow dogs in store in Wisconsin. Keep reading for more specifics.
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Does Fleet Farm Allow Dogs in Store?
It depends on the store. As Fleet Farm’s policy states, dogs are not allowed in store in the states of Iowa, Minnesota, North Dakota or South Dakota. However, dogs are allowed in-store in the state of Wisconsin.
Why the difference? Voters in Wisconsin passed WI Senate Bill 298, which allows dogs into some retail establishments.
Previously, the Department of Agriculture was able to ban dogs in retail stores with any amount of food being sold. The new bill, passed in 2021, allows retail establishments that “receive not more than 5% of total revenue from sale of food” to allow dogs.
As such, pets are allowed in Fleet Farm stores in Wisconsin. They even made a promo video about it!
And, because of that same food restriction, pets are not allowed in Fleet Farm stores in other states. Of course, service animals are allowed.
For example, the Fleet Farm in Waukee, Iowa has stated that they do not allow dogs in the store, due to state-level food restrictions. Of course, service animals are allowed.
Likewise, the Blaine and Monticello locations in the Twin Cities don’t allow dogs because of food. However, Reddit users report that Oakdale, MN does not restrict dogs.
While Fleet Farm’s official pet policy does not allow dogs in these stores (since they are in Minnesota and not Wisconsin), these Reddit posts may be explained by individual managers choosing not to enforce the policy.
Additionally, some Fleet Farms may not question a dog being brought in, because the ADA makes it illegal to ask for documentation about a service animal, to inquire about a person’s disability, or to have the dog demonstrate a task.
However, employees can ask the following questions:
- Is the dog a service animal required because of a disability?
- What work or task has the dog been trained to perform?
It’s definitely not okay to lie about your dog being a service animal. If you know your local Fleet Farm does not sell food or refrigerated items, you can try calling ahead to see if they allow dogs. Otherwise, unless you live in the state of Wisconsin, you’ll have to leave your pup at home.
Before Your Bring Your Dog Into Fleet Farm (Wisconsin)
If you do live in a location that allows dogs in Fleet Farm stores, here are some tips to make it a fun experience for everyone:
- Leash training and obedience: your dog should be well-mannered in public. This means no jumping on people or merchandise. So make sure your pup is leash trained and knows some basic training such as “sit” before you go.
- Vaccinations: you should make sure that your dog is up-to-date on shots and preventative treatments for ticks, fleas, etc. before going out in public. This keeps both your pup and others healthy.
- Give yourself time: trying to be in a rush while your dog acclimates to an exciting new environment is a recipe for disaster. Make sure you give yourself some extra time to account for messes or extra sniffs.
- Use the lawn first: in most stores, you’re responsible for cleaning up messes. So go outside first.
- Be considerate: not everyone enjoys dogs, as weird as that might sound. Be sure to give other people (and dogs) plenty of space and keep your dog under control with a leash or carrier. Additionally, don’t lie about your dog being a service animal if they aren’t.
- Consider calling ahead: while Fleet Farm stores in Wisconsin are dog friendly, it can be nice to call ahead when going to a new location. Even if the company is generally dog-friendly, there may be reasons why dogs aren’t allowed in a specific location (typically having to do with local or building regulations).
Additionally, here are the rules laid out by Fleet Farm for Wisconsin guests:
- Individual Fleet Farm stores can refuse dogs or remove dogs at their discretion.
- All dogs must be kept on a 4′ or shorter leash.
- Dogs must be well-behaved and not aggressive.
- You are responsible for cleaning up after your dog and liable for any injuries or damages.
- Dogs are not allowed in shopping carts.
We hope this has been helpful! Are you a dog owner in Wisconsin? How do you feel about the change in retail shopping restrictions?