Dogs Go to Heaven and the Grocery Store




I love dogs and grew up with pets dogs. We owned dachshund and a Spitz before. I don’t have a pet here in Manila since I don’t think I can take care of a dog properly. No one will feed the dog when I’m off to work.

While I love dogs, I just would like to pose a question and be enlightened. There are plenty of establishments that allows pets in their premises. Tiendesitas in Pasig and Bonifacio High Street in Taguig is a pet haven every day and I love watching them playing on the lawn or being pampered in a pet grooming shop. But are dogs allowed in the grocery section?

This is a question I am asking after two incidents at Cash and Carry in Makati.  The first incident was a lady carrying a small dog (sorry I am not a expert in checking for the breed) while choosing vegetables. The second incident was a mother and daughter with a bigger dog placed on the shopping cart while choosing for cold cut items.

I asked the information booth of Cash and Carry and they are not clear about their policy. The woman told me it is allowed as long as it is small. How small is small? Is any “small” pet allowed? If I bring a pet tarantula or small snake, is it ok too?  My question is a matter of asking for the policy. I have nothing against dogs or pets and its owners.

Not satified with Cash and Carry’s policy, I went to the nearest supermarket at SM Hypermart. I am curious what their answer will be since they just opened their Pet Express store on the same building. Surely, SM is a pet-friendly place but to what extent. I asked the information and she was able to tell me their policy. They allow dogs at the grocery but not in the fresh section where the meat, food, fruits and vegetable are bare and exposed. Also, dogs are allowed in other areas of their store as long as they are carried by the owner. Their pets are not supposed to walk on the floor nor placed on a shopping cart. Their pets must be carried at all times.

Their policy was clear to me and I am impressed with their customer service. Then I asked how they implement it, and she said that they have plenty guards and attendants to monitor their customers and the pets. Hmm… maybe I should give that one a test or try asking their staff if they know about it.  Implementation is another thing.

So, are dogs and other pets allowed in the grocery?

I am not sure if there is a BFAD or DOH policy regarding this matter. That is what I want to find out. I would also try to ask my dog lover friends Rico and Janine if they are aware of any existing regulations.  Oregon Department of Agriculture has a clear policy published in the internet.

But here are some things I want to point out.

  1. Animal welfare and Human welfare. I am aware of animal rights. They need to be loved and taken care of. But not all people are comfortable with pets. Some have phobias or allergies. And maybe their pets are also allergic to people but we can not tell. So where do we strike a balance?
  2. Policy. Some restaurants don’t allow pets inside. So pet owners respect that and don’t bring their pets there. Some resturant have open spaces where pets are allowed. This is a good balance.  If some food establishments allow pets inside, then I would respect that as well. Consumers must be informed properly.
  3. Hygiene. This is a risk I consider when bringing pets at the food section. If in the meat section, establishments require their staff to wear gloves and hair nets, shouldn’t they be concerned with pets getting close to their products?
  4. Animal Equal Rights.  Why the prejudice?  Pets are allowed as long are they are small.  Now about if they are big already?  What if it is some exotic pets like scorpions or a polar bear.  How about a giraffe?

I find this interesting and I am now looking for some materials in the internet.  I’ll also ask some friends around and maybe get some info from  government institutions.

If you are aware of any policy in the Philippines, leave a comment.  I hope you don’t find me as a cruel, anti-pet person.  I’m merely asking and being curious.

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