Can You Bring Dogs to the Sacramento Farmers Market? - A Guide for Pet Owners

Are you planning to bring your pup to a farmers market in Sacramento or anywhere else in California? Before you get in the car and head out, it's important to consider the regulations in place. California Health and Safety Code 114259.5 stipulates that, with the exception of service animals, live animals are not allowed in certified farmers markets or allowed food establishments. The answer lies in California Health and Safety Code 114259.5, which states that, with the exception of service animals, “live animals are not allowed into a food establishment.” This is the first such setup for the California Farmers Market Association, which operates more than a dozen farmers markets in the Bay Area. On market days, Pulliam will spy on more than 20 dogs with their humans in the market, sometimes more.

For example, under California's health and safety codes, only service animals can attend the state's farmers markets, unless it's a specific activity aimed at pets. Smith says that while he personally loves dogs, a farmers market with fresh produce and crowds may not be the right place for them.


offers additional helpful tips for preparing your puppy for a trip to a dog-friendly farmer's market. It's a Sunday morning and the farmer's market on 8th and W streets is already full of characters.

The market is certified by the Sacramento County Commissioner of Agriculture, which allows “certified” and “uncertified” producers to sell their agricultural products as long as all products meet certain minimum quality standards. Two markets open year-round in Sacramento are the Sunday Farmers Market, under the highway, on 8th and W Streets, and the Midtown Farmers Market, on Saturday, on 20th Street between J and K Streets. The Midtown Farmers Market, which spans more than five blocks, showcases local agriculture, prepared foods, artisans and service offerings, while providing Midtown residents and business owners with the opportunity to discover food grown in the region. It's hard to put an end to animals that seem to bring joy to those around them, but market managers said the hardest part is determining if a dog is, in fact, a service animal.

Jose Gallardo from Gallardo's Organic Farm has a booth at the Midtown Farmers Market with lots of red, green and rainbow chard and other fresh produce. So if you're planning on bringing your pup to a farmers market in Sacramento or anywhere else in California for that matter, make sure you know what regulations are in place before you go. Service animals are always welcome at certified farmers markets but if you're bringing your pet for fun or companionship it's best to check with the market manager first. With these tips in mind, you can ensure that your pup has a safe and enjoyable experience at any farmers market.

Tricia Sweetman
Tricia Sweetman

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