Do dog friendly stores exist? Many pet parents wonder this because they love to spend as much time with their dogs as possible. Dogs look so sad when their humans leave without them, and bad weather causes their walks to be shorter. So, both humans and dogs often long to go on shopping sprees together.
So, if you search “dog friendly places near me,” will you find stores that allow dogs? You might find more results than you imagined.
Can Dogs Come Into Stores?
In most instances, dogs cannot come into stores. However, there are always exceptions to this rule. First of all, most pet supply stores will happily welcome dogs with no questions asked. If you’re unsure where the nearest pet supply store is, search “dog store near me.” Yet, there are also many regular stores that welcome canine customers too.
As long as a store doesn’t have a restaurant or grocery section, there’s a chance that dogs could be welcome. However, there are some dog friendly restaurants that allow dogs on their outdoor patio.
The only dogs that are exempt from pet policies in stores are service dogs. Service dogs can enter any store even if pets aren’t allowed because they’re trained to assist their human with a specific task. Emotional support animals do not fall under this category and can only enter stores if pets are allowed.
Popular Dog Friendly Stores
Below is a list of pet friendly stores sorted by type of store. While these stores have all welcomed dogs at some locations, not every location has the same rules. If you’re ever unsure if a store allows pets, contact them before stopping by.
- Pet Supplies Plus
- Woof Gang Bakery
- Pet Supermarket
- TJ Maxx
- Old Navy
- L.L. Bean
- Victoria’s Secret
- Abercrombie & Fitch
- Banana Republic
- Ann Taylor
- Saks Fifth Avenue
- Home Depot
- Tractor Supply Co.
- Ace Hardware
- Harbor Freight
- Pottery Barn
- Bed Bath and Beyond
- JOANN Fabrics
- Hobby Lobby
- LUSH Cosmetics
- Alex and Ani
- Tiffany & Co.
Sports and Outdoors
- Bass Pro Shop
- Camping World
- Apple Store
- Barnes & Noble
- Half Price Books
How Can I Find Dog Friendly Stores Near Me?
If one of the above businesses has a location near you, contact them to see if they allow dogs. Another way to search for “dog-friendly stores near me” is to search your location on BringFido.com. BringFido is a website where people can rate places based on how pet-friendly they are. If there’s a dog friendly store near you that isn’t on the website, you can add it.
Things to Remember Before Shopping with Your Dog
Just because a store is on the list above doesn’t mean you should just walk in and let your dog run wild. Here are a few things to consider before entering dog friendly places.
Call the Location First
If it’s not a pet supply store, the pet policy may vary based on location. So, you should always call the business before bringing your dog. Keep in mind that any of the above stores won’t allow dogs if they’re in an indoor shopping mall.
Keep Your Dog Leashed
Your dog should stay leashed inside any store, no matter how obedient they are. Keep them on a short leash so they don’t approach someone who doesn’t want a dog in their space. Dog trainers recommend a traditional leash over a retractible one because retractible leashes can be dangerous and cause less control over the dog.
Make Sure Your Dog is Well-Trained
Don’t bring an untrained dog into a store, especially if you’re not working on their social skills while at the store. If your dog barks, has accidents, or breaks items, you may be asked to leave the store. Plus, untrained dogs ruin dog friendly spaces for other dogs because the store may stop allowing dogs as a result. Your dog should be able to listen to some basic commands so you can redirect them if they start to cause trouble.
If your dog isn’t well-behaved enough to go into stores, they’re not a lost cause. Work with a dog trainer and take them to parks and other outdoor spaces to prepare them for going in a store. Yet, if you’re ever unsure if your dog will behave themselves in a store, it’s best to leave them at home. Even the best family dogs can cause trouble if not properly trained.
Potty Breaks First
Even if your dog is fully potty trained, give them an opportunity to do their business before entering the store. New environments can be overwhelming for even the best-behaved dogs, so it’s best for them to empty their bladder before just in case. If your dog gets car anxiety, you may want to leave them at home, especially since they’ll be more likely to pee or vomit out of nervousness.
Give Other Shoppers Space
Many people will be excited to see a dog in a store, but that’s not the case for everyone. Keep your dog close to you and away from shoppers at all times, especially if it’s not a pet supply store. Never assume that someone wants to be near your dog unless they approach you and ask. The same is true for someone without a dog; don’t approach a dog without the owner’s permission.
Take Responsibility for Your Dog
As always, your dog is your responsibility in a store. If they knock something over or pee on the floor, it’s your job to clean it up. Also, if you’re in an aisle with someone who seems uncomfortable around dogs, stay out of that space until the person passes.
If you’ve never taken your dog in a store before, take it slow. Choose a less busy time to visit to help your dog get used to the environment. Going to pet supply stores first is your best option because they’re equipped to deal with dogs, even if they’re not angels during the shopping experience.
Frequently Asked Questions
If you’re wanting to visit a dog friendly store, here are some questions you might be wondering.
Does Target Allow Dogs?
No, dogs aren’t allowed at Target. Target has a grocery section, so only service dogs can come inside.
Why Can’t Dogs Go Inside Grocery Stores?
Dogs can’t go inside grocery stores because it’s a health hazard. Plus, any store has the right to refuse pets if they wish.
Can Dogs Enter Stores in a Stroller or Bag?
Dogs can only enter stores in a stroller or bag if that store is dog friendly. Even though the dog wouldn’t be on the ground, they can still cause health concerns and disrupt other customers.
Should Your Dog Come on Your Adventures?
If your dog is well-behaved and confident in new places, bringing them with you on adventures can be a great idea. However, visiting dog friendly stores is a good place to start. If your dog does well shopping, then you should consider flying with your dog or RV camping with your dog. However, if you want to fly with your furry friend, be sure to research pet friendly airlines and dog under airplane seat rules.