10 of the Biggest Retail Shops That Allow Dogs

There are dogs who hate to see their owners leave and there are owners who hate to be apart from their dogs. Sometimes it is just necessary to take Fido along on your shopping trips, so it helps to know which stores allow your dog to come and go – with the appropriate restrictions. Service dogs in most jurisdictions cannot be banned by law, but a pet friendly story is often an oasis on the warmer summer months. Of course, the idea of leaving your dog in your car these days may end up attracting the interest of well-meaning advocates who are more trouble than your dog.

As we browse through this list of dogs that you can take to major retail stores, keep in mind that while the list is accurate, as a general rule it is best to check to see if the same permissions are true where you live. Besides the leash, bring along the doggie bag and pooper scooper in preparation of any potential accident.

1. Petsmart

This is the first of two you would expect to be on this list, not because of its size but because without pets what would their business be about? One interesting and useful fact is they do daycare for your dog if needed. But there are some restrictions attached, the most important is that they do not allow what are called bully breeds. Other than that you should have no problem as long as they are leashed when on the premises.

2. Petco

The second of the obvious dog friendly stores, Petco welcomes canines of most shapes and sizes. But your dog may experience a doggy downer moment as there are reports that there are stores that do not always have treats available. That’s kind of like not having any candy at the doctor’s office for children.

3. Home Depot

The word on Home Depot is the store policy on allowing dogs varies from store to store, and their entrance is solely at the discretion of the store manager. You will need to call, but only once. A manager is not likely to change their mind unless the dog owners give them a good reason. For the stores that do allow dogs, you will often find dog cookies available to keep everyone happy.

4. Lowe’s

The second home furnishing and supply store, Lowe’s is a favorite among dog owners because the cool concrete floors are a relief for the pooches on sunny days, and the wide aisles give them extra room to roam – on a leash of course.

5. Barnes and Noble

Here is somewhat of a surprise. Of course, this is definitely on a store by store basis, but what could be better than curling up with a book with your loyal friend sitting by your feet? Given how many bookstores need to compete with online alternatives, you may find that they are more welcoming than you thought.

6. Pottery Barn

If you choose to take this option you need to think “bull in the china shop” as the Pottery Barn has oh so many things that can break and have you maxing out your credit card. But it is kind of a chic place and good for its image. Some store owners are likely to cringe at the possibility of doggy damage, so call ahead.

7. Bass Pro Shop

This is one of the few stores on the list that actually has a blog on their website about the subject. If you happen to live in Altoona, Iowa, consider it a pass to bring your dog to their store. Otherwise you will have to call the store in your local area to find out if dogs and fish can safely share the same space. (No news about cats though.)

8. Hobby Lobby

A store with a national news connection, this is another store whose headquarters says it is dog friendly, but then tempers that with mentioning that the local policy is up to the local manager. This is one of those stores that might allow certain breeds such as a Saint Bernard. Just kidding. I think.

9. Macy’s

This is the first of two generally popular retail stores. It is interesting that Macy’s actually has a long history of being dog friendly. If you are in San Francisco you may know of that store donating window space to the local ASPCA. On the other side of the country there is New York, which has Petacular and Barkfast events.

10. TJ Maxx

You may want to dress your pooch with fashion as you walk into this store. Also remember to bring a stylish leash. To accommodate you, there actually is a pet section where you can pick up a toy or two to keep your canine companion happy.


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