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  • Molly Weinfurter

Dog Friendly Stores: Which Store Chains Allow Pets?

There are lots of outdoor spaces that welcome dogs, but where can you socialize your pets when the weather is bad? Dogs shouldn’t have to stay cooped up all day in extreme heat or cold, so luckily, there are some options for well-socialized dogs. If your dog behaves well in public, consider walking them at dog friendly stores to keep them exercised and entertained.


My dog, Mabel, loves walking at dog friendly stores like Home Depot. I’ve also heard many fellow foster parents say that stores like that are great for socializing their foster dogs in the winter. While these stores can be beneficial for most dogs, they're not ideal for dogs that aren't potty trained or aren't friendly toward people and/or other dogs.


small dog standing outside pet friendly store

What Stores are Dog Friendly?

There are lots of chains that allow dogs inside, but it may depend on the location. Before taking your dog to a new store, it’s a good idea to call ahead to make sure the location near you allows dogs. Below are just a few pet friendly store options - for a list of dog friendly stores near you, check out BringFido.com.


Pet Supply Stores

Pet supply stores, such as Petco and Petsmart, almost always allow dogs inside. This includes small, local pet stores. Pet supply stores often have events for dogs, and they may also offer grooming appointments and training classes. Even though these stores are made for pets, the dogs walking around the store should still be well-behaved or they could be asked to leave.


Just make sure you avoid pet stores selling puppies because those puppies come from puppy mills, and buying stuff from the store is helping support puppy mills.


Home Depot

Home Depot is an awesome place to walk your dog. My dog gets so excited whenever I take her there, and the staff members often give her treats. Most Home Depots allow leashed dogs inside, but a few locations may only allow service dogs, so calling ahead to confirm is always a good idea.


Lowe’s

Lowe’s is another home improvement store that happily welcomes dogs inside. Almost every Lowe’s is pet-friendly, but the rules may vary based on location. For example, US locations seem to be more welcoming of pets than the ones in Canada. Even if the inside doesn’t allow dogs, the outdoor section may be dog-friendly.


Tractor Supply Co.

Tractor Supply happily welcomes dogs in all locations. As long as your pet is leashed or in a carrier, they’re welcome at these businesses. Of course, like with any store, your dog should be potty trained and friendly toward humans and other dogs.


Bass Pro Shop

Bass Pro Shop has publicly encouraged dog parents to bring their furry friends into the stores to help them socialize. All Bass Pro Shops are dog friendly stores, unless the local laws of a shop prohibit dogs inside. This is an awesome chain to visit with your dog because there’s so much to explore.


Nordstrom

Nordstrom welcomes dogs in almost all locations, allowing you to shop for new outfits with your four-legged family member by your side. The only reason some locations might not allow pets is if local laws have rules against it or if it’s in a mall that isn’t pet friendly.


Pottery Barn

Your dog lives in the same home as you, so they might have an opinion on the furniture you pick out. Luckily, most Potty Barns allow dogs inside, so your pet can be included in your home decor decisions. Yet, if the Pottery Barn is located in a mall, you likely can’t have pets inside.


Barnes & Noble

I love reading with my dog curled up by my side, so I’m sure many other dog and book lovers feel the same. Some Barnes & Noble locations allow you to get new books with the help of your dog. Unfortunately, many Barnes & Nobles are in malls or have cafes inside, which could prevent the location from allowing pets. So, call ahead to see if your Barnes & Noble allows dogs.


The Apple Store

The Apple Store is always crowded with people looking at new products and people wanting to fix old ones. While you wait, you can have your dog by your side at some locations. Dogs on leashes and cats in carriers are welcome at most standalone Apple stores, but not at ones in malls.


LUSH Cosmetics

LUSH is already a very animal-friendly business because they don’t conduct animal testing on any of their products. They also welcome pets into their shops whenever they can. The pet policy varies based on location, so call ahead to make sure your furry friends are allowed.


Michael’s

If you’re someone who loves craft supplies, you’ll probably be pleased to know that Michael’s almost always allows pets in their stores. As long as your furry friend is leashed and well-behaved, they’ll be able to help you pick out items for your new projects.


JOANN Fabrics

JOANN Fabrics is another craft store that almost always welcomes dogs inside. After all, you might want your dog’s input when it comes to what fabric pattern to choose. Even though JOANN Fabrics is known as a dog friendly store, it’s always a good idea to call ahead before bringing your dog to a new location.


TJ Maxx

TJ Maxx and other stores owned by the same company, such as Marshalls and Homesense, almost always allow you to shop with your dog. Plus, these stores often have pet supplies at a discounted price, so your pet can pick out what they want.


Old Navy

Old Navy is another clothing store chain that frequently allows dogs inside. You can get your dog’s opinion on new outfits before you buy them. Like many of the other stores on this list, Old Navys in malls typically don’t allow pets because of the malls’ policies.


Victoria’s Secret

You might be surprised that a store selling underwear would be dog-friendly, but many Victoria’s Secrets welcome dogs inside. This usually only applies to standalone stores, not locations situated inside malls.


These are just some of the many store chains that welcome dogs. If you want to find more local pet friendly stores near you, just search “dog friendly stores near me” on Google. When in doubt, contact the establishment before bringing your dog.


Why You Shouldn’t Bring Dogs to Stores That Aren’t Pet Friendly

Dog friendly retailers are awesome because they allow pet parents to spend more time with their furry friends out in public. Yet, some people cheat the system by taking their dogs everywhere with them. While it might seem like a small issue, doing this does more harm than good.


First of all, if food is sold at the establishment, bringing pets inside is a health risk. Even if food isn’t sold, the business likely doesn’t allow pets for a reason. They might have had bad experiences with pets causing a mess or they may want to provide a space for people to shop without having to deal with pets (I know it’s hard to believe, but not everyone is comfortable around dogs). Even if your dog is the best-behaved dog in the world, the rules still apply to them, so please leave them at home.


Plus, bringing pets into stores often makes things harder for people with service dogs. Service dogs are the only dogs that are allowed in all public places, but sadly, people don’t always take them seriously when they’re used to seeing pets behaving poorly in places they’re not allowed. Emotional support dogs are not the same as service dogs and they cannot go in public places where pets aren’t allowed.


Trust me, I wish I could bring my dog everywhere with me, but I understand that I can’t do that. So, please only take your dog to places where pets are allowed.


Frequently Asked Questions


Is Target Dog Friendly?

No, Target is not dog-friendly. Not only is it not allowed, but Targets have food sections, making it a health risk to bring dogs inside. Service dogs are the only exception.


Are Grocery Stores Dog Friendly?

No, grocery stores aren’t dog friendly. It’s a health hazard to have pets in places where food is served, so please leave your dog at home when running errands at the grocery store.


Are Duluth Trading Stores Dog Friendly?

Yes, Duluth Trading Company usually welcomes dogs in their stores. Call ahead to make sure your location is dog friendly.


At What Age Can Dogs Visit Public Places?

Young puppies shouldn't go to public settings until they’ve had all their vaccinations. This usually isn’t until they’re at least 16 weeks old. Otherwise, you’re putting your puppy and those around them at a huge risk.


Dog Friendly Stores are Awesome!

Leaving your dog behind while you run errands can be sad, but that doesn’t always have to be the case. There are lots of dog friendly stores that welcome well-behaved pets. These stores include pet supply stores, home improvement stores, and even clothing stores. If you’re ever unsure if your location allows pets, call ahead to double check.


Before you take your dog shopping with you, make sure they’re well-behaved in public settings. If they’re likely to have accidents or be disruptive, they’re probably not a good candidate for shopping adventures.

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