Does your dog accompany you most places? Is he your sidekick most of the time? What about when shopping? Have you thought about taking your precious pup to the store with you? Many stores in the U.S. are beginning to allow pet parents to bring their darling pooches shopping in the store! You’d be surprised at the number and types of shops that now allow pets. If you’ve thought about getting a little retail therapy with your best canine bud in tow, then consider these stores for your next shopping trip.
Dog Friendly Stores
You may have some questions about where you can take your pup shopping. Is Walmart dog friendly? Can I shop with my dog at Target? Can I bring my dog to Costco? Let’s find out! Now, on to the fun stuff! Did you know there are a large number of large national retailers that allow dogs to shop with their pet parents! You may be surprised to find some businesses on our list of dog-friendly stores!
1. The Gap Dog Policy: does allow dog in the store; however, not all Gap stores have the pet-friendly policy. Each store is allowed to develop its own policy. In addition, customers must not mind your fur baby being in the store. If anyone objects, then you’ll have to take your pup out of the store. Most Gap stores do allow canine companions that are well-behaved and you’re required to have your dog on a leash at all times.
If you’d like to take your fur baby to the Gap, call ahead and speak with the manager to see if dogs are allowed.
2. Urban Outfitters Dog Policy: this multinational clothing retailer is a very dog-friendly place to shop with your dog! Enough said!
3. Abercrombie and Fitch Dog Policy: this highly popular clothing store welcomes dogs in most of their locations. So, bring your pup along to help you pick out the latest fashion to add to your closet!
4. Loft Dog Policy: a retailer famous for its women’s clothing is dog-friendly. Take your fur baby along to help choose a fancy dress for that upcoming special occasion. Or just go in together and have a fun time shopping.
5. Saks Fifth Avenue Dog Policy: this is another pet-friendly department store! Basic rules apply—make sure your pup’s on a leash and is well-behaved at all times. Then shop till you both drop!
6. Bloomingdales Dog Policy: these pet-friendly stores allow well-behaved dogs to shop with their pet parents. Your dog must be on a leash at all times. The only place your dog isn’t allowed is in the store’s restaurant. Otherwise, have fun shopping with your fur baby!
7. Footlocker Dog Policy: is a very dog-friendly retailer. If your dog likes to chew on shoes, just be sure to keep an eye on him while you shop. Most of the shoes are not at floor-level, but if you have a large dog that can reach, pay special attention that he doesn’t shop for a delectable shoe to chew!
8. Old Navy Dog Policy: this retailer is a dog-friendly place. These are great stores to take your dog—he’ll have enough space and not feel crowded in by tall, narrow shelves on both sides. You can ask his opinion on that graphic tee you’ve been eyeing—yay or nay?
9. Nordstrom Dog Policy: this up-scale retailer is also considered a very dog-friendly establishment. In fact, Nordstrom has been accepting of canine fur babies shopping with their pet parents for over 30 years! Basic requirements are that your dog is on a leash at all times and that he’s well behaved.
10. Anthropologie Dog Policy: this trend-setting clothing and home furnishing retailer is on board with bringing your pup to shop in their stores. And don’t forget—they do offer designer dog merchandise. This is truly a place you and your fur baby can shop till you both drop.
11. Walmart Dog Policy: when it comes to allowing canine fur babies into their stores, Walmart has had to crack down on pet parents who claim their pets are emotional support animals. This means all non-service animals, including dogs, are not allowed in their stores. However, service animals are of course allowed to shop with their pet parents. Even so, service dogs must be on a leash and well-behaved, or their pet parents will have to take them out of the store.
12. Target Dog Policy: has a similar policy, in that they will only allow service dogs (and other service animals) into their stores.
13. Costco Dog Policy: also has a no animals allowed policy, except for service dogs (and other service animals).
14. Barnes and Noble Dog Policy: is a great place to relax with your canine companion. Dogs are allowed everywhere in the stores, except for their in-store coffee shops. Take your dog, find a great book and relax with a great read.
15. Bass Pro Shops Dog Policy: this retailer sells everything for those who love the outdoors—so you’d think they’d allow dogs in their stores. You’re correct—your canine fur baby will be allowed to shop with you! Bass Pro Shops even host Dog Days with activities for dogs and their pet parents to enjoy!
16. Home Depot Dog Policy: here’s another retailer you’d think would be doggie friendly—and you’re right! Dog are allowed to enter the stores with their pet parents. Basic rules—keep your dog on a leash at all times and make sure he doesn’t bother other customers. Otherwise, you and your doggie bud can enjoy the whole store!
17. Hallmark Dog Policy: here’s a surprising store that allows dogs—a stationary shop! Hallmark allows you to take your dog shopping with you. Just be careful he’s not shopping for something to chew on. Be sure to keep him on a leash—there are a lot of things he could break in these stores.
18. Michaels Dog Policy: another surprising retailer that is dog friendly! Bring your pup and shop for hobby supplies and more!
19. Hobby Lobby Dog Policy: here’s another famous hobby store that’s dog friendly. Hobby Lobby is pet-friendly, but not all stores may allow dogs. Call ahead just to make sure your pup will be allowed into the store.
20. The Apple Store Dog Policy: here’s another surprise retailer that’s dog friendly—the Apple Store! If you love tech, especially Apple products, then it may be possible to take your dog shopping with you here. It’s a good idea to call ahead and make sure your fur baby will receive a warm welcome. Most stores are happy to accept dogs, but some don’t.
Just be sure to call in advance—if they say yes, enjoy a fun time with your canine companion shopping for some nice technology!
Considerations Before Shopping with Your Dog
As with all things, there are some good and not so good aspects of taking your dog on a shopping trip. We’re not trying to discourage you, but to be a responsible pet parent, you’ll need to review some of the issues that may come up if when taking your fur baby along on a retail shopping trip.
1. Consider your dog: is he properly socialized? Does he get along well with strangers (humans) and other dogs? If not, then it’s best to avoid taking him shopping with you. If your pup bites, jumps, attacks another human or dog, you’ll both be in big trouble. Does your dog behave well on the leash? Most stores require that you keep your precious pup on a leash at all times. The leash allows you to have more control over surprise jumps and movements, while keeping your dog confined in one spot. If he’s not leash-trained or doesn’t do well on a leash, then it’s best to leave him home when you shop. Is your fur baby potty trained/house trained? Some dogs get nervous in new situations and may have an accident. This is normal and expected; however, if your furry canine companion isn’t house trained, then it’s best to leave him home. If your dog’s house trained, it’s OK to take him to the store. But be prepared to clean up the mess in case he has an accident. Take along some simple cleaning supplies such facial tissues, antibacterial wipes and a plastic bag to hold the cleaned up mess.
Is your dog full of energy? Is he able to calm down in an environment such as a store? Or does he become more active and energetic in new settings? A dog with too much energy inside a store can cause havoc. One way to curb his friskiness is to take him on a short walk before you go shopping. This helps to wear off a little energy. However, if he only becomes more excited and energetic in the store, then you should leave him home. Dogs that are well behaved are great shoppers; however, those with too much excitement and energy will be more likely to bowl over other customers and/or damage property in the store.
2. Do your research: before taking your fur baby on a shopping trip, be sure to call ahead and research the store’s pet policies. Store pet policies will vary from store-to-store. So, call ahead or read the shop’s website to learn about their pet policies. You’ll find many retail shops allow dogs, while others may only allow service animals. Many stores may allow managers to make the final decision on whether or not pets are allowed. It’s a good idea to call ahead to learn if the store manager will allow your pet to shop with you. Always research ahead of time so you can avoid potential problems when taking your pup shopping.
3. Practice good manners at all times: be sure you and your dog practice your best manners when out and about on a shopping excursion. Keep your pup close to you and/or in a shopping cart at all times. If someone seems to be afraid of your dog, move out of their way to let them safely pass your dog. If you’re in a dressing room, keep your dog from poking his head under doors and dividers. Can you imagine a dog’s head all of a sudden peering in as you try on clothes? That can be a shock for other customers. So be sure you and your fur baby practice good manners. It will be much appreciated by other customers.
4. Not all types of stores allow dogs: we’ve become used to seeing dogs in various types of pet-friendly establishments; however, not all types of stores will allow dogs. Anyplace you find food will generally prohibit most animals from the premises. These are generally grocery stores, restaurants, etc. Allowances are usually made for service dogs, but that’s about it. This is why it’s important to do your research ahead of time—you don’t want to leave your canine fur baby in the car (especially on a hot day—that’s against the law) while you shop.
5. If your fur baby breaks it, buy it: this is just a matter of being a responsible pet parent. If your fur baby accidentally (or intentionally) breaks/chews/damages something, then do the right thing and pay for it.
These are some of the most basic considerations when it comes to a shopping trip with your dog. Follow these tips and you’re both sure to have an enjoyable time! As you can see, a wide variety of retailers are dog friendly! If in doubt about a store’s specific pet policy, call ahead and talk with the manager to see if your pup will be allowed to shop with you. Remember to keep him on a leash at all times, avoid bad behavior and pay for whatever he may damage. You’ll have a fun time shopping till you both drop!
TomTom has always loved to write since he was little - he wanted to be either a writer or a veterinary doctor, but he ended up being a professional writer while most of his works are based on animals. He was born in San Francisco but later moved to Texas to continue his job as a writer. He graduated from the University of San Francisco where he studied biotechnology. He is happily married and a soon to be father!
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