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Major Stores That Allow Dogs Inside (Pet-Friendly Policies)

Although you can always choose to leave your dog at home or a pet sitter, it’s sometimes helpful to take your dog with you when you go shopping.

Having your pet with you is more fun than shopping alone. Unfortunately, not all national chains allow pets inside their stores. But there are some stores with pet-friendly policies, though it’s hard to tell.

The good news is that more and more national chains, especially in dog-friendly cities, are allowing pets and the list is increasing.

Dog Friendly Stores Image

1. Home Depot

This hardware store welcomes your pet. The official Home Depot Twitter Account even posted a picture of a Yorkshire Terrier in one of their famous orange buckets. However, it only allows leashed dogs. If they’re unleashed, then you can’t take them inside.

The store has plenty of space that allows your pet to walk around while you do your shopping. Unfortunately, not all Home Depot branches have a dog-friendly policy.

Some customers reported being turned away because of their pets. Other branches, however, still welcome pooches. And, when they make a mess, you must clean it up. The management might also ask you to leave if your pet is loud and aggressive.

Never take your dog with you while shopping at Home Depot if it’s not trained yet. The reason for this is that your dog might cause chaos in the store.

2. Lowe’s

Family Dog

This home improvement and appliance store's official stance is that it only allows service dogs. Service dogs will be seen wearing a vest, leash, and collar.

Many stores, however, still let dogs inside at the discretion of the store manager. The best practice is to call the exact Lowe's location you plan on shopping with and ask if you can bring your dog. Remember to only ask if you dog is well trained since this is a courtesy.

Last tip: Keep your dog leashed since not all shoppers like seeing dogs in stores!

3. Barnes and Noble

Not all branches of Barnes and Noble have a pet-friendly policy. If a branch has one, it may not allow you and your dog to go in specific spaces. For instance, the shop does not allow dogs, cats or any pets in its in-store coffee shops.

If you wish to bring your dog with you while shopping at Barnes and Noble, make sure to call ahead and ask if you could bring your pet at that particular branch.

4. Macy’s

Just like Barnes and Noble, Macy’s may allow pets to shop with their owners. However, not all branches have a pet-friendly policy. Since it’s connected to a larger mall, it may not welcome dogs inside. That said, call the branch you’re visiting before going there.

But before you take your dog to Macy’s, make sure that it can handle big crowds. Some canines find stores to be frightening because of the narrow aisles and cramped spaces. In other words, shopping can be stressful for them. Thus, if your dog does not get along with strangers, it might be best that you just leave it at home.

Pet Group

5. Pottery Barn

The home furnishing shop does allow owners to shop with their pets, like dogs or cats. However, before you bring your dog, make sure that it knows how to behave well. If it can walk safely by your side, though, you may wish to call the Pottery Barn nearest you to find out if your pet could come along.

However, make sure that you check the weather before heading out. If it’s too hot or cold, just leave your pet at home. Your pet may behave aggressively because of the weather.

6. Bass Pro Shops

This American retailer welcomes dogs. It believes that these pets are a great addition to a family, thereby, making them a great companion in the outdoors. However, just because it allows pets, you can’t bring yours in the shop’s restaurant for sanitation purposes.

When you do shop with your dog at Bass Pro Shops, make sure to bring poop bags. It prevents you from paying a fine because you did not pick up your pet’s waste. Since shopping for hunting gear can take a lot of time, don’t forget to bring a water bottle for your pet. It can get thirsty. You can’t expect Bass Pro Shops to have communal bowls. Thus, be ready to bring your own.

7. Bloomingdale’s


This department store has a pet-friendly policy. But it only allows well-behaved dogs to shop with their owners. However, it can’t enter the store’s restaurant. Furthermore, you need to put your dog on a leash and make sure that you can control it.

As you shop at Bloomingdale’s, you must have high-value treats for your dog. They are great to ensure that they behave well. Reward your dog each time it walks with you patiently while you shop and ignore the food on the ground.

8. Gap

It allows dogs in its store. But not all Gap stores have the same pet-friendly policy. It still depends on the leasing store, if it permits it. Furthermore, other customers must not object to the pet. If they do, you will be asked to leave the premise.

Gap takes into consideration the comfort and safety of other customers before it can allow your pet to enter. If it thinks that your pet is well-behaved, then it might permit your dog to shop with you.

But your dog must be on a leash to ensure that it stays close to you. And don’t use a retractable leash that can extend and may cause a disaster. It could tangle around a table or display. It could also jump on the counter. Make sure to use the standard flat leash.

Some tips when shopping with your pet

Although you can always use a leash, you might wish to use a slight or a sturdy backpack that offers more support. But it’s only ideal for a small dog. A shoulder bag for dogs is cute and in fashion, especially if you’re shopping in a department store.

If you have a big dog, use a solid collar and leash. Go for the harness-style collar so that you can have extra control over your dog. And before you head out and shop with your dog in those major stores, make sure that your dog is well-trained so it can behave well while shopping.

About the Author:

Catrin Cooper is a freelance writer from San Francisco. She loves writing about marketing, self-development and real estate. In her free time, Catrin enjoys traveling and yoga.