“Can I Bring My Dog?” The Most Dog-Friendly Stores Across America
Dog people are doing more and more to make their pets comfortable, from lining up a favorite pet sitter to making homemade treats. Bringing their dog along to the store is a natural extension of the dog-centric lifestyle. Shopping with a friend is more fun than shopping alone, period. But finding dog-friendly stores can be a challenge.
It can be hard to tell what a store’s dog policy is because it often varies by location. For example, is Target dog-friendly? Their mascot may be the beautiful bull terrier Bullseye, but they’re a staunch “service dog-only” environment (along with Sears, Staples, and others). However, dog-friendly stores are increasing in number.
Note: due to regulation, grocery stores aren’t dog-friendly and food-serving establishments typically don’t allow dogs indoors. If you want to dine out with your dog, look for a location with a patio. Many restaurants welcome dogs in their outdoor spaces. Consider the Starbucks dog policy. Though Starbucks doesn’t allow dogs inside stores, they welcome dogs outside—and even offer them a tasty “puppuccino” if you ask.
Now, let’s talk dog-friendly stores where you can shop together.
Before You Go Shopping with Your Dog
If you have a small dog, using a carrier is a smart way to go. There is a myriad of options for hands-free shopping. A comfortable, reliable collar and leash are key for bigger dogs. A no-pull harness like the well-regarded SENSEation harness allows you some extra control if you clip the leash to the front.
11 Dog-Friendly Stores Nationwide
Before you go, practice. A well-trained dog on leash is more likely to be a welcome guest.
Also, note that a busy retail environment may not be the best fit for all dogs. Be sure your dog is comfortable among crowds and well-socialized before you venture out on errands together. For more anxious pets, staying home might be a happier choice.
#1 – Petco
Let’s start with the obvious. Petco, along with pretty much any pet store, will happily welcome your leashed dog.
Pro tip: there are often treats at the register!
#2 – Home Depot
Home Depot is one of many hardware stores that are happy to welcome your dog. With its wide aisles, there’s plenty of space for leashed dogs to accompany you on a home improvement expedition.
Some customers report being turned away at their location, however, though others say their local HD still welcomes their pooch. Be sure to call ahead and verify.
#3 – Lowes
Similar to Home Depot, inquiries to Lowes about canine corporate policy after 2012 received an official stance of “service dogs only,” yet many individual locations are still reported to be dog-friendly by customers. Managers have differing views on the issue, so you’ll have to call ahead—unless you’re only going to hit up the Outdoor Living section, which is generally dog-friendly everywhere.
#4 – Tractor Supply Co.
This popular national chain is proud to be dog-friendly at all of its locations. Apparently, Maddie Belle the golden retriever is one of their best customers. They posted her picture on their website to prove it.
#5 – Nordstrom
Fashionista dog lovers, take note: Nordstrom and the Nordstrom Rack welcome well-behaved dogs on a leash (see this Twitter exchange as proof—via Doggone Seattle). There’s even a #dogsofnordstrom tag on Instagram if you’re so inclined.
#6 – The Apple Store
Yes, in many locations, the Apple Store is happy to allow well-behaved dogs on leash. Customers have reported having to pick up their dogs if there is a great deal of foot traffic, which is something to keep in mind if your dog is a little too big for a lift.
Also, many of these stores are located in malls that may not be dog-friendly, so double-check before you go.
#7 – Bass Pro Shops
You might think it sounds fishy, but BPS wants to have your dog in-store, even letting locations blog about and encourage it!
“Customers will sometimes bring their puppies or young dogs in to Bass Pro Shops to help get them socialized. A good time to do the new introduction to this environment is during the weekday mornings or evenings. So, next time you come to Bass Pro Shops Altoona, bring your well-socialized canine buddy and we will be sure to spoil them rotten!” -BassPro
They even have a popular “Dog Days” event each year. These hounds enjoyed it, as you can see.
#8 – Pottery Barn
Surprisingly but truly, this high-end home goods chain often welcomes leashed dogs and purse pups. Call ahead to confirm, but chances are you can bring your pet along to select a new, seriously stylish doggy bowl.
The Victoria Gardens location even posted this photo of a handsome poodle trying out a couch in-store!
#9 – LUSH cosmetics
Not only are dogs welcome in this store, but you can purchase your makeup from this company knowing that you both share a love for animals—Lush has a no animal testing policy for their products.
#10 – Macy’s
A parade of floats and balloons isn’t the only thing Macy’s encourages: a parade of pooches is okay too! According to I Love Dogs, Macy’s has a notable history accepting dogs in their stores, including in-store courtesies and collaborations with the SPCA. Naturally, many Macy’s are connected to larger malls, which may or may not welcome dogs inside. Always call ahead to inquire.
Macy’s even featured adoptable dogs in their holiday window displays one year—check it out. Awwww.
#11 – TJ Maxx / Marshalls
This discount clothing and home goods chain is known for being dog-friendly, as this cute little Frenchie can attest to.
Like the other chains on this list, policies can vary by location, so double-check before you go.
Next Steps on Finding Local Dog-Friendly Stores
Calling, Tweeting, emailing, or just stopping by without your dog to ask is the smartest way to ensure your four-legged consumer isn’t turned away at the door.
While national chain policy may vary quite a bit by location, chances are you’ll find dog-friendly spots in your city in these lists of local dog-friendly establishments. events, hikes, and more.
More Dog-Friendly Fun
American cities are increasingly dog-friendly, as you’ll see in our dog’s day out guides here. From pubs to brunch spots to off-leash parks and ‘doga’, many locales accept and celebrate companion dogs.