Enjoying the world around you with your dog doesn’t have to be limited to the great outdoors. A surprising number of stores are pet-friendly for well-behaved dogs. Shopping can be a great activity to enjoy with your pet, especially pets who are neutral with strange humans, but anxious about other dogs- even if you run into another dog out and about, it’s not an environment that will allow other dogs to run up to them off leash or engage in rowdy play.
Taking your pet out and about does require a degree of training. If your pet does cause any damage, you are responsible for it. This includes housebreaking accidents or marking! If your pet is not extremely solid on housebreaking or likes to chew on his surroundings, these activities may not be the right fit for him, and you should be prepared that sometimes a pet makes things more inconvenient. (It’s extremely difficult to try on clothing while holding onto your dog’s leash, for example.) It also requires some advance planning- if it’s raining or muddy, for example, bringing a few baby wipes to clean off paws before entering can be polite.
Last, but not least, keep in mind that people don’t expect to see pets in these places. For people that are afraid of dogs, it can be very startling! Additionally, the largest group of people who always have their dogs in shops are people with disabilities who are partnered with service dogs, and not all service dogs will be wearing a vest or specific type of harness. Just in case, it’s good practice to keep your dog focused on you and don’t let them interact with other pets unless specifically invited to do so by the person handling the dog.
Dog-friendly but not dog-oriented places can be wonderful low-pressure, low risk places to socialize a puppy or just enjoy being out with your less outgoing dog. A chance to experience a new place with new sights, sounds, and smells is a great opportunity to enrich your dog’s life.
Pet Dog Friendly Establishments
This list was gathered from online sources including BringFido.com and Rover.com. Individual store policies may vary, and you should check before making firm plans. Additionally, some stores tend to be located in malls which may not allow pets even if individual companies within those malls do.
Academy Sports and Outdoors
Anne Taylor/Ann Taylor Loft
Bed Bath & Beyond
Bass Pro Shop
Bath and Body Works* (May be overwhelming - lots of very strong scents.)
Dick’s Sporting Good
Harbor Freight Tools
Half Price Books
Harley Davidson Store
LUSH Cosmetics* (May be VERY overwhelming for pets- lots of smells and many nose-level displays for an average sized-dog.)
Saks Fifth Avenue
The Apple Store
The Container Store
T.J. Maxx & HomeGoods