From Tractor Supply to Bergdorf Goodman, dogs are sniffing out sales right beside their human companions. Too much can’t be said about not leaving your dog in the car while you go shopping and particularly during extreme temperatures…hot or cold. There’s an alternative other than leaving her home alone though. More and retail stores are adopting dog friendly policies and welcoming your four legged family members. When I adopted my dog Sadie, I took her everywhere with me because I didn’t have anyone to watch her. Of course then, she fit in a large shoulder bag and I never had any problems. I also knew enough not to take her in restaurants or food stores. Then she got bigger and I was constantly seeking places I could take her with me. Many nationwide chain stores have created pet friendly policies. Well-behaved dogs are welcome unofficially in other stores. It’s best to call ahead or go to a familiar place you know your dog is welcome rather than get there and find out the policy has changed.
Obviously, pet stores welcome pets. The large box stores such as PetSmart, Petco, Pet Land, and Discount Pet Food Warehouse all allow dogs with no weight restrictions. They must be on a leash and in the worst case scenario; you must clean up after your pet. Here is a list of other well-known retailers that welcome canine consumers. Be sure to call your local store in advance to confirm that both you and your dogs are welcome.
- Banana Republic- Their 600 stores all around the globe welcome dogs…with their Pet Parents of course.
- Barnes & Noble
- Home Depot and Lowes
- Pottery Barn
- Tractor Supply
- Three Dog Bakery
Of course, if one of these stores is located in a large mall and doesn’t have its own independent outside entrance, it most likely will be impossible to take your dog through the mall and into the store. Outlet Malls where all the stores have outside doors are usually dog friendly as people travel from all over to shop there and often have their dogs. The Prime Outlets in Grove City, PA is a good example. Sadie and I have shopped in almost every store there and the service desk keeps special treats on hand for dog visitors.
Locally, Greens Feed and Seed welcomes dogs on leashes and of course expects the owner to clean up after them if necessary. I’ve seen many dogs assisting their humans in picking out food and chosing their own toys in Greens.
In my opinion though, Cabela’s, has a most amazing pet friendly policy. Our local Cabela’s has a cafeteria in the store, and local health regulations prohibit animals from being in the same vicinity where food is being prepared. Cabela’s does NOT want consumers leaving their pets in cars so they provide accomodations for them. Cabela’s has both outdoor and indoor accommodations for pets as well as a Park for them to exercise in. Customers often travel a great distance to Cabela’s and if travelling with a pet, they’ll both need to stretch their legs. I spoke with Matt Jenkins, Event Coordinator for our local store and he provided me with some great photos and information. Inside the store in the RV area are kennels for dogs and water is available. Of course, you could bring you own kennel just in case these were all being used.
There are kennels for large and small dogs. Small dogs most often are kept behind the service desk for security. The outside kennels have locks and the dog’s owner keeps the key. This is a great idea that needs to catch on at more stores such as WalMart for people travelling alone with their dogs. Four paws up for Cabela’s and this great dog friendly aspect of their stores. Check their website: http://www.cabelas.com/ to see which stores have these provisions.ions.
Many people don’t understand why Pet Parents take their dogs shopping. Speaking for myself, I work every day of the week and must take my dog to daycare. I try to get errands and shopping in at lunch or before I pick her up. However, on weekends, I want to be with her and since she has separation anxiety, I take her with me. I shop at places she’s welcome. Socialization is paramount for dogs and getting out and about is enjoyable and valuable to their well-being. Since 78 million American homes count at least one dog as part of their family, this is a customer base retailers don’t want to lose. There are many towns that seem entirely dog friendly such as Hendersonville, North Carolina. Sadie loves the Mast Department Store where dogs are always welcome and at just about every other store in Hendersonville as well. Check it out with the places you shop…your canine might very well be welcome as a consumer of products and not feared as a consumer of furniture!