10 Dog-Friendly Stores Where You Can Bring Your Favorite Canine Buddy on the Ultimate Shopping Spree

·7 min read
cute golden retriever at a pet-friendly pet store looking at the camera with his tongue out
cute golden retriever at a pet-friendly pet store looking at the camera with his tongue out

choja / Getty

You're about to head out the door to run an errand when your dog gives those undeniable puppy dog eyes. They get you every time—especially when pet parent guilt sinks in from leaving them alone. Before you crate them or say goodbye, you wonder: maybe I could bring my furry best friend? Guess what?! Sometimes, you can!

We scoured online policies to find the most dog-friendly stores across the country. From Home Depot to Nordstrom, these nationwide retailers welcome leashed doggos into their stores. While you may not bring your pet every single time you shop, it's nice to know the option is available if you decide to sometimes. Here is our guide to getting the most out of the adventure.

5 Tips Before You Take Your Dog to the Store

As with anything new and exciting, it's best to prepare your pup before bringing them to a dog-friendly store.

  1. Understand that not all dogs can or should go in stores and not all dogs will enjoy the experience. If your dog is easily distracted or is showing signs of stress, fear, or anxiety, it's better to turn around, go home, and try some other fun activity together instead.

  2. A dog must be socialized and have successfully learned basic training and respond to cues and recall before attempting to take them in a store around other people and potentially other dogs.

  3. Your dog should always be leashed while in a store, which means they should be comfortable on a lead.

  4. Pack a water bowl and treats to ensure they remain hydrated depending on the weather and how long you will be away from home.

  5. Just in case a store asks for it, have a record on your phone of your dog's vaccinations.

10 Dog-Friendly Stores in the United States

These stores welcome pets and their parents with open paws. Just make sure you know the pet policies and rules for each before you venture in.

1. Petsmart

In addition to Petsmart, most (if not all) pet stores will likely allow you to bring your pooch with you. After all, it's a store full of treats, toys, and goodies for your four-legged pal, so why shouldn't they be able to tag along in the fun. At Petsmart, pups must be leashed or in a carrier and updated on their vaccinations. They likely won't ask you for proof, but have it saved on your phone in case they do.

2. Tractor Supply Co.

If you're in the market for feed, gear, or a new pair of overalls, you'll likely trek your way over to Tractor Supply Co. This national retailer is a fan of all things outdoor—and floofy! They allow well-behaved pups to shop alongside their parents as long as they stay on a leash.

3. The Apple Store

During long work days logging hours from home, your furry 'assistant' sleeps by your feet and keeps you company. Though they probably can't write emails for you (yet), they can join you when it's time to upgrade your laptop or iPhone. The Apple Store allows leashed dogs in most locations, though there isn't an 'official' policy listed online. Make sure to choose a less hectic time if you decide to bring Fido with you, since smaller stores with congestion can make it difficult to navigate for your buddy.

4. Bass Pro Shops

This popular sporting good store has everything you need to go camping, fishing, or a slew of other outdoor adventures. And, of course, your brave four-legged buddy will join you for treks, big and small. When you visit Bass Pro Shops, your doggo can come too, as long as they are on a close leash, well-behaved, and vaccinated. Psst: keep your eyes peeled for special Dog Days events, where there will be fun prizes and treats for your pal.

5. Orvis

Though all Orvis stores are dog-friendly year-round, August is a great time to plan your visit since they celebrate furry buddies all month long. When you stop by a retail store and sign up for their Dog Club program, you'll receive a surprise gift. Plus, when you buy your supplies and gear from Orvis, you'll earn points through the club program. It's a win-win—or is it a woof-woof? We think both!

6. Bed, Bath and Beyond

When you're moving or redecorating your home, a stop at Bed, Bath & Beyond is necessary for all of the essentials. They also sell tons of pet goodies, including memory foam beds and mats for pups. At one point, Bed, Bath & Beyond offered 'canine carts' in select locations, but they've since stopped. Regardless, your leashed and well-behaved doggo can join your shopping trip with you.

7. L.L.Bean

In addition to men's and women's clothing, L.L.Bean also sells a plethora of home goods, as well as pet accessories. With this in mind, they wanted your dog to be able to have fun as you shop, too. At every L.L.Bean store, your dog is welcome as long as they are leashed and well-mannered. The only exception is their flagship store in Freeport, Maine, which has a cafe, so sadly, they can't let dogs hang out inside. However, they offer a large grassy area outside, so it's easy to trade-off if you have your friend or partner with you.

8. Michael's

It's OK to admit it: most of your crafting at home features your 'baby'. You know, your dog. From custom bandanas to personalized treat jars, when you head to Michael's, it's with your furry little one in mind. Good news! Next time you pick up supplies, they can join you as long as they are on their best behavior and remain on a leash.

9. Home Depot

As every homeowner can relate, your trips to Home Depot begin as soon as you sign on the dotted line. Whether you've decided to remodel the kitchen, landscape the backyard, or change up the lighting to be moodier, this home improvement store has it all (and more). Luckily, your dog can keep you company as you try to decipher between fixers since Home Depot allows leashed dogs in-store.

10. Nordstrom

Picking up new shoes? Perhaps a vacation dress or two? Or just in the mood to browse the racks for a steal? Your favorite furry gal or guy can join you at Nordstrom, which has been a dog-friendly store for more than 30 years. As long as your pup is well-mannered and leashed, they can give their 'yay' or 'nay' opinion on your wardrobe selections. Bonus tip: if you're in New York City, look out for their Dog Social events, where your pet can make new friends!

Are There Grocery Stores That Allow Dogs?

Since you spend so much time browsing the aisles at the grocery store, it'd be nice to bring your dog along for your frequent trips. Sadly though, no major grocery store chains allow pets inside, unless they are service animals. This is mainly due to local, state, and federal health code rules, which prohibit animals from being indoors wherever food is sold.

Popular Stores That Don't Allow Dogs

Though it'd be ideal if every major retail store allowed pets to be by our side, that's often not the case. Like we mentioned before, it's always important to check online or call ahead to ensure an establishment allows dogs before you pack 'em up in the car. As an example, these nationwide stores are not dog-friendly.

  • Costco

  • IKEA

  • Walmart

  • Tiffany's

  • Target

  • Trader's Joes and most grocery stores