Many shops are happy to welcome both you and your pet
My dog is my little road warrior and everyday companion. Her happy-go-lucky attitude always makes my mundane daily tasks a little more enjoyable. I find myself wishing I could take her absolutely everywhere with me (especially with all the hard work we’ve done to make her a well-behaved canine citizen). But the good news is, the more I look, the more I find that I can take my pup to many more places than I originally thought—like shopping, for example! As we pet owners become more pet-centric with our lifestyles, stores are beginning to accommodate us and our beloved pets.
Many of us assume that if a store doesn’t have a pet-friendly word in its name (such as “dog”), then pets are not allowed inside. It may not be openly advertised, but there are several big retail chains out there that empathize with a dog owner’s desire to take their furry companion everywhere with them.
I figured this out by chance. I was taking my dog for a stroll around an outdoor mall near my home. Out of the blue, it began to rain heavily, which is uncommon in Southern California. I was standing near Sephora, the major makeup retailer, and I hopped just inside the doorway, pleading for a moment to get a towel out of my bag to dry my dog. Naturally, I assumed dogs weren’t allowed inside. Much to my surprise, an employee waved us in, explaining that Sephora is a dog-friendly store where leashed pets are welcome! A couple of staff members came over, one offering to let me stand with my pup near a heater and another suggesting several makeup samples for me to try in the meantime. After the rain passed, I set out to discover how many more stores would allow me to shop with my furry girl along.
As far as cosmetics go, Sephora isn’t the only shop that adores dogs. MAC Cosmetics stores will also be happy to see your pup, and at some locations, employees have been known to stash dog treats behind the counter. LUSH also welcomes Fido, often filling their social media with photographs of patrons carrying their pups in the store. Looking for a new outfit? Gone are the days of skipping the clothes shopping if you have a dog with you—Anthropologie, Urban Outfitters, Free People, and Abercrombie & Fitch are just a few of the retail brands open to four-legged companions. If you’re more of a department-store goer, Ross, Macy’s, Nordstrom, Neiman Marcus, and Saks Fifth Avenue all have open pet policies, allowing well behaved dogs to shop with their owners. Gift shopping? Hallmark and Tiffany & Co. Both allow dogs within their four walls. In fact, many pet owners will tag Hallmark in photographs of their pups inside the store for the company to repost online. If you’re in the habit of spoiling your pooch, you can pick up a blinged-out collar from Tiffany & Co.
Crafters, builders, and handy types will want to visit Michael’s, Hobby Lobby, and Home Depot, as dogs are always welcome at these franchises. Home Depot has actually become an unofficial training ground for certain canine sports, such as scent work and nose work, and competitors often bring their pups to the store just to practice those skills. Hobby Lobby is known for being a great spot to help get your dog socialized, with their friendly staff and relaxed atmosphere. If books are more your thing, Barnes & Noble lets your dog accompany you to browse the aisles in search of your next good read. And most surprisingly, even the Apple store will allow you to bring your pup to check out H&M the latest and greatest in tech.
Then there are those fun, quirky shops that have made dogs a part of their store culture. Amoeba Music, the famous record store in West Hollywood, is one such business. The staff often bring their pets to work, decked out in cool “rocker patch” jackets. The pets are as much a part of the workforce as their owners. I know my pup loves this store—she’s a huge music fan, and the employees always give her the best belly rubs!
The next time you find yourself out in public with your pooch, poke around and ask about pet policies … you may be pleasantly surprised to find out where the two of you can go!
POLITE PET TIPS
The best way to ensure you can bring your pooch inside a store is to call ahead and find out the specific store’s policy. Some stores leave it up to the manager whether pups are welcome.
The rules for having your dog out in public apply to stores as well. Dogs must always be leashed and well behaved—no barking, biting, or being disruptive to other patrons.
Your dog must be trained to relieve itself outside, and never inside the store.
Supervise your dog at all times. If your pup is touching the merchandise, it could be dangerous for your pet and might result in you having to pay for the item.
Special thanks to Deborah Davidson Harper and her dogs: Style, Tierney, Bunnee, Gabe, Gigi, LC