By now I’m sure you’ve seen the viral post of our dog Zira in a shopping cart at Target. Upon seeing those photos, you may have wondered, “Can I bring my dog into Target?” Well, we’ve learned that the answer is no. Since our pictures took the Internet by storm, we’ve learned a lot about the laws and store policies that are in place to protect service dogs and their handlers. Although we had seen other dogs at our local Target and the employees and managers asked to pet Zira, we realized it was still a mistake to bring her in because, regardless of the individual circumstances, Target is a service dog-only store.
While Zira is a calm, well-behaved pup who would never harm a soul, not all dogs are. Some dogs may distract–or even attack–service dogs who have important jobs to do. A distracted or attacked service dog may cause the handler to get injured or even die. This is why it’s so important to adhere to laws and store policies.
Thankfully, we’ve also learned that there are plenty of establishments that allow dogs! We took Zira on a shopping trip to show her all the places she’s welcome. And guess what–she had a blast!
*It’s important to note that the stores on this list may leave it up to managers to decide whether their specific locations allow non-service dogs. Additionally, some may only allow dogs if they’re on a leash or of a particular size. To be sure you can bring your pup inside one of these places, call ahead and find out your local store’s policy.*
1. Home Depot
“Look at all of this lumber! WAIT. Are you finally building me my dream doggy mansion?!?”
“This place is so cool! Even dogs can dress for less!”
“I picked out a bed and a donut toy! This is the best shopping trip ever!”
“Is this where you’re getting supplies for my Etsy shop?!”
5. PetSmart (and Other Pet Stores)
“I get new toys and treats, PLUS I get to meet new people and dogs?! PetSmart is my favorite!”
Let me know what your favorite dog-friendly stores are!
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