If you’re socializing a puppy, practicing with your dog around distractions, or training your own service dog, you may be looking for a dog-friendly option for training in public. Turns out there are lots of dog-friendly businesses in Central North Carolina!
Service Dogs and indicated Service Dogs In-Training are protected under The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), but this does not extend to emotional support animals, therapy dogs, or companion animals. If your dog isn’t a working dog, their chances of coming in with you are slightly lower. But there are still plenty of places you can take your well-mannered dog.
And, if you are local to Winston-Salem, get in touch, we can list even more!
Before we jump in, here are some things to consider.
Is your dog comfortable?
Be mindful of your dog.
Keep vaccination records handy.
Assess the environment.
Now, lets talk about dog friendly stores!
Almost any pet store will happily welcome your leashed dog, so listing them all is unnecessary. Be aware of the tendency to run into other dogs at the ends of the aisle.
Bonus: there are often treats at the register.
We encourage you to support your local small businesses. We love Howling at The Moon Bakery in Winston-Salem!
Home Depot has been happily welcoming dogs for ages. But the official pet policy of Home Depot is a little elusive. We recommend calling ahead.
Like Home Depot, Lowes has a policy based on the individual location. Call ahead unless you only go to the Outdoor Living section, which is generally dog-friendly everywhere.
Like many hardware stores, Habor Freight is dog-friendly.
Though it has no official policy, this chain is dog-friendly at all locations. They allow all animals, so be sure your dog can handle seeing chickens and livestock in case you run into them, or it could get awkward.
THE MALL AND SUCH
Many of the following stores are located inside shopping malls that may not be dog-friendly, so double-check before you go.
LUSH is happy to welcome your dog. Note: These stores are typically crowded, have narrow aisles, and items stocked at tail-wag height. Your dog must always remain by your side. Also, be aware this store has dim lighting in some locations, making it difficult for other customers to see dogs on a leash.
This home goods chain often welcomes well-mannered dogs. Call ahead to confirm, but chances are you can bring your leashed or carried dog.
“Leashed, friendly dogs are welcome in the store.”
Dogs are allowed at some of their stores. Depending on the location, restrictions may be beyond the chain’s control. Please get in touch with your local store.
The Apple Store is happy to allow well-behaved dogs on leashes in many locations. These stores are generally crowded, so extra care should be taken to keep your dog comfortable and safe.
The Gap, Old Navy, Banana Republic, and Athleta
Many of the stores in this chain are dog-friendly. For some, the policy is unclear, so always call your local store before bringing your dog.
SPORTS AND OUTDOOR RETAILERS
These stores are a natural fit for pet-friendly policies, as many like to take their dogs hiking or camping, to name a few popular outdoor activities.
These outdoor sports retail stores encourage you to bring your dog to most locations! Due to state law, some stores may prohibit non-working dogs.
They love leashed and well-behaved dogs at Academy! And these big stores have many places to train your dog away from the register crowds.
You better believe they love dogs! They have everything a dog could love, and your dog can come in the store and shop for themselves.
Sadly, REI does NOT typically allow dogs in the store. But REI- Asheville is an exception. Call ahead.
FREE-STANDING CHAIN STORES
TJ Maxx, Marshalls, and Homegoods
These discount clothing and home goods chain is known for being dog-friendly. Like the other chains on this list, policies can vary by location, so double-check before you go.
Spend time with a book and your dog. Many locations have cafes either inside the store or attached, which may limit your dog’s access to the rest of the bookstore.
Note: These stores have narrow aisles and expensive bottles of wine stocked at tail-wag height. Your dog must always remain by your side. Personally, I stick to the beer stacks.
Don’t dogs and crafting just seem to go together? Maybe it’s just me.
Most craft stores allow leashed and well-mannered dogs.
Many department stores connect to larger malls, which typically do not welcome non-working dogs. Always call ahead to inquire about the pet policy at your local store. Please take extra care to maintain control of your dog in these upper-end department stores, which do not tolerate any shenanigans.
This store is usually crowded, so your dog must always remain by your side. Also, be aware this store has dim lighting in some locations, making it difficult for other customers to see dogs on a leash.
GROCERY STORES AND FOOD-SERVING ESTABLISHMENTS
These establishments generally only allow service dogs indoors. If you want to take your dog to a restaurant, look for a location with a patio. Many restaurants welcome dogs in their outdoor spaces. Bring fresh water for your dog and skip the communal water bowl.
What to check to see if your favorite stores are dog-friendly? Calling, emailing, or stopping by without your dog to ask are the most thoughtful ways to ensure your dog won’t be turned away at the door.
Let us know if you know of any dog-friendly businesses in your area!
We always look for new places to train our dogs (and yours!)