Chances are that if you have a dog, you are going to want to bring your dog just about everywhere you go. After all, your dog is your beloved companion animal, so you shouldn’t have to leave its side when you know it won’t bother others, right? While some people may share this mindset, it is important to note that dogs are typically not allowed inside establishments that aren’t explicitly marked as pet-friendly.
When you are trying to decide if you can bring your dog with you, there are a number of things to consider. For one, you need to make sure that the place you are going is a pet-friendly store. If not, you need to know what the policy on dogs is and whether or not your dog fits into that policy.
There are times when finding that policy may be more difficult than others, especially if you do not know where to begin looking. For instance, most hardware stores don’t have a clear rule on whether or not dogs are allowed in because it is highly circumstantial, leaving you to wonder if dogs are welcome or not.
What Does the Store Say?
When it comes to hardware stores and the question of are dogs allowed in Home Depot, the answer is that they most likely will be. This store is considered to be one of the most welcoming large-scale hardware stores to dogs, though the fine details of this depend on the management team of various stores.
This is a little bit hard to tell at first because the official policy mentions that only service dogs are allowed so that they can comply with ADA guidelines. However, most store management teams will look the other way if you bring an obedient and well-trained dog into the store and the dog isn’t causing any issues. More often than not, they will be happy to say hello to your dog as well.
Keep in mind that individual stores can vary a lot. One store may have a very strict policy on allowing pet dogs in, while another store in the same town may accept dogs entering the store left and right. You should always check with the individual store’s guidelines before you make a decision.
Would There Be Stipulations?
There are also some cases where even a pet-friendly store may put their management feet down and say that your dog isn’t allowed in the store. This is almost always going to be the case with dogs that are not leashed, no matter how obedient the dog is. Not having dogs on their leashes serves as a liability to the store, as the management team doesn’t know how well trained the dog is and dogs can act unpredictably when they are overwhelmed.
Another situation where dogs would be kicked out of an otherwise pet-friendly store is if the dog is making a commotion. This tends to happen most to vocal dogs, and even if this is not fair to dogs that simply have a lot to say, the reasoning is much the same. The management team isn’t going to know your dog’s personality and it is a major liability for them to simply take one’s word for it.
Vocal dogs can also scare customers who are nervous around dogs and they can stress out children and babies, adding to the commotion, even if they are friendly yaps. As such, if you know for a fact that your dog is going to have a lot to say to all the people in the store, it may not be worth taking your dog there simply to be kicked out again.
Knowing What to Expect
Individual rules per store are going to vary, so it will always be best for you to call or email the management of your specific store before you enter. This will prevent management from making hasty decisions because they weren’t expecting to deal with a dog that day, and it will allow them time to talk with you to make sure that your dog can behave safely in the store.
It appears that this store in particular tends to be the most relaxed about the rule compared to other hardware stores. What this means for you is that you have a much better chance of having your dog welcomed in the store, especially if you are able to keep it under control. Some stores may still tell you not to bring your dog into the establishment, and you have to obey this rule unless you have the official documents showing that your dog is a service dog rather than just a pet.
Another thing to keep in mind is that in Canada, the policy is considerably stricter and the store can be considered not to be a pet-friendly store. This is because there was an incident in 2011 where a small Shih Tzu lunged at an employee who came to greet the dog and was severely wounded, causing the Canadian branch of the store to change their policy accordingly.
No such event has happened to strictly change the policy in the United States stores yet, but this is all the more reason why it is important for you to maintain control over the dog while you are there.
Ways to Keep Your Dog Under Control
There are a few ways that you can ensure that your dog is fully under control when you bring it into the store. For one, you can make sure that it stays in the cart, in a carrier, or a stroller if it is an appropriate size for such. Larger dogs should always be leashed and on a particularly short leash. Many people feel that dogs are under better control if you use a harness-style leash, so you may want to opt for that.
You should make sure that the dog is not overly excited about the store, as this can be interpreted as aggressive behavior and can lead to your dog getting out of control if it becomes too overstimulated by the environment. Make sure that you know for a fact that your dog can handle the environment of a large hardware store before you enter.
Store management has a better chance of allowing your dog in if they can see that you are willing and able to clean up after your dog if it has an accident. Even if you let your dog relieve itself before you enter the store, animals can be unpredictable, and because it is not a pet store, you should always have the supplies on you to clean up after an incident.
Keeping these things in mind will further increase the chances that your dog will be allowed to stay within the store, assuming that the store you are going to is a fully pet-friendly one.