Do you just love your dog? Whether you have a service dog or just a well behaved dog, we all like to take our dogs everywhere with us. While some stores have become more dog friendly, there are still many stores that do not allow dogs in them, apart from service dogs.
It’s always nice to know what stores are pet friendly and which ones are not. Some stores will allow dogs no matter the circumstances so you can take your dog and just enjoy the stores while other stores recommend hat pet owners leave their dog at home.
It’s a good idea to be familiar with whether or not you can take your dog and what pet friendly stores there are out there so you can make a decision when you need to. You should know the dog policy of individual stores and respect their policies so you don’t give dog owners a bad name.
Understanding Lowe’s Dog Policy
Most stores, including Lowe’s home improvement stores, have a written policy that only allows service animals to enter the store with pet owners. Their official dog policy is that that service dogs are allowed when it comes to dogs in their stores.
Lowe’s stores are known for this policy, which is almost the opposite of Home Depot home improvement stores which actively welcomes dogs in the stores. It’s completely different. However, while the Lowe dog policy states that it will allow dogs that are clearly a service dog, the truth is most of them allow dogs in their stores without question or argument.
A well-behaved dog in Lowes really will be met with a dog friendly attitude from Lowe employees, regardless of whether or not it is a service dog. Some people tend to take advantage of an open menu and pet friendly environment like this so it is not consistent from store to store. You might even want to call ahead and ask about the dog policy before you go.
At the majority of Lowe’s home improve stores, you will find that they are pretty relaxed about the dog policy and they rarely ask for documentation for a service dog if the dog is well behaved.
So, while the policy at Lowe’s might specifically state that dogs are allowed for service dog purposes, people have found that dogs are allowed at Lowes for the most part and that most stores are pet friendly towards people with dogs.
We also want to note that according to the menu detail, Lowe’s allows dogs that are service dogs but you will need to make sure they are leashed and kept under control and that you clean up any messes made if you bring your dog. The responsibility to care for dog lies on the dog owner and not the company.
Proper Etiquette for Taking Your Dog Shopping
There are some things to know if you visit your local store as a dog owner and you should use this example for any location or store, regardless of the place. If you’re taking your pooch to the store with you, be respectful of customers and owners while you are in a place that doesn’t belong to you.
It may very well be your right in some circumstances to take your pets with you to the store but this isn’t your residence. It is a business and there are times it might be better to leave your dog at home if their services aren’t specifically needed at varying sites.
If you’re raising puppies and just want to take them out in the car, you probably don’t need to take your pets into the store. For young puppies that do come into the store with you, you might try keeping them in the shopping cart.
If your pooch breaks products or tears something up, the owners are responsible for this within the store. Some pets are well-behaved but accidents can happen. If the policy states that only service pets are allowed and you take the dog in anyways, you shouldn’t expect the company to take the heat if something happens to products in the store on your watch.
If you are just working on outings and obedience training and want to take a field trip to train your dog, we recommend that you go shopping at a location that has an open policy for shopping with your dog. For example, remember that Home Depot openly welcomes dogs so this may be a better alternative. There are also some great pet stores for this as well.
A Lowes Employees Story
Lowes is not closed to the idea of allowing a dog into the store. They do have a policy in place, which is meant to protect all, including employees and customers. This policy was designed with the intent to prevent a problem from occurring in the store should people lose control of a pet while they are there.
There is a well known story about employees at Lowe’s that clearly shows their regard for the need for a service dog. One employee, who is a military veteran, is allowed to bring his golden retriever to work with him as a service dog. The dog even has his own little Lowes vest, marking him as one of the employees. Service dogs are always allowed with dog owners but it’s refreshing to see this particular instance with people and reinstate for us that service dogs are allowed and those dogs are never restricted.
The story tells s that this man interviewed at Lowes and asked them in the interview if the dog who had been serving him for a decade would affect his ability to get a job at Lowe’s in the end. The Texas store showed us all that dogs used for service are allowed by offering the veteran a job. He now brings his dog to work at Lowes and there is never a problem. If you haven’t seen the stories yourself, this sweet dog even has their own Lowes vest.
Stores That Aren’t Dog Friendly
While Lowes might allow dogs that don’t cause a problem, there are many businesses that never allow dogs. While the employees might be dog friendly, the environment might be one that is not good for dogs.
Take, for example, a grocery store. This store is a completely different type of place than Lowes and there are cleanliness reasons that dogs are not allowed within. As owners, it is up to us to be conscious of why a store may not be a dog friendly environment to begin with.
Any store that serves food is most likely not a dog friendly place to visit. There are many restaurants that have begun allowing you to bring a dog into their outdoor seating area. Be conscious of what locations might not be responsible to take a dog into. If your dog is not specifically for service, try to be respectful of these places.
Stick to taking your dog to places where dogs are allowed, unless you have service dogs that are trained to be around people in any environment and not be disruptive to things.
You can always call ahead next time you want to take the dog out to determine whether the store allows dogs or has specific rules for pet owners to follow. Remember that we are customer to the store and as pet owners, we need to follow the store policy.
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Here are some store options that are known for allowing customers to bring pets in among the people.
This does not necessarily cover every location that customers can bring their dogs in but for the most part, a dog owner can rely on these places to let them in! Be aware that sometimes the rules vary from location to location so familiarize with your nearby site first.
Pet owners can look to this list as a resource and know that there are other solutions available as well. Be familiar with your area and the policy at a specific perimeter
On the same note, there are some places that as a corporation do not allow customers to bring their dog inside unless it is a service dog specifically. People should be aware of that. Here are some of those places to know for your own information.
You see the trend here right? It’s mostly larger places that would be more hard-pressed to control a situation gone awry or perhaps the places that also sell groceries. This seems reasonable in most scenarios.
Why Can’t We Take Our Dog Everywhere?
For those of us who love our dog unconditionally, it just seems like all of the different places you visit really should accommodate your dog love, right? We totally get it! We wish we could take our dog everywhere also but you have to understand that’s just not the case.
Don’t get mad at the employee or the manager when they are just doing their job and enforcing a policy that they were told they have to. Remember it is probably a company policy and not just made up by the manager.
We just want to remind you to be respectful in these instances.
However, there are some logistics behind these decisions at times. While we don’t see a problem taking in our well-trained dog everywhere we go, we have to remember that not all dogs and not all people are the same in this regard.
While many owners might carefully regard the leash and make sure their dog is on their best behavior, there are others who will not. Most of the policies out there are designed because of this latter category. Lowes is one of those places. They don’t have anything against your dog or dogs in general but Lowes has taken the position that dogs cannot enter Lowe’s unless it is necessary for the dogs human.
Not every dog is trained to act right in public and there are some people who simply won’t make sure their dog is behaving in Lowes and other similar locales so they have to create a policy that might seem like it is not nice for your dogs. Don’t take it personally, just know Lowes is doing what they have to do and continue to love your dogs and take them where you can.
A Dog Friendly Response
While we have seen that the policy is to not allow a dog into Lowes unless it is for service, we also see plenty of statements and analysis that shows that most Lowe’s locations do not heavily enforce these rules and the majority of dogs are allowed to come and go with no problems.
Lowe’s statements remain that dogs brought inside of the building are meant for service but it doesn’t mean they stand there watching for dogs and telling you to return your dog to the vehicle before you enter. If your dog does not cause a ruckus, Lowes will most likely turn a blind eye when you enter with your dogs.
The Law About Taking Your Dog
Maybe you’re wondering whether Lowes really even has the right to say your dogs can’t join you inside. Do they? Lowes isn’t alone in this general policy and remember that while Lowes says service dogs only, they clearly don’t hold a person to the fire over that requirement.
Lowes generally allows dogs no questions asked. However, not every store is like Lowes. If you enter a store that doesn’t have the same perception as Lowes, you might have to leave your dogs outside. Are Lowes and other locales within the law when they prohibit dogs that aren’t for service?
In short, the answer is typically yes. The ADA is the only federal legal guideline in place that determines whether dogs should be allowed entry into Lowes and other stations. The ADA regulations specifically accommodate dogs that are used for service.
The definition of a service dog according to the ADA is a guide dog, signal dog, or other animal individually trained to provide assistance to an individual with a disability. If they meet this statement, they are considered a service dog and must be accommodated on state and local levels.
From there, the states can add laws that might require Lowes or another entity to allow more. This is perhaps why you will see different allowances from one Lowes to another. It could depend on their state requirements.
In addition, a emotional support animal is not considered a service animal unless a doctor such as a psychologist deems that the animal is required for your health. There are some pretty standard stipulations there that would make an emotional support animal credible as a service animal. There is a difference defined by the law.
Do I Have to Prove My Animal is a Service Animal?
Lowes typically does not require documentation that your animal is a service animal but it doesn’t hurt to be prepared in case you are asked. A business can never ask you why you need a service animal but they can ask you if your animal IS a service animal.
You can register your service animal or perhaps make sure that your animal has a vest or a collar or something that marks them as such. Typically, there is something to show that is what they are and then there are no questions asked. The law does protect your privacy from divulging specific details to Lowe’s or another retailer.
If you’re planning your next trip to Lowe’s, most likely you won’t have any issues bringing your dog along. Lowe’s may state that their policies only allow service animals but the general consensus reflects that Lowe’s does not heavily enforce this unless there is a problem.
Respect the building and the business. Make sure your dog is on a leash and that you keep watch of them. Make sure they aren’t tearing things up or making messes and clean up if something does happen. You are the responsible party for your pet, not Lowe’s so keep that tidbit in mind.