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Dog people are doing more and more to make their pets comfortable, from booking a loving pet sitter when they can’t be around to making their special someone homemade treats. So surely taking their dog shopping with them is the natural next step! Shopping with a friend is more fun than shopping alone, full stop. However, it can be hard to tell what a shop’s dog policy is (and it often varies by location). Fortunately, though, dog-friendly shops are increasing in number.
Note: due to regulations, supermarkets aren’t dog-friendly and most establishments which serve food don’t allow dogs indoors. If you want to dine out with your dog, look for a location with a patio as many restaurants welcome dogs in their outdoor spaces.
Now, let’s talk dog-friendly shopping.
Before You Go Shopping with Your Dog
If you have a small dog, using a carrier like a sling or sturdy backpack is a smart way to go. A comfortable, reliable collar and lead are key for bigger dogs. A no-pull harness like the well-regarded SENSEation harness allows you some extra control if you clip the lead to the front.
Before you go, practice with your dog! A well-trained dog on a lead is more likely to be a welcome guest. Also, remember that a busy retail environment may not be the best fit for all dogs. Make sure your dog is comfortable among crowds and well-socialised before you venture out together. For more anxious pets, staying at home might be the happier choice.
8 Dog-Friendly Shops Nationwide
Anthropologie is renowned for its gorgeous clothing, accessories, and home décor but did you know that its shops welcome dogs with open arms? An Anthropologie store manager confirms: “We love dogs and see no reason why people shouldn’t be allowed to go shopping and take their dog along with them.” Fashion lovers, rejoice!
#2 – LUSH cosmetics
Not only are dogs welcome in this chain of cosmetics shops, but you can purchase your make-up, face masks, and aromatherapy bath bombs from them knowing that you both share a love for animals—Lush has a no animal testing policy for their products.
#3 – The Apple Store
Yes, in many locations, the Apple Store is happy to allow well-behaved dogs on leads. Customers have reported having to pick up their dogs if there is a great deal of foot traffic, which is something to keep in mind if your dog is a little too big for a lift. Bear in mind that some of these stores are located in shopping centres that may not be dog-friendly, so double-check before you go.
#4 – Cath Kidson
Dogs have featured in lots of Cath Kidson’s prints over the years. So it’s no surprise that the company is big on dogs and its stores are very dog-friendly. Hit your nearest branch and browse their range of quirky home furnishings and accessories with your furry friend in tow.
#5 – Dobbies Garden Centres
Dobbies welcomes all well-behaved dogs to all of their garden centres across the UK. Dogs on leads are permitted in-store, but not in the food hall and indoor restaurant areas. They are, however, allowed in the outdoor patio areas of the restaurant. A dedicated Dog Drinking Station supplies fresh drinking water at all times to ensure that your doggy stays hydrated. It probably goes without saying but if your dog poops there it’s your responsibility to clean it up!
#6 – Oliver Bonas
Fabulous fashion, homeware, furniture, and dogs to boot! Oliver Bonas is the place to head when you’re looking to inject some serious style into your life, and your furry pal can browse its selection too. Result.
#7 – Waterstones
Bookworms, take note: well-behaved dogs are welcome at Waterstones, as Pudsey (below) can attest. The Britain’s Got Talent winner and his owner Ashleigh signed copies of Pudsey: My Autobidography at Waterstones in Peterborough.
#8 – Starbucks
We know, it’s not technically a shop, but Starbucks is one of the few nationwide cafe chains which caters to dogs. Although the coffee shops don’t allow dogs inside, they welcome dogs outside—and even offer them a tasty “puppuccino” (cup of whipped cream) if you ask! And since there are so many of them around they make a handy pit stop when you’re hitting the high street.
Calling, Tweeting, emailing, or just stopping by without your dog to ask is the smartest way to ensure your four-legged shopping buddy isn’t turned away at the door.
While national chain policy may vary quite a bit by location, chances are you’ll find dog-friendly spots in your city. If you live in the capital why not combine your shopping trip with a spot of lunch or a drink in one of these dog-friendly eateries in London.
Can’t take your dog with you? It’s never been easier to find a great local pet sitter or dog walker on Rover.