Pet Friendly Businesses – Hotels, Stores, Etc

Written by Wen Duan

Pet Friendly Businesses – Hotels, Stores, Etc

I try to take my dog where-ever I go as much as possible. If the place is pet friendly, I'll always take my dog with me. In fact, sometimes I go out of my way to bring her to places that are pet friendly. In this article, we will be covering the following:  

1. Things to do before bringing a dog to a store 

2. General places you can take your dog

3. General places where you cannot take your dog

4. Dog friendly chain stores (Confirm by calling before going) 

5. Patio only dog friendly chain restaurants
6. Dog friendly hotels

things to do before bringing a dog to a store

There are a couple of guidelines you should follow before bringing your dog to a public place. Make sure your dog is well behaved and on a leash in any public space. 

These are a couple of the things I do to be considerate of the store, it's customers, and my dog: 


call the store and ask

When in question, call the store and ask. Stores policies vary by location, even if it is a chain store. If you've never taken your dog to that store before, call ahead and ask if it is OK. Some stores don't have a strict policy in place, and it is up the manager. Before visiting, I've called my local Barnes and Noble, and asked the manager and she said they don't have a strict policy and said yes as long as the dog is well behaved.


Your  dog should go potty before you go

Walk your dog around and make sure they have gone potty before you take them to a store. Don't learn this lesson the hard way. My dog loves people and gets super excited and sometimes accidents can happen. Now, I don't know if every dog is like that, but you want to be respectful of the store so take preventative measures and walk your dog around and have them potty before going into a store. 


Socialize, Socialize, Socialize

It's important to socialize your dog to people and new environments. So it is good training to take them out in public and expose them to new situations. Stores love dogs who are friendly and well trained but they are sometimes worried about other customers complaining about a barking dog or a dog that is not under control of their owner. 

A good way to introduce your dog to a new location is to take them during off peak hours like a Tuesday night, when the store is the least busy. That way you and your dog can explore without the stress of a crowd. 

When taking your dog into a public space they should remain relatively quiet, at a restaurant they shouldn't get on the table or lick dishes and silverware, they shouldn't jump on people, in short, they should have manners before going. The experience should be as good for other people and businesses as it is for your dog.

Be mindful that other customers may not have the comfort level with dogs that you do. 


Pay attention to your dog and keep them close

When taking your dog out, keep an eye on them. In stores and restaurants, there can be items left on the floor. Understandably, your dog may want to eat it or pick it up. When in the new space, dogs may explore through sniffing, observing, and etc.

A great training exercise is to get your dog to leave things they have not been given. Try it out at home and reward your pup if they pass up a stray treat you walk them past!

In public, keep an eye on your dog to make sure that they aren't picking up anything they shouldn't, whether it be a misplaced product on a floor or a random onion ring on the floor of a restaurant.

Be respectful and do not use a retractable leash. Keep your leash short and close to you. 


feed and give water to your dog before going

Make sure to feed them before going out. Your dog should be focused on this fun adventure instead of a hungry tummy or looking for water to drink.

General Places you can take your dog

These are the places I noticed are consistently dog friendly. After calling and confirming with these places, I've taken my dogs to all of these establishments.

Granted, I don't live in a super populated area, what works for me may not work for you. Always call and ask before going.

Keep an eye out for dog friendly events. For example, certain baseball teams have dog friendly ball games. A good place to look and ask is your local dog store. They will most likely know good places to go. 

Here are are a few my dog and I have enjoyed together...

  1. Parks
  2. Beaches (Lots of beaches do not allow dogs, look up your beach before going)
  3. Pet stores
  4. Fast food places with outdoor seating
  5. Most Hardware stores (Not Menards as of 2019) 
  6. Restaurants with outside seating 
  7. Outdoor sporting events
  8. Some Outdoor festivals 
  9. Breweries
  10. Garden Centers 
  11. Most Chain Home Decor Stores 
  12. Most outdoor sports stores 
  13. Most chain beauty stores 

places where you CAN'T take your dog

Unless your dog is a service dog, these places usually do not let dogs in. A majority of the time it has to do with food, or corporate regulation. You can always check and call the place directly before bringing your dog to the store. But these are the places I called and found to consistently not allow dogs.

  1. Grocery Stores  
  2. Inside Restaurants
  3.  State Festivals​​​​ 

Side Note: PLEASE do not force your dog into places or onto business owners under the guise of "emotional support" animal. This has become an epidemic in the USA and you as a responsible dog owner can help keep legitimate service dogs working for those who need them by not condoning fake support animals.

Dog Friendly Chain Stores (Confirm by Calling before going) 

Every individual store manager has the discretion to change their policy. Not only that, corporate rules change over time. When in doubt always call ahead before taking your dog. Because your local store may not allow pets in their stores. 

1. abercrombie and Fitch 

2. Academy

3. ace hardware

4. ann taylor

5. american apparel

6. american Eagle Outfitters

7. anthropologie

8. Auto Zone

9. apple store

10. banana republic

Some Banana Republic stores have been known to have treats for doggy customers. 

11. barnes and Noble

12. Bass Pro Shops

13. Bath and Body works

14. bed bath and beyond

15. best buy

Best Buy's pet policy varies by state and location. They do not have a company wide policy. Contact your local Best Buy for details. 

16. bloomindales

17. Cabelas

18. container store

19. crate and barrel

20. foot locker

21. free people

22. gap

23. Hallmark

24. harbor freight tools

25. Half Price Books

26.Hobby Lobby

27. Home Depot

28. Homegoods

29. jo-anns

30. Gander Outdoors

31. kenneth cole

32. Lowes

33. lush

34. lululemon athletica

35. Michaels

36. Marshalls

37. neiman marcus

38. nordstrom

39. nordstrom Rack

40. Old Navy



43.pottery barn

44. restoration hardware

45. Ross

46. saks fifth avenue

47. sephora

48. Scheels

49. tiffany & co

50. TJ Maxx

51. tractor supply co. 

52. tuesday morning

53. victoria secrets

54. urban outfitters

Patio only dog friendly Chain restaurants: 

1. Dairy Queen 

2. Starbucks 

3. Panera Bread

4. Applebees

5. Shake Shack

6. Johnny Rockets

7. Sonic Drive-In

8. Lazy Dog Restaurant and Bar

9. Chik-fil-A

10. In-N-Out-Burger

11. Bruster's Real Ice Cream 

12. Cracker Barrel 

13. Baja Fresh Mexican Grill 

14. Culvers 

15. Slims Chicken

Dog friendly Hotels

Kimpton Hotels: (FREE)  

Kimpton allows for all pet guest. Pets can stay for free regardless of size, weight, kind or breed. Not only that there are hotel amenities for your dog such as bed, food, bowls, pet sitting, and pet massages and mats. They are extremely dog friendly hotel. They are a boutique hotel with 68 locations throughout the large cities in the world. 

Motel 6: (FREE) 

All pets stay free at motel 6. They are allowed unless they pose a health, safety risk, or are prohibited by law. There is a limit of 2 pets per room. Some states or local cities may forbid pets other than service animal, so make sure to call ahead. 

Red roof inn: (FREE) 

Red Roof Inn allows pets over their 550 locations. There is no cleaning fees or hidden charges. They allow one well behaved pet per room at a weight limit of 80 lbs. It is up to management of the inn to allow for any additional pets. The pets are not allowed to be unattended in the room and must be leashed in common areas. 


La Quinta Inn  

La Quinta hotels allow for up to 2 pets per room and as of January 1st, 2019 started a pet fee of $20 for one night stay and $40 for a stay of two nights or more. There is not pet weight limit and well-behaved pets are allowed to remain alone in guest rooms. 

Hotels that may allow dogs 

The hotels in this list have only certain hotels that allow dogs. So for these chains, call ahead to figure out if a dog is allowed. 

  1. AmericInn 
  2. America's Best Value Inn
  3.  Baymont Inns & Suites 
  4. Best Western
  5. Comfort Inn 
  6. Comfort Suites
  7. Country Inn & Suites
  8. Clarion
  9. Courtyard by Marriott 
  10. Econo Lodge
  11. Embassy Suites
  12. Knights Inn
  13. Microtel Inn & Suites
  14. Ramadaa 
  15. Sheraton Hotel & Resorts
  16. W Hotels
  17. Super 8
  18. Spring Hill Suites
  19. Hampton Inn
  20. Holiday Inn Express
  21. Sleep in
  22. Travelodge
  23. Westin Hotel and Resorts
  24. Wingate by Wyndham 

What's your favorite place to take your dog? 

About the author

Wen Duan

Wen is a proud dog mom and a frequent contributor to our blog.