If you’ve spent any time in a Lowe’s hardware store, you’ve probably noticed people inside walking around with their dogs in tow. It looks like a great way to spend time with your best friend, but does Lowe’s really allow it?
As it turns out, yes, it does — with a few caveats.
Below, we’ll walk you through exactly what you need to know before you take your dog shopping, so you can both have an enjoyable trip (and so neither one of you has to suffer the indignity of getting kicked out of a hardware store).
Does Lowe’s Allow Dogs?
Lowe’s official policy is that it only allows registered service animals inside their stores. You’re expected to have certification on you proving that.
However, the truth is that Lowe’s almost never asks to see that certification (and in many places, it’s forbidden by law to ask for it). As a result, it generally allows well-behaved animals in its stores, provided that they are on a leash, harnessed, or carried by their owners. Under no circumstances is the dog allowed to roam the store freely.
Lowe’s does not accept any responsibility for the dog’s behavior while in the store, so you’re on the hook for anything they do. If they bite someone or tear up a roll of insulation, you’ll be the one who pays, not Lowe’s (at least in theory).
You’re also expected to clean up after your dog if they go potty in the store. This includes wiping up pee, so you’d best be sure that your dog won’t run around marking everything in sight.
What Happens If My Dog Misbehaves While Inside Lowe’s?
If your dog can’t be polite, then you’ll likely be asked to leave by store management. It’s not clear just how much bad behavior they’ll tolerate, and that answer probably varies depending on the managers in question.
However, if your dog does something truly bad — like biting someone — then the police may be called and you could be held liable for damages.
It’s unclear as to whether Lowe’s could also be held liable in such a situation, and the answer probably depends on the laws in that specific jurisdiction.
Lowe’s was sued in 2014 after a leashed Akita attacked a 3-year-old child, causing the boy to receive over 50 stitches as a result. The dog’s owner was charged with felony negligence and Lowe’s was slapped with a $25,000 lawsuit by the boy’s family.
We don’t know the results of that lawsuit, but however it ended up, it’s clear that it has not discouraged Lowe’s from continuing to allow dogs into its stores.
What Other Chain Stores Allow Dogs?
While Lowe’s has a famously dog-friendly policy, it’s far from the only store that lets customers bring their pooches along to shop.
Below, we’ve rounded up a few of the most notable chains that allow dogs, as well as a quick summary of their pet policy.
This list is far from comprehensive, and there are several other major dog-friendly chains. However, keep in mind that all of these companies require your dog to mind their manners; there’s not a store in the world that won’t kick you out if your dog refuses to straighten up and fly right.
Bring Your Dog — But Be Careful
Of course, just because you can take your dog into places like Lowe’s doesn’t mean that you should. Make sure your dog is well-behaved and trustworthy before taking them out in public like that, as it’s unfair to the dog to place them in a scary, unfamiliar situation while expecting model behavior.
If you’re confident that your pup is up to the task, though, feel free to have them tag along the next time you have a big home improvement project. Who knows — maybe they’ll stop chewing up the molding if you show them how expensive it is to replace?
Featured Image Credit: Makruha_Konstantin, Shutterstock