19 Dog-Friendly Public Places You May Not Know About

From bookstores to baseball stadiums.

Originally Published: 
Dog-friendly public places you may not know about
ianmcdonnell/E+/Getty Images

It can be tricky to find places where dogs are allowed if you're looking to explore the city with your fur baby. Each company has their own policy about whether pets can come in, and some stores even break down whether dogs are allowed based on location. But with a little research, you'll be sure to figure out exactly where your pup is allowed to adventure with you, and where you should probably just go by yourself.

Another factor to keep in mind? Whether or not your dog would be comfortable in a crowded public setting. “Some dogs are more comfortable than others in crowded places — and some can learn to become more comfortable with these places over time, by their owner gradually introducing them to busy places while offering praise and/or treats and using good training techniques,” Dr. Stephanie Austin, DVM and medical director and veterinarian of Bond Vet, tells Bustle.

Many places allow service animals, which the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) calls "a dog that has been individually trained to do work or perform tasks for an individual with a disability." This policy does not cover emotional support, therapy, comfort, or companion animals, according to the ADA, so keep this in mind if your dog qualifies as a support animal.

If your dog isn't a working dog and is just an adorable companion, then their chances of getting to come in with you are a little lower. But there are still plenty of surprising places you can take your dog, from bookstores to baseball stadiums. Pet Friendly Travel is one great resource for finding some of the spots in your area who'll be glad to welcome your dog. So be sure to check out these 19 dog-friendly places.


Half-Price Books

This discount bookstore is amazing for its deals on everything literary, from Toni Morrison to Stephen King, but it's also a winner in terms of its pet policy. Per the company's website, "Our policy on four-legged friends is handled on a store-by-store basis: Some stores welcome dogs, and others know that their customers prefer to shop without barks and tail wags." If you’re allowed to bring in your dog, they just ask that you keep them on a leash and make sure to be respectful of your fellow shopping bookworms.


Michaels Craft Store

Sometimes when you're driving around with your pooch, you might suddenly get the urge to start the knitting project you've been dreaming about or paint a mural on your bedroom wall. No need to delay your crafting cravings, because you can head straight in without dropping your dog off at home first. On the company's official Facebook page, Michaels replied to a customer question about whether dogs were allowed and said, "We are a pet friendly store," so go for it.



"Lush do not test on animals, [and] do not use materials that contain animal derivatives that are unsuitable for vegetarians," states the company website, "and only buy raw materials from companies that are not involved in the use of, or commission the use of, animals for testing." This care for animals seems to extend to their love of pets, because according to Rover, you're welcome to bring your dog in to smell all of the good smells while you shop for cruelty-free products.


Baseball Stadiums

You may not be able to bring your dog into any MLB stadium on any night of the season, but there are plenty of opportunities for you to watch the game right beside your canine BFF. PNC Park in Pittsburgh, for example, lets you bring your dog to every Tuesday home game, and part of the ticket proceeds go to benefit local animal shelters. Find out if your hometown team does something similar by consulting this list from the American Kennel Club.


Apple Stores

According to ABC, dogs are allowed in Apple stores. Just make sure that you aren't lingering too long or disrupting other customers. "If you're browsing and shopping and it's a lazy afternoon keep it short," Dana Vachon, CPDT-KA, a certified dog trainer with Philly Unleashed, told the outlet. "A prolonged experience in a store is going to be overwhelming for your dog."



A shopping trip to Nordstrom doesn't necessarily mean parting from your precious fur baby, at least in some locations. In a response to a customer on Twitter, the official company account said, "Yes, we are [dog-friendly]. As long as your dog is on a leash."



If you're itching to do some shopping at your local Marshalls (or TJ Maxx or HomeGoods — they're owned by the same company), consider bringing your well-behaved dog along for a quick trip, because they're a pet-friendly store.


Home Depot

While there's not a company-wide pet policy at Home Depot, each location may or may not allow pooches to join their owners inside, so you might want to call before you bring your pup. “We always welcome service animals,” Matt Harrigan, a PR manager at Home Depot, told The Chicago Tribune, “but otherwise, we leave it up to the individual store managers.” Just don't let your dog gnaw on any nails or planks of wood.


Barnes and Noble

Barnes and Noble's animal welfare policy supports the ethical treatment of animals, and the company also supports your desire to bring your dog with you while you pick up a new book, according to HuffPost, so next time you go book shopping, bring your little cutie along. Just make sure they stay quiet so they don't disturb any other customers reading in the aisles.


Bars and Restaurants Near You

Have you ever wanted to bring your dog to brunch or let your pup tag along when grabbing a drink with a friend? Chances are that you'll be able to find a spot that's totally dog-friendly near you. Bring Fido lets you search for dog-friendly restaurants by city, category, and even type of cuisine, so that you can be sure that taking your dog to dinner won’t be an issue.


Shake Shack

When you think of Shake Shack, you might not automatically think of your dog, but maybe you should. Although the company doesn't let non-service pets inside the restaurants, eating with them in outdoor areas is allowed. "We can't allow dogs inside the Shack, but they're more than welcome on any of our Shack patios," the company's official Twitter account stated. Plus, they already have your pup covered with a dedicated Woof Menu just for pups, so your dog is sure to leave with a full belly.


A Vineyard

Going to a wine tasting is usually a pretty fancy event, but that doesn't necessarily mean that your adorable pup can't join you for the occasion. While they obviously can't enjoy the wine, they can enjoy spending time with you as you taste an array of wines. Search via the Cork Hounds website to find dog-friendly vineyards and wineries near you.


Art Galleries

Just because your fur baby is a canine doesn't mean that they can't appreciate art, or at least the atmosphere of an art gallery. A number of small galleries in New York City allow dogs, according to Dog Spin, so just call up whichever one you'd like to check out, and you might get the go-ahead to come peruse with your cute canine. If you live in another city, ask around at small galleries in your area, which are probably more likely to approve your dog since they're less crowded than a larger art museum.



According to the Los Angeles Times, Starbucks allows pups to hang out in the patio seating areas (and enjoy a puppuccino), but they aren't allowed inside the stores unless they're service animals. Simply opt to sip on your drinks outside, and you'll be sure to have a blast people watching and enjoying the fresh air.


Some Movie Theaters

So not every movie theater will give you the green light to bring your dog to a showing, but some will. K9 Cinemas in Texas, for example, not only lets your pup tag along to a movie, but gives all of the human guests free wine and whiskey. PictureHouse Central in London offers some dog-friendly showings. There are similar spots in Los Angeles, San Franscisco, and Colorado, so just do a bit of research.



Lowe’s is considered a case-by-case basis when it comes to bringing your pooch inside. In 2012, Lowes informed customers that dogs would only be allowed if they were a “service dog,” but it has also been reported that Lowes typically does not mind if you bring your animal in, service dog or not. This depends on location, so be sure to call ahead as some stores are more lenient.


Pottery Barn

In a story for the Chicago Tribune, Cindy Dampier writes, “We got fawned over by a dog-loving salesperson at Pottery Barn. (‘Thanks for bringing him in!’)” So, yes, dogs are allowed in Pottery Barn, and yes, we’re just as surprised as you!


Tractor Supply Co.

All over the Nation, Tractor Supply Co. is a dog friendly store. Feel free to bring your pup in whenever they want to explore the store. The company even wrote a story about how to succesfully bring your dog to work on bring your dog to work day.



Macy’s has been known for years to welcome pooches inside the store. However, if your Macy’s is attached to a mall, “which may or may not welcome dogs inside. Always call ahead to inquire,” according to The Dog People.

No matter where you want to bring your sweet dog with you, just make sure that they're comfortable and calm. Chances are, wherever you two travel, they'll be excited to meet some new friends and smell some new places.

Additional reporting by Siena Gagliano.

This article was originally published on