Dog Friendly Stores in Northern Virginia | Top 7
For a long time, most businesses across the United States had a variation of the “No Dogs Allowed, Except Service Dogs” sign in their front windows. There were a few exceptions, which came down to pet stores and small family-run businesses. Fast forward to recent times. Pet ownership in the US has exploded, forcing businesses to become more accommodating to pets.
If you look around, there is a dog-friendly restaurant, a dog friendly apartment, and dog-friendly stores nearby that you can walk right into with your dog, no questions asked. If you are in Northern Virginia, there are so many places to do your shopping. Taking your dog with you when shopping has a ton of benefits. It eliminates the need to leave your dog with a sitter or alone at home. It is also a great opportunity to bond even more with your dog. A shopping trip also helps your pup practice proper interactions with new environments, people, and new dogs. So, here are the top dog friendly stores in Northern Virginia to shop at any day, any time, with your dog.
One of the best dog friendly stores in Northern Virginia is Home Depot. While they allow dogs inside the store, you have to ensure that your dog is on a leash; otherwise, you won’t be allowed inside. The best thing about Home Depot is plenty of space for your dog to walk around as you shop. However, before bringing your dog to a Home Depot store, ensure you call ahead to determine if it’s okay to bring them.
Macy’s has locations throughout the United States, including Northern Virginia. The store allows pet owners to shop with their pets. Ensure, however, that you call ahead before taking your dog with you. You also need to ensure that your dog is well trained to handle big crowds.
The home furnishing store allows pet owners to shop with their pets. Whether it’s a dog or a cat, you can bring your furry friend to a Pottery Barn store as long as they are well-behaved. If your dog can walk safely beside you, there is no reason to leave them at home or in the car when shopping at Pottery Barn. However, like with most stores, call the store ahead to inform them that you want to bring your pup.
Camping World of Manassas
If your shopping list includes camping or fishing equipment, one of the best dog friendly stores in Northern Virginia is the Camping World of Manassas. The same parent company owns both Camping World and Gander Outdoors, and they have liberal pet policies that make it possible to shop with your four-legged best friend.
Michaels stocks everything you need to assemble a great holiday craft collection. And the good news is that they allow dog owners to shop with their dogs. All Michaels stores, including the Northern Virginia ones, are dog-friendly but ensure that your pup is well-behaved. The only sections where dogs are not allowed are the food preparation classes.
Lowes is a great place to pick up everything you need to improve your home. As one of the top dog friendly stores in Northern Virginia, the store’s dog policy is that only service dogs are allowed. However, other dogs are allowed inside at the store manager’s discretion. The best option is to call the store ahead and ask if you can bring your pup. If you are given the go-ahead to bring your dog with you, make sure that it’s on a leash.
Barnes and Noble
Barnes and Noble allows pets inside the store, but they have restrictions like certain areas your dog is not allowed. If you want to bring your dog with you to a Barnes and Noble store, call ahead to determine if it’s okay to bring him.
Shopping With Your Dog: Determining If Your Dog Is Ready
Businesses have taken measures to ensure that their stores are dog-friendly to accommodate the growing number of dog owners. However, taking a dog to a crowded store, as most stores are, for the first time can be a scary and stressful experience for your dog. From your dog’s point of view, a store is a place full of strangers, lots of activity, new smells, unfamiliar noises, and distracting sights. And then, some strangers can’t help themselves in the presence of a dog; they must greet or pet them. All the factors only add to your dog’s uncertainty and fearfulness.
Another factor to consider is that stores can confuse your dog since shelves mostly obstruct the dog’s view. So, walking with your dog down the aisle is no different from walking them through a narrow tunnel. Since canines do not understand retail business basics, all these factors put your dog in an avoidance state of fight, flight, and surrender.
Even when shopping at one of the dog friendly stores in Northern Virginia, ensure that your dog is well trained for that experience. As yourself if:
- Your dog is comfortable in new environments, people, and other dogs without barking or pulling at their leash.
- Your dog has acquired basic obedience skills like “sit,” “stay,” and “leave it,” among others.
- Your dog can walk safely with you on a leash or off-leash.
If your answer to these questions is “no,” it’s a clear sign that your dog is not ready to go shopping with you, especially in a crowded store. Additional training and socialization are essential before your dog can accompany you to one of these dog-friendly stores. A professional dog trainer will help work on these skills.
Off Leash K9 Training has consistently been voted Best Dog Trainers in Northern Virginia from 2014 to date. As part of the highest-rated dog training businesses in the US, we offer a variety of training packages.
One of our training packages involves basic obedience training and advanced obedience training. The 4-week and 8-week training programs are meant to equip your dog with basic obedience skills to handle new environments, strangers, and other dogs. Your dog will learn basic commands like come, sit, down with extended sit and down, place and extended place, and loose leash heel. All these skills are vital when you go shopping with your dog at a store where they are likely to meet many new people and experience strange smells, distracting sights, and unfamiliar noises.
At Off Leash K9 Training, we teach your dog basic training manners like greeting manners and door manners. We will also train your dog on how not to tug at the leash, nose merchandise, or jump on strangers when you are at the store. We also have an aggressive dog training program for dogs that exhibit aggression and reactivity issues around strangers and other dogs. We have some of the best dog trainers in the United States. They will incorporate basic manners and obedience and get your dog used to new environments and people so that you never have to choose between leaving your dog in the car or at home every time you want to go shopping. So, get in touch with us today or call (571) 252-5536 for a free consultation.