With more than half of UK households owning a dog, more and more public places, shops and businesses are opening their doors to our four-legged friends to accommodate our desire to bring them everywhere with us.
In days gone by, it was common to see dogs tied up to railings outside shops while their owners popped in to browse, but the value of dogs increased (as much as 89% for some breeds from March to June of 2020), and our relationship with our dogs changed, they became part of the family. Most owners would never dream of leaving their precious pet alone outside a shop. With dog theft on the rise it's simply not safe to leave dogs unattended in public places.
With this in mind, it should come as no surprise that the term ‘dog friendly’ search is up on Google (174%!). For many shops, these statistics would give them a good reason to become dog-friendly. Most pet stores are dog-friendly and many country pubs allow dogs - but what about the rest of the places we spend our time? We’re happy to say that more and more trail-blazing high street retailers have understood this shift and begun to make the change to welcome dogs. Here are some of our favourites below (we’re helpful like that):
So, which big-name, chain stores are dog friendly*?
John Lewis became dog-friendly in all their UK stores in 2019. In a response to a tweet on Twitter, they said, “We’ve decided to allow all customers, not just those with assistance dogs, to bring their dogs into our shops with immediate effect. Well-behaved dogs only will be allowed in our shops and they must be on a fixed lead at all times, unless they are being carried.”
Lush is known for being vegetarian friendly, with a line of products also suitable for vegans. They have a no animal testing policy on all their products, so you’ll be delighted to hear they are not only animal-friendly in regards to their products, but their stores are dog-friendly too!
The Apple Store allows dogs into many of its UK branches, so long as they are well behaved and kept on a lead (or carried if small enough, especially if it is busy).
Wilko announced they would be opening their doors to dogs in all their UK branches earlier this year. They said, "A pet is more than just a pet, they’re family. That’s why we’ve decided to welcome pets in-store at 248 of our locations. We hope shoppers will enjoy bringing their furry friends along with them. Please check for new signage at the entrance of your local store to see if they are participating."
Hobbycraft are very welcoming to your furbaby, as long as they are kept on a lead and supervised at all times. They do state that they may refuse entry if they are accommodating a customer with allergies.
Dobbies has a very dog-friendly policy in all of their stores - they just ask they are kept on the lead. They even sell dog poop bags if your pooch has an accident and you’ve forgotten yours!
Supermarket of Dreams are leading the way for food shops and supermarkets welcoming dogs. This incredible experiential shopping experience in Notting Hill, London, doesn’t just welcome dogs, it gives them the 5* treatment!
More stores that are generally dog friendly*:
Pandora (which also has new dog collars which can be tried on in-store!)
Mountain Warehouse - often has a bowl of water for dogs by the door and has a great pet range if your heading about and about with your dog hiking
Wren Kitchens are very accommodating to the whole family, with dogs welcome in all of their showrooms.
DFS/Sofology carry a range of sofas in dog-friendly fabric and many of their stores welcome dogs. They said “We’re happy to welcome the whole family in our stores, including your dog! We want them to feel at home whilst you browse, so we don’t mind if they hop up onto the sofa with you. There are also water bowls and treats available to help them settle in.”
Joules carries a great dog range!
Mint Velvet - they even have dog treats at the counter!
Other stores that allow dogs, at manager/branch discretion (always check before entering):
TX Maxx (carried dogs only)
Homesense (carried dogs only)
Superdrug (carried dogs only)
Some banks - such as Metro, HSBC and Natwest - allow dogs in-store, but this is often down to the individual branch, so always ask first! Metro is particularly dog-friendly, with bowls of water, dog treats and even dog bandanas in their stores!
*Please note that individual stores may have different policies on dogs. Always double-check with the specific store before entering with your dog and respect staff if they ask you not to bring your dog in. Please also bear in mind, some of the stores may be in larger shopping centres that may not be dog friendly.
Inspired by @archielhasa’s dog-friendly shop series.