Are you wondering if dogs are allowed in Bass Pro Shops? We’re happy to say yes, unless your community has an ordinance prohibiting it! In fact, Bass Pro Shops® was one of my favorite after-training class stops when Barli was taking nursing home therapy classes. He loved walking around the big store and I enjoyed checking out the outdoor gear.
In this article, we’ll look at a special holiday event that welcomes dogs, a Bass Pro Shops dog feature we haven’t seen in other stores and whether or not your dog should visit a Bass Pro near you.
Visiting Bass Pro Shops with Your Dog
Started in 1972 in Missouri by angler Johnny Morris as an eight-square-foot bait shop in the back of his father’s liquor store, Bass Pro Shops (and now Cabela stores, which joined the Bass Pro family a few years ago) has 200 stores across North America.
These spacious stores are a good choice for shopping with your dog when you need to pick up outdoor gear, dog walking shoes and more.
Your dog will need to be leashed, strollered or carried when shopping at Bass Pro Shops.
If your local Bass Pro has a restaurant, your dog will not be permitted in that section of the store unless your dog is a service dog.
TIP: If you’re traveling alone with your dog, this national chain is also one we frequently mention as a restroom stop for you. Like stopping at a dog-friendly pet supply store for a restroom break, you can bring your dog inside with you to the restroom–just be sure to buy a little something on the way out to help support the store and keep them dog friendly!
Barli always enjoys picking out a dog toy at our local Bass Pro Shops!
Many dog lovers share our enjoyment of the stores, which are found across North America. According to the Bass Pro website:
As we always mention, store managers do have discretion and local ordinances can come into play–so, as we recommend (over and over again), check the Bass Pro Shops store locator and always call first!
Special Dog-Friendly Holiday Event
November and December mark the longtime annual Bass Pro Shops holiday event: Santa’s Wonderland.
This event features free photos with Santa with additional photos for purchase but you do need to make reservations. Check the Santa’s Workshop page for dates, specifics on which stores will include dogs at their holiday event and reservations.
Kennels at Bass Pro Shops
Bass Pro also offers an option we haven’t seen at other stores: kennels. To encourage travelers to never leave their dogs in the car, an often deadly choice, Bass Pro has kennels for use by customers.
The website notes, “some of our retail stores have a limited number of indoor/outdoor kennels available for customers to use. We can set up the kennel and you may leave your pet there while you shop. Please speak with one of our retail outfitters for availability.”
Share Your #BassProShops Photos on Social Media
You’ll find photos of dogs in Bass Pro Shops on social media using the hashtag #BassProShops and #VisitBassProShops (and don’t forget to snap and share your own, too!)
Taking Your Dog to Bass Pro Shops
The key to having a good time shopping with your dog–and making sure dog friendly stores REMAIN dog friendly–is taking a few extra steps before and during your shopping excursion.
Before Your Trip
- Pack a leash no longer than 6 feet. This will help prevent your dog from becoming tangled in displays and minimize tripping risk for other shoppers. You’ll want your dog to remain at your side during your shopping.
- Leave the retractable leash at home. Retractable leashes can really present a tripping risk in stores (not to mention the possibility of turning over entire racks of clothing and more!)
- Give your local store a quick call. Give the store a quick call to confirm that your dog may accompany you while shopping just to be on the safe side.
- Pack a cleanup kit. Along with poop bags, pack some paper towels and hand sanitizer. You never know.
During Your Trip
- Make a potty stop before entering the store. Even if your dog peed before leaving home, take a few minutes to visit the trees in the parking lot.
- Keep your dog near. For both the safety of your dog and fellow shoppers, keep your dog at your side while shopping. Not all people like dogs or want to be near your dog (hard to believe, right?!)
- Pick up any accidents immediately. If your dog has an accident, pick it up immediately. Especially if you have a male dog who likes to mark, keep a special eye out. Speed up your walking when passing those or distract your dog with a treat.
- Don’t miss the aquariums! Every Bass Pro we’ve visited has a massive aquarium setup with local fish; our dogs love watching the action!
Should You Take Your Dog To Bass Pro Shops?
OK, we’ve determined that most Bass Pro stores will allow leashed dogs in the store–but SHOULD you take your dog shopping with you?
Well, the answer depends on your dog.
On a scale of dog-friendly stores, I’d put Bass Pro Shops on the quieter end when it comes to noise and fear factor for dogs. It’s not as loud as home improvement stores like Lowe’s. It’s not as small or quiet as home decor stores like Tuesday Morning but generally fairly quiet for a store its size.
If you’re not sure how well your dog will do in the store, visit during an off-peak time–and a time when you don’t have to turn all your attention to the shopping task at hand. I like to take Barli on weekdays during the middle of the day.
And, as always, if your dog has any kind of aggression–to people or other dogs–dog-friendly stores are not for your dog.
Can Service Dogs Go to Bass Pro Shops?
Yes, a trained service dog that is required to assist you is allowed in any store under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA):
“Service animals are defined as dogs that are individually trained to do work or perform tasks for people with disabilities. Examples of such work or tasks include guiding people who are blind, alerting people who are deaf, pulling a wheelchair, alerting and protecting a person who is having a seizure, reminding a person with mental illness to take prescribed medications, calming a person with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) during an anxiety attack, or performing other duties. Service animals are working animals, not pets. The work or task a dog has been trained to provide must be directly related to the person’s disability. Dogs whose sole function is to provide comfort or emotional support do not qualify as service animals under the ADA.” — Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)
Please note that this ONLY covers trained service dogs; it does not include emotional support dogs.
If your dog is not a trained service dog, do not attempt to misrepresent your dog as a service dog. Depending on where you live, misprepresenting your dog as a service dog can carry a fine of up to $1000.
Find more Dog Friendly Stores