Do you need to run to the store to pick up a few home improvement items–and you’re wondering, “are dogs allowed in Lowe’s?” We’re happy to say that, in most cases, dogs are allowed in Lowe’s.
While the official company policy is limited to service dogs, dogs are welcome at most Lowe’s stores. Managers do have discretion and local ordinances can come into play–so, as we recommend (over and over again), always call first!
Your dog will need to be leashed or carried when shopping at Lowe’s.
Taking Your Dog to Lowes
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 who-knows-what).
- Give your local store a quick call. If you haven’t been to this particular Lowe’s location recently, 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.
- Pack a small blanket or throw for the cart if your dog will ride in the cart. If you have a small dog who will be riding in your shopping cart, PLEASE pack a throw for him to rest. This will prevent his paws from going through the mesh bottom of the cart. I was once at a store and heard a dog two aisle over whimpering in pain. I went over to help; his leg had completely fallen through the bottom of the cart and his owner was having a difficult time getting his paw back up through the cart. (The story ended well–but this is definitely a cautionary tale!) Here’s an example of a cart with a blanket for the dog’s safety:
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 Lowe’s parking lot. With all the dogs that visit Lowe’s on an given day, your dog will be inspired to add to the collection of scents at the trees–and far better there than in the store.
- Keep your dog near. For both the safety of your dog and fellow shoppers, keep your dog at your side while shopping. People in hardware stores are pushing large loads and don’t always have good visibility–or expect dogs in the aisle.
- 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 when walking near large support columns throughout the store that may have been marked by other doggie shoppers. Speed up your walking when passing those or distract your dog with a treat.
- Keep hold of the leash. You’ve probably been in a Lowe’s when one of the pallet jacks comes driving through the store, with its loud beeping sound. That sound can frighten a otherwise calm dog, so be prepared! (I brought along treats and sat at the end of an aisle with Barli as a pallet jack worked, turning the training experience into a mini picnic.)
Share Your #DogsofLowes Photos on Social Media
You’ll find many photos of dogs in Lowe’s stores on social media using the hashtag #DogsofLowes. In fact, Lowe’s even shares photos of dogs in their stores!
Take a photo of your dog while in Lowe’s!
Should You Take Your Dog To Lowe’s?
OK, we’ve determined that most Lowe’s stores will allow leashed dogs in the store–but SHOULD you take your dog to Lowe’s?
Well, the answer depends on your dog.
Home improvement stores are big and loud, even if you visit during non-peak hours, which I always do when I’m taking Barli to the store.
If your dog is extremely shy and fearful, home improvement stores like Lowe’s or Home Depot aren’t for him. You’ll want to start with more training to build your dog’s confidence and, when you do begin to venture into dog friendly stores, visit quieter venues like Tuesday Morning stores. Work up to home improvement stores like Lowe’s.
If your dog has any kind of aggression–to people or other dogs–dog-friendly stores are not for your dog.
And if you have a lot of shopping to do or need to shop for lots of lumber that requires both of your hands to be free, save your dog outing for another time when you can turn your attention to your dog and you can enjoy the store together.
Can Service Dogs Go to Lowe’s?
Yes, a trained service dog that is required to assist you is allowed in any Lowe’s 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.
In Canada, Lowe’s accessibility policy states, “Support persons and guide dogs or other service animals are welcome to accompany our customers with disabilities while shopping in our stores. Wherever service animals are prohibited by law, we will provide personal assistance during the store visit.”
What if my dog poops in Lowe’s?
OK, we all know poop happens and sometimes when we least expect it. If, in spite of your best efforts and taking your dog out to potty BEFORE you enter the store, your dog has an accident, it is your job to clean up the mess. Be sure you have carried poop bags. I always carry hand sanitizer and some paper towels in my dog walking bag on store visits so I can clean and sanitize the store floor, if needed.
Can I carry my dog into Lowe’s?
Yes, if you have a small dog, you can carry your dog into Lowe’s stores assuming the store is dog friendly. As mentioned above, managers have latitude on the individual store’s pet policy so call ahead before you visit so you can enjoy your shopping with your dog without worrying. And even if you carry your dog into Lowe’s, be sure you’ve brought a fixed length leash in case you need to put your dog down onto the floor or into the shopping cart.