We’re always needing some kind of tool or other–and often we head to the world’s largest hardware retail cooperative: Ace Hardware. Can you bring your dog in Ace Hardware? The simple answer is: probably.
So, can I bring my dog in Ace Hardware?
Different Ace Hardware stores have different dog policies. Many Ace Hardware stores welcome dogs in their stores; some even have a store dog.
Our local Ace Hardware is exceptionally dog friendly with treats at checkout (and they even have a store cat!)
Barli and Tiki love to go to Ace Hardware:
We’ve visited Ace Hardware locations in Lago Vista and Port Aransas, Texas with our dogs many times and had a great experience every time!
Why do some Ace Hardware stores have a different dog policy?
You won’t find one broad dog policy across the entire Ace Hardware chain because the stores are largely independently owned.
According to the Ace Hardware website, this chain of stores that started in 1924 “has over 5,000 stores around the world with the majority of those stores independently owned and operated by local entrepreneurs.”
So different stories have different policies and, of course, those policies may also be limited by municipal regulations.
Tips for Making Your Trip to Ace Hardware Successful
If you determine that your local Ace Hardware store is dog friendly, 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.
- Leave the retractable leash at home. Retractable leashes can really present a tripping risk in stores.
- Walk your dog. If you have an excitable or energetic dog, give your dog a good walk BEFORE you go to the store. He’ll be happier to sit by your side while you shop if he’s not bursting with energy.
- Pack a cleanup kit. Along with poop bags, pack some paper towels and hand sanitizer. You never know.
- Pack some high value dog treats. Pack a handful of extra good dog treats that will get your dog’s attention and hold it. These are perfect for redirecting your dog’s attention in the store.
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.
Will my dog be frightened in a store?
Ace Hardware stores are generally quieter than “big box” hardware and home improvement stores like Lowe’s and Home Depot. We’ve never seen a pallet loader in the store like we often see in the big hardware stores (and that beeping noise of those loaders can really frighten some dogs).
Ace Hardware stores generally have automatic doors at the entrance; those can be frightening to dogs the first few times they see them.
You can bring treats to get your dog’s attention as you enter or just hang out outside the store on the first visit, treating and talking in a happy voice as people enter the store engaging the automatic doors.
Your dog will learn that they’re no scarier than microwave ovens, hair dryers or the many other things they’ve learned to accept in our lives.
Can Service Dogs Go to Ace Hardware?
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)
Remember that ADA 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.