Dogs are sometimes allowed in Home Depot, but each individual store has its own policy. Please call ahead to see if your local Home Depot allows dogs, and make sure your dog is on their best behavior in the store. Dogs should be kept on leash and in your control at all times.
In this article, we’ll discuss whether dogs are allowed in Home Depot and ten rules to know before bringing your dog into the store.
Home Depot Dog Policy
Home Depot doesn’t have an official dog policy on their website. However, they do sometimes share photos of dogs in the store on their social media accounts.
The reason for their lack of policy is likely that it varies by store. In my area, most Home Depots do allow dogs, and you typically see small dogs riding in carts throughout the store. However, stores near you might be different. For instance, it seems that stores in Canada don’t allow dogs.
Before taking your dog to the store, please call ahead. You can also check the door the next time you walk in, as there are usually signs specifying whether or not the store is dog-friendly.
If you’re unsure, you can also try asking employees in person. Please remember to be kind, even if the answer is disappointing–if dogs aren’t allowed, it’s almost certainly not the employees who made the decision.
What Rules do Dogs Have to Follow in Home Depot?
#1: Service Dogs are Always Allowed
It’s illegal for Home Depot to turn away service dogs, and they cannot demand documentation for your dog or ask for details regarding your disability. The only things that anyone at Home Depot can legally ask before allowing your service dog into the building are:
- Whether you require your service dog’s help for a disability, and
- What tasks the dog has been trained to perform.
They can also ask you to leave the store if your service dog does not behave to the standards expected of service animals. For instance, you can’t let them run around or pee in the store.
#2: Home Depot Doesn’t Have to Allow Emotional Support Dogs
Emotional support dogs are much different than service dogs. They cannot be denied housing by your landlord, but they don’t have the right to accompany you in public spaces.
This means that your emotional support dog will be treated like any other pet dog. If dogs are allowed, they can enter; if not, they cannot.
#3: All Dogs Must be on Leash
Unleashed dogs will very likely be kicked out of Home Depot. You should always keep your dog on a short leash directly beside you.
Long lines and especially retractable leashes are dangerous in a store like Home Depot, where there are narrow aisles and many people walking around. Other people can be seriously injured by a leash wrapping around them–they may trip and fall, get leash burn, or face more severe injuries from the leash digging into their skin.
It’s also impolite to let your dog approach strangers without their consent. Many people will want to pet your dog, and it’s okay to say yes if they ask! But nobody should have to walk around your dog to get where they need to go or have a dog jumping on them as they shop!
#4: The Dog Must Behave
Your dog should be well-trained before you bring them into the store. They shouldn’t lurch toward people or dogs walking by but essentially should remain at a “heel” at all times.
They should also have reliable “drop it” and “leave it” cues. There are many things in Home Depot that can seem appealing to dogs, but they shouldn’t be pulling things off the shelves!
#5: Your Dog Should be Potty Trained
This may seem obvious, but it’s very important! You should never let your dog potty in Home Depot. It’s not sanitary, can impact others’ shopping experience, and can ultimately lose the store money. After all, no one wants to shop in a store that smells of urine.
Please remember, also, to give your dog a chance to potty before walking into the store. Even the best-trained dogs can have accidents if they’re asked to hold it for too long.
#6: They Shouldn’t Bother Other Customers
This goes alongside behaving in the store, but your dog shouldn’t be disrupting others’ shopping experience in any way. If they do, it’s likely that a Home Depot employee will ask you to leave.
This includes staying by your side, remaining quiet, and not getting into anything they shouldn’t. It also means not approaching other customers unless they’ve asked to pet them.
#7: Always Clean Up After Your Dog
Your dog shouldn’t cause extra work for Home Depot’s cleaning crew. If they potty in the store, please clean up the mess immediately. The same goes for muddy pawprints, shed fur, etc.
If it’s very muddy outside, you might want to bring wipes to clean your dog’s feet before entering. Or, you can skip the trip to the store or go inside by yourself.
If your dog is shedding heavily, you might also want to skip the trip until the shedding season is over. Some stray hairs are to be expected, but your dog shouldn’t be leaving clumps of fur all around!
#8: Only Bring Vaccinated Dogs into the Store
Home Depot doesn’t have a policy requiring dogs to be vaccinated. However, your dog should be up to date on all of their vaccines before going into public. Otherwise, they could get very sick or spread disease to other dogs in the store.
#9: Spay or Neuter Your Dog Before Visiting
Spaying and neutering also isn’t required by Home Depot but is a responsible thing to do before bringing your dog into public.
While your dog should be under your control and supervision at all times, it can be more difficult to keep intact dogs away from one another. It simply isn’t worth the risk!
#10: Leave Your Dog Home if They’re Sick
Lastly, please leave your dog home if they’re sick. While this isn’t official Home Depot policy, it’s courteous to other dog owners, the staff, and fellow shoppers.
Sick dogs can spread disease and are more likely to have messy accidents in the store. They also need rest, so a store trip isn’t in your dog’s best interest either!
Should You Take Your Dog to Home Depot?
We’ve discussed whether you can bring a dog into Home Depot, but the question remains: do dogs really belong in hardware stores?
Here are some reasons not to bring your dog into Home Depot:
- They’re not socialized. While Home Depot can be a great place to socialize your dog, it certainly isn’t the starting point. There are too many sights, sounds, smells, people, and dogs around. It can be incredibly overwhelming and could backfire, making your dog more fearful of entering public spaces in the future.
- They’re untrained. Only the best-behaved dogs should enter public spaces like Home Depot. If your dog cannot reliably ignore other people, animals, and things or cannot walk calmly at your side, they shouldn’t enter the store.
- They’re unvetted. As stated above, unvaccinated or intact dogs should not be brought into Home Depot, because it’s a risk to themselves and other dogs in the store.
- They get stressed in public. Many dogs don’t want to be in Home Depot. Remember to look for even subtle signs of stress, like lip licking, yawning, or dilated pupils.
- Home Depot can be dangerous for dogs. Consider that there are people carrying large, heavy items throughout the store. Dogs can get in the way, cause tripping hazards, or be hit by said items by mistake.
Some dogs do well in Home Depot and other public spaces, but this typically takes a lot of time and effort from their person. Most dogs would prefer to stay home while you shop, as going to the store can be stressful and overstimulating.
You know your dog best, so please think carefully and make the best decision for them!
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The photo featured at the top of this post is © BearFotos/Shutterstock.com
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