In 2019, Lowe’s only came behind Home Depot in sales, cementing its place as the second-largest seller in the American hardware and home improvement market. With over 1975 locations worldwide, Lowes stores form a considerable part of our shopping lives. However, dog owners would like to take their dogs to Lowe’s stores, shopping with them. There arises the big question: are dogs allowed in Lowe’s?
Going by Lowe’s official dog policy, only service dogs can come into stores with their owners. While this policy is clear, the interpretation and execution of Lowe’s store staff have been loose and varied. In some cases, Lowe’s staff allow customers to bring that dog into the stores without asking if the dog has service duties or is for disability purposes.
Having established this, let us dig deeper into how this law applies across Lowes stores, how to prepare your dog for shopping and if there has been cases of dog attacks in Lowes stores.
Lowe’s Dog Policy
Lowe’s official dog policy changed in 2012. With the current policy in place, only service animals should get into the store. But the execution of this policy varies from one store location to another.
Some Lowe’s staff would allow you to bring your pet in to shop with you, provided the pet is well behaved and doesn’t constitute a nuisance at the store.
In such cases where Lowe’s dog policy is not religiously applied, you would be required to put your pet on a leash or carry it personally across the store.
While in the store with your dog, you would be held responsible for your dog’s actions. This means controlling your dog and cleaning up after them if need be.
Does It Vary By Lowes Store Location?
The application of Lowe’s dog policy tends to vary from one store to another. In most cases, the policy’s application depends on how that specific store manager interprets the policy.
Some would allow you to bring in your dog but wouldn’t go as far as requesting proof that it is a service dog. Due to Lowe’s dog policy’s varying application, customers prefer to bring that dogs along with them for shopping and see for themselves if the dogs are allowed in or not.
Aside from management, there appears to be confusion on the part of the store employees regarding what Lowe’s official dog policy really means. In most cases, unless the frontline employees are given an absolute order from the management, they may allow customers to bring dogs in.
That one Lowe’s store allows you to bring your dog in doesn’t necessarily translate into another store allowing you the same privileges. In most cases, it suits you better to call the store’s management and personally inquire about bringing your dog along to the store.
This would save you the ugly situation of bringing your dog along with you, only to leave it back in your car.
Preparation Before You Bring Your Dog to Lowe’s
Remember, in situations where customers are allowed to bring in dogs that are not service dogs, it is required that such dogs are well behaved. This requires you to prepare your dog for the outing, keeping it in optimal conditions so as not to disrupt the store.
How do you get your dog ready for the Lowe store visit?
Start by Calling the Local Lowe Store
Yes, Lowe’s stores have a fine reputation for being pet friendly. But don’t assume too hurriedly that the store in your locality wouldn’t mind you bringing your dog along.
Due diligence requires you to put a call across to them first before bringing your dog along. This is regardless of a particular store having allowed you to bring your dog along in the past.
Remember that these rules tend to change often. It is embarrassing and discomfiting to have driven all that distance only to be refused entry into the Lowe’s store.
Get Your Dog Used to Sound
Not all dogs are used to sounds and busy environments. Some dogs get hyperactive in noisy environments or when they come across a crowd of people and possibly other pets. Other dogs could get aggressive.
Lowe’s stores are known for their busyness, so it is unlikely that your dog would be meeting an empty house when you go shopping at Lowe.
There will be crowds of shoppers, blaring loudspeakers, and even forklifts scattered around. This emphasizes the importance of acclimatizing your dog to such busy and noisy places. Indeed, it could be overwhelming for your dog if they’re not used to it.
You want to get your dog prepared for the shopping experience at Lowe by exposing it to sounds, varying scents, and sights. This ensures they are yet comported when they go to Lowe’s with you.
Also, you’ll be exposing your dog to various sights, sounds, and scents.
This helps to desensitize your dog ahead of being exposed to such an environment at Lowe’s. You could play a sound recording for them that is not excessively loud to startle.
Depending on your dog’s reaction, you could progressively increase the volume. This will help adapt its sensitivity to what awaits it at Lowe’s.
Should You Bring a Reactive Dog Along?
There are situations where your dog is excessively reactive. This is common when your dog is stressed, agitated, or labored.
In such situations, your dog’s tolerance levels are naturally on a low, and your dog could be quick to aggression, even as far as biting.
When this happens, it is best to leave your dog back at home and let it recover its warmth and friendly demeanor before bringing it out.
It is also not wise to take a dog you just adopted (who hasn’t gotten used to you) shopping at Lowe. First, the dog could be hostile and may not be yet subservient to your authority, making it harder for you to control it at the store.
Tips When Shopping at Lowe’s With Your Dog
When you get your dog into the Lowe’s store, how do you ensure your canine friend doesn’t spoil the show?
Follow the Rules
In cases where you and your dog are given a relatively free pass into Lowe’s, there could be ground rules you would need to stick to.
Some of Lowe’s stores demand that your dog is always leashed during your time at the store. Others stipulate how far your dog should be from you at most.
Other stores require that your dog must be up to date on all necessary vaccines before it is allowed into the store. You must stick to the rules. It definitely makes life easier for everyone.
Ensure That Your Dog Doesn’t Create a Nuisance
There is one thing you can be sure of: the moment your dog starts constituting a nuisance, you will be shown the door if you fail to restrain it. Therefore, your dog must be well-behaved for the period you both are in the store.
It would be hugely beneficial if you have passed your dog through basic obedience training so they can promptly respond to orders like “sit”, “stop”, or “stand”.
Your dog can also be easily carried away with the buzz and activity around it. Therefore it helps to keep it focused on you.
Always Watch Out Your Space
You can’t afford to be carried away also when shopping with your dog. You have to be more conscious of your environment concerning how it may affect your dog.
While shopping, you have to watch out for how your dog responds to strangers or its fellow pets. Is it getting startled when people walk close to it? Is it getting hostile?
How is it interacting with the other pets – say dogs – around the store? Is their aggression between them, or are they rather cozying up too much?
Once you notice the environment becoming negative, in terms of your dog becoming stressed or hostile, it makes sense to take your dog away from that scenario or altogether terminate your shopping and go home with your dog.
Be Ready to Clean Your Dog’s Mess
Of course, some dogs can be really nasty outdoors. Regardless of being outdoors, some dogs can make a mess when they go shopping with you at Lowe’s.
For many dogs, they impulsively defecate or even urinate in areas they are not used to. This is not unconnected to them marking their territory.
Yes, this can happen at Lowe’s too, and if it does, you can expect the staff to hold you responsible. To avoid such scenarios, you can get your dog to ease itself and poo before going shopping.
And in such inevitable moments when your dog makes a mess at Lowe’s store, it helps to be forearmed with pee pad sand poop bags to clean the mess.
Don’t Forget the Kids
Dogs are infamously enthusiastic about kids, and vice versa. Dogs love attention from kids.
It is normal for your dog to be attracted to kids at Lowe’s store, attempting to lick them or even nudge them. On the other hand, the kids at Lowes could want to play with your dog.
You want to ensure you are on top of the situation, so things don’t escalate into a nuisance. Your dog, in an extreme obsession with a kid, could end up pestering the kid. Conversely, your dog could be unwelcoming to the playful advances of a kid, getting aggressive in the process.
Always ensure you are watching how your dog interacts with kids at the store. Sounding like a lot of work already?
Dog Attacks in Lowes Stores
Truth is, there have been a handful of incidences of dog attacks in Lowe’s stores. Definitely, this is not unnatural. Despite the level of care and caution exercised, there are sure to be those isolated cases where things go haywire, and your dog attacks a customer or so.
One of the most infamous biting incidents at Lowe’s stores happened in Murrieta, California, on December 28, 2013. This was when Chester, a purebred Akita (almost 3 years old), mauled a little boy of barely 3 years.
So severe was the attack that the boy was left with 50 stitches due to the resulting injury. Robert Steven Kahn, the Akita’s owner, apologized hastily to the boy’s family and left the store.
But that wouldn’t do. The police authorities tracked Robert and arrested him, with Animal Control impounding the dog, passing it on to an Akita rescue group.
Investigations revealed that Chester had quite a penchant for biting people. Before the attack at Muriel, Chester had already been involved in two biting attacks. In one of those, Chester had bitten a toddler at a Home Depot Store.
Aside from the Robert Steven incident, another biting incident was reported on March 24, 2019, at a Lowe’s location at South Tunnel Road, North Carolina. This time, the injuries were far less severe, although the dog owner fled.