Thursday, March 27, 2008

Pets in Lowe's and Home Depot...Who Knew?

I saw some dogs in Home Depot a few weeks ago and was surprised to learn they are allowed in on leash. I've not seen any dogs in there before, and I've never seen one at Lowe's. I'm in the middle of a major home improvement project and I prefer Lowe's, so I was hoping they had a policy to allow pets in as well...and they do! If they didn't, I would have switched to Home Depot, as I have to keep an eye on Callie until we know what is up with her condition. Last time I went to Lowe's without her coming in, she had a seizure in the parking lot so I vowed not to leave her int he car again longer that a few (less than 10) minutes.

The first time we went into Lowe's together Callie was THRILLED. We came across an older, slightly bow-legged rancher looking guy who looked down in surprise and said "You can't have dogs in here!" to which I replied, "Yes, you can." He sort of harrumphed and we walked on. As we were coming out of an aisle a few minutes later I noticed the old guy coming in the front door - with his old black lab dog!! I thought that was great! He went out and got his dog to join him!

Callie has a fan club at Lowe's. Several of the workers fawn on her and call her "dog therapy," and of course she soaks up their affections, presenting herself for tummy rubs and going down the receiving line of people waiting to pet her. She has been extremely well-behaved in the store. A clerk commented to me that Callie behaved better than most children in the store - I could not agree more. We got a death glare from a mean lady in the paint section, but otherwise have had a warm welcome at Lowe's.

I am using the store time to work on "turn right" and "turn left" commands, and Callie seems to be getting that concept. This is very handy when steering a cart with one hand and holding a dog leash in the other. She never puts her paws on the counter unless invited to do so (which she has been twice now). It's great fun taking her shopping and I wish more stores allowed pets in. Pet stores do, including Petco and Petsmart, and I believe Zamzows. Grocery stores of course won't, probably some health code thing. (I wish Callie could pass as a service dog!).

Being able to take Callie has made my home improvement project a lot easier and a lot less worry and I am really grateful that someone got the bright idea to allow dogs into home improvement stores. If you don't already take your dog, start! I never knew it was allowed before.

15 comments:

Anonymous said...

Is the dogs allowed policy a nationwide thing? Cause that would be wonderful. We actually have a petsmart and a Home Depot right next door to eachother so it would be so convenient.

Esmae said...

It's probably nationwide, but I am not positive. Call your local store to verify their pet policy, they should tell you. It is always nice to take the dogs on a shopping outing!

glistam said...

They're ok in Maryland too. I carry my dog in a backpack though for safety (he's a Iggy and may get stepped on).

My state generally has laws against dogs indoors at places that are licensed to sell food, but no other laws (stores can make their own rules though). Of course, if you know medicine these laws are based on superstition, not true science (therapy dogs go to hospitals all the time).

Anonymous said...

WATCH OUT - PROTECT YOUR PET - not sure if it is a new nationwide policy at HD - no pets allowed anymore. At my store in AZ where I used to take my 60lb guy so often half of the staff would stop and greet him by name, pet him and when I came without him ask where he was. No one told me the policy changed.
Then one unsuspecting day some 6ft guy's aggressive pit mix jumped out of his cart and bit my guy. The man got a full strength hard kick into my guy's ribs before he took off and yelled at me threatening me across the garden center for 5 minutes while also screaming at his wife. Of course this all made me thing he kicks his dog (or he would not have been so fast to have been able to get that kick in since mine took off like lightning to escape and he runs like a deer. When people rushed over to see if he and I were ok one lady suggested I get someone to go get the man's license plate. I really appreciated her compassion and support but hmmm this is Arizona - the guy probably has a concealed weapons permit - no thanks.

Ok so back to HOME DEPOT and why I think they have any responsibility in the event - just some crazy man I could have run into on some street - not their fault - agreed. But the manager's response - what a butthead! When he eventually saunters over to the victim 1 - he first told there was a no pet policy and there was a sign. I was so shaken I did not tell him half his staff had greeted my pooch THAT day and none had told us of the policy change you butthead. 2 - Even after I told him without prompting I was not going to sue the store b/c the crazy man was not his responsibility, he did not bother to ask me if I was ok even though both my dog and I were visibly shaking. What a nice human experience. Avoidance of liability does not mean lack of humanity.

BTW I have driven by to see about the big sign he said was posted - and guess what- it is a stupid handmade sign on a piece of cheap posterboard in colored markers - not even the fat dark ones - that looks like his kids made it and slides behind the home depot sign when the doors open for pete's sake!
So protect your pet - be sure they are allowed - and watch out for crazy people.

BTW REI says they have a national no pet policy - much to their own disappointment due to owner bad behavior - leaving dog droppings in the store and not cleaning up - how we (the lovely HD customer included) trash our own privileges - sad!

Anonymous said...

If you love your pet, please DON'T bring them to The Home Depot, Lowes or any other 'wharehouse' style business. Speaking as a THD employee of 4 years now, every day I walk past a 2'x3' sticker posted at every door for your (and your pet's)safety...Shoes Required, No Smoking, No Riding on Carts, and NO PETS EXCEPT SERVICE ANIMALS. This is for your safety! Wharehouse style businesses like THD are dangerous places--sadly numberous poeple have lost their lives in accidents inside THD. While these accidents are thankfully extremely rare, do you think the family members are consoled in their loss because it was a so called 'freak' accident? Daddy is just as dead, a family has still lost a daughter. Please ask yourself this question: If your beloved pet unexpectedly jumped out of your cart and darted under a 5000lb forklift at just exactly the right moment to be injured, and then on your way out the door you saw the no pet policy clearly posted, and then came to find out that all THD employees knew of the policy but did nothing to mention it to you, how would you feel? Perhaps I am being selfish, but I don't want to imagine being put in the position of having to tell a valued customer, "I'm sorry your dog was injured ma'am, but she shouldn't have been in the store in the first place, the sticker's on the door." Would you not feel that it was the responsibility of every THD employee (especially those who love our pets) to inform you of this safety policy before an accident occurs?

I apologize if my tone sounds harsh, but I am a pet lover who works in a store where I am told to ignore this safety policy by my manager...and I clearly disagree. Not to punish pet owners or their pets, but to protect them.

Anonymous said...

If you love your pet, please DON'T bring them to The Home Depot, Lowes or any other 'wharehouse' style business. Speaking as a THD employee of 4 years now, every day I walk past a 2'x3' sticker posted at every door for your (and your pet's)safety...Shoes Required, No Smoking, No Riding on Carts, and NO PETS EXCEPT SERVICE ANIMALS. This is for your safety! Wharehouse style businesses like THD are dangerous places--sadly numberous poeple have lost their lives in accidents inside THD. While these accidents are thankfully extremely rare, do you think the family members are consoled in their loss because it was a so called 'freak' accident? Daddy is just as dead, a family has still lost a daughter. Please ask yourself this question: If your beloved pet unexpectedly jumped out of your cart and darted under a 5000lb forklift at just exactly the right moment to be injured, and then on your way out the door you saw the no pet policy clearly posted, and then came to find out that all THD employees knew of the policy but did nothing to mention it to you, how would you feel? Perhaps I am being selfish, but I don't want to imagine being put in the position of having to tell a valued customer, "I'm sorry your dog was injured ma'am, but she shouldn't have been in the store in the first place, the sticker's on the door." Would you not feel that it was the responsibility of every THD employee (especially those who love our pets) to inform you of this safety policy before an accident occurs?

I apologize if my tone sounds harsh, but I am a pet lover who works in a store where I am told to ignore this safety policy by my manager...and I clearly disagree. Not to punish pet owners or their pets, but to protect them.

Esmae said...

I'm not advocating taking dogs where they aren't welcome. My local Home Depot and Lowe's ALLOW them. I will certainly keep them on a leash and under control and near me - and I don't feel they are at any greater risk of injury shopping there than I am so long as they are properly handled. I do agree that where stores post no dogs, none should enter.

Anonymous said...

As a non-dog-loving shopper, I hate seeing dogs in the store. One night we were at Home Depot and two different 100#+ dogs were in the store, neither on a leash and both came over to "get to know" me. I had a terrible experience with a big dog when I was young and don't expect to have to relive that or even come close at the local Home Depot. Another time at the Farmer's Market my husband and I sat down to eat and a German shepherd came over and stuck his nose in my plate. I asked the owner to please get her dog out of my food and she had several rude remarks to make about my not liking dogs. Pet owners please remember that not everyone likes your dog.

Esmae said...

It's unfortunate that a few dog owners will be irresponsible and not keep their dogs under control, but most who care enough to take their dogs out with them will leash them in stores and other public places.

I can understand not liking dogs based on bad experience, and it;s reasonable to expect owners to keep dogs under control. However, part of living in society involves having to deal with things we don't like. Just as you have bad dog stories you probably have even more bad kid stories - kids screaming, running out of control, throwing food in restaurants, making rude comments, etc. Bad parents let their kids act that way, and there are bad dog parents as well as bad kid parents.

Someone close to has lost several children and she feels a lot of emotional pain at times seeing babies or kids, but she can either face that or become a hermit. I regret that sh has a hard time, and I'm sorry you do with dogs, but in a free society there will always be some tradeoffs. Hopefully you can make owners aware of WHY they should leash in public, but not advocate banning dogs who are responsibly managed.

I never let my dog greet someone in the elevator or other crowded public place without asking them if they mind - it's easy to tell who likes and doesn't like dogs.

Mat said...

My son is so allergic to dogs and cats that if he comes in contact with one it means an emergency room visit. I should be able to shop at my local hardware store without worrying about this. Please do not bring your pets to the store. Be considerate to people who can not be around them.

Esmae said...

Allergies are a real problem. A friend of mine is very allergic to perfumes and colognes and has real trouble in any elevator or confined public space where those are present. The solution is not to ban all perfumes though. The solution is he has to be careful where he goes and be alert to perfumes so he can avoid them and not come in close or prolonged contact.

MOST hardware stores don't allow pets so there is absolutely no question that you can go to the local hardware store without worrying about allergies to pets. You can probably even go to Lowe's and Home Depot and just be careful to avoid them. While I am sympathetic to people with allergies and I certainly control my pets so they don't interact with anyone who does not want to interact with them, as a society I don't think it's unreasonable to have some places that allow pets, including stores. Bringing your dog someplace doesn't mean you don't care about people with allergies. It's not reasonable to expect people to always leave pets at home because a few people have severe allergies; it makes more sense for those few people to exercise caution.

Steve said...

I used to take our small dog to HD and Lowes all the time. She loves it, and I always keep her in the cart, on a leash, and under my control.

Recently when visiting one of the two HD stores near me I noticed they had put a no-pets sign in the window. I haven't been to the other store yet to see if they have a similar policy. I am quite sure the sign and policy at the store are new. I looked for a sign before taking her in there once before and could not find it.

If HD and Lowes ban my little dog, I will most definitely shop someplace else.

Anonymous said...

I was at PetCo yesterday and a clerk asked if I knew that dogs were allowed in Home Depot. I didn't, so today I went into Home Depot and asked. They confirmed that dogs ARE allowed and people bring them in all the time (Kansas City area). I'm there once a week and have never seen a dog in there. I will start taking mine though. I will also check with our Lowes

Anonymous said...

To Mat,the Father of the allergic child...No offense..but there are ALOT more toxic and potentially dangerous items in your local hardware store than a dog on a leash.Being in the medical profession,I advise you and your child to walk the other way if you see a dog,not demand that they be banned.Your child has to come in contact with it (or be in very close proximity) to have a severe reaction.Calm down.

Anonymous said...

To Mat, banning dogs won't solve the problem. As the previous poster stated, just turn the other way or avoid the animal. You can ban pets but you can ban service dogs or other working animals in training. You'll still run into the same problem, and it's illegal to ban service animals.
Anyway I just brought my cat (yes Cat) to HD for the first time today, and everyone loved her. She loved being pushed in the cart. She was well behaved until we got outside again and she jumped out of the cart. More then half the staff gave her pets and were excited to see a cat in the store since they always see dogs. Even customers turned to look at the sight. I saw no sign on the doors but one employee did say pets shouldnt be in there but said it's not a strict rule as long as they are well behaved and in a cart.
I have always seen more pets in Lowes then I have in HD. I say as long as the animal is behaved and just sits quietly in a cart then why not? Large dogs can be a hassle and can get in the way but like i said, if they behave then they should go. My dog is large but is excitable around people so I dont bring him.