Leave Fido at Home! 10 Reasons Why You Should Never Bring Your Dog to the Store

Two Images of Dogs in Relation to Stores, One in a Pet Store With Owner and the Other Sitting Outside a Store

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Two Images of Dogs in Relation to Stores, One in a Pet Store With Owner and the Other Sitting Outside a Store
Cheapism / Capuski/istockphoto / Kiara Bloom/istockphoto

Leave Fido at Home!

They say that a dog is a man’s best friend, and some people take that literally. They’ll bring their dog everywhere, even if that means breaking the rules. But sometimes bringing your dog isn't the best thing for them— or for you.

In many cases, bringing your dog can result in huge negative consequences that you may not anticipate. Keep reading to see the top 10 reasons to leave your dog at home.

Related: 12 Mistakes You're Making at the Dog Park

Two Dogs Having a Play Fight in a Store, With Two Different Owners
Aleksei Andreev/istockphoto

1. Potentially Put Service Dogs at Risk

If your dog doesn’t always get along with other animals, it’s best to leave them at home. Many people have to bring their service dogs with them to the store. If your dog reacts negatively to a service dog, it could harm that dog’s ability to protect and help their owner.

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'No Furry Loved Ones' Sign in Front of Antique Shop, Dog Laying the Foreground Outside
Kiara Bloom/istockphoto

2. Not Allowed

One of the best reasons to leave your precious pooch at home? Many retailers do not allow dogs unless they are specifically service dogs. Yes, that means that emotional support animals usually don’t count.

If you don’t have a service dog, there is a strong possibility that your animal won't be welcome in the store. If that happens, you’ll have to either go home and come back without them or leave them in the car which can be dangerous on a hot day, even with the windows down. 

Related: 36 Popular Dog Breeds That Don't Shed

Child Allergic to Grey Dog, Both Laying on Beige Carpet

3. People Have Allergies

Research shows that up to 20% of the global population is allergic to dogs and cats. While some people only get a runny nose or red eyes, others can get seriously ill.

If you bring your dog to a place that doesn’t normally have animals, you could be putting other customers at risk for a severe allergic reaction. That isn’t only unfair but also dangerous; so leave Fido at home!

Jack Russell Terrier Just Bit a Happy Little Girl Running, Both Outside

4. Dogs Can be a Liability With Kids

Kids love dogs, but the reverse isn’t always true. Some dogs are scared of kids or get so excited, they jump up all over them.

When that happens, you’re taking the risk of a dog hurting a child, and it doesn't matter if it’s a complete accident. Even if the child does something inconsiderate like startling the dog or putting their hands inside the dog’s mouth, the dog owner is still responsible.

Related: 7 Things You Should Never Let Your Dog Do in Public

Senior Man Standing in Pet Shop With Miniature Pinscher Dog on Leash, Dog in the Foreground

5. Even Leashed Animals Can Damage Items

Dogs with a well-intentioned owner can also cause a problem at the store. Animals are clumsy and your pet could knock over products including breakables.

Unless your dog is held securely in a purse or backpack, there’s a chance they can escape your control and run into a display rack. If they damage or break any items, you may be paying for them.

Small Dog Standing Up Sniffing a Golden Retriever Dog in a Shopping Cart in a Pet Store

6. It's Hard to Manage a Shopping Cart and a Dog

While it may seem fun to bring your dog on shopping adventures, wrangling an animal along with a large shopping cart can be a disaster waiting to happen.

Browsing with a shopping cart and a dog on a leash is almost like a Marx Brothers skit. It might look fun or cute, but it can just be a hassle and make the shopping experience too stressful.

Related: The Most Popular Dog Breeds in America

Person Serving a Piece of Pumpkin Pie, Dog Sniffing It at an Outside Table
Ilona Shorokhova/istockphoto

7. Pets Are Not Hygienic Around Food

When you go to the grocery store, you expect that the produce will be fresh and free of dog slobber. If you take your pooch to the store, they may be tempted to sample the goods.

Who knows what would make your dog lick a random apple or take a bite out of a head of lettuce. Even if you don’t mind getting kisses from your pooch, the other customers probably don’t want dog saliva on their produce.

Half-Gallon of Milk Spilled on Floor in Dairy Aisle of Grocery Store

8. They Could Have an Accident

Even if your dog never has accidents at home, it’s entirely possible for your pup to have an accident that results in a cleanup-on-aisle-12 situation.

You can’t ever predict what will trigger a dog to — ahem, relieve themselves — inside. Who wants to deal with the embarrassment of asking a store employee for a bunch of paper towels or worse cleaning it up? Even if you take your dog outside before going to the store, predicting what smells will inspire them to potty is nearly impossible.

Related: 14 Cute Dog Breeds That Make Terrible Pets

Closeup of Sick Dog Waking Up on the Floor at Vet, Vet Helping Dog

9. Can Get Accidentally Hurt

As a dog lover, I know that my pups are the most important thing to me. I also know that they’re smarter and sneakier than I give them credit for. I’ve learned the hard way that dogs can grab food that’s bad for them faster than you think.

Many stores are filled with poisonous products for dogs that they can easily access. That bucket of dirty bleach water or display of dark chocolate bars? It can take your dog less than a few seconds to eat something dangerous while you’re busy browsing.

Bichon Frise and Apricot Poodle Dogs Playing in a Dog Park

10. It Can Make Dog Training Worse

When you have a dog, exposing them to different people and dogs is key when it comes to socializing. It’s best to do this gradually and in areas where you can control your dog in case something goes wrong.

A crowded store isn’t the place to socialize your dog. There are too many unpredictable variables that can stress a dog who isn’t used to that many people. Instead, take them to the dog park or enroll them in obedience classes.

Related: 20 Ways People Waste Money on Pets