As dog owners, we tend to assume that we can’t take our dogs into stores and need to keep them tethered up outside. However, with many stores in the US this isn’t always the case, with some being very dog friendly. You might have heard that Lowes is dog friendly, but that doesn’t necessarily mean you can take your pet inside… the truth is a bit more complicated.
To help get to the bottom of what the Lowes pet policy is, I spoke to some of their employees on Twitter and what I heard was actually quite surprising. Here’s what I discovered about bringing dogs into Lowes.
Does Lowes allow dogs? The official Lowes dog policy states that only service dogs are allowed in the stores. However, many stores and employees have a relaxed attitude towards customers that take a dog into Lowes, rarely asking for proof that the dog is for service or disability support purposes.
Lowes dog policy
An employee of the home improvement store told me the official policy was something like this with regards to any pet.
“From 2012 the Lowes pet policy changed. Dogs are allowed in Lowes providing they are genuine service dogs only, leashed, kept under control, and cleaned up afterwards.”
You might now be quite confused because I am sure you’ve seen lots spoken to people who have said they take their dog into Lowes or seen puppies and pooches in the aisles when you visit.
And you can bet your bottom dollar that many of the dogs you see in the store aren’t certified service dogs.
Lowes pet policy is not always enforced by management
So, why is the dog policy so confusing and applied differently from store to store? To find out, I spoke with some past and present employees to find out why the Lowes dog friendly policy is different depending on where you are.
Here’s what they told me in private messages on social media.
“I worked in in my local store one summer and just assumed that Lowes allow dogs. My manager never told me any different, and we would never ask a dog owner to leave unless their dog was being bad.”
“Lowes is dog friendly depending on what the management team decide for the particular store location. The one I work in does not enforce the service dog rules and in fact I was explicitly told to not even ask when greeting people at the door.”
“I heard a rumor that team leaders say its way too much hassle to ask everyone with a dog if it’s got service dog documentation. I don’t get paid enough anyway to get into an argument with people so just wave them on through.”
“Colleagues of mine actually carry little bags of doggie treats in their aprons. It’s not always that great though, last Easter a dog messed in the drywall aisle and it wasn’t reported and cleaned up. For 30 minutes customers were running carts all through it!”
As you can see, many Lowes are very dog friendly, and it appears that not many of them will enforce the service dog policy.
Lowes is pet friendly depending on where you are
There is no up to date list of which stores are more pet friendly than others.
The bottom line is that you should really call ahead to find out whether your local Lowes allows dog in, as it will be a management decision.
Reports of dog attacks in Lowes stores
You might then wonder why there is such a lax attitude towards dogs being allowed in Lowes. Surely there are insurance and liability issues at stake? For example, if a dog was to bite or attack someone in store, Lowes could be in big trouble.
And the thing is, this has happened.
In 2014, a dog owner was arrested after his pet Akita attacked a toddler in the Murrieta branch of Lowes in Canada. The bites were extremely serious, resulting in the young child having 50 stitches. You can read a report of the incident on the LA CBS Local website.
According to subsequent press reports I read, Lowes was sued although I don’t know how the lawsuit ended. This does bring me back to the earlier point though, of why the policy on service dogs only isn’t enforced better?
I found a comment on a forum which probably ring true on why so many dogs are allowed in Lowes without being checked:
“I would guess it is because they have done a market survey and find that the minimal risk and increased insurance costs are offset by customer satisfaction and loyalty. I hate most of the practices of Lowes and avoid the place whenever, but I support their allowing of dogs in their stores.”
Another commenter on the same thread was also asked why owners can take dogs in Lowes without proving it’s a service dog:
“My guess is that my store allows leashed dogs because corporate caters to veterans with discounts, special publications oriented toward veterans, even designated parking.”
The famous Lowes service dog
On the subject of only service dogs being allowed in Lowes, in 2016 the store made the news after employing a military veteran and his dog. The disabled veteran had been supported by Charlotte the dog for 10 years and asked during his interview if this would prevent him getting a job at the home improvement store.
Proving that the service dog friendly Lowes pet policy is well and truly thriving, the Texas store employed the veteran and his dog. Charlotte the Golden Retriever even gets to wear her own Lowes branded vest as an “official” employee.
You can see more about this in the video from CBS News below.
Reviews from customers who love Home Depot’s pet friendly policy
As you would expect, many pet owners are more than happy that Lowes allow dogs inside. In fact, some of them go so far as to actually leave glowing reviews about the fact. Here are a just a few I’ve found from the last few years.
“I love your company’s dog policy. On hot summer days, it means I don’t need to drive home first to drop her off, I can just bring her in with me, saving me an extra trip!”
“They have a great selection of products in various categories. They do price matching which is a must these days even buying expensive items. Competitive prices. I could honestly live in Lowes. And they allow you to take your dog in! Which is a plus!”
But some are not happy that Lowes allows dogs
Of course, not everyone is going to be pleased that Lowes is dog friendly. Here are some comments from people who don’t think dogs should be allowed inside the store.
“The store is so dirty, the floors are clean, and it smells like dog poop right throughout the store. Dogs should not be allowed in Lowes, please reconsider the decision as I won’t come back until you do.”
“My little girl is scared of dogs so has to stay in the car with my wife whenever I come to your store. I think that the fact that dogs are allowed in Lowes in scandalous and shows how little respect you have for customers who find it problematic.”
As a dog owner and lover, I do question why people take dogs into Lowes, as it’s not something I would do for a number of reasons.
Firstly, I don’t own a service dog. Secondly, despite how well behaved my dog is, I have no guarantees of what he might do. It could be a lawsuit waiting to happen due to the risks involved.
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I regularly write about company policies towards pets, some of which you can read below: