As a dog owner you will know how you need to plan in advance for shopping trips, particularly if you are going to be out all day. But with an increasing number of stores now letting dogs come inside, you can go shopping with your pooch.
But not all stores are dog friendly, despite what you might have heard. One store where there appears to be some confusion is Menards. I decided to find out if Menards is dog friendly and what their official pet policy is.
Does Menards allow dogs?
Are dogs allowed in Menards? The Menards pet policy has recently changed to state that you cannot take your dog into Menards. The only exception to this rule is if you have a service dog. Service dogs are allowed in Menards’ stores.
So, why the recent change to the Menards’ dog friendly pet policy?
The current Menards’ dog policy
It’s all down to the health crisis outbreak of 2020. On April the 1st, Menards announced the following to the press.
“We are no longer able to allow children under the age of 16, nor pets, in any of our stores due to the current health crisis. We absolutely love families but need to lessen the number of people shopping in our stores, and I think it goes without saying that children need to be protected from people.”
I can understand why they made the policy about kids, but don’t really understand the banning of pets and dogs. However, it’s evident the chain has people’s safety at heart, so it has to be a good thing.
It remains to be seen if the Menards’ pet policy will change once life returns to normal.
Are dogs allowed in Menards’ stores normally?
Prior to this announcement, Menards was dog friendly, and permitted people to bring their dogs into the stores providing they were well behaved and on a leash.
Having said that, there wasn’t an actual published pet policy that all stores adhered to. I’ve read comments from Menards’ employees online which makes the whole topic of bringing dogs into Menards very confusing.
For example, one member of staff said this about Menards allowing dogs:
“Technically you are not allowed to bring a dog into Menards, but service dogs are ok. There is no official documentation or signage, I am just going off what my general manager has told me. I’ve been told to ask dog owners at the door if their dog is a service animal, and politely refuse ones who are not.”
If you want to take your dog into the Menards the employee above works at, then you would be out of luck. However, visit the store in the next comment and it’s a completely different story.
“My manager loves dogs coming into the store as long as the owners keep them under control, clean up any mess, and there’s no barking or aggression shown. Some of us even have dog treats to give them and have learnt the names of some of the dogs that are regular customers!”
With the example above, it would appear that there is no real Menards’ dog policy and it changes from store to store.
Based on that, if you do want to bring your dog into Menards, you should either phone ahead or contact them on social media to see what the specific store’s policy is.
Alternatively, the example below is of a Menards’ store that has explicit signage outside stating what their pet policy is:
“Where I work there’s a sign right on the door that says pets aren’t allowed, however we do allow service dogs. But we don’t really say anything about a well-behaved dog. We’d rather they be in the store than left in a hot car. As long as your dog isn’t making a mess we don’t really care. This is only based on the store I work at.”
Preparing for a dog friendly Menards visit
If your local Menards does allow dogs inside, please do be prepared and make sure your dog is going to be well behaved. The kind of things you can do to make sure things go smoothly could be to:
- Make sure your dog is socialized properly to be around loud noises, kids, and other dogs.
- Make sure your dog is trained to not poop and pee indoors.
- Take plenty of dog poop bags and wipes with you in case of an accident.
- Take dog treats with you in case you need to distract your dog from misbehaving.
- Always keep your dog on a shortened leash in Menards.
- Consider muzzling your dog if he has a track record of aggressive behavior.
- Feed your dog before the shopping trip to reduce his hunger and possible scavenging in the store.
Unlike with other large stores, I can’t find any record of a dog attack ever occurring at a Menards’ location. This might account for why the dog policy has historically been quite loose at the stores, depending on where you are.
If you do want to take your dog into a Menards’ store once the health crisis is over, please call ahead, email, or tweet them as it will be different depending on where you are.
However, despite me being a dog person, I don’t actually agree with taking your dog into large stores like this. Lots of people have dog allergies, or are scared of dogs, plus you can never guarantee your dog’s behavior.
You might also like…
I regularly write about the pet policies of stores around the world. Here are a few recent highlights.