Surprise! Your Pet Is Welcome! Unexpected Places that Do Allow Pets

It’s common knowledge that pets are welcome at dog parks, most people parks, and most pet stores. Beyond that, however, the world can sometimes seem a little unfriendly to pet parents who would like to bring their furry best friends along everywhere possible. What many pet parents don’t realize is that their pets are welcome in more places than they might think.

We’ve come up with a list of surprising places that have been known to welcome pets. Keep in mind that every company and venue has different rules and regulations, so it’s important to call ahead to ascertain that you can bring your pet before you show up to any specific place. It’s also important to remember that no matter where you go with your pet, he must be happy, friendly, leashed and under your control at all times.

Drive-In Movies

Watching a favorite movie on the couch with your furry best friend is a great way to spend an evening at home. But if you’re looking to get out and have some fun, why not take your pet with you to enjoy an outdoor retro movie experience? Many drive-ins allow you to pull up with your pooch. You can enjoy some popcorn while he snacks on dog treats from home. You’ll love the movie, and he’ll love hanging out with you and taking in the sights and sounds of a new place.

Department Stores

Believe it or not, a number of department stores do allow people to bring their pets along on their shopping trips. Bloomingdale’s, Nordstrom, the Gap, Old Navy and Banana Republic have all been known to welcome pets through their doors. Both Lowe’s and Home Depot are well-known for their pet friendly atmosphere, and pet parents have enjoyed taking their pets along on trips to smaller stores like Michael’s, Marshalls and Bed Bath and Beyond.


Taking a quick run to the bank? You don’t necessarily have to leave your pet behind. There are a number of banks that allow pets to come in with you during your visit…and we don’t just mean the drive-thru window either. We mean inside the bank. Notably TD Bank actively promotes their dog friendly branches – in fact you’ll find signs in their windows that say “Paws Here. Bring your dog in for a treat.”

Day Spa/Hair Salon

If you could use some pampering yourself, you may be surprised to find that your pet can relax along with you at your favorite spa or salon. Many spas and salons will allow your (well-behaved) pet to keep you company during your visit – it’s just a matter of asking.

Baseball Games

Baseball games are an American summertime staple, and a fun way to spend an afternoon. They’re even more fun when your pet tags along. Many stadiums allow dogs, and most dogs find the smells, sights and sounds of an old-fashioned baseball game truly irresistible.


While pets aren’t allowed inside restaurants for health code reasons, hundreds of restaurants across the country allow them in their outdoor dining areas. Some restaurants even go the extra mile and offer doggie menus or special doggie treats. can help you find great pet friendly restaurants in your area – you may be surprised to find you can take Fido to one of your favorite eateries – or you may find a new favorite spot you both love.

Flea Markets/Outdoor Fairs and Festivals

Flea markets, fairs and festivals are fantastic places to take your pet, as there are so many interesting things to see and do for both of you. You’ll enjoy the festivities, and your pet will love people watching, meeting and greeting with kids and grown-up pet lovers, socializing with other pets and taking in all of the delicious smells in the air. Most outdoor flea markets and fairs allow pets, and some indoor ones are pet friendly as well. Just make sure your pet is well-socialized and can handle being around loud noises and large crowds.

Car Dealerships

Bringing your car to the dealer to be serviced can be a pretty dull endeavor. Bringing your pet along with you is a great way to stay entertained and enjoy some quality time together. Many dealerships will welcome both you and Fido – just call ahead to be sure.

This list isn’t exhaustive. There are many other places that may very well allow you to bring your pet. Keep an eye out for people on the go along with their furry friends, and inquire about pet friendly policies at any place you think might make a fun outing for you both. It never hurts to ask, and you might discover some new favorite spots around town.

About is the premier online pet friendly travel guide — providing online reservations at over 30,000 pet friendly hotels & accommodations across the U.S. and Canada. When planning a trip, pet parents go to for detailed, up-to-date information on hotel pet policies and pet amenities. also features airline & car rental pet policies, pet friendly activities, a user-friendly search-by-route option, as well as pet travel gear.

About the Author
Kim Salerno is the President & Founder of She founded the pet travel site in 2003 and is an expert in the field of pet travel. Her popular web site features pet friendly hotels & accommodations across the US and Canada, along with other helpful pet travel resources. Her mission is to ensure that pets are welcome, happy, and safe in their travels.

Leave a Comment