Surprise! Your Pet Is Welcome! Unexpected Places that Have Allowed Pets

Goodnewsforpets20 Highlight

A 20th Anniversary Highlight

As we continue to celebrate our 20th anniversary, Goodnewsforpets looks back on our most popular posts. This was one of them from! Originally posted in 2014, it was common knowledge then that pets were welcome at dog parks, most people parks, and many stores. But did you know about some of these other places? 

Of course, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, your pet should be staying close to you and avoiding crowds.  Click here to learn more about what the AVMA has reported about pets and COVID-19. Click here to read the article we wrote on the latest news involving COVID-19. 

That said, we wanted to share this post with our community for the post-pandemic era. What many pet parents don’t realize is  that their pets will probably be welcome in more places than they might think. Stay tuned!

When we first wrote the post we came 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 whether you read this post during the pandemic or post-pandemic it’s always 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 or she 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, you could take your pet with you to enjoy an outdoor retro movie experience. Many drive-ins allowed you to pull up with your pooch. You could enjoy some popcorn while he snacks on dog treats from home. To make the experience even better, why not bake some homemade dog treats for your new adventure? This cookbook for dogs is a great way to make sure you’re feeding your pup some delicious treats.  Are any of your local drive-in theaters open and allowing dogs to tag along?

Department Stores

Prior to the pandemic a number of department stores allowed people to bring their pets along on their shopping trips. While you can’t bring your pup in the store right now, there’s no reason a pup can’t go on a trip, properly secured. You can click here to check out one of our favorite pet carriers made by Frisco to easily carry your pet around. Bloomingdale’s, Nordstrom, Gap, Old Navy and Banana Republic have all been known to welcome pets through their doors. Both Lowe’s and Home Depot were well-known for their pet friendly atmosphere, and pet parents have enjoyed taking their pets along on trips to smaller stores like Michael’s, Marshall’s and Bed Bath and Beyond. Did you take your pet in any of these stores before the pandemic? Have any adventures to share?


Taking a quick run to the bank? You would not want to bring your pup in the bank, but nor would you want to make an unnecessary trip  yourself. Again, no reason to leave your pet behind if you are going through a drive through and your pup is properly secured. A great way to assure this is by purchasing a harness for your dog so they can always be prepared to go on a new adventure. This Sleepypod safety harness is a great product to have! To keep your pup comfy in the car, check out this article we wrote detailing a convenient paw blanket & pet pillow sure to make your furry friend comfortable.

Post pandemic, we’re sure it’ll be harder to leave your pup behind since they’ve been so used to having you home. 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 was actively promotes their dog friendly branches – in fact you’d find signs in their windows that say “Paws Here. Bring your dog in for a treat.” What will be there post-pandemic stance? Stay tuned!

Day Spa/Hair Salon

It will probably be a long time before we see pets back in day spas and hair salons. If you could use some pampering yourself, you may be surprised to find that your pet could relax along with you at your favorite spa or salon. Many spas and salons allowed your (well-behaved) pet to keep you company during your visit – it was just a matter of asking. We’re hoping those days aren’t over. And if you have to leave your pet behind, Here’s a great plush toy to bring along to keep your furry friend occupied.

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 before the pandemic allowed dogs, and most dogs find the smells, sights and sounds of an old-fashioned baseball game truly irresistible. Let’s hope this great practice comes back — and baseball too!


Although pets are not allowed inside restaurants for health code reasons, hundreds of restaurants across the country allowed them in their outdoor dining areas. Some restaurants even went the extra mile and offered doggie menus or special doggie treats. You could even bring your pup some goodies so they could dine with you! We love these peanut butter & banana flavor dog treats that are perfect for a special night even if it’s snuggling in with your pup. can help you find great pet friendly restaurants in your area – you may be surprised to find out you can take pets 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 were fantastic places to take your pet, as there are so many interesting things to see and do for both of you. You could enjoy the festivities, and your pet loved 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 allowed pets, and some indoor ones are pet friendly as well.  Once this is allowed, just make sure your pet is well-socialized and can handle being around loud noises and large crowds. And if your dog does decide to do its’ business while your roaming around outside, here are some affordable and sustainable environmentally friendly bags to help clean it up. Always be prepared for wherever your next outdoor adventure may be with your pup.

Car Dealerships

Bringing your car to the dealer to be serviced can be a pretty dull endeavor. Once it is allowed bringing your pet along with you is a great way to stay entertained and enjoy some quality time together. Many dealerships welcomed both you and Fido – just call ahead to be sure post-pandemic.

This list isn’t exhaustive. There are many other places that may very well allow you to bring your pet after the pandemic. 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. And if your pet experiences some anxiety while he/she goes out of the house, there are many products to help relieve stress. This ThunderShirt is a strong way to make your pet feel comfortable when out of the house and exploring new places. It never hurts to ask places if they’re pet friendly, and you might discover some new favorite spots around town.

About is the #1 online resource for pet travel. Named best pet travel site by Consumer Reports,‘s mission is to offer resources that ensure pets are welcome, happy, and safe while traveling.  The website features a directory of pet friendly hotels and accommodations across the United States and Canada, as well as airline & car rental pet policies; pet friendly restaurants, beaches, and events; a user-friendly route search option; pet travel tips; pet travel supplies; and other pet travel resources.  

Feature photo courtesy of Alan Levine, used under a creative commons license.

Originally posted June 2014. All Rights Reserved.

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