Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, going shopping has become a nightmare of stress and anxiety. The simple act of buying necessities now often involves waiting in lines for hours just to get in, then contending with nearly empty shelves, a lack of basic necessities, and crowds of people who could get you sick. It sure would be nice if you could bring your dog along to help you get through it all.

    Well, you might not realize it, but there are actually a number of major chains throughout the country that are dog friendly. Here are some of the stores that let you bring your dog inside.

    Note: Check your local stores for information on opening dates and hours of operation as COVID-19 measures continue to evolve. 

    Petco

    It should be no surprise that the place where you buy supplies for your dog will let him come in with you. Most pet supply stores, including Pet Supermarket and PetSmart, are fine with allowing pets inside. It's not just common courtesy, it's also practicality. Say you're buying your dog a collar - it's better to have him there to make sure it's the right size, rather than bringing it home, only to discover it doesn't fit. As a bonus, often at Petco, if you ask nicely at the register, they'll give your good boy a treat!

    Lowe's and Home Depot

    These hardware and home improvement stores both have a lot of wide-open spaces for your dog to explore (with your supervision, of course). Some branches will only allow service dogs, but others are friendly to any canine companion.

    Pottery Barn

    The home furnishing chain's dog policy varies by location. A lot of their inventory is fragile, and an unruly dog could cause a lot of damage, so you can understand why some branches might be hesitant to let your furry friend in. However, there are a number of Pottery Barn stores that are pet-friendly.

    Hobby Lobby

    The official policy of this arts and crafts chain is that dogs are welcome. However, a number of their individual locations are a bit stricter in this regard, and have been reported not to let pets in. Call ahead, just to be sure.

    Nordstrom and Ross

    You might not expect clothing stores to welcome your furry friend, but there are a number that will. Nordstrom and Ross are the main ones, but many branches of stores like Marshalls and T.J. Maxx will also let your pup visit. Additionally, some department stores, such as Macy's, are dog-friendly as well.

    Tractor Supply Co.

    More than just tractors and farm equipment, this store also sells home improvement products, and pet care supplies, so it's no surprise that dogs are welcome here. They're quite proud of their pro-dog policy. They even celebrate Bring Your Dog to Work Day, every June 24th, where employees are allowed to bring in their own furry friends.

    While a lot of major chains are dog-friendly, keep in mind that sometimes individual stores have different policies. If you want to know if your favorite shopping spot will allow your furry friend to join you inside, it's often a good idea to call and find out for certain. And be courteous!

    Anytime you bring your dog out in public, make sure he's on a leash and under your control at all times, and always clean up after him if he makes a mess.

    Shopping has now become a whole new kind of adventure. But with your dog by your side, the two of you can go on that adventure together, and hopefully get through it a lot more easily.

    Topics: On the Go