If you’re like us, you don’t see your dog as just a pet. Your furry best friend is part of your family. Many establishments feel the same way about dogs. This is why lots of cafes, restaurants, and stores allow you to enter with the company of your pooch.
As a dog owner, you have probably become used to planning your shopping trips in advance. Sometimes, shopping can take an hour or two. Other times, it can take all day. Therefore, you may have no choice but to take your dog with you on shopping expeditions. This has become easier thanks to an increasing number of stores allowing you to take your dog inside too.
However, you have to do your research before entering these stores as some are not so dog-friendly. One store that has caused some confusion over its dog policy is Menards. Some reports state that you can take your dog into these stores while others prohibit it altogether.
Well, we decided to get to the bottom of this mystery and find out, once and for all, if Menards is dog-friendly and what their official dog policy is.
Are dogs allowed inside Menards stores?
Recently, Menards changed its pet policy. This is maybe one of the reasons behind all of this confusion. The new policy states that you cannot take your dog into Menards. The only exception is if you have a service dog.
The updated Menards pet policy
Due to the health crisis outbreak of 2020, Menards decided to update its pet policy. Menards made a press announcement on the 1st April which stated:
“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.”
As with many facets of life, businesses have had to adapt and change due to the pandemic. While this policy change about children makes sense, many are left baffled by the banning of animals in their stores. Nonetheless, it shows that Menards put their customer’s safety first so such steps can only be positive.
While the health crisis continues, it is unclear whether Menards’ pet policy will change once life gets back to some normality. Although pets and dogs are not allowed, service dogs are still allowed into Menards stores.
Were dogs allowed in Menards before the policy change?
Before the 2020 health crisis and the announcement of Menard’s new pet policy, their stores were pet-friendly. Menards allowed shoppers to bring their dogs into its stores as long as the pooch was on a leash and well behaved.
However, no published pet policy existed for stores to adhere to. The confusion over Menards’ pet policy becomes even more confusing when you read some online comments from Menards’ employees. They seem to contradict each other from store to store. One member stated:
“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.”
Therefore, you can only take your pet in to this store if it is a service dog. Otherwise, you’re not allowed. On the other hand, a comment from an employee at another store stated:
“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 learned the names of some of the dogs that are regular customers!”
In this Menards store, you can take your dog in with you as long as you keep them under control and clean up any mess after them. It appears that the dog policy may not exist and if it does, it’s down to the manager of the store to implement it.
Judging from these comments, your best option is to contact the Menards store before you visit to find out their specific pet policy and whether you can take your dog with you.
Some stores make it much easier to understand their policy. A Menards employee described a sign outside their store which clearly stated their pet policy:
“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.”
If there was a pet policy in place, Menards seemed to be quite laid back about it. Overall, it seems that they allowed dogs in, as long as the pooch was on a leash, under control, and the owner cleaned up any mess afterward.
Who do people take their dogs to stores?
You may be wondering why someone would need to bring their dog with them when doing a spot of shopping. Even if you’re a pet owner, you may be left confused as you just feel a store is not the right place for your furry friend.
Well, dogs have become an important part of many families. Some get so attached to their pets that they want to take them everywhere with them. It is quite normal to see dogs in all sorts of places these days, even where they weren’t seen before.
One reason why some owners take their dogs to stores is because of socialization. They believe it helps their dogs become more sociable and helps prevent adult behavioral problems. Many pet studies have proven that socialization is key for the well-being of a dog.
According to this study from Iowa State University, the period between the 4th and 14th weeks of a dog’s life is the most important for socializing. Proper socialization during this time can determine a puppy’s adult behavior. Exposing a dog to other people, pets, and an environment other than their home can limit the risk of aggressive or destructive behaviors later on in life.
Another reason is exercise. The store is an opportunity for a dog to get some exercise. Shopping involves moving from one aisle to the next which can take only a few minutes of over an hour. Some owners decide to use their shopping time as “walkies” time with their dog to save time throughout the day.
How to prepare for a dog-friendly Menards visit
Although the pet policy has recently changed, Menards could soon allow dogs back into its stores. When this happens, you should be prepared and ensure that your dog will be well behaved for such a visit.
To make sure things go to plan when taking your dog to the store, you should:
- Train your dog to not defecate or pee indoors
- Make sure your dog is used to socializing with other people, especially kids as well as loud noises and other dogs
- Have the correct leash for your dog such as a shortened leash for stores
- Take a supply of dog poop bags and wipes in case they make a mess
- Take dog treats with you to distract your dog if they suddenly start to misbehave
- Muzzle your dog if they have had a tendency to be aggressive in the past
- Feed your pooch before you go shopping so they’re not hungry in the store
At the moment, you are not allowed to take your dog into any Menards store. But once life returns to normal, bring the store ahead and check to see if their policy will allow dogs inside again.