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Are Dogs and Other Pets Allowed in PetSmart? 2024 In-Store Pet Policy

Written by: Hallie Roddy

Last Updated on April 18, 2024 by Dogster Team

man and his dog at a pet store

Are Dogs and Other Pets Allowed in PetSmart? 2024 In-Store Pet Policy

While it didn’t use to be the norm, increasing numbers of pet owners are bringing their dogs and other pets with them out in public. Whether they are running errands or treating their pets to a day full of fun, it’s nice to know which stores allow your animals to come into their stores or not. You would think that all pet stores would allow pets to come inside them, but that’s not always the case. Thankfully, stores like PetSmart do allow dogs and other animals into their stores.

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What Is PetSmart’s In-Store Pet Policy?

According to the PetSmart website, their in-store pet policy clearly states that they allow pets inside their stores as long as they are on a leash or safely confined and vaccinated.

The types of animals they allow include:
  • Domestic dogs
  • Domestic cats
  • Birds
  • Small animals and reptiles already sold at the store (Guinea pigs, chinchillas, gerbils, hamsters, rats, mice, bearded dragons, geckos, snakes, frogs, birds, etc.)
  • Non-venomous reptiles
  • Rabbits
  • Pot-bellied pigs
  • Sugar gliders
  • Ferrets

If your pet is not on this list, the store considers them a non-traditional pet. Non-traditional pets are not welcome inside the PetSmart stores.

customer returning things at pet store
Image By: BearFotos, Shutterstock

Are Pitbulls Allowed in PetSmart?

There have been some significant debates about whether PetSmart allows Pitbull breeds inside their stores or not. According to their store policy, there is nothing stating that these dogs are not allowed inside if they have a leash on. Of course, there have been reports of some stores turning Pitties away. This has caused an uproar in the pet community because of all the misinformation about this breed.

One issue that people are having is the rumor that Pitbulls are not allowed to attend the PetSmart doggie day camps. These camps allow dogs to play off-leash for up to 8 hours, where they socialize with other dogs. Unfortunately, there is nothing on their site stating whether Pitbulls are allowed to attend these events. That also doesn’t mean that they don’t get turned away. If you’re unsure, the best thing you could do is to call the store ahead of time and ensure that they are allowed before showing up. While it isn’t fair for this breed to be discriminated against, it does happen at certain pet store locations.

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The 4 Tips for Taking Your Dog Inside PetSmart

Not every dog is used to going inside a store. It could be overly stimulating for them and make them act out in ways they haven’t before. Here are some helpful tips for making the trip as smooth as possible:

1. Feed Them First

When your dog walks into a pet store, they are immediately surrounded by all sorts of smells and other temptations. If you feed them before going in, they aren’t going to feel as hungry and desperate while smelling all the pet food.

white boxer dog eating
Image By: Pixel-Shot, Shutterstock

2. Keep Them on the Leash

Regardless of how well your dog has been trained, a store is not the place to allow them to walk off-leash. Keep the leash short so that they are always close to you and you have more control if any situations arise.

3. Practice

The first time your dog goes inside a PetSmart probably isn’t going to go the best. If you start to practice walking around the store without stopping and looking at things, it allows your pet to familiarize themselves with the sounds and sights. The more you practice, the easier the trips will become.

two chihuahua dogs inside the pet store
Image By: Bussakorn Ewesakul, Shutterstock

4. Walk Them Outside

Dogs with a lot of energy might need to walk around outside for a bit to wear off some of their energy. The last thing you or the workers want is for your dog to go crazy while in the store and to knock over a bunch of products and displays. Try to tire them out a bit beforehand so that they are on their best behavior.

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Summing Up

If you’re ever unsure about whether a store will allow your pet inside, then it is always best to call ahead to find out. There is no point in trekking them all the way to the store only for them to be turned away. It can be really fun to take our dogs and other pets out with us while we run errands, and it’s nice that PetSmart allows such a range of animals inside. If you follow their pet policy, there should be no reason why you can’t take your pets with you.

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Featured Image Credit: Erickson Stock, Shutterstock

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