For close to 30 years, Old Navy has offered low-priced apparel to customers. More than 100 million people shop at this retail clothing store every year. And it wouldn’t be a stretch to assume that a good number of those people shopping have dogs as pets. Are they allowed to bring their dogs with them? Technically, yes. But they can only do so at the local store manager’s discretion.
Keep reading if you’d like a detailed breakdown of what their pet policy entails.
Ever since Old Navy was established, it never got around to publishing an official, corporate pet policy. Not that they don’t believe in policies, because they do—these policies are vital in any organization, seeing as they not only ensure compliance with the law but also provide guidance for decision-making.
Needless to say, it’s difficult for customers to know what’s permitted and what’s not. All we’ve had to go on are the reviews and the shared experiences of people who’ve had the chance to shop at their stores with dogs.
Most of the reviews were positive, and that’s what we have to go on to know this popular retailer might be a dog-friendly brand.
There’s no way of knowing for sure, so it’s best to call the local store manager beforehand, instead of just showing up with a dog. They are the only people in the organization that can allow dogs in the store, or deny you entry.
If the manager tells you no, don’t take it personally. They are probably trying to protect shoppers who have a fear of dogs. Medical experts call this type of phobia cynophobia.1
Not having an official pet policy doesn’t mean that you’ll find zero information concerning pets in all their policies. We went through the store’s guidelines and noticed that there’s a section that touches on people with disabilities.
There’s a clause that allows all people who are “differently abled” to shop with their service or assistance dogs. Whether they are guide dogs, autism support dogs, mobility assistance dogs, hearing dogs, allergy detection dogs, diabetic alert dogs, seizure response dogs, or psychiatric service dogs. Sadly though, they don’t view emotional support or therapy dogs as service animals.
Old Navy has always made sure that all their staff members are effectively trained on how to make shopping a fun experience for every disabled shopper who shows up with a service animal. They are not legally obligated to do so, but they do because they understand the type of challenges that disability presents daily.
The manager cannot say no to a guide or service dog because the Americans with Disabilities Act prohibits them from doing so. This federal law has made it clear that nobody can be denied access to any public premise just because they own and/or rely on a service animal.
We have a few tips to share that can be useful to anyone looking to shop at Old Navy with a pet.
1. Call Before Showing Up
You’ll be saving yourself a whole lot of disappointment if you just call your local store manager before showing up.
Before hanging up the call, make it crystal clear that your dog is not a service animal. Otherwise, they may assume it is, go ahead and give you the green light, only to stop you at the entrance when they realize you don’t need any form of assistance.
2. Abide By the Rules and Respect Other Shoppers
Make sure that you’re well-acquainted with all the rules that pertain to shopping with pets. If the rules say all dogs have to be leashed, leash your dog—even if it’s a service dog, as it gives the impression that you’re in charge and ready to take responsibility should anything happen. The leash will also make other shoppers feel safe.
Be respectful to everybody and follow the protocol. We’ve heard of instances where shoppers are allowed to shop with their leashed dogs, only for them to remove the leash once they get inside. That kind of behavior can’t be tolerated, and the manager will be within his/her rights to ask you to leave.
3. Carry Wipes and Poop Bags
You must be ready to clean up any mess your dog makes quickly and efficiently, to ensure all customers still find the store environment pleasant. Carry pet wipes and poop bags to make sure you’re ready should your dog decide to relieve itself in the store.
4. Bring Some Treats
Most dogs respond well to positive reinforcement. Therefore, you should carry a few treats with you to reward any sort of good behavior. This will make it easier for you to make them follow simple instructions and stay calm while you do your shopping.
There are so many reasons why this would happen. If the dog keeps on barking at other shoppers, you’ll be asked to leave. They’ll also ask you to leave if you fail to clean up after your dog, or if you sneaked in without asking for permission. So please don’t take advantage of their pet-friendly nature if you wish to enjoy your shopping experience.
Old Navy doesn’t have an official, corporate pet policy. The policies vary, depending on the store location.
Secondly, service animals can gain entry into any store, without requesting consent from the manager. The American Disabilities Act, which is a federal law, gives them the right. And lastly, managers can ask any shopper to leave, if their dog is exhibiting disruptive behavior, or if they aren’t following the rules.
If you’ve ever shopped at Old Navy with a dog, kindly reach out and share your experience!