There are many reasons that you may want to take your dog into a store. If it’s too hot to leave them in the car or outside, keeping them with you is sometimes the only option. Taking your puppy with you when you’re out and about is also a good way to socialize them with people and various situations.
CVS is one of several U.S. stores that allow dogs inside. However, the company doesn’t have a dog policy that covers all of its locations. While one store might allow dogs — and keep dog treats behind the counter for such occasions — another might restrict access to service dogs only.
Is CVS Dog Friendly?
Generally, CVS is lenient when it comes to allowing dogs in stores. Provided that your dog is kept on a leash or in a carrier and under supervision, most CVS stores are more than happy to welcome your four-legged friend.
That said, certain CVS locations might only accept service dogs, following the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). It’s important to remember that the ADA regulations don’t cover emotional-support animals.
If your dog is allowed inside, it’s important to be considerate of other customers, the staff, and other dogs that you might come across. Dogs that are friendly, calm, and well-behaved are less likely to be a problem.
Things to Remember When Taking Your Dog to CVS
Dogs aren’t allowed in most stores for reasons that are up to the store managers or the company policy. Here are a few things that you can do to make your trip to dog-friendly CVS stores as safe and unobtrusive as possible.
Ask the Manager
The first step in making sure your dog is welcome in CVS is by asking the manager. You can do this in person or over the phone before you go in. This will clear up any doubts that you have about taking your dog into the store.
In most cases, they’ll be happy to welcome you and your dog. If not, accept the decision with grace and leave your dog at home.
After Dinner Visit
Feeding your dog before visiting CVS is also a good way to make sure they’re well behaved. Usually, dogs that aren’t hungry are less likely to look for something to eat. While they might still sniff curiously at any food products on the shelves, they probably won’t try to eat them.
The better behaved your dog is, the more likely that they’ll be a welcome guest in stores that allow them inside. Obedience training can help here. Knowing how to walk nicely on a leash and obey the “leave it” command will help endear your dog to the staff and other customers.
Cleaning up after a dog is a thankless chore at the best of times. To save the CVS staff from having to clean up after your dog — and to save you from embarrassment — make sure your dog relieves themselves before you take them into the store.
Your dog will take cues from you in unfamiliar situations. If you panic or freak out over a small mistake, your dog will likely freak out too. You can’t remove everything that will stress out your dog — excitable children, for example — but you can give your nervous canine an example to follow.
While staying calm works well, there are times when it’s best to remove your dog from the situation completely. If they’re being hassled by another dog or you’re worried about the number of people in the store, it’s best to take them outside and come back later.
Use a Leash
Even if your dog is obedient to a fault, it’s always a good idea to keep them on a leash or in a carrier if they’re small enough, especially when you’re in a store. They can still get startled by strange situations and by interacting with other people. If they get scared, a leash will give you a bit of control over how they react.
You’ll also be able to keep them close in busy areas, moving them from under other shoppers’ feet and away from other dogs.
CVS doesn’t have a company-wide dog policy that allows non-service dogs in all its stores, but many locations do let canines in. Double-check with your local branch before taking your dog anywhere near the doors. Always make sure your dog is on a leash and on their best behavior during your visit. Service dogs are allowed in all CVS stores due to ADA regulations.