IKEA building

Ikea’s Lurvig collection1 is specially designed for dogs, but their pet policy is not as welcoming. If you’ve ever wondered if you can check out dog beds and bowls while bringing your own pup along for the ride, the answer is no. Only service dogs are allowed in the store in compliance with the American Disabilities Act (ADA).

So, if your pup isn’t a service dog, you’ll have to leave them at home when you go shopping for Swedish meatballs and affordable furniture.

Emotional Support Dogs Are Not Allowed in Ikea

Ikea’s FAQ page specifically states that they only welcome “fully trained, ADA-qualified service animals.” That means no pet dogs, other pet animals, or emotional support animals (ESA) are allowed in the store, no matter how much your dog loves Swedish interior design.

An ESA certification won’t do you any good here—Ikea’s policy is in line with the ADA, which doesn’t recognize therapy animals or emotional support animals as service dogs.

In addition, many ESA certifications, especially ones you can get online without any professional evaluation, are not legitimate.

You May Need to Show Documentation

Although service dogs are allowed in Ikea, the store may ask to see your service dog registration or other documents to make sure you’re following their pet policies.

This is perfectly within their rights — according to the ADA, businesses can ask customers with service animals for proof that the animal is indeed a service animal. However, they cannot ask about your disability, require a special ID for the animal, or charge you a pet fee. It’s illegal for them to prevent you from entering the store just because you have a service animal.

While the ADA does recognize that people with service animals won’t always have documentation on hand, it’s a good idea to carry around your service dog registration or other paperwork, just in case you run into any trouble. Again, this is entirely up to you. You don’t have to show anyone anything if you’re not comfortable doing it.

Ikea Logan store
Ikea Logan store (Image Credit: Kgbo, Wikimedia Commons CC SA 4.0 International)

Pet-Friendly Alternatives to Ikea

If you’re looking for pet-friendly shopping, there are plenty of other places to bring your dog. Taking them on a shopping excursion is a great way to socialize them and tire them out at the same time. Plus, it’s just plain fun!

Many retailers, including Home Depot, Lowe’s, and Target, allow pet dogs in their stores, with some restrictions, of course. Or, if you’re specifically looking for pet supplies, you can try your local pet store or big-box pet retailer, like Petco or Petsmart.

If you do bring your dog into pet-friendly establishments, keep the following in mind:

  • Keep them on a leash at all times
  • Bring poop bags to clean up after your dog
  • Be prepared to take your dog outside if they become disruptive or need a potty break
  • Don’t let them run off or jump on people
  • Respect the store’s pet policies and be prepared to leave if your dog isn’t welcome

If you know your dog isn’t used to being around crowds or other animals, it’s probably best to leave them at home. You don’t want to put them—or yourself—in a stressful or even potentially dangerous situation.

The Bottom Line

Ikea is not pet-friendly and only allows service dogs in their stores, but there are other places that would love to welcome you and your pup. No matter where you take your dog, remember to respect other people and animals’ space, and always clean up after your dog. Happy shopping!

Featured Image Credit: Pixabay