It would be difficult to find anyone who hasn’t heard about the furniture and home goods chain IKEA. “Does IKEA allow dogs into their stores?” is a very popular question of late, as many other retail stores are easing up on their policies, allowing pets to accompany shoppers.
IKEA doesn’t allow pets to accompany owners as a general policy in most countries, with very few exceptions. The greatest exception is if the dog is a necessity to allow the owner to shop comfortably, in other words, a service dog. Their idea of a service dog excludes emotional support dogs.
Service dogs are seen as compensation for someone’s particular disability. They’re trained to fill certain needs that help their owner to get by as unhindered as possible.
An emotional support dog is primarily required to be friendly and well-behaved- not necessarily trained at all to complete specific tasks. Because of them being viewed as an “extra” element to one’s life, they’re not placed in the same class as service dogs, who compensates for (as much as is possible) one who is disabled.
Animals & pets
We love pets! Unfortunately we are unable to allow them in our stores, unless they are genuine assistance dogs.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
- Why Doesn’t IKEA Allow Dogs in their Stores?
- Dogs that are Allowed Inside IKEA
- Is IKEA Pet Policy Different by Location?
- Final Thoughts
Why Doesn’t IKEA Allow Dogs in their Stores?
With how popular dogs have become around the world and particularly in the US, why are they not allowed in under normal circumstances? There are a few answers to this question.
- Allergies– IKEA wants to keep shoppers safe from suffering allergic reactions to dogs. Some people can suffer greatly from even the slightest presence of a canine regardless of how well bathed the dog might be.
- Fear– Regardless of the reasoning, some people are phobic when in the presence of dogs. Perhaps this comes from toxic experiences past or conditions, etc. Children can also be inherently scared of dogs, and IKEA initially wants to eliminate this from being an issue inside their stores.
- Lawsuits– Even though the dog doesn’t belong to IKEA, if they allowed pets, in general, to come through their stores they are likely going to be held liable for their policy should a dog bite or otherwise injure a shopper, another dog, or even their employees. Being a worldwide company, legalities would be different from country to country, or in the US, from state to state. Their policies protect them legally from location to location.
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- Are Dogs Allowed in Cabela’s?
- Does Lowe’s Allow Dogs?
- Are Dogs Allowed in Costco?
Dogs that are Allowed Inside IKEA
As stated above, only service dogs are allowed in-store officially in a large portion of these chain stores. However, there are no limits to the type or breed of dog that would accompany an owner in this category.
So, if it has been trained as a service dog, it’s allowed to come in-store regardless of the breed.
Is IKEA Pet Policy Different by Location?
Yes. Their policies shift from strictly against dogs to being a bit looser in their policy depending on which country you’re in. Here’s a very general handful of differences that will be of interest to you about this topic.
Overall Dog Policy of IKEA in the US
From Los Angeles CA to Brooklyn NY (or otherwise from coast to coast), the one standard applies, which is that it must be a certified service dog to accompany shoppers through IKEA stores. Any other dogs without this distinction will be asked to leave or will be removed from the store.
IKEA Dog Policies in the UK
In the UK, IKEA has loosened up its grip a little bit as it relates to the “only service dog” policy. Unlike the stricter policies found in the US, shoppers can bring in small dogs to accompany them while they shop. Most typically dogs that are small enough to remain in a cart or carried in a bag or purse.
Canada & Australia IKEA Dog Policy
These have been lumped together due to their similar approach to our furry four-legged friends. As is found in the US, there is a no dogs policy in place unless it is a certified service dog. And as is also coinciding with the US policy, ESD’s or Emotional Support Dogs are not included in the service dog category.
Germany, Dogs, and IKEA
There is one thing that Germany IKEA has done to prevent them from being lumped in with Canada, the US, and Australia. Back in 2015, IKEA stores in Germany didn’t change their policy but began building dog parks for dogs to reside in while their owners remained free to shop.
Because of this effort, German IKEA is considered to be more dog-friendly than other countries, albeit just as strict within the store’s walls.
Hyderabad, and Other Locations in India
Unfortunately, little is known about the policies over dogs in IKEA’s Indian stores. If you have any information that would inform people make sure to get ahold of me to let me know!
However, until then, it should be assumed that their policies are just as strict as those found in the US, Canada, and Australia, to be safe.
Switzerland IKEA and Dogs
The most dog-friendly country as it relates to IKEA policy is Switzerland. Within Switzerland, they have some locations that allow dogs to accompany their owners in-store.
The locations that do not allow dog in-store access (aside from service dogs) have kennels in place to leave your pet safely waiting for you while you shop.
Yes, it can be frustrating being a dog owner due to the many restrictions that await when you wish to bring your four-legged friend with you everywhere. But sometimes common sense needs to override our desire to make our pups happy.
This is especially true when talking about our pets inside public places such as stores, malls, or other enclosed areas. Be safe and make the effort to call ahead to a place you feel like going, just to make sure you’re not turned around at the door. This will save you some time, frustration, and gas.
Though it’s frustrating, don’t forget that it isn’t personal. These stores, especially large chain stores, must keep broad-brush policies for the safety of their employees, customers, and property.
Just because your dog is well behaved and would never hurt anyone or create any damage, doesn’t mean that the same is true with everyone’s dog. Nor can you assume that someone with a questionably trained dog would have the sense to keep the dog at home while they shop.
All said- don’t take your frustrations out on the poor soul whose job it is to turn you around at your local IKEA for showing up with your dog!