Since stores are not places where food is prepared or consumed, a lot of businesses in North Carolina, and Charlotte, in particular, welcome pets inside.
However, not all stores have the same level of hospitality toward four-legged shoppers, so at first, stick to the following 8 suggestions.
4337 Park Rd.
Photos by @wilburnguyen & @home.withhope / Instagram
Got a hobby? Then you have definitely been to Michaels before, shopping for supplies but did you know the store was pet-friendly? Of course, the animal should be on a leash or inside a cart while shopping.
Michaels Arts and Crafts Store can be found at several locations in Charlotte and they are usually open from 9 AM to 9 PM. The crafts assortment is pretty wide, ranging from fabrics, canvases, and yarn, all the way to kids’ craft kits, wreaths, and holiday baskets.
12630 North Community House Rd.
Photos by @creamy.beau & @pikenurseries / Instagram
Bearing a catchy name (pun intended), Pike Nurseries is the place to go if your need plants, garden supplies, or outdoor patio items. The garden center is located in Ballantyne, just off the I-485, and it welcomes dogs on a leash.
Apart from the supplies, they also offer home landscape design services and they organize free, in-store classes on various gardening topics. When it comes to pets, just check that your dog or cat isn’t allergic to any of the plants in the garden center. The store hours are from 9 AM to 7 PM.
6424 South Blvd.
Photos by @sleepypoetcharlotte / Instagram
Nor your typical shopping center, Sleepy Poet Antique Mall is a place where you can find everything from old records to vintage lamps. They are closed only on Thanksgiving and Christmas, so you and your pet can visit them every day from 11 AM (12 PM on Sunday).
There are water bowls and snacks available for dogs, as their owners rummage through antiques spread across 60,000 square feet. The best thing about this quirky mall is that there are new vendors every so often, so there is always new stuff to discover.
4139 Park Rd.
Photos by @parkroadbooksclt / Instagram
Established in 1977, Park Road Books is an iconic Charlotte bookstore that presently sells only new books. Both the owner, Sally Brewster, and the staff are animal lovers, so don’t hesitate to bring Felix or Fido inside. It will be offered a treat and a water bowl.
Actually, this bookstore is so pet-friendly that they have a staff dog called Yola that even won the “Charlottean of the Year” award in 2019. The bookstore itself organizes tons of events, such as book clubs and book signings, so check out their social media pages.
18901 Statesville Rd, Cornelius
Photos by Talley’s Pier 77 Marine / Facebook
A short drive to the north of Charlotte gets you to Cornelius where Talley’s Pier 77 Marine is located. This full-service boat dealership doesn’t only welcome boating enthusiasts but their dogs as well. Talley’s Pier 77 Marine is an authorized dealer for Regal boats and they sell pontoons as well.
While you discuss whether buying or selling a boat is a good idea, your pooch can enjoy some R&R in the water. The location on Lake Norman shouldn’t worry you, as local Charlotte vets drive up all the way to Mooresville for a sick visit.
519 East 36th St.
Photo by @johnnyflyco / Instagram
Yes, you see well, even sunglasses stores are pet-friendly in Charlotte! Like the Park Road bookstore, Johnny Fly Co. has a store dog named accordingly: Sir Baxter Fly. The store’s owner, John Freeman, opened the unusual sunglasses store back in 2012.
Apart from prescription eyeglasses and sunglasses, they sell backpacks, travel bags, duffel bags, luggage tags, Dopp kits, camera bags, etc. Johnny Fly Co. is open every day from 11 AM to 6 PM (from 10 AM on the weekend).
Photos by The Poet’s Vault / Facebook
Right next-door to Sleepy Poet Antique Mall is The Poet’s Vault, a record store like no other. You are welcome to wander the 5,000-square-foot store in search of used (and new) vinyl records. If you and Fido feel peckish, local food trucks are parked nearby around noon.
The store opened recently, in November 2021, and has been a hit among Charlotteans. There is plenty of parking and ease of access from uptown Charlotte. The Poet’s Vault opens its doors at 11 AM (12 PM on Sunday) and works until 6 PM (7 PM on Friday and Saturday).
11415 Carolina Place Pkwy, Pineville
Photos by @pupper_oliver & @jacobvann / Instagram
One of three At Home’s locations in Charlotte, Pineville home décor superstore has everything from accent furniture to patriotic gifts, such as an Uncle Sam gnome yard stake. While you explore their offer, Fido can jump in the cart and join you (not optional but mandatory form of transport for pets indoors).
Also, be aware that there are fragile items in the store, so be sure your pet doesn’t get too excited. When it comes to the staff, they are definitely friendly to well-behaved animals. At Home is open every day from 9 AM to 10 in the evening (on Sunday they close an hour earlier).
Whether it’s an antique shopping mall or a sunglasses store, there are quite a few places in Charlotte where you are welcome to shop with Felix or Fido. Among store owners and shop assistants, you are bound to discover fellow animal lovers who will offer your pet a treat.
And should your pooch need any veterinary help, you can always schedule an appointment with our mobile veterinary team from the comfort of your Charlotte-based home.
Officially, only service animals are allowed inside restaurants and stores in Charlotte. However, there are pubs and stores whose owners allow well-behaved and leashed dogs inside.
North Carolina Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services states that when an animal’s presence inside a store “is unlikely to result in contamination of food, food-contact surfaces or food-packaging materials,” they are allowed inside stores.
Yes, pets are allowed in the outdoor area and there are even water bowls on the premises. When it comes to individual stores, it depends on their respective pet policy.
Yes, Charlotte, NC is a dog-friendly city, even though it cannot boast a large number of dog parks and trails like other American cities.
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