Dog friendly shopping centres

Shopping with dogs: where to go for retail therapy with your pet

Shopping isn’t traditionally a dog-friendly activity – our pets probably much prefer running around on brilliant beaches or exploring our national parks, and many shops don’t allow dogs inside. But shopping with your dog can be a great way to socialise your pet in busy environments, and to reinforce any training you’ve done. Plus, you might get to pick up a little treat for yourself along the way, and where’s the harm in that? Contrary to popular belief, there are plenty of places across Britain where you can take your dog shopping. Here are some of our favourite dog-friendly shopping spots. Top tip: if you’re unsure of whether a store is dog-friendly, it’s always best to ask. If you’ve a small dog, it’s polite to carry them inside to find out, while with larger dogs you’re best off sending a friend inside to check first.

Written by Lottie Gross

5 minute read

Dog-friendly markets to visit

Most outdoor markets throughout the UK are dog-friendly, including farmers' markets and weekly markets selling clothes, crafts, baked goods, fish, vegetables and meat. One of our favourites is Ludlow -- a short drive from our Lakeside Retreat or Owl House properties -- where various markets throughout the week are laid out beyond its imposing castle, with local honey, meat, cheese and handmade trinkets on sale. While in Winchester, on the second and final Sundays of the month, you'll find Hampshire's largest farmers' market with up to 40 stalls lining the streets selling fresh local produce.

Many indoor markets across the UK are dog-friendly, too, though. In Wales, Cardiff Market is located in an impressive Victorian hall and allows dogs to wander with their owners between its various stalls, from the tailor to the fishmonger, and in Brecon (near the lovely Penlan Cottage), come at the right time of day and the butcher might chuck some unsold steak cuts out for your pet as you pass. 

Glasgow's Forge Market is home to Pet City, a stall dedicated to treats and accessories for pets, and dogs can join you for a browse throughout its shops, while head handsome Chester to walk among its Roman ruins before heading into the new, purpose-built market hall where the dog can snaffle samples from bougie pet shop Digby & Champ and you can snack on everything from local ice cream to plant-based 'fish' and chips.

As with any indoor shopping experience, it pays to ask before you enter just in case rules have changed.

Dog-friendly shopping centres

If it's big malls and shiny shop fronts you're after, plan a trip to one of the many dog-friendly shopping centres throughout the UK. There's everything from designer outlets to malls packed with high street brands. Gunwharf Quays in Portsmouth is one of the largest with 90 brands to shop from, almost all of them allowing the dog to join you inside, while Bicester Village is one of the UK's most popular designer outlets located in Oxfordshire, less than an hour's drive from the cosy Cottage at The Feathered Nest.

London, of course, has its fair share of shopping centres and the new Battersea Power Station mall allows dogs in most of its stores, while in the Welsh capital the Royal Arcade allows dogs and has some dog-friendly shops. Other dog-friendly shopping centres include:

Dog-friendly high-street stores

Aside from the usual pet stores, such as Pets at Home or Pets Corner, there are even a few high street brands that'll let your dog browse with you while you're mooching about town. Gift shop and stocker of my Dog-Friendly Weekends book Oliver Bonas lets dogs help their humans pick out presents and trinkets, while in nationwide bookshop Waterstones they can join you for literary inspiration.

If it's tech you need, Apple stores across the UK are dog-friendly, and many outdoors shops such as Cotswold Outdoor and Mountain Warehouse allow dogs. For fashion, you can do some dog-friendly shopping at Anthropologie, Seasalt and FatFace.

Written by Lottie Gross

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