There’s an unexpected item in the bagging area… it’s pup! While it’s true that the shopping season is very exciting to pups big and small, dog-friendly shopping hasn’t always been readily available. Luckily, shops on the high street and beyond are starting to welcome our furry friends more and more. So, whether you’re looking to indulge fido in a spot of shopping in the city or looking for a quieter high street option where you can both shop ‘til you flop, we’ve got you covered.
If pooch is short legged, it’s advisable to invest in a carrier like a sling or strong backpack before you start your shopping adventures. For bigger boned pups, you can use a comfortable lead, complete with reliable collar and even a harness if you need a little pup control in a crowded store. Remember also that less socialised pups might find shopping environments a little taxing, so you may want to skirt the department stores in favour of quieter independents.
Unsure how to get around town with pooch in tow? Check out our guide to travelling in London with your dog.
Dog-friendly chains and department stores
Great news from the high street nationwide – John Lewis is now paw-friendly! Pups are asked to be kept on a lead and John Lewis advise that smaller pups should be picked up especially on the escalators to avoid any injured paws. When bags are bulging, head to other high street fashion favourite, Anthropologie, to trot amongst the iconic clothing, accessories and décor. If you’re on a fashion fix, you can also head over to Oliver Bonas, another pooch-friendly high street clothing store, where you and fido can sniff out your next outfit. If you’re near London St. James, pop into Mungo and Maud’s to buy a nice new outfit for your four-legged friends.
Once you and pooch are kitted out, time for a sit down, a read and a brew. Bookworms can head over to Waterstones, who have a number of dog-friendly stores nationwide. For a coffee, head on over to Starbucks where the baristas offer our four-legged friends their own coffee – the puppuccino! If pup is after a cooler vibe, bound over to Joe and the Juice to sample their lovely fresh flavours.
Let’s head into London, where pups will need to mind the gap! Fenwick is a great place to start. This fabulous department store on Bond Street is dog-friendly on all five floors. Pup can even join you to eat at Bond & Brook on the second floor – yum. Another fabulous dog-friendly department store is Liberty. Opened in 1875 as an emporium laden with luxuries from around the world, Liberty remains one of the capital’s finest shops. Treat pooch to a trot round while you shop.
Another iconic London department store, Selfridges, has a dog-friendly policy. However, this is one for smaller pups as Selfridges ask that pups are either carried or held in a dog bag at all times. Elsewhere in London, the Conran stores are wonderfully dog-friendly – watch out for any overly zealous wagging tails! If you head to the Conran store on Marylebone High Street, you can also trot into SpaceNK to stock up on gorgeous bathroom treats with pup at your side.
Looking for somewhere to stay during your shopping tour? Check out our guide to pet-friendly London.
Explore pup-friendly high streets, parks and eateries
Pooch will love East London’s Columbia Road. It gets busy, so it’s better for dogs who love a lot of people to say hello to and aren’t scared in crowds. Pad through the glorious flower market, which exclusively takes place on Sundays. When pup has picked out your favourite flowers, head over to dog-friendly Pavillion for a lovely croissant and coffee combo. Next, take a stroll over to Haggerston Park, which has a little forest pup can explore off the lead. If you’re planning to stay in London for a shopping weekend, rest pup’s paws in nearby South Place Hotel, a lovely space that mixes cutting edge technology and intelligent design for a fab sleeping experience.
For those in north London, Hampstead has a lovely dog-friendly high street. Seconds away from the Heath is the Garden Gate pub, a gorgeous pub with a relaxed atmosphere and outdoor seating. Treat pup to a tipple before heading over to Hampstead Heath, the ultimate London park, full of woodlands and lakes that also happens to be the inspiration for C S Lewis to write Narnia.
If you’re planning a shopping day out in other areas of the country, you might like Manchester’s Northern Quarter, which is packed with paw-friendly shops and restaurants, with the shopping centre itself playing host to our furry friends. Take a stroll around Piccadilly Records, Butcher’s Quarter, Pop Boutique, Retro Rehab and grab a pup-friendly coffee at Ziferblat, where the only thing you and pup will pay for is your time.
With Christmas just around the corner, there’s never been a better time to get shopping. And with so many dog-friendly opportunities, pup has no excuse not to help carry your bags!
For all you need for a pawtastic Christmas, check out our gift guide for dogs and dog lovers, our top adventures for you and fido during the Christmas season, how to help paws in need this Christmas as well as our guide to the top Christmas getaways. Festive frolics here we come!