Whether it’s to pick up (another) Billy bookcase, a Stockholm rug or an iconic Poäng chair, we all know there are plenty of reasons to shop at IKEA. But can we bring our dogs along?
Dogs at IKEA?
Founded in 1953 as a mail order catalog business in Älmhult, Sweden, today the IKEA brand stretches across 64 markets with nearly 500 stores.
As you might expect, the pet policy in those different stores and countries varies tremendously.
The answer to “are dogs allowed at IKEA” depends completely on where you live and shop.
In the IKEA U.S. stores, dogs are not allowed–except for service dogs. “In our IKEA stores, access is only allowed to guide dogs (visually disabled users), service dogs (physically disabled users), signal dogs (hearing disabled users) or warning dogs (they give a medical alert to users suffering from diseases such as diabetes or epilepsy, among others) that are properly certified. “
The many London IKEA stores have much the same policy–but they do permit emotional support dogs, which do not have the same rights as service dogs in the United States: “We ask you to leave your furry friends at home, as we are unable to allow them into the store. Unless, of course, they are registered service dogs, such as guide dogs and hearing assistance dogs, or registered emotional support dogs, who are all always welcome!”
The same holds true for IKEA stores in Japan: “We love pets, but we don’t allow them in our stores. Guide dogs, hearing assistance dogs and service dogs are permitted.”
Australia also prohibits pet dogs in stores: “We love pets! Unfortunately we are unable to allow them in our stores, unless they are genuine assistance dogs. If you have a genuine assistance dog, you may proceed into store. Our store greeter may ask you for verification.”
However, if you are lucky enough to be shopping with your dog in Europe, many IKEA stores are dog-friendly.
In Switzerland, many IKEA locations welcome your dog: “In Vernier, Aubonne, Dietlikon and Grancia, you may bring your dog with you – on a lead – into the IKEA store. In Spreitenbach, St. Gallen, Pratteln, Rothenburg and Lyssach, kennels are available in front of the IKEA store, where your dog can wait for you while you shop.”
In Spain, two dogs per family may enter on leads, and are welcome throughout the store with the exception of the food areas: “Pets are allowed in all our facilities except in the Restaurant, Bistro and Swedish Store areas, where only duly accredited guide or therapeutic dogs may access.”
Why Aren’t Dogs Allowed in US IKEA Stores?
Dogs are not permitted in IKEA stores in the U.S. for much the same reason as dogs aren’t allowed in Walmart–food.
IKEA has both ready-made foods in the IKEA Swedish Food Market and prepared foods in the IKEA Restaurant (don’t miss the Swedish meatballs!)
What if I need something from IKEA when I’m out with my dog?
If you’re out running errands and need to pick up something from IKEA, many items are available for pickup without going into the store. You can order online and pick up. Many items are also available for home delivery.
Please do NOT ever leave your dog alone in the car. The temperature can soar to deadly levels even on what seem to be fairly temperate days. (And don’t forget that there’s always the risk of dognapping while you are in the store.)
Of course, you can always run home and drop off your dog and shop alone–then pick up a surprise for your dog to take home!
IKEA’s LURVIG collection was designed for dogs (and cats) and includes beds, bowls, blankets, carriers and more.
Can I bring my service dog to IKEA?
As you’ll see from the statements above from IKEA locations around the world, you may bring your service dog to IKEA locations.
In the United States, you may not be asked for any kind of certification that your dog is a service dog. According to the American Disabilities Act, “Covered entities may not require documentation, such as proof that the animal has been certified, trained, or licensed as a service animal, as a condition for entry.”
And don’t feel that you need to purchase “certification” from one of the many (many!) online stores that sell alleged service dog certification. ADA notes: “There are individuals and organizations that sell service animal certification or registration documents online. These documents do not convey any rights under the ADA and the Department of Justice does not recognize them as proof that the dog is a service animal.”
If your dog is not a trained service dog, do not attempt to misrepresent your dog as a service dog. Depending on where you live, misprepresenting your dog as a service dog can carry a fine of up to $1000.
If you are shopping at an IKEA outside the United States, as you’ll see from the pet policies above, you may be asked to show proof of service dog certification.
Can a service dog go to the IKEA restaurant?
A service dog can go through a self-service food line with you and be seated in restaurant with you.
However, a service dog needs to remain on the floor (unless, for example, he is a diabetic alert dog that needs to be carried to detect changes in the owner’s breath with changing glucose levels).
According to the ADA: “Seating, food, and drink are provided for customer use only. The ADA gives a person with a disability the right to be accompanied by his or her service animal, but covered entities are not required to allow an animal to sit or be fed at the table.”
Can a service dog in training go to IKEA?
Service dogs in training may or may not be allowed in an IKEA that is otherwise not dog-friendly, such as the IKEA stores in the United States. The rules for service dogs in training are made by the states.
Here in Texas, for example, the law clearly states, “A service animal in training must not be denied admittance to any public facility when accompanied by an approved trainer.”
That’s not the case in every state, however–so know your rights before entering the store with a service dog in training.