Are Dogs Allowed in Ollies?

Is Ollies Dog Friendly? Are Dogs Allowed In Ollie’s?

Harrisburg, PA-based Ollie’s Bargain Outlets prides itself on selling good stuff cheap.

That includes dog items too. But are you allowed to check out their overstock offerings with your pooch in tow?

The short answer is — no. Technically, Ollies allows only ADA-compliant service dogs in their stores.

That being said, it was not hard to find a number of individual stores that expressed no reservations about allowing people to bring in their pet dogs as well.

For stores that do welcome dogs, you’ll be safer having your dog in a harness.

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Hi-Vis Harness For Medium Dogs
Hi-vis Harness for Medium Dogs
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Small Dog Harness
Small Dog Harness
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Official Dog Policy for Ollie’s

You can search long and hard on the Ollie’s website for a written policy about bringing dogs into their stores, but you won’t find one. Ollies provide no written policy.

However, a call to customer service at the Ollies home office garnered the following verbal reply:

“We only allow dogs that are ADA-compliant in our stores. They must be certified as service dogs.”

Ollie’s Bargain Outlets

Positive Reviews From Customers Who Were Happy With Ollie’s Dog Policy

Perhaps because there is no written policy, those who get no pushback when they bring their dogs into Ollies Bargain Outlet locations might be hesitant to speak up.

However, the fact that many stores have regulars who shop with their dogs speaks volumes about their satisfaction.

Customers Who Were Unhappy With Ollie’s Dog Policy

Searching online posts for customer comments can often net some interesting results, but this post in particular really caught our attention. It does not mention the store location.

Nor does it mention whether the particular Ollies at the center of the complaint allowed dogs as a rule.

Did the person with a dog also brandish a gun? Has this poster encountered shoppers with cats in blankets, monkeys on strings, and lizards/snakes on their backs?

Whatever the truth may be, it makes for some fascinating reading. And the poster was clearly unhappy. Here’s what was written:

My family member went into the store to shop. Had to go to the bathroom and a customer came into the bathroom with a very large dog. This is unsafe for other customers. They have rights too. Dog lovers are not the only customers in the store. Gun owners are not your only customers. People are being shot every day by gun owners.

Closing the bathroom is not an option because customers need them and find this move very distasteful. It is time for stores to stand up for customers who don’t bring dogs in buggies, cats in blankets, monkeys on strings, lizards/snakes on their backs or buggies.

Every dog/animal is not a service dog. Customers would like to shop in piece (sic) and comfort without people bringing their animals to stores. Leave them home. They are not your children.


Does Ollie’s Dog Policy Vary By Location?

According to a January 2018 online comment by an Ollie’s customer service associate in Richmond, Kentucky, depending on the store, the rules may be loosely applied.

Wrote the Associate: We’re technically not supposed to allow pets in the store except for service dogs but we let any tamed animal in the store as long as they are nonviolent.

That appears also to be the case at the Manchester, Connecticut store when, for example, that outlet was contacted.

“Technically only service dogs are allowed, but we really can’t stop you because you can say your dog is a service dog,” said the customer service representative who answered the phone. “We only ask that you keep your dog leashed and you clean up after him if he makes a mess.”

An inquiry to the Wilkes Barre, Pennsylvania store was not at all ambiguous with regard to non-service dogs. “Yes, we allow them.

You can bring your dog,” said a customer service representative when contacted by phone. Asked if the store had any requirements that pet owners must follow, she said she wasn’t aware of any.

Tips For When Going to Ollie’s With A Dog

Many of the comments on the Ollie’s Bargain Outlet site give high praise to the abundance of merchandise in their stores, but they are also often followed by a mention that the stores are cluttered.

For a dog, that can create an environment for mayhem. After all, what pooch doesn’t enjoy a good game of tug-of-war with whatever he finds available?

If you plan to bring your dog to Ollies – first check that the one you are visiting allows them. Then be sure to take him for a brisk walk ahead of time.

In a store that offers so much to grab a dog’s attention, this pre-activity should help him stay a bit calmer.

Also, make sure he is well-fed and watered before your visit and that he has had a chance to relieve himself before you go into the store.

No matter how friendly your dog may be, keep him on a short leash and close beside you. Don’t use a retractable leash. Remember, not everyone is as comfortable around dogs as you are.

And always, always bring a bag of supplies with you for picking up and cleaning up any accidents that may occur. Don’t ever leave that job to store personnel.

Final Thoughts

So are dogs allowed in Ollies? The main office says no to all but ADA-compliant service dogs, but individual Ollie’s Bargain Outlets appear to play loose with the general rule.

It’s possibly a by-product of their altogether unwritten policy. So, if you want to bring your dog shopping with you on your next visit to Ollies, be sure to call ahead to see whether the store you plan to visit is flexible.

And if they do let you bring your dog, make sure you are both on your best behavior.

Consideration to fellow shoppers, to store personnel, and to Ollie’s store merchandise will go a long way in assuring you and other dog owners are welcome to continue shopping in their store.