Compared to other stores like Costco and PetSmart, Best Buy doesn’t have the most transparent policy regarding allowing dogs. While many big box stores are considered dog-friendly, particularly with regard to an emotional support animal (ESA), the verdict is still somewhat out for Best Buy. Before visiting any store with your dog, it’s best to research the store’s pet policy and ensure that they have everything they need to be on their best behavior.
When it comes to electronics, Best Buy is a one-stop shop. But browsing the aisles stocked with speakers, home appliances, and tablets is much more enjoyable with your furry friend, who doubles as an ESA. For many, shopping without their service dog or ESA, can be physically and emotionally challenging.
Are Dogs Allowed in Best Buy?
Dogs are typically allowed in Best Buy stores, but it's important to follow their pet policy. Best Buy welcomes well-behaved and leashed dogs, ensuring a pleasant shopping experience for all customers. However, it's advisable to check with your local store, as policies may vary. Keep your furry friend in check for a hassle-free visit.
What is an Emotional Support Animal (ESA?)
An ESA is a friend for someone with a disability, whether it's physical or mental. ESAs have grown in popularity over the past few years as more establishments and stores welcome service animals. Plus, they can be a great way for people who would normally be given antidepressants or medications for anxiety to feel better without taking medicine.
ESAs can reduce anxiety, provide trauma support and companionship, and lower blood pressure. Over the years, several studies have shown just how effective an emotional support animal can be. For example, after 12 months with their ESA, people in this study had higher levels of oxytocin.
Because the number of Americans facing mental health conditions continues to rise, we can expect to see a rise in the number of ESAs who support them.
Sadly, not just any dog can be considered an emotional support animal. Making your dog an ESA starts with a prescription for an ESA letter from a qualified medical professional.
It’s always a wise idea to start the ESA letter process as soon as possible because many businesses require specific documentation before allowing someone to bring their dog into one of their stores.
Bringing a Pet Into Best Buy
There has been some confusion in recent years when it comes to the official dog policy of Best Buy. There is no official policy on the Best Buy site. Because there isn’t an official policy on whether or not you’re allowed to bring your pup along for a shop, it’s best to bring your ESA letter with you on every visit.
Best Buy’s policies tend to differ by state and location, creating a lot of confusion among staff and customers. For example, some stores have a “no dogs allowed” sign on the door, whereas others have staff that are thrilled to see a dog when it walks through the Best Buy doors.
Increase the chance that your ESA dog can safely enter the store with you by bringing a copy of your ESA letter every time you leave the house. If you’re wondering how to get an ESA letter, it’s much easier than you’d think and can be used to show the managers and employees at Best Buy.
The staff member will understand that your dog is a certified ESA and that they assist you in managing a mental health condition after seeing the ESA letter. These unique letters do not contain personal details about your medical history or diagnosis.
The first step towards getting an ESA letter is to have your mental health evaluated by a qualified medical professional in your state. Before booking an appointment with your doctor, take this short quiz to see if you qualify for an emotional support animal.
Why Bring Your Pet to Best Buy?
For many people dealing with anxiety and depression, shopping can be considered anything but fun. Some people find it difficult to shop at Best Buy without their ESA because of the noise, crowds, and having to make decisions.
Before visiting Best Buy with your dog, ensure they have already gone to the bathroom outside and are in a calm, compliant mood. If your dog is not well-behaved, isn’t on a leash, or is threatening the health and safety of others, the staff may ask you to leave.
The Bottom Line
Because Best Buy’s dog policy is that there is no official dog policy, there’s no way to tell if you will be welcomed into the store with your ESA. However, some managers are okay with dogs entering, whereas others are not. So, to be safe, leave your dog at home whenever possible.
If this isn’t an option, as they are necessary for managing your anxiety, depression, or PTSD, call the store ahead of time to ask. Showing up with your dog without calling in advance is a risky move that may anger the store manager.
For those who cannot call in advance before visiting a store without a clear dog policy, make sure that you take your signed ESA letter with you. This official document will show the employees that your animal is much more than a pet; it supports your mental and emotional well-being.
Every ESA letter must include the following:
- The licensed mental health professional’s (LMHP) official letterhead
- The LMHP’s license number and contact information
- Specific language that Housing and Urban Development (HUD) require under the Fair Housing Act (FHA)
Until Best Buy creates an official, country-wide policy on whether or not dogs are allowed into the store, it’s best to exercise caution. Instead, call ahead and always bring your ESA letter with you when you go shopping.
N.A. “Study finds evidence emotional support animals benefit those with chronic mental illness”, EurekAlert!, May 20, 2021.
O’Haire, Marguerite E, et al. “Animal-Assisted Intervention for trauma: a systematic literature review”, frontiers in psychology, August 7, 2015.