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Doggydoos And Don’ts

Here’s a question for the Ehell readers and administrator: What does a hair stylist do when a client brings in their pet AND expects you to allow that pet (usually a dog) inside? I’m a stylist in Southern California, and a lot of people bring their dogs with them on a leash, in their arms, in a purse or a stroller (you read that correctly.) I have had clients accuse me of not liking pets (not true, I adore animals, just not in my salon) or suggest I was cruel for asking them to keep their dog outside, or come back when the animal is at home.

I understand that there are salons meant for dogs… But they are held at a different level of sanitation and do not work on humans. In a “human” salon, we have lots of chemicals (that may have dripped on the floor) that can kill your pet, and frequently serve beverages/snacks to clients. It is also a place to come to relax, and you can’t do that if you are allergic or afraid. For some reason, clients think that it’s okay to bring their dog in as long as it is small, even though the coffee shop and restaurant we are next to would never dream of that. What’s worse is some stylists ignore the sanitation factor and LET THE DOG IN because if they didn’t they wouldn’t have made money from the client. Really? What if you dropped a hot curling iron on that dog in the person’s lap? We certainly don’t drape the dog to be protected from that. Since when is this okay? I’m the youngest one here and I think it is absolutely rude to other customers and me, because I will not allow this in my own chair. What can I say to clients or co-irkers who want to break this rule? Something nice sounding, as I don’t want to offend my customers. 0529-14

Readers?   I’m sure someone is far more witty than I am this morning.   But OP, do realize that no one matter you phrase it, there will be people who will still be deeply offended that their furbaby cannot accompany them to the salon.


Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Wild Irish Rose July 10, 2014, 8:36 am

    Why isn’t there a sign on the door that says “No Animals Allowed Except for Service Animals”? Seriously. You are not out of line in not permitting people to bring their animals to your chair. And if the owner/manager of the salon where you work doesn’t have what it takes to keep animals out, then forget the people WITH animals–patrons who prefer NO animals be there will find another salon. I certainly would. And I would let the owner/manager know exactly why I left. I’m surprised that a call hasn’t been made to the health inspector or something. Maybe you need to make that call–anonymously, of course. If someone in authority tells the owner/manager that s/he needs to ban animals, maybe s/he will sit up and listen.

    • JO July 10, 2014, 10:58 am

      Many people – in my experience, at least – ignore those signs. They think it doesn’t apply to them just because their dog happens to small. They will argue, ‘oh, he’s hypoallergenic’ or ‘she’s not on the floor.’ They get away with it all the time, and see no reason why anyone would argue.

      • OP July 10, 2014, 2:19 pm

        These things are stated on signs we have to display by law, and yes most people ignore them.

        Thanks for the advice and letting me vent! Love this site.

        And I’d never call the health inspector in my own business… They’d find nothing wrong, unless someone was breaking the animal rule while they were inspecting, and that would be the customers fault as we have the required signs and ate up to date on everything. besides, Why would someone risk their income to prove a point? Just etiquette was my question, add this is an etiquette site, not a legal one, thanks.

      • Wild Irish Rose July 10, 2014, 3:57 pm

        And that’s when the OP or someone else with a polite spine says, “I’m sorry, there are no exceptions. If you can provide a service certificate proving that your dog is a service animal [or whatever is required], then that’s different. Otherwise, please reschedule your appointment.” If the patron leaves in a huff never to return, you really haven’t lost much, and you’ve gained the appreciation of clients who would rather not have the dogs around. I promise you that you would lose very little, and as others have pointed out, the health inspector won’t be tempted to shut you down for allowing dogs into the establishment.

        • Lera99 July 11, 2014, 7:44 am

          Wild Irish Rose, it is actually illegal in the USA to demand to see a service dog’s paperwork.
          Basically if someone says their dog is a service animal, you have to take them at their word.

    • Jewel July 10, 2014, 12:43 pm

      In our state (don’t know if it’s a federal regulation or not), businesses can’t ask for proof that the dog is actually a trained service animal AND can’t prohibit customers from bringing in any animal they SAY is a service animal. Of course, that has lead to tons of pet owners running roughshod over businesses and bringing their dog everywhere they go. I love dogs, but I HATE seeing them in stores. HATE.

      • NostalgicGal July 10, 2014, 11:37 pm

        And I have seen a GSD that wasn’t a service animal giving a tongue bath to the packages of meat in the help-yourself-cooler as they are leaking and it IS meat… and nobody else giving it a second thought. This was the days before cameras-in-phones or I would have taken the picture THEN sent it to the corp management of the store chain… I did stop shopping there and did call them once when I got home; but I doubt anything was done.

        I repeat, your furbaby is not welcome everywhere you go.

      • elsewhere1010 July 11, 2014, 10:06 am

        Just to clarify, the regulations on service animals are federal regulations and not subject to local interpretation. It’s true you may not ask for any type of service animal ID, but the shop is within its rights to inquire if the animal is a service animal, and what service the animal performs.

        Importantly, if the animal is out of control (incessant barking, snapping, trying to bite) and the owner is doing nothing to control the animal, the shop owners does have the right to remove the animal from the premises and complete the transaction of the animal owner without the animal present. The key idea here is what constitutes “out of control”.

        All this from http://www.ada.gov/svcanimb.htm, the government run website for the Americans with Disabilities Act.

  • Wild Irish Rose July 10, 2014, 8:36 am

    Oh, and as for those who are offended that their fur brigade cannot accompany them–well, let them go someplace else. If they are really happy with the work they get at your salon, they will leave the pets at home.

  • Jessica July 10, 2014, 8:45 am

    I love my dog, but I would never dream of bringing her to the hair salon with me for the exact reasons you listed. Leave dogs at home, even if they are lap sized. Be considerate of the other customers in the salon and the people who work there. I wonder what Tabatha from Tabatha’s Salon Takeover would say about that…

    • Lenore July 10, 2014, 9:29 am

      You took the words right out of my mouth. I love my dog, he is my furry first born, but I wouldn’t dream of taking him to the salon. Or restaurant. Or movies. or anywhere that isn’t appropriate for dogs.

    • Cathy July 10, 2014, 12:06 pm

      LOL I would LOVE to hear Tabatha’s response about dogs in a salon….

      • don't blink July 10, 2014, 1:52 pm

        Haha, me too 🙂

      • OP July 10, 2014, 2:20 pm

        Me too!

      • LadyLelan July 11, 2014, 5:42 am

        I do apologize for my own ignorance, but who is Tabatha?

        • michelle July 11, 2014, 6:31 am

          Who is Tabatha??? Who is Tabatha??!!! (Exclaimed in a faux shocked and offended voice – LOL).

          There’s a television show on a popular cable channel called Bravo, and Tabatha is a hairstylist who goes to salons that are failing and shows them how to turn things around. She’s very no-nonsense and never hesitates to give people a piece of her mind. Hence, the popularity of the show.

          • Cathy July 11, 2014, 2:06 pm

            She gives new meaning to the word assertive. LOL I love to watch her call people on their B.S.

          • LadyLelan July 12, 2014, 5:53 am

            Oh, I see, she’s the hairstylist version of Gordon Ramsay, then?

            Ramsay’s Kitchen Nightmares show is aired in France (where I live, hence my initial confusion), but Tabatha’s isn’t.

            Sorry for the question. 😉

  • Cetacea July 10, 2014, 8:49 am

    If the argument that keeping the dog out of the salon is for the dog’s own safety doesn’t work, then there’s not much that will get through to these people. Perhaps having a local graphic artist create a safety sign depicting dogs eating soap, licking chemicals, getting burned by hot irons, becoming frightened by a hair dryer, biting a child, and an expired dog with bones underneath it a ‘la Pirate Style, you might communicate your message in an effective way without being accused of hating dogs. You obviously love dogs, just not in your shop.

    • OP July 10, 2014, 2:20 pm

      That’s a cute idea!

      • AnaMaria July 10, 2014, 8:15 pm

        Oh, just don’t make them too graphic- I SOB when I see pictures of animals or people getting hurt, even if it’s a cartoon intended to promote animal safety. Or at least have the sign end with a picture of a happy dog waiting safely outside or at home (maybe show him imagining all the horrors he might have to face at a salon, while he sits safely on his doggy bed at home?)! If I walked in and saw a cartoon of a dog getting hurt or killed, I would spend the rest of my salon visit trying to get the image out of my mind to avoid bursting into tears in front of my hair stylist! I’m not an Animal Rights activist or anything- just waaaaaaay too tenderhearted! But if someone is irrational enough to think that it’s “hateful” to leave a dog at home rather than bring it to a hair salon, they will probably protest a cartoon showing a cute little doggy getting fried or poisoned!!!

    • Wild Irish Rose July 10, 2014, 3:48 pm

      I think this is a GREAT idea!

      • InTheEther July 10, 2014, 4:43 pm

        I was about to suggest something similar.

        Write up a liability waiver stating all the possible things that could happen to a pet on the premises, a warning that it is not part of the stylist’s jobs to babysit or in any way keep an eye on the pet, and that neither you nor the business will be help responsible for any injury or illness that besets the animal as a result of anything that happened in the shop. Furthermore, the owners WILL be held responsible for any damages the dogs cause, including replacing any chemicals or tools that may be damaged/destroyed or reparations if another customer is bitten, scratched, or has an allergic reaction to said pet.

        Ask people politely to come back without the pet and then if they refuse make them sign the waiver. Not surprisingly, Little FeFe suddenly becomes a lot less special and important when it’s clear she may cost her owner a lot of money.

        Frankly, even if you’re not kicking them out this is smart, since we all know that someone isn’t going to watch their pet and then the thing will manage to drink a bunch of hair bleach and then they’ll want to sue for vet bills.

  • Cat July 10, 2014, 8:54 am

    How about a “doggie play area” away from harmful chemicals and hot curling irons. A few doggie treats and toys would keep a small dog happy. I hope you are not getting 200 lb. Mastiffs-for them you are on your own.

    • lakey July 10, 2014, 11:27 am

      Small dogs can also get into dog fights. Actually some of them are more feisty than giant breeds like mastiffs. I used to take my dog to a dog park. There are issues, and if you as a business owner set up a situation like this, you will be liable.

    • babs July 10, 2014, 11:34 am

      Cat, and who would monitor those dogs? When I go in for a cut and color I’m there sometimes for 3 hours. Is it now the staff’s responsibility to pet-sit and maintain civility between dogs while their owner is in the chair?

      • Cat July 10, 2014, 6:38 pm

        Pet sitters perhaps? Dog walkers? Separate kennels? If you are there for three hours, paying someone to babysit Fido seems reasonable. Ladies would have to schedule the pet sitter when they schedule their hair appointments.
        Mother used to raise mini-dachshunds so I know how feisty small doggies can be, but, if the fact is that people are ignoring the signs and the owner is unwilling to toss little poochie out for fear his owner will go elsewhere, some sort of a compromise needs to be reached.
        I feel the same way about people who bring small children into salons and allow the little dears to run around, climbing into the chairs, etc. while Mommy does nothing. You cannot kennel little Tommy and Susie, but the liability issue remains. I’d rather cope with the dog.

        • Wild Irish Rose July 11, 2014, 3:10 pm

          What’s the difference between doing this and just leaving the dog at home?

    • NostalgicGal July 10, 2014, 11:43 pm

      You would have to provide kennel separate for each and every furguest to prevent issues of snarlies between different dogs. And that takes real work to maintain and keep clean. Who’s going to take care of that plus service clients? Are you going to add $20 to the cost of the visit to pay for the extra work and such to keep the kenneling up or raise prices across the board to pay for that? I am NOT going to subsidize fursitting. I bet the client won’t pay the extra $20 or so either to secure her furkid. And you get one that sits there and just HOWLS and WHINES at ear splitting decibels the entire time? I’m not going to frequent any place I have to deal with that. And I can see the number of people going ‘oh I need to step across and get a few things, can I leave Muffins here for fifteen minutes?’ and be gone for three hours? No. Your furkid is not welcome here.

      • Cat July 11, 2014, 4:55 pm

        I have to admit, I don’t have a dog. Horses, donkeys, chickens, ducks, and a very large rabbit are enough for me to handle at sixty-five.
        Neither do I go to have my hair styled. Spending your time mucking out a stable and being a fashionista don’t go hand-in-hand. You should see my nails!
        I do know that drawing a line in the sand and having two different camps each demanding that the other give in seldom results in a happy resolution. If we had been able to resolve the Crusades to our mutual satisfaction, we not might be fighting in the Mid-East now. If the Church had been able to resolve Martin Luther’s and John Calvin’s questions, we might not have ten-thousand Christian churches, none of whom think the others are right. I am a great believer in, “Come and let us reason together.”

  • Rap July 10, 2014, 9:04 am

    “no one matter you phrase it, there will be people who will still be deeply offended that their furbaby cannot accompany them to the salon.”

    But, from an etiquette standpoint, do they really have a *right* to be offended? What the OP is describing is perfectly reasonable. Its a salon, not a dog park, the dog could get hurt or sick and the other patrons come to the salon expecting it to be dog free. People can be allergic of dogs or frightened of dogs, no matter how small, and have sanitary expectations of a hair salon.

    A “furbaby” is not a real baby. I have no issue with people who love their pets and treat their dog like its their baby when they are in their own home. That’s their choice and if I visit their home, I don’t get to complain. But that ends when I am in a public place with a reasonable expectation that pets are not allowed. The OP is not being unreasonable in expecting people to not bring their dogs to a hair salon.

    • Library Diva July 10, 2014, 12:17 pm

      This may be controversial, but I don’t think a real baby or a very young child belongs in a salon for some of the same reasons. The parent can’t focus on getting services if he or she is constantly having to jump up to keep a child in line and tend to his or her needs…and the alternative is allowing the child to make a scene, disturbing the other clients. Salons are also full of hazards for young children. Unless you’re going in for a quick cut (under 15 minutes), unless the place is very child-friendly, or unless your children are old enough to take care of themselves and behave, this is a good time to get childcare or leave the children with the other parent.

      • LonelyHound July 10, 2014, 1:00 pm

        You are so right, Liberty Diva. My DH and I took our Eldest to the salon with us regularly because we scheduled appointments together, and one was always with our Eldest on a couch or outside walking. When Secondus was born, we schedule appointments apart so someone is home with the kids. When Eldest needs a cut it is either at a different time or with his Daddy, and he has books and snacks to keep him occupied on Daddy’s lap.

        I honestly think people see little dogs as being able to go anywhere because they view them as fashion accessories, not living breathing creatures. It is not rude to ask a patron to leave a small dog at home for precisely the dangers you highlighted. Who would want to put their “fur baby” at risk like that?

      • ColoradoCloudy July 10, 2014, 1:13 pm

        I couldn’t agree more. When I am able to take my time and money to a salon or a manicurist, looking forward to a nice, relaxing time, and then am confronted with a child running around or screaming, it just about infuriates me. I have children, I understand that it’s not easy to leave them behind when you at an adults’ place, but bot easy doesn’t equal impossible. And no, the general public does not love and think your child is as adorable as you do, Mom.

      • Calliope July 10, 2014, 2:01 pm

        I totally agree. I would never take my young children to the salon with me. (That’s part of the reason I haven’t had a professional haircut in almost three years. You think I’m joking…) If I really needed my hair done, I would do it at a time when my husband was home, or else I’d hire a babysitter.

        But a dog doesn’t even need a babysitter! A dog is perfectly capable of being home alone for an hour or two, so why a person would feel compelled to haul the dog to the salon is beyond me. Having a dog there only complicates the situation for everyone involved, and it’s not as if the dog is going to enjoy hanging out in a salon full of chemical fumes for an hour.

      • Kirst July 10, 2014, 2:25 pm

        Well, yeah. I’d no more take a very young child to a hairdresser’s than I’d take my cat.

      • vanessaga81 July 10, 2014, 3:45 pm

        I agree. I would never bring my children to the salon but some people do so at the salon I go to and I hate it.

      • NostalgicGal July 10, 2014, 11:47 pm

        Totally agree. A child under 3 or 4 unless they’ve proven they can behave for an hour or so (the time to get through a church service) OR they are getting their hair cut too; should be in a salon. If the little is getting cut, the parent shouldn’t be there for more than a quick cut also; else it is just for the child then. If you want perm color extensions and styling and probably manicure too and acrylics; then leave the child home.

    • SingActDance July 10, 2014, 3:27 pm

      Totally agree with Library Diva. I will admit I could be considered one of “those” dog owners. I personally think well-behaved dogs should be allowed anywhere that toddlers would be welcome (I know, the world at large does not agree). I would never dream of taking a dog to a salon, and I also wouldn’t dream of taking a small child into one.

      There are not many places one can go with a dog besides a dog park, which I find disappointing. I can’t tell you how frustrating it was last week, when all I wanted was to sit by the lake on a blanket with my pooch and read a book, to be greeted at every single public beach with a “no pets” sign.

      • SingActDance July 10, 2014, 3:36 pm

        I should clarify, of course I understand animals not being allowed inside enclosed dining establishments due to health codes, etc. However I think it’s very nice when outdoor or patio seating allows animals.

    • tasryn July 14, 2014, 10:18 am

      I agree with this assessment. NEITHER dogs nor small children should be allowed in salons if their is no one to attend to them. I have a 2 year old daughter and regularly get my hair done but I would NEVER dream of letting her run around and play during the 3 hours I got my hair coloured. On the days I have my hair appointment, my husband looks after my daughter. There are times when my husband gets a hair cut immediately after work and we have our daughter with her as we picked her up at day care. On those occasions, I keep her in the lobby and I look after her. If she is in one of her running moods and can’t keep occupied with toys and books, I take her for a walk outside. It’s called responsible parenting and it’s no one else’s responsibility besides ours to look after our daughter while getting our hair done.

      But if I’m required to find appropriate child care for my daughter while getting my hair done, I except dog owners to do the same. At my job, we used to have people who brought their dogs in on a regular basis. Although I love dogs, I hated this because a) they were an instant distraction b) they had to be regularly walked so the dog owner was instantly not available on regular occasions thrhoughout the day c) I always worried about whether the dog would have accidents. The reality is even potty trained dogs can have accidents from time to time and as mentioned before there are many things in a workplace that can injure a dog or that a dog can destroy which can be quite expensive.

      I just don’t see why anyone would want the liability of bringing a dog into a workplace, salon, etc. Just like I would never bring my child into an inappropriate venue I would expect someone wouldn’t bring their dog into a venue where they are not allowed. Part of the responsibility of having a dog is to schedule care for them when you can’t be with them. If you are unable to do this and they can’t be left home alone, then perhaps having a dog isn’t the best choice for you.

  • sylviatexas July 10, 2014, 9:11 am

    Every pet lover I know would grasp the reality when you said that the chemicals & tools are dangerous to the dog.

    Here, a health inspector can drop in at any time, & if a dog or cat were in the salon, the owner would be cited & maybe shut down.

    Maybe the salon could post a notice at the front, something like:
    “We love dogs, but due to health regulations, only service animals are allowed in the salon.”

    • Michelle M. July 11, 2014, 12:44 pm

      “We love dogs, but due to health regulations, only service animals are allowed in the salon.”

      This is absolutely PERFECT! 🙂

  • charliesmum July 10, 2014, 9:14 am

    I think your objections to having animals in the salon is absolutely what you should say. ‘I’m concerned for the safety of your pet, there are hot irons and dangerous chemicals here, and there is no guarantee that anyone will be able to keep an eye on the dog while you are being worked on.’

    Dogs are not accessories. I have a feeling these people think they are.

  • Andi July 10, 2014, 9:17 am

    According to both of my stylists – having animas in a salon is against health code and they could be fined. I would go that route

  • DanaJ July 10, 2014, 9:21 am

    I fail to see how this is an etiquette issue. The salon either has a policy that either permits pets, or it does not. Restaurants, grocery stores, and other food services industries are subject to different health and safety regulations than many other retail industries and the presence of live animals is a health code violation. It seems that’s not the case for salon’s so the pociy is at the owner’s discretion.

    If the OP owns the salon, just put a “no pets” sign on the door. If the OP doesn’t own the salon then find a salon that has a “no pets” policy. And FTR, most of the OP’s coomplaints could be equally applied to children (especially toddlers) who may accompany parents.

    • OP July 10, 2014, 2:23 pm

      I don’t own it. This had only happened a few times and now I know what to say.

    • imc July 11, 2014, 11:43 am

      I don’t think that “find a salon that has a ‘no pets’ policy” is a particularly helpful suggestion. I have no idea how easy it is to find a job as a stylist these days, but I doubt it’s any easier than finding any other job.
      Besides, the OP’s problem was not so dire as to require a job change. Apparently, the salon owner has no problem with her refusing clients with dogs at her own chair. She just needed a suggestion with regards to what to say to these clients as she was letting them down and what to tell other stylists who might butt in, challenging her personal policy with regards to her chair and her work.

  • Cecilia July 10, 2014, 9:27 am

    I agree with the OP. We recently lost our family pet and it was devastating, but some places are just not meant for animals and I completely agree that a human salon is one of those. Yes, pets are part of our families but they cannot always go in establishments meant for humans. If the pet consumed a chemical that had dripped on the floor or got burned by a curling iron, some owners may want to sue the salon. Some salon services can take hours- what if their pet needs to potty, have water, eat? Are you supposed to stop what you are doing until the owners take care of the pets needs?

    Similar story to share: I work at a educational facility that is also a tourist attraction (I’m being vague on purpose) . People get absolutely irate and have become verbally abusive when we refused to let their pets in. Service animals are allowed but if it’s not a service animal, I don’t care how small it is or if you carry it in your arms, you cannot bring it in the facility. If it had an “accident” on one of our displays, that could be several thousand dollars of damage and the guest is not going to pay to have that fixed.

    I think part of being a responsible pet owner is to make arrangements to have your pet cared for when you need to go somewhere that pets are not allowed.

  • acr July 10, 2014, 9:42 am

    My question is, is it against the rule? You mention that the other stylists don’t abide by this rule.

    I don’t think there is some universal rule of etiquette that says dogs can’t go in salons. Some people might prefer a pet-friendly salon, and some people might prefer a no-pets salon.

    I think it’s fine for you to make the call that you don’t want a dog in your client’s lap while you are performing your job, but if the salon owner doesn’t have a problem with customers bringing pets, I don’t think it’s appropriate for you to attempt to enforce a different policy.

    • lizza July 11, 2014, 1:05 am

      Not sure what state the OP is in, but in mine it is considered against state rules and regulations for a salon to allow animals, unless they are service animals.

  • Chelsea July 10, 2014, 9:48 am

    The easiest way would be to post a sign, so it is official, and then blame the regulation for their inconvenience. It also sounds like a frank conversation with the manager is needed and if he/she does not see a problem with dogs, you may want to question what other health codes are slipping…

    Also, maybe post a picture of your dog on your station to show you love dogs in a subtle way?

    If it is not Petco, the Vet, or Home Depot, my “furbaby” does not pass through doors of a business. To me, it’s just common knowledge and a sign of respect for other people’s personal preferences and space.

  • Kendra July 10, 2014, 10:04 am

    Ok, I’ll start off with saying I really do not like dogs. Yes, I know that to many people not liking dogs is a major character flaw in line with being a thief or liar, but there it is. I don’t like dogs. It has become a major source of irritation for me in the last several years when I am out in public where I should be able to reasonably expect that there would be no dogs, and there are dogs everywhere. And don’t get me started on “comfort animals”. Seriously?!? That many people are that emotionally fragile that they need to carry their living “blankie” everywhere they go? Anyway, OP, it isn’t a matter of whether you like dogs or not. It is a matter of your salon is not a place for dogs. Have you spoken with the salon owner/manager about the kind of trouble they could be in if an inspector found a dog in your salon? If not, you might want to get the exact information. You can contact your local health department just for information gathering, you might even be able to find everything you need at your health department’s website. If you could present this info to your manager/owner and coworkers, maybe they would be willing to put up a “service animals only” sign. As for your coworkers, I can understand them not wanting to turn away paying customers, even if those customers are being flaming special snowflakes. However, it might be helpful to point out that if your salon gets closed down for health violations, then they won’t have any paying customers. Also, it might be rather difficult to find a new salon when word gets around that their behavior got their last salon closed down. Anyway, hope this helps.

    • Shyla July 10, 2014, 12:38 pm

      I’m with you. I do not like animals and I don’t think I should have to encounter them everywhere I go. I do not mind service animals because they are very well trained. They will not jump on me or lick me. But I am tired of being expected to like everyone else’s animal and being ok with them invading my space.

      Dogs do not belong in salons. Nor any other types of animals. It is not safe. In the same vein, children do not belong in salons unless they are getting a haircut or other service. Extra children running around are not safe either.

    • EchoGirl July 10, 2014, 3:35 pm

      Some people really do need service animals to keep them calm, it’s a legitimate mental health need rather than a “special snowflake” thing. That said, if you really need one you can get one licensed as a service animal that is well-trained enough not to get in the way or do things that might be dangerous.

      As for not liking dogs being a character flaw, to me it depends how you express it. I don’t care if you don’t like dogs, but many people who don’t like dogs make a huge deal about it even if they’re in a place where dogs can reasonably be expected to be, and I’ve known people who try to convince dog lovers why they should hate dogs. I’m not saying some people aren’t entitled as all heck about their dogs, but I think that the extreme dog haters have given more reasonable dog-adverse people a bad name.

      • Hey Nonny Nonny July 10, 2014, 5:00 pm

        EchoGirl, the issue is that many people with “emotional support” animals do NOT have them trained. This is an outrage to me as it causes many people to look askance at legitimate, well-trained animals. People don’t understand that they cannot just throw a vest on any old pet and call it a day. A friend of mine (part of why I’m using a one-time pseudonym) has a young Australian shepherd. If you know Aussies you know they are extremely high energy dogs. Then “Robin” takes this extremely high energy and impulsive dog onto planes etc and claims it is an “emotional support animal”. It has not had any special training. I wish I had the guts to say something.

        • Cathy July 11, 2014, 2:11 pm

          I have a friend like that. She keeps adopting dogs in the hopes of finding one laid-back enough that she can take it everywhere and call it her “support” or whatever dog. (Hasn’t worked yet.) She freely admits that she is not getting it any special training, she just wants to be able to take her dog everywhere. It really bugs me too. Whoever is in charge of the “service animal” thing needs to make it a lot harder to call any dog a service dog.

    • Calli Arcale July 11, 2014, 11:41 am

      I love dogs and I’m with you anyway, because they just don’t belong in a lot of places that people are taking them these days. Plenty of people don’t like dogs, don’t trust dogs, or our actively afraid of dogs, and a responsible dog owner respects that and doesn’t allow their dog into a stranger’s personal space.

      Honestly, I’m baffled at the people who get pets and then insist on taking them places. It’s not just dogs. I saw a video of a family with exotic pets, in particular a monkey who was exceedingly spoiled. They insisted on bringing this monkey everywhere, even to restaurants, where this totally untrained monkey basically did whatever it liked. They insisted on a high chair for it, but it didn’t stay in the chair; it climbed all over everybody and the table and made a big mess. It even bit members of the family. And I’ve heard of people taking their lizards places, which is a bigger health concern given that like birds they can carry salmonella.

      People who treat pets like fashion accessories are doing nobody any favors, least of all the pet.

  • Oh Joy July 10, 2014, 10:05 am

    In my experience, people who cart their small pets around tend to ignore the Service Animals Only sign, or claim they’re service animals (which creates a whole different issue for you). I’d use the approach that spas use, and tailor it to your salon’s atmosphere. Something like:

    “Welcome to your ‘me time’ at OurSalon! We ask all clients to leave small children and pets at home, turn phone settings to silent, and enjoy any outside food in the waiting area prior to your service.

    Please let your technician know if we can add to your comfort today in any way. We have a wide selection of magazines and beverages available.”

    • OP July 10, 2014, 2:26 pm

      This. It’s the tiny in your purse dogs… Some people seem to think they don’t count. A big one is much more obviously not allowed. I guess I want that clear.

  • MrsL July 10, 2014, 10:09 am

    Some people just have a horrible sense of entitlement. I adore animals but I’m not crazy about how discourteous a lot of the dig owners in my city are. We have a stunning park with a huge off leash area but people let their dogs run off leash on the hiking trails even though there are numerous signs asking that they be on leashes. I was hiking there a while back and two really sweet dogs ran up behind and past me out of nowhere. They came running back and we’re acting like there was someone way behind us but I couldn’t see anyone. So the husband and I waited with them for a while and then kept walking slowly and patting them. After a good twenty minutes a man with a cup of coffee finally appeared. My husband mentioned that the dogs had been upset and that there were cougar warnings in the area and that this was not an off leash area. The man told him to f off. He had two leashes flung around his shoulders and just clearly preferred his coffee to walking his dogs properly. A lot of people believe that they’re exempt from rules and the only way to really get this behavior to stop in your salon is to have your manager agree that it’s out of line and then to have a sign posted and a zero tolerance policy.

    • mark July 10, 2014, 12:39 pm

      A couple of the canyons where I live have a no dog law with very limited exception because they are a watershed for the county (the cottonwood canyons in Salt Lake County Utah). But a few people ignore, and it gets old. I’ve confronted someone about it and they usually get abusive/defensive probably because I’m sure I’m not the only person who has let them know.

    • Calli Arcale July 11, 2014, 11:49 am

      Yikes. I hope for the dogs’ sake that guy reconsiders in the future, before a cougar makes the lesson a bit more clearly.

      When my baby brother was very small, he was struggling to walk because of an injury he’d suffered as an infant. (Long story, but the short version is that without CPR, he’d have been a SIDS statistic. The doctors were never able to explain what caused him to stop breathing, and he’s been fairly healthy ever since. He’s regained full function in his body, too, and is a very responsible and able-bodied adult today.) My mom went out for a walk in the park one day with just him and our extremely submissive standard poodle, Shadowfax, who was on leash. They encountered a very exuberant young dog (a hunting breed, I believe, but I don’t know which) who was off-leash because his owner was trying to train him for hunting. In a public park which is clearly posted as requiring leashes. This dog knocked by baby brother down, and Shadowfax transformed from a submissive, terrified thing into a fierce protector, knocking the younger dog down and standing between him and my brother, growling ferociously. The younger dog was intimidated and was kept at bay until the owner arrived. The owner was not apologetic; he knew there was a leash requirement, but believed that his need to train the dog for hunting superceded that. My mom gave him a tongue lashing and he left. I don’t know if he ever came back; he wasn’t local to the neighborhood.

  • Alison July 10, 2014, 10:14 am

    Honestly, I think people are just really clueless these days, or suffer from the “Speshul Snowflakes,” syndrome whereby they know the rules, but don’t think they apply to them. I work in a yarn store and though it’s spelled out by a sign on the door, we still get people walking through with food and /or drink in handle, seemingly oblivious to the fact that a spill or sticky fingers could potentially ruin hundreds of dollars in merchandise. I think you need to enforce the rules, and explain to customers why these rules are in place. In my experience, the customers who are offended by the rules are generally high maintenance to begin with, and usually more trouble then they are worth.

    • mark July 10, 2014, 12:40 pm

      It’s ok to “fire” your customers.

      • Wild Irish Rose July 11, 2014, 3:12 pm

        This site needs a “Like” button. 🙂

  • Lera99 July 10, 2014, 10:18 am

    I just got a dog last month and I love her to pieces. She is my little princess.
    I would LOVE to take her with me everywhere.

    I’d love to have her with me at work, at the store, eating out in restaurants, visiting the beach, getting a mani/pedi, going to the movies etc…

    But I understand why that isn’t possible. There are health codes, store policies, etc… And frankly, she is my dog. Everyone else on the planet isn’t required to be as enamored with her as I am.

    I don’t understand the lack of boundaries in people who do take their little doggies with them at all times.

    I was in the grocery store last week and saw a woman with her dog sitting in her cart. And i just thought “Really? You brought your dog into the grocery store? People get their food from here and someone who is allergic to dogs shouldn’t end up miserable because they bought a bunch of grapes with dog hair in it.”

  • dp July 10, 2014, 10:32 am

    What you wrote up as your question is excellent! You could type up a sheet with all these reasons a dog is not allowed, and either post it in your window and/or have a stack to hand out when people try to come in with their pets. This is in addition to the “No Animals Allowed Except Guide Dogs” sign. Apparently a lot of people are claiming their pets are “service” animals for silly reasons.

  • WMK July 10, 2014, 10:36 am

    I may be wrong, but I’m fairly confident that hair salons would need to be regulated by the local Health Department.

    If this is the case, I would advise you to find out what their rules and regulations are about animals allowed in the salon. My thinking is, your salon could be fined for allowing this practice (with the exception of valid service animals). And that being the case, you have a very good reason for turning away clients who insist on bringing their pets with them.

  • GEna July 10, 2014, 10:46 am

    When did it become okay for people to start taking their pets around? I’m shocked everytime I see one in Home depot. Is it really necessary to carry it everywhere? IT’s a dog, not a person.

    • Cathy July 10, 2014, 12:02 pm

      I was wondering about this too – I noticed a lot of dogs in my local HD store, then I read that they allow and encourage it. Weird! But I see a lot of dogs in other stores where the sign on the door says “service dogs only” and the policy is obviously not being enforced at all.

      • Kendra July 10, 2014, 3:10 pm

        It turns out that allowing pets is not a corporate wide HD policy. It is up to the individual store managers. The HDs in my area have banned all pets. Of course service animals are allowed as is the law. There were just too many problems with dogs vomiting in the isles, peeing on the lumber, and acting aggressively towards other customers. When I was complaining to the manager about a large dog that lunged at my mother and me while we were passing it in the isle, he told me that they were asking the owner to leave. They had received over 15 complaints about this particular dog, and the store had only been open an hour. I was thrilled when the announcement went out and the signs went up that only service animals allowed in HD.

      • Wild Irish Rose July 10, 2014, 3:53 pm

        I find it hard to believe that a dog wouldn’t be at least as unsafe at Home Despot as it would at a hair salon! I’m dumbfounded that they allow it!

        • admin July 10, 2014, 4:16 pm

          I see pet dogs in Lowes Home Improvement store quite frequently. They are always in the cart being pushed by their owner though.

        • Cathy July 11, 2014, 2:12 pm

          I actually am too – there’s a lot of stuff on the floor, people, shopping carts, etc. My local HD allows dogs and I have seen quite a few in there, but I wouldn’t do it if I had a dog.

      • Skittle July 10, 2014, 6:13 pm

        I take my dog to my local Home Depot almost every trip, but their store policy is he has to be in a cart while he’s in the store, and he’s a pretty big dog, so he’s hard to miss if he isn’t. But I used to work there and some of my former coworkers like to see him when we go in, and if I don’t have him they ask where he is.

        He also goes into the Tractor Supply that’s across the street with me, on a leash and closely watched at all times. Other then that, he stays home unless we’re visiting family or friends and I know he’s welcome to tag along or he’s running alongside my horse while we’re trail riding. But he’s very well trained, well socialized, and frankly better behaved then most children I see, so I don’t feel bad taking him into public with me.

    • PWH July 10, 2014, 2:01 pm

      Some people view their dogs as children. I’ve seen many completely disregard the “No animals” signs. A few weeks ago I was in a home decor store within a mall and I saw a woman with a dog in a snugly, yes just like it was a baby.
      My mom has two smaller dogs and she is notorious for bringing them everywhere. She’s even tried the service dog route before, but I doubt service dogs are that poorly behaved 🙂
      OP, I hope you find a solution that everyone will agree on. I’ve never seen someone bring a dog with them to a salon appointment, but the owner of the salon I used to go to for my hair did bring her dog to work with her. The dog was quite well behaved and usually sat on her bed in the corner.

    • NostalgicGal July 10, 2014, 11:57 pm

      We used to take our keeshond to HD all the time. They allowed it and we had ‘cleanup’ stuff with us. Also she was a she-it (neutered lady) and would not raise a leg. Kees are usually a very friendly dog even with other dogs; her temperament was that she was very loving and non aggressive. She was also always on leash; would sit on command and STAY there; and was controllable. Almost always there were two of us and she was often taken outside instead to roam the plantings and such and be walked and admired OUTSIDE. By same token we never expected to be able to take her everywhere. And didn’t try to. This was on the order of a decade ago, so the policy has been in place in some HD stores for some time. I think the stores allow it because on hot summer days if you come by for a few quick things, it is better to let the customer bring the animal in than leave them in a hot vehicle; even if they are tailgate trained to stay in the back of your work pickup.

  • josh July 10, 2014, 10:57 am

    “I certainly appreciate your business, but as the sign on my door indicates only service animals that perform a task are permitted. This is for your pet’s and my business’ safety.”

    You aren’t going to win everyone over with that but it’s what you have to do to have a functioning business. You can make leaving the dog outside more attractive by putting out a mat, shade umbrella, hitching post, and bowl of water.

  • Maggie July 10, 2014, 11:20 am

    I’d just blame a higher authority than your salon. “Sorry, but it’s against Board of Health regulations. We’d get shut down.” That way, they know it’s nothing personal against them.

  • lakey July 10, 2014, 11:25 am

    I’m a dog lover. I treat my beagle like a substitute child. But I really don’t understand this entitlement mentality where people think they are entitled to bring their dogs everywhere.

    I would use the reason of allergies. There ARE people who are allergic to dog dander, and in spite of what people think, dogs like poodles may not be as bad for allergies,but they are still a problem. Tell them you don’t allow dogs because other clients could be allergic.

    Or just say you can’t allow it without a reason. You have that right. I’m a firm believer in not caving in to special snowflake behavior.

    • Calli Arcale July 11, 2014, 11:53 am

      I’m allergic to dogs, so I have a poodle because I love dogs all the same. 😉 And I can attest that I absolutely do react to her. Since she doesn’t shed, I can keep ahead of it by bathing her regularly. But I have to be very careful to wash my hands thoroughly after petting her, because it’s not the hair that I’m allergic to, it’s the dander. The hair of a typical dog is just a dander-distribution-system, so poodles and even hairless breeds aren’t allergen free. They’re just easier to keep the dander under control.

  • Coralreef July 10, 2014, 11:34 am

    As much as I love my dog, the only place of business I’ll bring her to is a pet shop (they do nail trims or DIY doggie-wash).

    The dog-less customers would be right to complain and even call the Health department.

    The idea with the sign sounds good to me.

  • Amara July 10, 2014, 11:37 am

    The problem with saying “service animals only” is that unless you specify what that means (a valid license from the state in your hand) a lot of people are going to huff and say “Fluffy is a service animal.” I live in southern/central California and this is such a common lie.

    I agree with not allowing them, though. Allergies of clients, dangers of a hair salon, sanitary issues, and, let’s face it, fleas that may decide to stay behind are all good reasons not to allow any pets. If the salon I went to ever allowed pets to come in–they do not–I would find another. I like dogs, though I great prefer cats, but no matter: I don’t want them everywhere I go. And I am seeing that trend. I hate it.

    • josh July 10, 2014, 3:01 pm

      Unfortunately, you cannot request a service dog owner to provide paperwork proving it is a service dog. However you are allowed to ask the owner what specific task the dog is trained to perform, such as retrieving low objects or guiding the sightless. If a dog does not have a specific task then it isn’t a service dog…it is a support dog and has no right to access. You must be careful when you ask however because you are not allowed to ask what the disability is which requires the dog. It’s a tricky situation.

      • NostalgicGal July 11, 2014, 12:01 am

        Usually though a service animal has a special harness; a ‘vest’ or a ‘neckerchief’ they wear to designate to the public that they are a working animal. Not always. I do know a vet with PTSD that has a cockatoo for stress; it is a legal service animal and he has a special backpack with a top rigid frame compartment for the bird for when he has to go into a business. That’s where it can seem to get into a grey area for service animals.

        • Josh July 11, 2014, 10:17 am

          Unfortunately if your friend is in the US he has been misinformed. His/her bird is not a service animal (which can legally only be a dog or miniature horse) it is a support animal. It is permitted to live where ever he lives and can travel with him but it is not guaranteed entry to all businesses as a service animal would be. Typically though most businesses allow the support animal access as long as it is not a/in danger.

          The only reason I even mentioned the distinction was because it is quite typical of people who bring non-service animals into businesses to claim they are “emotional support” or “stress relief” animals. It cheapens the government certified distinction your friend likely has but it happens quite regularly. I also read a very sad article on huffington post recently about how easy it is to purchase those vests online.

          • NostalgicGal July 13, 2014, 1:35 am

            I had read about it in a news article online, and I do think he carried some papers to prove the animal (bird) was a true support animal. Most places that he frequented got used to him and his bird; and he would put it in the compartment when he had to, such as to go into a business. Yes I used the wrong word, I meant support instead of service.

  • Calli Arcale July 10, 2014, 11:45 am

    People bring their dogs with them to the hair salon???? For the love of pete, why? It makes no sense to me.

    If your fellow hairdressers are tolerating the dogs, there may not be much you can do about it other than to start looking for a salon with a spine. I would not want dogs at a salon. Heck, I think it’s dodgy enough bringing your kids with you; I recognize that sometimes people have literally no alternative in that case, though. (You can leave your dog at home alone. You can’t leave your toddler at home alone.) I’m now envisioning someone with a baby in their arms getting their hair permed, and cringing at the thought.

  • Cathy July 10, 2014, 12:01 pm

    I like dogs, but: The salon owner needs to set a policy and enforce it. If someone’s little darling gets sick from licking something off the floor or gets something dropped on it, they’re going to get sued. The stylists should have the backing of the owner and firmly enforce a no-pets policy for everyone. If someone insists, you will either lose that business or they’ll leave Fluffy at home next time. Clear signage inside the salon and on the door is needed. And I agree with other posters in that it needs to be made clear that it’s not personal against anyone, it’s a health issue.

    I have zero patience with people who carry their Chihuahua everywhere in a Prada carrier and call it a “service dog”. What a load of horse pucky! I’ve met a lot of people who proudly claim to get around the (admittedly too loose) regulations for service dogs so they can take their pet anywhere. It really irks me that people who allergic or afraid of dogs have to deal with idiots like this. If your dog is so important, maybe you should just stay home. Dogs don’t need to be in restaurants or other places of business where there are health regulations.

  • AvidReader July 10, 2014, 12:08 pm

    I agree with PPs that signage should be posted limited access to service animals. If necessary, cite chapter and verse from the relevant local health regulation or code. But, that won’t stop some people. Twice recently, I’ve seen dogs wearing “service dog” vests and they are taken everywhere. I don’t know much about standard size poodles except that they can be a bit high-strung. The way these two vested and well groomed animals (with their one owner no less) were behaving in a very crowded major performing arts center, was proof enough to me that they were no more service dogs than a parakeet is. No one checks or challenges. Anyone can buy a “service dog” vest for their pet. Back to the current salon issue, for a period of time staff might consider informing clients of the “no dogs” policy when the clients book. Something like, “We’ve been informed (by the Health Dept./Licensing Board, etc.) that we may longer allow pets to accompany their mistress/owners to their appointments at our salon. Thank you for understanding.”

    • Lera99 July 11, 2014, 7:59 am

      Actually standard poodles tend to be very mellow and very smart.

      I have known 3 standard poodles who were trained as service dogs (one was able to detect and assist it’s owner with seizures, one was a stability dog that helped his owner if she tripped, and the third was trained to calm his owner when she had panic attacks due to PTSD).

      That said – anyone can buy a “Service Animal” vest or harness. And the law states you cannot insist on documentation proving an animal is a trained service animal. So there will always be people who try to get around the rules by lying and being shady.

    • NostalgicGal July 11, 2014, 2:34 pm

      [LIKE] <<<<< made my own like button. Rolling the policy out with signage and spend about a month on reiterating the policy to clients when they book.

  • Lisa July 10, 2014, 12:09 pm

    We relocated to S. California a few years ago. And like the OP, I love dogs, but I’m still a bit shocked at the places people are allowed to bring them here. It seems to be a regional thing. A couple of week’s ago I was in line to pay at Victoria’s Secret at the mall and there were 2 dogs in line with me.

    So I can see how it would be difficult for OP to enforce considering that it seems to be widely acceptable in this area to take your dog absolutely anywhere.

    • OP July 10, 2014, 2:28 pm

      Yup. I’ve seen them in the mall, at a restaurant, grocery store. .. Must be a southern California thing.

      • Cathy July 11, 2014, 2:16 pm

        I also live in SoCal and I’ve noticed the same thing – dogs everywhere. I was surprised at first, now I’m used to it, but I don’t like it. I think we must have an exceptional number of entitled special snowflakes living here.

  • Brenda July 10, 2014, 12:12 pm

    I agree with others about health code issues. Find out what the local laws are. Then get an official sign, not a homemade one, from a supplier, and post it at the door. When someone walks in with a dog, the manager is going to have to walk them right back out.

    If the manager doesn’t want to do this, then an anonymous report may have to be made to the local health officer. All it would take is someone having an allergic reaction to a dog, or being bitten, and all the money made from allowing people with pets in is gone.

    I know that purse dogs are considered an accessory in large cities (it’s rumored that Paris Hilton has killed over a dozen dogs, regularly replacing them with lookalikes), but there are still laws. When I go to the salon, especially considering how much money I pay, I do not want to have to listen to some yippy dog or a fawning owner.

    • Jewel July 10, 2014, 3:02 pm

      A friend and I recently shopped a large bed and bath products chain store when a couple strolled in with their mid-sized, shaggy, dog. The dog was not heeled to the owner nor was wearing the “service animal” vest. We immediately turned to the cashier to express our astonishment that a dog could be brought into the store. She referred us to the door manager on duty who shrugged us off saying, “The store manager will handle it.” When we asked what that meant, he simply repeated the statement, then added that “we aren’t allowed to turn away any customer”.

      When we returned to our perspective homes, we each sent an email to the corporate office in complaint with the store location, date, time, and details about the situation (mentioning that customers with allergies don’t want dog hair from the get-go on their newly purchased pillows, bedding, and towels.

      All we got in response was the standard “thank you for your email. We care about our customers and want to hear from them. blah, blah, blah”. Basically, they don’t care and our complaint means nothing. Unfortunately, I don’t think any store is going to make an issue because they don’t want to deal with the bad publicity.

      Those of us who don’t want to see pets (which is different than a service animal) in stores need to be a whole lot more vocal to store owners/corporate headquarters if anything is to change.

  • Kamatari July 10, 2014, 12:19 pm

    I wish the Board of Health or other such authority places would be able to offer services like having an agent talk to the special snowflakes as they’re in the act. “Oh? Did you just walk into this salon with a non-service dog despite the posted warning? You just got this establishment an $X fine. And because you are the 5th person today who has brought in a non-service dog, the fine is now $(X x 5) total”.

    • Kendra July 10, 2014, 3:23 pm

      I like the way you think Kamatari, but I think it should get a little bit farther. I think that it is the dog owner that is defying the signs and bringing in a dog anyway should be ticketed and fined. I think the tickets should be tracked, like traffic tickets, and if an owner gets more than…..I don’t know….say 8 tickets in about a 90 day period, they loose their dog. Honestly, I think that most people that would defy the rules about pets won’t really care that they cost someone else money, it has to hurt the owners to work.

      • JO July 10, 2014, 7:14 pm


  • Stella July 10, 2014, 12:32 pm

    I’m a god lover, but I don’t understand some people’s inability to leave their dog for even a few minutes. I see dogs tied to in front of store steps because people are so lazy they can’t be bothered to walk their dogs first and then come back to the store. It often leads into an anxious or a barky dog, and in places where people would have to step onto the drive way to stay away from the dog with a loose leash. Even if your dog is kind, we can’t know that. Do not leave your dog where it can reach people unattended. No excuses. A guy I’m dating told me about a little dog suddenly surging and biting his leg when he walked past. Good thing he was wearing jeans.

    But that’s a little OT to the post. I’m not sure why OP isn’t asking the salon owner what their policy is. Or are they putting it on the stylists to decide if they want to serve dogs or not? They need to issue a clear policy, otherwise those who do not want dogs in their work areas come off as “rude” to prissy customers, and it inconveniences those customers who were told last time that dogs are fine, only to now be turned away!

    • Stella July 10, 2014, 12:34 pm

      *dog lover. Awkward typo from an Atheist ; )

      • Cat July 10, 2014, 6:44 pm

        That was a good laugh. I was wondering if you were going to question the OP as to whether there really is a dog in her shop. “There is no dog!” “Yes, there is and he’s licking my shampoo bottle!”

        • Stella July 12, 2014, 4:28 am

          “I’m sorry I just don’t believe in dogs and nothing you say can make me believe you.”

    • Cathy July 11, 2014, 2:18 pm

      Hahaha reminds me of the episode of Portlandia where the couple find a dog tied up outside the coffee place and order it all kinds of food and then “set it free”.

  • Library Diva July 10, 2014, 12:35 pm

    I think you should bring this issue up with the salon’s manager and have him or her call a meeting. Everyone should be on the same page regarding enforcement of this rule. You’ve gotten a lot of good suggestions as to what should be said to customers. I’d suggest a sign on the door and a note on the salon’s website. I guess you will have to take your cues from the salon manager as to how to deal with your co-workers. Only you can decide whether talking to them is worth it, what approach you can take to make them prioritize the salon’s rules above their immediate need to make a few dollars, and whether you should approach management in the case of continued refusal to comply.

  • Karen L July 10, 2014, 1:06 pm

    Six of one, half a dozen of another. I don’t like dogs and if my stylist’s place had dogs all over, I would stop coming and probably never mention why.

    The other thing I hate: people who announce “Does anyone mind if I bring my dog in?” requiring someone else to be “rude” saying “I mind!”. They always look at you like you just asked to eat their children. My feeling: Why ask if someone minds if you aren’t going to accept “yes” for an answer?

    • Calli Arcale July 11, 2014, 11:57 am

      My mother and I ask that of one another all the time with no problem, but then, we know each other and our dogs very well. We’re mostly asking if there are going to be any other guests at the party who might have a problem with the dog’s presence. Anybody else, I won’t ask. Dog stays at home unless explicitly invited, which I consider highly unlikely.

  • DGS July 10, 2014, 1:26 pm

    Smile, tilt your head and say this nicely, “Unfortunately, for safety reasons, we are unable to accommodate animals other than service animals”. Repeat. Repeat again. Offer to reschedule their appointment for when their furbaby can get a babysitter. Repeat.

  • Alicia July 10, 2014, 2:09 pm

    Could you work a deal with a local pet salon where people could get pampered at your salon and pets at the pet salon at the same time? That way you could be like”Oh you brought Precious lets see if we can get him over at Pawsitively Lovely for his fur do while we color your hair.

    • Lera99 July 11, 2014, 8:04 am

      I would love to see this package deal in real life.

      I would love to buy a package deal where I get my hair cut, colored, and styled while a few doors down my Princess gets her nails clipped and gets shampooed.

  • acr July 10, 2014, 2:11 pm

    I don’t think it’s rude to have a dog in public, just because some people are allergic to dander. By that logic, it would also be rude to eat at peanut butter sandwich in public, or wear perfume in public. If it’s not against the law or against the store policy to have a dog in that store, then I don’t think it’s rude to take your dog with you. If the dog behaves badly and the owner allows that, then that is rude. but if the dog is behaving, then it’s not rude. Just because some people don’t care for something doesn’t make it rude.

    • Rap July 10, 2014, 5:04 pm

      “By that logic, it would also be rude to eat at peanut butter sandwich in public, or wear perfume in public.”

      I can point you to at least one article of a mother demanding everyone get behind banning peanut butter in public places her child goes since her child could die.

      And some people were agreeing with her.

      • NostalgicGal July 11, 2014, 2:41 pm

        I know of schools being forced to ban and remove peanut butter because some child is allergic and their parent took it to court… one went so far as to take it to court to have oak (acorns), almond, pecan, and walnut trees removed from the schoolyard AND FOR A RADIUS AROUND THE SCHOOL (from private property) because her child was allergic to nuts. That one got tossed out of court. A friend from college visited a few years ago, with wife and youngest son (teenager) and the lad is allergic to peanuts. Instead he just carried two epipens everywhere and we were shown by him where he had them; in case. Then he faced the world out there just fine.

    • JO July 10, 2014, 7:25 pm

      Actually, I’m pretty sure eating a peanut butter sandwich in a hair salon WOULD be viewed as rude (not to mention just bizzare). And most people are also offended by excessive amounts of perfume. We’re not talking about an open, outside space here. It’s a salon, where the pet owner is stuck in a chair anyway, so what’s the point of bringing the dog? It’s not like you’re spending time with it. Not to mention the health risks it poses not *just* to the other patrons, but to the pet as well. Dogs, especially small ones, can be highly sensitive and much more easily injest poisons from hair chemicals than many people realize. To think everyone should be happy with your precious little pooch running around is entitled and arrogant.

  • NicoleK July 10, 2014, 2:17 pm

    Gasp lightly, “Oh no! Some of the chemicals we use here are not safe for dogs. I’m so sorry, she’s so sweet, but this isn’t a safe environment for her. She’s so cute! What a sweetie!” gush gush gush, usher, usher, usher out…

  • HelenB July 10, 2014, 2:23 pm

    The local SF convention I go to had to update their “pets” policy. Of course service animals were always allowed, but we had people bringing in obvious pets and trying to claim that they were service. The current hotel management where we have the con allows pets, but the convention still bans them — imagine the hygiene issues if you had 6,000+ people bring pets.

    On a related story, we were waiting outside for our table at the only “real” restaurant in walking distance of the hotel, and a lady walked out and pulled a small dog out of her bra! Or maybe some sort of travel pouch, but definitely from inside her shirt. If you have to hide your dog in your shirt, then you know he/she isn’t supposed to be there.

    • Lera99 July 11, 2014, 8:09 am

      One of my friends had a sugar glider that rode around in her bra all day.

      She took it to work and taught it to go potty in the sink. That way every couple of hours she could go into the handicapped stall and have her sugar glider go potty in the sink so it wouldn’t go in her bra.

      It was really odd to be out shopping with her or eating lunch and suddenly see the sugar glider poke it’s nose out of the top of her shirt.

    • NostalgicGal July 11, 2014, 2:47 pm

      I used to do a convention circuit selling stuff, and there was a wonderful lady with the most gorgeous loveable Irish Wolfhound. Only problem is the dog’s height. And the big plume of a tail. That it would wag a LOT. It was tall enough that the tail would swing over the table tops in the dealer’s room and cause a LOT of havoc, and some busted stuff. Finally pets had to be banned from a few of the cons’ dealer rooms because of that. Rather than single out the one, they had to go after the all.

  • AnaMaria July 10, 2014, 2:31 pm

    It is in no way out of line to expect people to NOT bring their animals into a salon (except service animals, of course). You just listed plenty of reasons why it isn’t safe for dogs or people, and as allergies have gotten worse in humans, the risk has moved from “itchy eyes and a runny nose” to “life threatening breathing problems” (a dear friend of mine just recently had to rush his 11-year-old son to the ER after he was around a dog). Plus, every owner will say they have a “good” dog, but some people think a good dog is one that only occasionally bites hard enough to draw blood.

    A sign outside should be sufficient, and maybe if regular d0g-bringers call to set up an appointment, have the receptionist tell them that there is now an official no-dogs policy (emphasizing that it is for the safety of the pups and other patrons) so they don’t show up and then whine about having to leave their dog in a hot car or tied up outside. If they don’t like it, they can *try* to take their business elsewhere, although I don’t know how many other salons will allow dogs. It just creates too many risks for everyone!

  • AMC July 10, 2014, 2:45 pm

    My first thought is ‘Why is there not a store policy on animals, and why is that policy not clearly posted on the door?’ It sounds like this is probably not something the OP has much control over, since s/he mentioned being the youngest stylist there, but their concerns are valid. I would recommend the owner make a clear store policy, post it, and enforce it consistently. If customers ask why no pets, simply saying that there are safety and liability issues should be a more than sufficient answer.

  • kingsrings July 10, 2014, 3:23 pm

    Add me to the list of people who also dislike this latest fad of people taking their dogs with them everywhere and thinking that it’s perfectly acceptable because it’s a cute little dog that fits in their purse. The most shocking place I’ve seen this happen is at a medical facility (where people get flu shots) and at a hospital medical office waiting room! In the latter, the dog was the smallest, most adorable thing ever, but he still shouldn’t have been in there to begin with. The problem is is that so many people make service animal claims. Some are legitimate, but too many aren’t. Needing a service animal for emotional reasons is one of the biggest potential falsehoods. And there are many places one can get false service animal credentials, too.

    • Lera99 July 11, 2014, 8:38 am

      Needing a service animal for emotional reasons is one of the biggest potential falsehoods.

      It really makes me angry when people lie about this.

      My friend did two tours in Afghanistan and has severe PTSD made worse by a Traumatic Brain Injury that he suffered. His dog has been trained to help my friend deal with flash backs and panic attacks. The dog has been trained to herd my friend into a corner and lick his face to give him a tactile sense of the here and now when he is suffering from a flash back or panic attack.

      It is a well trained dog that serves a specific function which allows my friend to live a normal life. He’s able to go shopping or go to the movies because he has the dog.

  • LadyStormwing July 10, 2014, 3:32 pm

    I would say this is a situation where safety trumps etiquette. Besides the reasons OP mentioned (chemicals, the risk of dropping a hot iron or sharp scissors), there is no such thing as a “hypoallergenic” animal. Stylists risk the health, comfort, and safety of other customers who may be allergic or afraid of dogs. I’d check with the local health department and then go from there. Good luck!

  • Hellbound Allee July 10, 2014, 3:45 pm

    Yes, “Purse Dogs” are a thing now. And these clueless people, I believe, are actually harming their little doggies by treating them as humans, not the dogs they are. They don’t even see the floor some of them, They don’t run around a yard, and they are never on leashes.

    In my store, a store that sells groceries, it is a HUGE no-no from the health department to bring in non-helper pets. But no way do they see them as pets, nor does the rule apply to them. I see little puppies in the child seat of grocery carts, lined with BABY BUMPERS. it’s like they dare you to come over and tell them they can’t have Prissie Pie in the store. I try anyway and get rebuffed. The store managers tell me to let it go, or else we’ll have a bad customer experience on our hands. I can’t imagine why they put up a sigh or tell us the rules in the first place, if we can’t enforce them.

    So basically, we go out of our way to allow people to mess up their dogs by not training them or allowing them to be dogs. Just great.

    • Calli Arcale July 11, 2014, 11:59 am

      But they’re not even treating them like humans. They’re treating them like dolls. You’re right that it’s very unhealthy for them. I used to watch The Dog Whisperer a lot and there were a fair number of situations he went to where people had bought tiny dogs, kept them in purses and brought them everywhere, but did absolutely nothing to socialize them or housetrain them, so when they weren’t in the purse they were absolute nightmares.

    • Cathy July 11, 2014, 2:20 pm

      I’ve seen that too, and I think it’s terrible.

    • EchoGirl July 12, 2014, 7:59 pm

      This isn’t a new thing at all. The reason tiny dog breeds exist is because they were bred in the Middle Ages as status symbols for the wealthy to carry around like accessories. Not saying it’s good for the pets at all, but “now” isn’t the word for it. More like “now and since the dawn of time”.

  • Gamer Girl July 10, 2014, 4:00 pm

    I used to be a stylist and I agree with everyone else saying this is a health code issue. Definitely find out what your codes are in your area and put up a sign.

    Personally, I can’t imagine trying to do a chemical service or a cut and having to manage around a pet. I have a little dog, and I would never imagine taking her into a salon. That being said, I too have seen people bring little dogs into places they should. You can tell, b/c most of the time, that little dog is struggling valiantly to escape the purse it’s been shoved in.

  • NostalgicGal July 10, 2014, 5:33 pm

    If it’s hot, you need to leave your furbaby at home. It may be your furkid but there are many that are allergic. Plus as said health and safety codes. Unless it’s a service dog; a trained working animal; it needs to stay home. Yes I had a keeshond for several years, she was a good dog and well trained; and a few places would let us bring her in. (we asked FIRST before we brought her with). And we had a cleanup pack just in case she got too excited… we never just showed up with her and expected she could come. Most of the time she’d just find a nice cool floor spot and park and wait for us. I would have NEVER brought her in anywhere there were chemicals or food. A business has the right to exclude non-service animals, respect that.

  • hillbilly chick July 10, 2014, 5:56 pm

    In my state, if the inspector happened to be there same time as an animal (other than service) 1st offense-warning, 2nd-$ 100 fine, 3rd- $300 fine. Is the customer going to pay the fine for the owner?

  • gabriele July 10, 2014, 7:22 pm

    Two things:
    It’s against the law in Illinois:
    36) Pets or other animals shall not be permitted in a salon or shop at any time. This prohibition does not apply to an animal assistant for the physically impaired.
    There’s a link (pdf, unfortunately) to a Florida site:
    “Animals: No animals or pets shall be allowed in a salon, with the exception of fish kept in closed aquariums, or trained animals to assist the hearing impaired, visually impaired, or the physically disabled.”

    I love the look of this salon and even better, what they post:
    “The State Board of Cosmetology and the Board of Consumer Affairs have specific Rules and Regulations stating that no animals are allowed in a salon at any time. Service dogs with official “Service Animal” vests are the ONLY exception to this rule.”
    The entire page is a well-written guide to salon policies….perhaps the shop manager (OP’s) could benefit from a look?

    Indiana Administrative Code (pdf):
    820 IAC 3-1-17 No pets; cosmetology schools, cosmetology salons, electrology salons, manicurist salons, esthetic salons, and
    self-contained mobile salons
    Authority: IC 25-8-3-23
    Affected: IC 25-8
    Sec. 17. (a) Cosmetology schools, cosmetology salons, electrology salons, esthetician salons, manicurist salons, and selfcontained
    mobile salons are prohibited from allowing pets on the premises.
    (b) In compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (42 U.S.C. 12101 et seq.), animals classified as service animals
    under 28 CFR 36.104 are not prohibited from being on the premises.
    (c) A person holding a cosmetology school or cosmetology salon license, electrology salon license, esthetician salon license,
    manicurist salon license, or a mobile salon license shall display a sign at the entrance of the salon, self-contained mobile salon,
    or school that states “no pets allowed”.

    This part is from a dog lover.
    Why do you think a dog has been able to find illegal cell phones in California prisons, no matter how well hidden? It’s his nose.
    Dogs’ noses are so sensitive, to subject them to all the fumes, odors, etc not just from the products used but from the cleaning products used, scents that the patrons wear….it must be a special kind of torture for them since their talents were designed to help them survive by tracking things or identifying undesirable food, etc.
    Perhaps a photo of a dog wearing a breathing apparatus with something like,
    ‘Save me from the assault on my strongest sense, my ability to smell, from all the odors you probably can’t smell in this environment. Fresh air, your smell and my favorite foods are what I really want to smell, not chemicals’.
    The local animal shelters use vinegar for a lot of their cleaning work because it works and it doesn’t hurt the animals they’re looking after.

    Perhaps if there is a law in the OP’s state (?) the local SPCA could be contacted, not just for this salon, but for others as well…

    OP, thank you for caring about the dogs as well as your patrons.

  • Rosie July 10, 2014, 7:31 pm

    I totally agree that dogs should not be allowed ‘wherever.’ I have a 12 lb Pekeingese, and while she’s my baby at home, she stays put at home when I leave. It’s presumptous and rude to assume that your dog is welcome anywhere you go. Also, home is where your dog is the safest, in their own environment.