Are Dogs Allowed in Shopping Centres in Australia?

So, you’re wanting to duck down to the shops or spend an afternoon window shopping, but is it possible to take along your dog? Whether a dog is allowed in a shop often depends on the shop owner, with some shops allowing well-behaved dogs inside, except for shops that sell food.

But what about larger shopping centres – are dogs allowed in shopping centres in Australia? I’ve dug up the rules for a variety of malls and shopping centres, including some dog-friendly shopping centres in Australia that allow dogs to join you.

Read on to find out where you can go shopping with your dog in Australia…

And note of course that I’m just referring to pet dogs, with assistance animals always allowed in shopping centres and shops in Australia.

Dog-Friendly Shopping Centres Australia

Rules for Dogs at Bunnings

One of the most popular dog-friendly shopping destinations in Australia is Bunnings. While not an actual shopping centre, many Bunnings are certainly as large as a shopping centre. (Did you know that some Bunnings stores even have a pet section these days?)

Well-behaved pet dogs are allowed in Bunnings Australia stores, as long as they are on a leash. Bunnings also request in their store entry information that you maintain control of your dog and clean up after it – naturally! I’ve heard reports that muzzles are required unless you carry your dog, but this isn’t officially listed on their website.

Dog-Friendly Bunnings Australia
Dogs are allowed in Bunnings Australia stores

Are Dogs Allowed in Malls in Australia?

When it comes to outdoor shopping malls, it’s easy to expect that dogs would always be allowed. After all, isn’t it an outdoor public space?

However, this is not always the case. In Darwin, dogs are prohibited from the Darwin Mall, according to the local council website. Additionally, dogs are prohibited from the main blocks of the Cairns CBD, according to the council website. However, when I visited Cairns, I didn’t notice any signs about this, so I don’t know if it is always enforced.

With other malls, keep an eye out for signs. For instance, there are no signs prohibiting dogs from the Pitt Street Mall in the centre of Sydney. I’ve also visited the Rundle Mall in Adelaide with my dog, checking out the sculptures in the mall, including “A Day Out” featuring a group of mischievous pigs.

Rundle Mall Pigs with Dog
“A Day Out” in Rundle Mall with my dog

Dog-Friendly Shopping Centres in NSW

NSW is home to multiple dog-friendly shopping centres, including a few that I’ve recently become aware of in Sydney. Check out these options around the state.

The Cannery, Rosebery

A small shopping centre in Inner City Sydney that recently became pet-friendly is The Cannery in Rosebery. This historic building, once a soup cannery, is home to an Aldi supermarket, a new PetBarn outlet, multiple restaurants and cafes (including Gelato Messina!), plus popular monthly markets.

The Cannery Interior
The interior of The Cannery Rosebery

Dog Etiquette rules are posted at each entrance. Make sure you keep your dog on a leash, keep barking to a minimum and clean up after your dog. It’s requested that dogs don’t enter inside cafes or sit at tables – keep them on the ground in outdoor dining areas or the tables in the centre of the mall.

The Cannery Dog Etiquette
The Dog Etiquette rules at The Cannery

East Village, Zetland

Not far away from The Cannery is another dog-friendly shopping centre in Inner City Sydney, East Village. Located in Zetland, next to the Eastern Distributor, the policy is clearly announced on their website and recently the signage has also been updated at the entrances.

East Village Shopping Centre
Dogs are allowed inside East Village

Pets must be kept on a leash inside the centre, plus supervised by their owners. Ask at the entry of individual stores for whether pets are allowed inside, with pets not allowed inside any of the restaurants.

Your best options for shopping with your pet are PETStock (next to the carpark) or Dogue (across Cooper Place), rather than the Coles supermarket. Dogs are welcome in the outdoor dining area of Village Crown, with a gourmet menu just for pets. Across the road is an off-leash park.

Birkenhead Point, Drummoyne

Another dog-friendly shopping centre in Sydney is Birkenhead Point, an outlet shopping centre in Drummoyne.

Note however that dogs are not allowed in all parts of the shopping centre – they are only allowed in the mall area on the Ground Floor and Level 1, plus the outdoor food court (not the indoor food court on the Ground Floor). It’s also up to each individual store whether they allow pets.

Birkenhead Point Level 1
Level 1 inside Birkenhead Point shopping centre

When visiting the shopping centre recently, I noticed that most of the entrances still have a “no pets” sign, but the entrances on the Ground Floor and Level 1 have a “Dogs in Centre Guidelines” QR code to scan, that brings up the full list of rules.

At the Ground Floor entrance next to the waterfront and outdoor food court and at the street side entrance on Level 1, there are “Barkenhead Point Pup Parking” zones. Although the tether points aren’t useful if you’re taking your dog inside, there are handy water bowls and poo bag dispensers.

Birkenhead Point Pup Parking
The Barkenhead Point Pup Parking area at the Ground Floor waterside entrance

Make sure you keep your dog on a leash, closely supervised, and clean up after your dog. Dogs are also not allowed on escalators or inside lifts – there’s a ramp between the Ground Floor and Level 1 near the carpark entrance that you can instead use.

Home HQ, Artarmon

Home HQ is predominantly a homewares shopping centre in Artarmon, on the Lower North Shore of Sydney. Although there is also a PetStock pet store on the lower ground floor, including a dog wash and groomers, just a short walk from the carpark entry.

Home HQ Artarmon
Home HQ in Artarmon is a dog-friendly shopping centre

While there are no signs at any of the entries to the shopping centre stating pets are allowed (but there are also no signs prohibiting animals), it is clear from their social media accounts that the shopping centre is dog-friendly. There were certainly plenty of pets on the lower ground floor when I recently visited!

While dogs are allowed throughout the centre, always ask before entering any of the individual stores to check that your pet is welcome. Also make sure you carry your dog on the escalators, or make use of the lift for larger dogs. Dogs are also welcome in the outdoor area of The Glasshouse Artarmon, the onsite cafe – just keep them leashed.

The Glasshouse Home HQ
Leashed dogs are also welcome in the outdoor areas of The Glasshouse

Coffs Central, Coffs Harbour

In Coffs Harbour, head to Coffs Central. The centre proudly proclaims on its website that it’s dog-friendly. Dogs are allowed on the ground floor only of the shopping centre, not up to level one, and need to be on a leash no longer than 1.5m. Dogs are also allowed inside shops marked with a paw print.

Coffs Harbour Jetty with Dog
Even when it’s not sunny in Coffs, you can still go shopping with your dog

Moonee Market, Coffs Harbour

Just up the road from the centre of Coffs Harbour in Moonee Beach, dogs are also allowed inside Moonee Market. A sign at the entrance to this small shopping centre states that dogs on a leash are allowed inside.

Check with individual shops to see whether they also allow dogs. One shop that is definitely dog-friendly is Sammie’s Dog Cafe & Spa, although it has a separate entrance directly from the carpark.

Port Central, Port Macquarie

Further down the coast in Port Macquarie, Port Central which is also operated by Pacific Coast Shopping Centres also has a similar dog-friendly pet policy.

Once again, dogs are only allowed on the ground floor, not on level one. They are permitted inside shops that display a paw print graphic out the front. Always keep your dog on a leash no longer than 1.5m and clean up after them.

Dog-Friendly Shopping Centres in QLD

Queensland is home to at least two dog-friendly shopping centres, both on the Gold Coast.

Q Super Centre, Mermaid Waters

Q Super Centre at Mermaid Waters is home to over 80 retailers, including a PetBarn and a Bunnings. Not surprising then, it’s dog-friendly, openly welcoming dogs. Dogs are welcome throughout all outdoor areas of the shopping centre, with water stations and bags provided.

Entry into individual shops is up to the store owners – look for signs or ask. Just leave pets other than dogs behind, and skip allowing dogs in shopping trolleys or on furniture.

Harbour Town Gold Coast, Biggera Waters

Another dog-friendly shopping centre on the Gold Coast is Harbour Town Gold Coast. Located in Biggera Waters, its the largest outlet centre in Australia, with over 220 stores. There is no mention of the pet policy on their website, but I’ve been assured by previous visitors that dogs are allowed in the main section plus some stores.

Dog-Friendly Gold Coast
After a morning on the beach, go shopping with your dog on the Gold Coast

Dog-Friendly Shopping Centres in SA

If you’re wanting to go outlet shopping in South Australia, Harbour Town Adelaide is also pet-friendly. According to their website, pets are welcome to join you in the outdoor areas of the shopping centre, although most stores don’t permit dogs inside. Keep your dog on a leash and make use of the pet-friendly drinking fountain near Adairs.

Dog-Friendly Shopping Centres in VIC

What are your options if you live in Victoria and want to go shopping without leaving behind your pup?

Chapel Street, South Yarra/Prahran

While not exactly a shopping centre, one of the best shopping destinations to head to in Melbourne with your dog is Chapel Street in South Yarra and Prahran. Back in 2019, it became Melbourne’s first dog-friendly shopping precinct.

While walking along the street, keep an eye out for the Paw-on-the-Door stickers indicating pet-friendly businesses. There’s over 500 pet-friendly business in the area, ranging from fashion stores to the outdoor areas of cafes and even banks, with many of them listed here.

Pet friendly sticker on Chapel Street
Chapel Street is home to many pet-friendly businesses

Burwood Brickworks, Burwood

Another dog-friendly shopping centre in Melbourne is Burwood Brickworks. The shopping centre has proudly proclaimed on their Facebook page that they’re dog-friendly.

Dogs are allowed in the main mall, known as the urban plaza, plus inside shops at the discretion of individual retailers. Perhaps head to the Teddy Bakery gourmet bakery – I’ve seen mentions that they offer puppacinos, or check out the rooftop garden.

Note that dogs are not allowed in certain stores, such as the supermarket and inside restaurants. Dogs must always be with their own and not left tied up outside.

What About Chadstone Shopping Centre?

Despite the wishes of some customers, dogs are not allowed in Chadstone shopping centre.

Etiquette for Visiting Shopping Centres with Your Dog

If you are planning on visiting shopping centres or shops with your dog, keep in mind some common rules that you should follow, even if they aren’t written down.

Well-Behaved Dog at Shopping Centre
Make sure your dog is well-behaved inside shopping centres

Firstly, only well-behaved, house-trained dogs should be taken to shopping centres or shops. They are not a destination to take your puppy, who may end up having an accident. The one exception to this is pet stores, where there are always cleaning materials on hand – ask the staff if an accident happens.

Dogs should always be kept leashed, and if you dog is muzzle trained, perhaps have them wear a muzzle. If you have a small dog, consider carrying them in your arms, to keep them out of the way of other visitors.

Just in case, always carry bags with you. If you need to use one, always dispose of it in an outdoor bin, not one inside the shopping centre.

You May Also Like

About the Author

Photo of Shandos & Schnitzel

Shandos Cleaver is the founder of Travelnuity: Dog-Friendly Travel. She has travelled extensively with her Miniature Dachshund, Schnitzel, including to 33 countries across Europe, every state and territory of Australia except Tasmania, and 10 of the United States. She’s passionate about providing inspiration and information to others wanting to travel with their dogs, whether close to home or internationally.