In the West, dogs in non-grocery stores have been normal for a very long time. Like I said, particularly in hardware, feed, and such stores. But I have absolutely never seen a dog in a cart in a grocery store. So maybe that's a Florida thing?
As far as allergies, they are like all other allergies. If you're allergic to something generally in the air, you're going to be exposed to it no matter what. Generally however in public you're not going to be touching the dog or even anywhere really near it, so it's not hugely different. I'm very allergic to some women's perfume and will just start sneezing. So I avoid malls. Should women with perfume be banned to ease my symptoms? No, I just avoid heavy concentrations of it.
I'm from Illinois but from 1980 we spent at least 2 weeks out of every winter in Florida. I never observed a dog riding in a shopping cart in a grocery store until probably around 2010 or later, and even then it was not a common sight. The very first time I every observed a dog in a Lowe's, Home Depot, Farm & Fleet, Tractor Supply, or hardware store of any type was probably only 7 or 8 years ago. Maybe it has been different in other parts of the country.
The last 3 or 4 years in Florida it is almost a common sight to see dogs in grocery store shopping carts, in baby strollers in all retail establishments, including restaurants. In addition, there are few if any places a dog is not welcome if on a leash. I guess my question is what if you are allergic to pet dander? Are you just suppose to deal with being forced to have contact in public with these folks fur-babies?
I know most dog owners think EVERYONE loves their dog. I've got new for them, everyone does not love their dog.
Lowe's, Home Depot, Ace, and similar places specifically allow dogs of all types. As far as I know, they always have, or at least for over 20 years. People have brought their dogs to the hardware store for a hundred years or more. There are many other places that welcome dogs too, such as Best Buy and some outdoor stores. Oddly enough REI prohibits them, which made it useless for trying to buy working/hiking vests for our dogs. We just took the dogs and our money to another store.
We have one dog we don't take in public much because he's reactive. We have another dog that goes with us a lot, because he absolutely loves everyone. He's had a tour of Lowe's because the employees loved him so much. Either way, both go out on top quality prong collars which allow my 110 pound wife to fully control any size dog.
I was in Lowe's a few days ago and I came around the corner to come face to face with a huge Rottweiler. He was on a leash held by a 70'ish little lady of about 90 lbs. If that Rot had wanted to, he could have drug that little lady and me both out in the parking lot and buried us together.
I guess it could have been a legitimate service dog, I don't know. I watched them out of curiosity for several minutes and he was all over the place, not the typical stand still by the master well behaved animal.
I guess it's a good thing I'll be moving on from this world in a few years or less. I just don't understand what's going on.