Epic comes everywhere with me. I have had ZERO issues. I take her to the mall, hair salon (the prices we pay there, nobody would DARE say your dog can't come and sit in your lap) and even cafes and restaurants. If people can have screaming, pooping kids at their table, I can certainly have a little dog sitting quietly in a carrier next to me.
We often walk along the boardwalk by the water, then pop in somewhere for lunch.
The only places I don't take her are:
- Movies. I want to not have to leave mid-movie, for any reason.
- Clubs/bars. When I am out at places like that, I'm there with my husband, and I focus on him.
- Greyhound buses. Yeah, they'll leave you at the next stop if you have a dog with you. Very inflexible. Ironically (being named "Greyhound" and all).
- Really fancy restaurants, for the same reason I don't take her to clubs.
If we are traveling then she'll often come with me even to movies/clubs/fancier restaurants because I don't want to leave her in the hotel (where she usually isn't a registered guest, haha) but that's the exception.
ETA: You asked for tips. Well, I just use REALLY inconspicuous carriers in plain colours (black, brown) and walk in like I am doing nothing wrong. Never had anything said. Heck, in the health food store a lady brough her lab in on a leash and when she was told to leave she plain said "I certainly will not leave my dog tied out in the sidewalk - anything could happen to him!" then proceeded to get her items, checked out, and that was that. So I don't believe anyone will give me a hard time with Epic when there are people like that around. More power to her!
Just avoid mesh sided carriers, bright colours, and anything with paw prints on it. Also, teach your dog to love the carrier and be quiet in it. Take her around in it A LOT in places where she is welcome (keep her in the carrier in PetSmart most of the time at first) and then when she's reliably quiet and calm, you can start taking her to the corner store, etc.
Believe me, you are more aware of the fact that you have a dog than anyone else is. Just internalize that you're doing nothing wrong (she is in a carrier, nobody will be any more likely to have an allergic reaction to her than to your clothes on your back) and remember that in most major cities around the world, it is a non issue.
If anyone ever came up to me, I'd apologize and say "oh I'm sorry, I just moved here from Europe and it is a non-issue there. It won't happen again." LOL