Need to pick up some new outdoor gear or outdoor wear and want to bring your puppy or adult dog along with you?
If REI is one of the stores you plan on visiting, do you even know if you can take your dog inside?
Maybe – REI does allow dogs in the store in some locations as it is up to the store manager. However some locations don’t allow dogs inside unless the dog is a service animal.
Keep reading for more details on the pet policy at REI stores.
Is REI Dog Friendly?
Many retailers are pet-friendly, meaning that they allow pet owners to bring pets of all sorts onto the premises.
And REI is known for being dog-friendly as they used to allow dogs in all their locations.
Yes, REI is a pet-friendly store in many locations, but not all.
The company wants to ensure that the REI locations remain safe and enjoyable for all shoppers.
Therefore, they let the manager of each store location make the final decision as to if non-service animals are allowed in the store with shoppers.
The company takes all things into consideration, such as allergic reactions that other customers might have.
They also consider that small children might fear the animals, and untrained animals may cause health hazards inside the store.
Their overall attitude toward pets in the store is welcoming in many locations.
What Is REI’s Official Policy on Dogs?
The retailer’s official policy is that only service dogs are allowed in the store.
Here’s what they told a customer about their pet-friendly policy on Facebook:
We love our pets too and carry many items just for them! In accordance with local and state health-codes, many areas do not allow animals inside, except for ADA service animals. Additionally we try to make REI an inclusive environment where every feels welcome and comfortable to visit. We are happy to accommodate any sizing, or try-on scenarios for your pet outside the store. Simply speak with one of our green vest team members and they will be able to assist you.Official REI Facebook page
However current and former employees tells us that some stores are allowed to let dogs in the store, unless there are local laws that prohibit it.
Here’s what one former REI employee has to say about it:
The store I used to work in had the official policy of “service dogs only.” In practice, we had a “one bark” policy. If someone’s dog was well-behaved and leashed, we’d let them in to try on doggie stuff no problem.TXsweetmesquite
And here’s what another employee had to say about it:
My store had to switch to service dogs only because of corporate policy but we would allow dog parents to bring gear out to their pup to try on! And our greeter was always more than happy to dog sit while the dog parents shopped for gear so our dog friends didn’t have to wait in the car. We even had a water bowl and treats behind the register!luvmypups44
Just keep in mind that each store location may enact their own dog policy, which means it’s up the store manager’s discretion if you are allowed in with your doggy.
And not all stores let you take your dog in to try on gear.
Of course, if your dog is a service animal, then Federal law requires that all REI store locations let you in with your service dog.
And don’t forget that emotional support animals are NOT service dogs.
Does REI’s Dog Policy Vary Across Locations?
Technically, the official corporate policy for REI is that only service dogs are allowed, but the reality is that not all store managers enforce this.
Yes, the pet-friendly policy of REI does vary across store locations since it is ultimately up to the manager at each store if dogs should be let into the location.
A good rule of thumb is to just call up the store location that you intend to visit with your dog and ask if they will let you both into the store.
Or, just show up and ask upon arrival, knowing that you may be refused entry.
If you end up at your local REI store and have your dog with you, then you should feel free to take your doggo into the store with you but check with the greeter at the door that it is okay.
Just make sure that your dog is well behaved and on a leash.
And keep in mind that some stores actually don’t permit dogs inside, so it’s best to call and check in advance – or just ask upon arrival.
Of course, pick up after the dog if he goes to the bathroom in the store.
And if you’re planning ahead, then it doesn’t hurt to call the REI store you’ll be shopping at to check on their dogs policy in advance.