Are you heading down to REI for some outdoor equipment? Wondering whether you can take your dog inside along with you? Well, you’ll be glad you stopped by. This is what you need to know.
So, are dogs allowed in REI? Dogs are generally not allowed in REI, as per official corporate policy. The only exception is service dogs. That being said, some stores have been known to allow dogs. It is at the discretion of individual store managers and employees to enforce. It, therefore, does differ somewhat on a store-by-store basis.
In reality, REI does have a no-dog policy.
Or any other pets for that matter.
But as you will see, your experience will differ depending on the store you go to.
Are REI Stores Dog-friendly?
Some REI stores are dog-friendly, however, most of them are not. Either way, it is important to recognize that as per corporate official policy, dogs are not generally permitted unless they are service dogs.
In reality, you may be allowed in with your dog, you may not.
Some stores even have dog treats on the counter. Others allow dogs to try on dog gear.
You may even get some time inside a store with your dog only to later be told to leave.
It really does depend.
It could even come down to how well-behaved each dog is, their breed, size, and any previous incidents or mishaps with dogs at that specific store.
Nevertheless, it’s impossible to know the stance of each and every store ahead of time.
Unless of course, you know the manager and employees personally or have experience of visiting that store in particular.
Just remember this; it isn’t ‘technically’ allowed. All stores have the same policy.
And, when you learn the reasons why dogs are not allowed, you may think twice about going in with your dog, even if you can.
Why Dogs Are Not Allowed In REI
Dogs are not allowed in REI to protect customers, employees and to minimize the chances of incidents involving misbehaving dogs.
While it may be a little frustrating that you cannot necessarily go in, this policy has been implemented for a reason.
Besides, this was not always corporate policy.
It was, however, introduced as a means of ensuring everyone remains at ease and safe.
Here is what REI actually commented on the matter
While your dog may be very well behaved and socialized, the problem is not all of them are.
And if there were to be an attack – particularly on a service dog or a young child, then the store could be liable or included within a lawsuit.
Even assuming all dogs are well socialized, there is always the possibility that they could go to the bathroom in the store.
And the mess is obviously going to be an issue.
Either for the employees or another customer who steps in the wrong place.
Nevertheless, with these reasons in mind, REI concluded the following:
Although, REI has also publically announced that they will do all they can to accommodate the needs of dog owners if they cannot be admitted in store:
REI does not allow dogs… officially.
Although in reality, some stores appear to be a little more lenient in regards to this policy than others.
It is ultimately up to the manager to enforce corporate policy.
This is why there are customers who do and will take their dogs into some REI stores.
Whether you should is another question altogether.
Just consider the temperament of your dog and how socialized and trained they are.
Besides, this policy is in place to keep people safe.
And at the very least, staff can assist with fittings or sizing regardless of whether your dog is with you.
And if you are wondering where else you can take your dog inside, check out the following guides below:
I am a practiced pet owner with decades of experience owning a number of different pets. I am also the main writer and chief editor here at Pet Educate; a site I created to share everything I’ve learned about pet ownership over the years and my extensive research along the way.