Fact checked

Are Dogs Allowed in Academy Sports + Outdoors?

2 minutes
Taking your family pet into stores can relieve stress about leaving them home alone, but some stores still have a no-pet policy. However, with an ESA letter, pets may be allowed in stores.
Expert reviewed by:  
Written by:
Susana Bradford
Published on:  
March 16, 2023

Curious whether you can take your furry friends into an Academy Sports + Outdoors store? The rules for service animals and other animals vary from place to place and store manager to store manager. This is the same with many brands, which can leave pet parents wondering where they stand.

Research has shown that the location might depend on the state you live in, with some states having more pet-friendly stores than others. This means that whether or not you can take your canine companion into an Academy could depend on the state that you live in.

Still, let's take a look at the pet policy at Academy Sports + Outdoors and the types of dogs you can bring with you.

Bringing a Pet to Academy Sports + Outdoors

Academy Store + Outdoors has 268 stores across the US. They are, however, independently owned and operated stores, as are many other brands. In other words, the store managers at each location can define their own store policies.

It seems that in the vast majority of cases, dogs are allowed in Academy Sports. There may be an official corporate policy that asks store owners to let dogs inside, according to some information. That said, there's no guarantee that a manager won't implement their own policy against dogs. This means that not all stores might be pet or emotional support animal (ESA) friendly.

Of course, if your dog companion is covered under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), then you won't have to worry. Service dogs and their owners are protected by this act, which states that "A service animal is a dog that is individually trained to do work or perform tasks for a person with a disability." Dog-friendly stores or not, all establishments have to allow service dogs through their doors due to this legislation.

Are emotional support animals allowed in an Academy Sports?

Since Academy Sports + Outdoors appears to be largely dog-friendly, you shouldn't have a problem, nor any reason to distinguish what type of service animal you're using.

Bear in mind that the ADA's guidelines have limitations. But they don't cover dogs that help their owners feel better emotionally, even though it's been shown that these animals can help ease symptoms and boost confidence.

Should you happen across a local store that isn't accommodating of animals, this lack of official guidance could leave you stuck. Unless, of course, you have an ESA letter. If you qualify for an emotional support animal, an ESA letter can bridge the gap in official guidance and protections, allowing you to have your dog accompany you even when store owners aren't accommodating.

Why Bring a Dog to Academy Sports + Outdoor?

Academy Sports + Outdoors is an ideal place to pick up equipment for your outdoor pursuits. They also sell a whole bunch of dog accessories, including bowls, toys, and harnesses or leashes. And if you're picking up something for your dog, you'll want to know that they're going to get along with it.

Of course, you may want to bring your dog to Academy Sports + Outdoors for support. Many people with conditions like anxiety or agoraphobia find some relief from traveling with their service dogs.

Since stores can technically set their own policies, we recommend calling ahead to see whether you'll be allowed to bring your dog into the store with you. Of course, if you get an ESA letter, you won't ever need to worry about checking in advance.

Why You Need to Get an ESA Letter

On the whole, Academy Sports + Outdoors is one of the friendlier brands and should allow your emotional support dog or even a household pet inside the store with you. There are a few rules of common sense that pet owners should follow. For example, only take leashed dogs inside and monitor their behavior.

But why chance it? If you commonly go shopping with your emotional support animal, then you don't want the stress of being turned away at the door. To combat this problem, you can get an ESA letter to prove your need for your furry friend. Then, pet-friendly store or not, you'll be allowed in with your pup.

An ESA letter is a document signed by a mental health professional that justifies your use of an emotional support animal. With Pettable, you can find a licensed professional quickly with just a three-minute assessment. We'll show you how to get an ESA letter and help you through the process, and we'll even refund you if you can't get your letter for any reason. So, get started today to see how much easier traveling with your pup can be when you have an ESA letter.

Meet the author:
Susana Bradford

Susana is an avid animal lover and has been around animals her entire life, and has volunteered at several different animal shelters in Southern California. She has a loving family at home that consists of her husband, son, two dogs, and one cat. She enjoys trying new Italian recipes, playing piano, making pottery, and outdoor hiking with her family and dogs in her spare time.