If you're the outdoor or adventuring type, you might be a regular at REI and have probably wondered, 'Is REI dog friendly?.' Since they sell a lot of dog gear – like harnesses, booties, plush toys and beds - you might automatically assume they are.
Our guide reviews all the things you need to know about REI stores and their dog policy.
Are Dogs Allowed in REI?
While REI stores aren't officially dog friendly, they do allow service dogs per the ADA. Some stores, at the manager's discretion, might also allow well-behaved pups. Call the store ahead of time to avoid feeling let down and check their specific policy.
What is REI's Dog Policy?
As it stands, only service dogs are allowed in REI stores. However, some managers may be a little more dog-friendly, so it's always worth asking them. If a manager is pro dogs and allows your pup in the store, make sure that they are well-behaved, on a leash and toilet trained.
Is REI Dog Friendly?
REI's official policy notes that only service dogs are allowed inside stores. While certain individual stores might have more relaxed guidelines, the consensus is that only service dogs are allowed inside the actual premises.
Unfortunately, this means that REI doesn't allow emotional support animals (ESAs) into their stores either. This can be pretty disappointing for owners wanting to bring their ESAs along, especially if they struggle with social anxiety and need their four-legged friend to join them as support.
Generally, it's always best to chat with the store manager if you want to bring your pup along, as some managers might be more lenient than others. Call beforehand to avoid any disappointment.
Can My Dog Try on Gear at REI Stores?
Unfortunately, only service dogs are allowed in REI stores, so most owners will have to purchase gear for their pups in-store and try it on at home. REI offers comprehensive sizing charts for dog gear, so it's definitely worth having a look at the size guide and measuring your pup before you buy the goods.
If, once you return home, the items do not fit, you can return the goods provided that they are still in optimal condition.
Are Service Dogs Allowed in REI?
Yes. In accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (known as the ADA), all service dogs are allowed in REI and any public space that humans are allowed to access. Service dogs are defined as pooches who are individually trained to perform a disability-related function that supports their owner with a disability. Disabilities can be psychological, physical, intellectual or sensory.
Are Emotional Support Animals Allowed in REI?
Unfortunately, only service dogs are officially allowed in REI stores. This means that, officially speaking, ESAs are not allowed.
Are Dogs on a Leash Allowed in REI?
Only service dogs are officially allowed. Pet dogs and ESAs are only allowed in stores if the specific store manager decides to allow them in.
Are Dog Strollers Allowed in REI?
Strollers are only allowed if needed for a service dog or at the discretion of individual managers.
Can REI Ask for Proof of a Service Dog?
No. REI cannot ask owners for proof that their animal is a service dog. They can, however, ask handlers two questions about the dog. Firstly, is the dog required because of a disability, and secondly, can it perform a specific function relating to the disability?
List of Dog-Friendly Stores
While REI's policy isn't the most dog-friendly store in town, there are happily lots of dog-friendly stores around. Some pet-friendly stores include:
- Apple Store (many locations)
- Barnes & Noble
- The Gap (most stores)
- Harbor Freight Tools
- Old Navy
- Victoria's Secret
Online Psychiatric Service Dog Training with Pettable
If you have a psychiatric disability and want to obtain a PSD training certification with your pup, why not consider our online, self-paced PSD training program? The online program runs over 15 sessions with a certified trainer, and once complete, you'll get an official certificate and invaluable knowledge about how best to train your psychiatric service dog.
We can also facilitate the process of getting an ESA letter. Just answer a few simple questions, and we will connect you with a licensed mental health practitioner in your state. ESA letters have several benefits and, under the Fair Housing Act, prevent landlords from discriminating against owners with ESAs. They can also result in pet rental waivers since ESAs are seen as medical assistance aids rather than conventional pets.
Certain airlines may also allow ESAs; however, this is at the discretion of the individual airline.