Every dog owner knows the feeling of wanting to bring their four-legged friend everywhere they go. But sometimes, Fido just doesn’t fit into the game plan. Thankfully, more and more establishments are catching on to the fact that dogs are part of the family and welcoming them with open arms (and often some free treats).
However, outdoor retailer REI has been a little bit hesitant on this one. So, are dogs allowed in REI, and can you bring your dog shopping with you? Unfortunately, the answer is no. However, there may be some exceptions.
Are REI Stores Pet-Friendly?
REI stores are not typically pet-friendly, though there may be some exceptions. This is because REI does not have an official pet policy. Rather, it is up to each individual store manager and staff to decide whether or not to allow pets inside.
That being said, REI stores have some general guidelines that need to be followed regarding pets. First and foremost, all dogs must be leashed at all times. And while some stores may allow well-behaved dogs inside, others may not allow any pets inside the store at all.
It’s also important to note that even if a particular store is pet-friendly, certain areas of the store may be off-limits to pets.
Some stores may be more lenient than others, so it’s always best to call ahead before bringing your furry friend along. That said, REI is a great place to shop for all your outdoor gear and apparel needs, both for you and your pet!
Why Dogs Are Not Allowed In REI
Here is a statement from REI corporate concerning dogs:
“REI is a unique place we want to celebrate with everybody. Our objective is to make REI a welcoming environment where customers may feel at ease while shopping and working. Because of local and state health laws, certain REI stores are banned from allowing animals. We’ve also discovered that some consumers are allergic to pets or do not like them around“.
While it may seem like an act of discrimination against our four-legged friends, the truth is that there are perfectly good reasons for the unofficial policy. Let’s take a look at why dogs are not allowed in REI stores and offer some alternative options for dog owners who want to shop at the outdoor retailer.
While most dog owners think their furry friend is well-behaved, the truth is that even the best-trained dog can be a distraction to other shoppers. In a busy store like REI, it can be difficult for employees to keep an eye on both shoppers and their dogs, which can lead to problems.
For example, a loose dog could cause another shopper to trip and fall or startle someone who isn’t expecting to see an animal in the store. In addition, dogs can also be disruptive when they bark at other shoppers or animals.
Another reason why dogs are not allowed in REI stores is that they can spread disease. While most healthy dogs don’t pose a risk to humans, there are some diseases that can be spread from dogs to humans, such as salmonella and ringworm.
In addition, some shoppers may have allergies to dogs, which could cause them to have a reaction if there was a dog in the store.
Alternatives For Dog Owners
If you’re a dog owner who loves shopping at REI, there are a few things you can do to work around the policy. One option is to leave your dog at home with a sitter or dog walker while you go into the store.
Another option is to shop at an REI Outlet location, which does allow dogs inside. Or, you could buy online from their online store and have your products shipped directly to you.
What About Service Dogs?
The answer is yes—all service dogs are allowed in REI stores. REI’s official policy states that “service animals assisting customers with disabilities are always welcome in our stores.”
However, the store asks that customers refrain from bringing their animals inside if they do not meet the ADA’s definition of a service animal. This includes ESAs and pets that have not been specifically trained to perform tasks for their owners.
A service dog has been taught to help someone with a disability. The dog does things to make it easier for the person. The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) defines a disability as a problem that makes it hard to do things that other people can do.
Service dogs learn to perform various tasks, such as providing support during a seizure or retrieving items for someone who has difficulty using their hands.
Service dogs are different from emotional support animals (ESAs), which do not have to perform specific tasks and are often used to provide comfort to people with anxiety or depression. While emotional support animals are not protected under the ADA, service dogs are.
This means that business owners cannot refuse to allow a service dog into their premises on the grounds that it is an animal—they must make an exception for the animal if it meets the ADA’s definition of a service animal.
REIs aren’t necessarily known for being pet-friendly places, but that doesn’t mean your furry friend can’t tag along on your next outdoor adventure. While some stores are more lenient than others regarding pets inside the store, the best thing to do is call ahead or ask at the door before bringing your pet inside.
And even if a particular store is pet-friendly, there may be certain areas of the store that are off-limits to animals, so always err on the side of caution and leave your pet at home when in doubt!