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Does REI Allow Dogs? 2023 Pet Policy & Exclusions

Nicole Cosgrove Profile Picture

By Nicole Cosgrove

Mountain View REI

Ah, the great outdoors! The trees, the sun, the mountains…and all the gear you need to enjoy them safely and comfortably. If you’re the outdoorsy type, REI, also known as Recreational Equipment Inc., is probably a place you’ve been to more times than you can count! The popular outdoor retail store sells a variety of equipment and gear for camping, hiking, climbing, and other outdoor activities.

Many nature enthusiasts are also pet owners and enjoy spending time outdoors with their furry friends as often as possible. Does REI allow dogs to accompany their humans as they shop? The official answer is, unfortunately, no. But there are some minor exceptions.

This article goes over what you need to know!

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REI’s Official Pet Policy

If you want to go to an REI, most likely, you will need to keep your dog at home. However, REI allows service dogs in their stores as long as they are well-behaved and on a leash at all times.

When it comes to non-service dogs, the current corporate policy is that they are not allowed in the stores. However, there may be some leniency depending on the specific location and state or local regulations. For example, the REI in Santa Monica welcomes shoppers with dogs.1 It may come down to a specific store’s manager and the employees’ comfort and experience level with dogs in the store. Always ask when you first enter if it is okay to bring your dog along to shop, and be respectful if the answer is no.

The 4 Tips for Bringing Your Dog Into REI

If you are allowed to bring your dog into a specific REI, here are some tips to ensure a positive experience for both you and your furry friend:

1. Keep your dog on a leash.

This will help ensure that they are under control and prevent any accidents or unwanted behavior. REI stores carry some expensive gear on display for customers to handle and try out. No one wants their puppy knocking over an entire row of fishing poles or makes a stinky deposit in a pup tent.

2. Be mindful of other customers.

Not everyone is comfortable around dogs, and some people may be allergic to or scared of them. Be respectful of other customers and keep your dog away from those who are not interested in interacting with them. Keep your shopping trip quick and efficient. If you feel like relaxing and hanging out with your dog, maybe head to the local outdoor coffee shop or park instead.

black labrador in a pet store
Image Credit: celyi, Shutterstock

3. Make sure your dog is well-behaved.

Your dog should be able to follow basic commands and walk easily and comfortably on a leash. This will help ensure that they are safe and not causing any disruption in the store. We prefer getting our cardio out on the trail, not chasing Fido up and down flights of stairs and through the freeze-dried foods aisle.

4. Bring your own supplies.

If you plan on spending a longer time than usual in REI, be sure to bring your own supplies for your dog, such as food, water, and poop bags. This will help ensure that your dog is comfortable and well-cared for during your visit. Show the employees that you’re a person they can trust to be responsible with their dog in the store.

man and his dog at a pet store
Image Credit: Erickson Stock, Shutterstock

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Final Thoughts

In conclusion, specific REI stores may allow dogs in their stores as long as they are well-behaved and on a leash. Be sure to follow their policies and be respectful of other customers to ensure a positive experience for everyone. If your local store follows the official corporate REI policy, so should you.

Featured Image Credit: Mountain View REI (Coolcaesar, Wikimedia Commons CC SA 3.0 Unported)

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