Mountain View REI

Recreational Equipment Inc (REI) is an American retail company that sells sports equipment, camping gear, travel gear, and apparel. REI was founded in 1938 in Seattle and now has over 165 stores across the United States. Moreover, this store also sells many pet products, which could lead people to believe that it allows dogs in its establishments. But unfortunately, REI stores are not dog friendly.

Why Are Dogs Not Allowed at REI?

REI stores have strict no dogs in-store policy. In fact, these stores do not accept any pets, even kittens. The only exceptions to this rule are service animals.

Dogs are not permitted in REI primarily to protect customers and employees who feel less comfortable around dogs or who have allergies. Although REI’s no-dog policy is not found anywhere on its website, customer service sends the following response to customers requesting more information about this policy:

“Some of our locations are prohibited from allowing animals because of local and state health codes. We’ve also found that some customers are allergic to animals and/or are not comfortable around them. Because of these and other factors, we’ve decided the best decision is to not allow animals that are pets into any of our REI retail store locations. We apologize for any inconvenience and will do what we can to ensure you get the right gear for your pup.”

In addition, there is another statement from REI on its Twitter, confirming the acceptance of service dogs in their stores: “Service animals are welcome in all REI stores. Pets are not allowed; however, staff can assist with fittings or sizing questions.”

REI from north - Hillsboro, Oregon
REI from north – Hillsboro, Oregon (Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons CC SA 2.5 Generic)

What Stores Allow Dogs in the United States?

There are other stores in the United States that do accept dogs. That said, whenever you bring your pooch to these places, ensure that you keep them on a leash and that they have relieved themselves outside before entering the establishment, to avoid any unfortunate accidents. It would also be best to call the store beforehand to check if dog access is tolerated.

Here’s a non-exhaustive list of dog-friendly stores in the United States:

  • Abercrombie and Fitch
  • Petco
  • PetSmart
  • Home Depot
  • Lowes
  • Restoration Hardware
  • Tractor Supply Co
  • Nordstrom
  • Saks Fifth Avenue
  • The Apple Store
  • The Container Store
  • Bass Pro Shops
  • Pottery Barn
  • LUSH
  • Macy’s

Final Thoughts

Although the no-dog policy in REI stores may disappoint many owners, the reasons for this ban are well-founded. Indeed, it is quite commendable that the managers of these stores seek to protect customers and employees who are allergic to animals and/or are afraid of dogs.

Additionally, they must comply with the laws of the states where their retail stores are located. Luckily, there are plenty of other places in the United States that grant you the privilege of bringing your beloved dog along!


Featured Photo Courtesy: Mountain View REI, Wikimedia Commons CC SA 3.0 Unported