REI is famous for its products for dogs to help them accompany you on your adventures in the great outdoors. But can I bring my dog into REI for a fitting, or just to accompany me? Let’s find out.
Are you a pet parent and cannot leave your pet even for a moment? Managing work, shopping, and doing other daily chores becomes difficult with your pet around, but neither can you leave them to themselves.
For pet owners, it is important to know which stores are pet friendly, so that they can make their purchases without having to leave their dog outside. For example, REI is a popular chain that claims to be very dog friendly.
But can I bring my dog into REI? Unfortunately, the answer is no. We will explain to you why REI has taken this stand. What about other supermarkets and chain stores for that matter? Read on as we clear your doubt, and help you understand where you can take your pet with you and where you need a sitter to watch your pet at home.
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Can You Bring Dogs to REI?
No, because REI has had bad experiences in the past with unruly dogs, which is why they request you to leave your dog outside.
REI is one of the most popular stores in the US, and if you are planning to go some shopping there, you might want to know if your dog can come along. Unfortunately, REI stores do not entertain dogs or any pets, except for service animals.
Your dog might be a people’s person, but some people might not feel comfortable with an animal walking around the store where they are shopping. Hence, the REI owners wish to avoid that trouble and not allow pets inside the store.
Why does REI not allow pets inside the store?
According to some of their customers, REI stopped allowing pets inside the store after an unfortunate incident. An irresponsible pet owner had brought their untrained pet to the store that damaged displays and items for sale in the store. Since then, REI does not take such trouble of allowing pets inside the store.
I cannot leave my pet at home, and I need some camping supplies from REI. What should I do?
If you do not have any option but to bring your pet to the REI store, do not worry. Many pet owners bring their pets to the store and tie them up outside the store. It is perfectly safe to leave your pet for some time while you pick up your camping essentials at the store.
REI also promises that their staff will do fittings for any dog products outside the store itself, so you don’t have to worry about buying products for your dog either.
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Can You Bring Dogs Into Sam’s Club?
No, just like REI, Sam’s Club too does not allow entry of pet dogs and other animals
If you are planning to go to Sam’s Club, you might like to know if they would allow your pet in. Sadly, Sam’s club does not allow pets inside unless it is a service dog for a person with disabilities. Like most store chains, Sam’s club has a clear policy against the entry of pets.
Unless you have a well-trained service dog and you can provide the necessary documentation to prove it, Sam’s club will ask you to leave with your dog and not allow your pet in.
Not many stores in the US will allow pets inside, so it is better that you read up on their policies before turning up on their doorstep with your dog.
What Documents Would I Need To Let My Service Dog Enter Sam’s Club?
Sam’s Club requires a set of documents to allow your service dog in. These documents include:
- A pre-registration document
- Licensing papers for the service dog
- Agency certification, if any
- A sign or harness that says it is a service animal
Why Do Stores Not Allow Pets Inside?
Most stores cannot allow pets inside because they have an open display. Now, not all dogs are well trained. So if the owner loses control over the leash, the dog might damage the items on display, costing a fortune for the store.
Some of the other reasons for not including pets in the store, especially food stores are as below:
- Pets, if not well trained, may fight amongst each other and cause trouble at the store
- Dogs might cause allergies and introduce ticks and fleas in the store if they are not well-groomed
- They might litter the store floors and create a mess
- Many shoppers might have complaints against the pets being allowed in the store
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What Is the Difference Between a Pet Dog and a Service Dog?
There are quite a few differences between a service dog and a pet dog. Some stores allow the entry of service dogs while restricting pet dogs. Some of the common differences between a service dog and a pet dog are as below:
- A service dog is a well-trained dog that assists a person with a disability and is trained for years to do the job, whereas, a pet dog may be trained, but not to assist an individual in that case.
- A service dog can perform activities such as calming PTSD patients and patients with traumatic brain damage, depression, physically supporting patients, alerting people with hearing disabilities, and more. A pet dog may not do it as efficiently and promptly.
- Service dogs are mostly calm and composed, while the pet’s temperament might change.
What Stores Are Dog Friendly?
By now you might be feeling that almost every store has a ‘no-pets’ policy. However, that is not true. Many stores allow pets to accompany their owners freely.
Some of the stores that do not have restrictions towards pet entry are the Apple Store, Bloomingdale’s, Crate and Barrel, Gap, Kohl’s, Nordstorm, Saks Fifth Avenue, Urban Outfitters, Marshalls, LUSH, Pottery Barn, and others.
Some of these stores have wide isles to allow your dog to walk with you freely, while some will allow you to get your dog only if it is leashed. Not all stores of each chain will have the same policy, so you should call and crosscheck with the store once before your visit.
If there is a ‘no pet’ policy and you still cannot keep your dog at home, you might have to tie your dog outside the store, so be prepared for it in advance. There are government policies regarding allowing pets in public places, so read up on them before leaving the house with your pet.
Being well versed with the rules and regulations will help you stay ahead of a conversation and counter-arguments if you see something not going right.
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Stores with a ‘No-pet’ policy
Apart from REI and Sam’s Club, some of the common stores with a ‘no-pet’ or ‘only service animals’ policy are Best Buy, Costco, Kroger, KMart, Walmart, Target, Walgreens, Rite Aid, etc.
Some of these stores allow service dogs if you have the documents. However, we would still advise you to take a look at their policies online or give them a call to find out if they would allow your pet inside. If they don’t, you can try and get a sitter or make necessary arrangements to leave your dog at home when you go shopping.
It might be clear to you by now that REI stores do not allow pets inside, and if you are to bring your pet to the store, you will have to leave them outside while you grab your desired products.
Sam’s Club also does not allow dogs’ inside because of health reasons and government regulations. Many other stores have set policies for pet entry to the store. So, to be on the safer side, we always suggest that you call the store and find out from the employee if it is a good idea to get your pet along for shopping.
You might not want to leave your pet at home alone, but neither would you want to create a mess in a store setup or even torture your pet by tying it outside the store entry. Thank you for reading, we hope we answered most of your questions, if not just drop us a ping in the comments box and we will revert back quickly. You might also like to read: How To Sneak A Dog Into A Hotel?