Are Dogs Allowed In Target?


This is a complete guide on the pet policy of Target stores.

I am going to be explaining if dogs are allowed in Target stores and clarify what their policy means for pet owners.

Let`s get started.

Is Target Dog Friendly?

Question: Are dogs allowed in Target stores?

Answer: Target is definitely not a dog friendly store although they have what can be considered to be a lenient pet policy. According to Target’s official website they only allow service dogs inside their store premises and they reserve the right to turn away anyone who does not comply with their pet policy.

I came across a thread on Yelp that can help you to fully understand the pet friendliness of Target stores.

is Target dog friendly

If your dog is not trained to be a service animal then you will not be allowed to enter the store premises.

Why Target Is Not Dog Friendly

Different stores have different policies when it comes to allowing pets within their shop premises.

The different pet policies for the various stores are as a result of many different reasons, like Starbucks is a strictly no pets zone because they have to maintain sanitary and health standards as indicated by the health code.

Target stores sell groceries and they have to abide by strict sanitary and health standards so they need to have a pet policy that is designed to protect all their customers.

However, Target has a policy that may be considered to be lenient but since it does not really include the general population there is no need for much happiness.

The overall pet policy for target stores is that only service animals are allowed inside their stores.

Are Ordinary Dogs Allowed In Target Stores?

Target’s official website indicates that dogs that are not service dogs are not allowed and they reserve the right to turn away anyone who does not comply with the pet policy of their stores. 

But this might not be the same in all Target branches, as some store managers might apply different policies, according to the so-called “per manager” policy which allows store managers to amend the overall policies in order to effectively run their own branch.

Why Are Service Dogs Allowed In Target Stores?

The Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA) which covers Title II (state and local government programs) and Title III (places of public accommodation such as restaurants or retail merchants) is the foundation of the actual definition of service animals.

It defines service animals as any dog that is individually trained to do work or perform tasks for the benefit of an individual with a disability, including a physical, sensory, psychiatric, intellectual, or other mental disability.

Other species of animals, whether wild or domestic, trained or untrained are not considered service animals.

Service dogs are trained to take a specific action when needed to assist the person with a disability.

For example, a person with diabetes may have a dog that is trained to alert him when his blood sugar reaches high or low levels.

A person with depression may have a dog that is trained to remind her to take her medication.

Or, a person who has epilepsy may have a dog that is trained to detect the onset of a seizure and then help the person remain safe during the seizure.

It is therefore important for the owners of such dogs to be near them at all times because they are very crucial for their health and well-being.

Can Any Dog Be A Service Animal?

Yes. Any dog breed can be a service animal although some breeds are more preferred than others due to their size and physical abilities.

The Americans with Disabilities Act does not require your dog to be certified in order to be recognized as a service animal but certain institutions and public areas might require you to prove that your dog is actually trained for service.

Tips For Shopping With A Dog At Target

People with a disability are allowed to do their shopping in the company of their dogs as long as the dog is trained to help them with tasks related to their disability.

So if you have a service dog and you would like to shop around with your dog, here are some tips for the next time you go to a Target store with your dog…

  1. Keep your dog on a leash- It is very easy to control your dog`s movements if they are on a leash.
  2. Make Sure Your Dog Is Not Hungry- Target stores can be tempting for dogs when they are hungry so it would be a great idea to feed them before you get into the store in order to avoid them eating any food they find during your shopping.
  3. Make Sure Your Dog Relieve Themselves Before You Start Shopping– It is okay for you to do your shopping in the company of your service dog but you might end up getting into trouble with the store managers if your dog leaves excrement within the store premises.

Target Overall Pet Policy

As mentioned earlier, only service animals are allowed inside Target stores.

According to ADA, only dogs can be service animals and to qualify they have to be trained to do work for a person with a disability.

So other pets like cats are completely ruled out and they are not allowed in any Target store.

Here is a quick summary of the overall pet policy of Target store…

  1. Non service animals are not permitted in grocery stores under applicable food safety regulations.
  2. Service animals are individually trained to do work or perform tasks for persons with disabilities.
  3. Comfort or emotional support animals are not considered as service animals.

Verdict: Does Target Allow Dogs?

Target is definitely not a a pet friendly retailer and they basically do not allow dogs in most of their stores.

They only allow service animals as defined by the Americans with Disabilities Act and any animal that does meet the requirements with regards to ADA will not be allowed inside a Target Store.

According to the Americans with Disabilities Act, only dogs can be certified as service animals.

Any dog breed can be trained for service but some breeds are more preferred than others because of size, response rate and many other factors.

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This site does not constitute pet medical advice, please consult a licensed veterinarian in your area for pet medical advice.