What is Target’s Policy on Pets

What is Target’s Policy on Pets?

Are Dogs Allowed in Target? Dogs are becoming everyone’s go-to adventure buddies, joining their owners for fun walks in the park. 

Are Dogs Allowed in Target

You might catch them chilling under picnic tables at breweries or strolling through the aisles at plant stores, helping pick out pet-friendly houseplants.

As dogs become a regular part of family life, many businesses are opening their doors to our furry friends. 

It’s not uncommon for people to think about bringing their dogs along for a Target shopping trip or grabbing lunch with friends at a dog-friendly restaurant.

Now, the question is, are dogs allowed in Target?

Are Dogs Allowed in Target?

No, Target doesn’t permit regular dogs to enter their stores, mainly because of health regulations. Since Target sells groceries, live animals, including dogs, are not allowed inside. 

However, there is an exception for service animals that are officially registered and approved under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)

So, if your dog is a service animal, it’s allowed to accompany you in Target, but otherwise, pets need to stay outside. 

This rule helps maintain a clean and safe environment, especially in areas where food is sold.

Are Service Dogs Allowed in Target?

Yes, service dogs are welcome at Target, even though regular pet dogs are not allowed. The reason is that service dogs are not considered regular pets; they are working animals. 

This accommodation for service dogs is protected by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), a federal law that takes precedence over state laws. 

According to the ADA, service dogs undergo specialized training to assist individuals with various needs. These trained dogs can:

  • Guide individuals who are blind or visually impaired
  • Pull wheelchairs
  • Alert individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing
  • Remind individuals with mental health conditions to take medication
  • Protect individuals during seizures
  • Calm individuals with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)

Can Target Turn Away a Service Dog?

The only time Target can deny a service dog access to their stores is when the animal represents imminent danger of harming other people’s safety or health.

For instance, if a service dog is intimidating or causing disturbance at Target premises, the owner can be forced to vacate.

You should also be aware that some people may not know the laws concerning service dogs and deny them entry.

They might ask for proof of registration, but there’s no official registration for service dogs. Service dogs don’t need to be registered, wear vests, or carry any specific ID.

Businesses are only allowed to ask two questions if someone brings in a service dog: “Is the dog a service animal required because of a disability?” and “What work or tasks has the dog been trained to perform?” 

These questions are aimed at guaranteeing that the dog is a trained service animal helping somebody with a disability.

Key Considerations for Bringing Your Dog to Target

Are Dogs Allowed in Target

Here are some key considerations:

1. Check Store Policies

Before going to Target or any other store, it is important that you first know their pet policy.

Although dogs are not allowed as a general rule, there may be some exceptions for well-behaved leashed dogs.

2. Call Ahead

Before dropping by the store, take a minute to call. Talk to the store manager about whether dogs are currently allowed in there.

This small measure will prevent you from any unpleasant surprises or disappointments when arriving at your destination.

3. Leash and Cleanup

However, if the store allows dogs to enter it should be done according to their rules. Always keep your furry friend on a leash to ensure the safety and comfort of all customers. 

Also, be a responsible pet owner by promptly cleaning up any messes your dog may make.

4. Health and Vaccinations

Before you go on a shopping trip with your dog, make sure that he is healthy.

What this means is that they should be healthy and receive all the latest vaccinations. Some stores may ask for evidence of vaccinations and it is advisable to have those proofs somewhere.

Which Other Stores Don’t Allow Dogs?

Although Target is not the only store with a no pets policy, this does not apply to dogs under the protection of the law.

Other establishments that follow the same practice are BJ’s Wholesale Club, Costco, Festival Foods, IKEA, Meijer, Menards, Sam’s Club, Trader Joe’s, Walgreens, Walmart, and Whole Foods.

In particular, adherence to a no-pet policy is not just about following the rules but also contributes to the protection of animals, as well as people with disabilities and their service dogs.

Does Target Allow Therapy Dogs?

Therapy dogs, that are well-trained to make people happier and calm are not service dogs.

The work of a service dog is focused on performing certain jobs to help their owners, while therapy dogs help people to feel well and happy during visits to hospitals and nursing homes.

Although Target stores consider therapy dogs as pets without legal protection, one can still try getting in touch with a store near you.

If the workers would benefit from a therapy dog visit, they might make an exception and allow you to bring your dog for your shopping trip. 

Otherwise, it’s best to leave your therapy dog at home when heading to Target.

Does Target Allow Emotional Support Animals?

Are Dogs Allowed in Target

Target does permit service dogs that are specially trained to do certain tasks for people with disabilities.

Unlike service dogs, Emotional Support Animals (ESAs) do not require any specific training and can be of all kinds. They are, however, not able to do what service dogs can; that is provide comfort.

Although Target could be obliged to allow ESAs, they do not have the same training as service dogs so stores like Target are under no obligation.

If you find it hard to be without your emotional support animal, then training them as a psychiatric service dog that helps people with mental impairments may interest you.

Before you start arguing with a Target employee about their dog policy, think your dog might not be as happy at the store and all around it as you are.

They would probably rather have some quality cuddle time as you make an Amazon purchase for a comfy bed.

And when you follow a no-pet policy, it is about being responsible for your pets. It assists in the care of individuals who use animals for medical reasons to aid them with their disabilities.

Following these guidelines guarantees a safe and comfortable environment for all individuals.

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