Target is one of the largest retailers in the US, and the stores are constantly filled with customers shopping around the place. But, Target also has strict regulations regarding pets.
So, is Target dog-friendly? No. Target isn’t dog-friendly because only service dogs are allowed to enter. The staff won’t ask to show service dog documents, they will only ask whether you have a service dog or not. All other dogs and pets including emotional support dogs cannot come inside the store.
This policy might disappoint dog owners who regularly shop at Target. But, we have more information regarding Target’s pet policy. So, keep reading to know more!
1. Can I Bring My Dog To Target?
You cannot bring all kinds of dogs to Target. According to the store’s policy, only service dogs are allowed in Target stores. If you have a support dog or pet, the staff won’t allow its entrance into the store.
Service dogs are those that are specially trained to fulfill the needs of their owners. As their owners suffer from a mental or physical disability, the service dogs always stay with them to perform all kinds of jobs.
So, Target has to allow the entrance of service dogs in the stores due to the law.
But, some requirements are also necessary here.
- The service dog should be leashed and well-behaved in front of humans.
- It must be regarded as a service dog under the ADA (Americans with Disability Act).
- It must not harm the people and things inside the store.
If your service dog comes up to all these requirements, you’re good to go to any Target store!
But, all Target stores might not abide by this policy, depending on the location. Some will follow strict regulations, while others will allow you to take the dog inside.
If you want to take your dog to Target, a better idea is to call the store and ask about their dog policy.
2. What Is Target’s Official Dog Policy?
According to Target’s official dog policy, pets are not allowed inside the stores. The only exception is for service dogs with people with mental or physical disabilities. All other kinds of pets and dogs are not allowed inside Target.
Target also understands the difference between service dogs, therapy dogs, and emotional support dogs. So, it strictly forbids therapy dogs and emotional support dogs in the stores.
Although it may seem to disappoint dog owners, these policies are only to keep the environment of the stores safe and hygienic.
Not all dogs are well-trained, and specific breeds can harm other people and things in the store and even spread allergies and infections.
So, such dogs should stay outside the store.
3. Are Service Dogs Allowed In Target?
Only service dogs are allowed inside Target stores. Service dogs are the ones trained to perform specific tasks for their owners with a disability. As these people cannot do their chores, the dogs are trained to carry out the tasks. So, other pets like cats, parrots, etc., cannot come under this category.
Service dogs are also recognized by the ADA (Americans with Disability Act). Any other dog that doesn’t come under this category won’t be a service dog.
Also, the service dogs should be well-trained and leashed to come inside Target. If the dog causes any nuisance, it will disturb the overall environment of the store.
4. Do You Need To Show Service Dog Documents In Target?
Target employees are strictly advised not to ask for proof of a person’s disability. So, they won’t ask to show service dog documents. While entering the store, the staff will only ask whether you have a service dog or not.
However, the dog policies in Target stores vary across locations. Some stores will have strict policies and would require documents as proof, while others won’t.
So, you should always call the store you need to visit and ask them about the policies. Even if you have a service dog, the lack of proof may make things difficult.
But, it won’t even matter in some stores.
Due to the different dog policies according to the location, you should keep your service dog documents with you while visiting Target. Showing a service dog certification is more than enough to ensure you have a service dog.
5. Are Emotional Support Dogs Allowed In Target?
Emotional support dogs are not allowed inside Target. While people may confuse them with service dogs, that’s not true. Emotional support dogs are not service dogs because they only provide relief to the owners. They don’t do regular tasks for disabled people.
So, under the ADA (Americans with Disability Act), emotional support dogs aren’t classified as service dogs.
If you have an emotional support dog, avoid taking it inside Target.
6. Do You Need To Show Emotional Support Dog Documents In Target?
No. The employees at Target won’t ask you to show proof. Only service dogs are allowed in the stores anyway. You cannot take an emotional support animal with you. So, the staff won’t ask for any documentation of the emotional support dog. It will only tell you to keep it outside the store.
As the employees at Target are not allowed to ask for documents regarding a person’s disability, customers often lie and take emotional support animals inside the stores.
It is wrong, and the dogs can cause harm to the store. Fresh fruits and vegetables can suffer from hygiene issues, and aggressive dogs can hurt people in the store.
Target has a strict dog policy, and it won’t allow any other dog other than a service dog to enter the store. Also, the staff cannot ask for documents or certification as proof of your disability. It seems unethical to Target.
But, many customers take advantage of this and take therapy dogs and emotional support dogs inside the store, telling the staff that they are service dogs. This act can become harmful for others as some dogs may carry allergies.
So, a better idea is to always abide by the rules and call the nearest store about their dog policy before visiting it.
My name is Katie, and I have had different pets at home for as long as I can remember. While I can definitely say I love all animals in general, my heart belongs to cats and dogs. I know you are supposed to choose one or the other, but I could never really decide. I’ve also owned hamsters and fish when I was a kid, and they filled my childhood with very delightful memories.