Is Target Dog Friendly? (Understand Target's Pet Policy)

Thomas Joseph

Is target dog friendly? If you're in such a situation and eager to explore the Target pet policy, read our article and grasp the guidelines about Target pet policy in the stores.

Pets give us the most excellent companions while on a vacation or adventure. You can visit different places with your dog, but others have strict guidelines. You might stop by the Target store and wonder if they allow dogs in their store. Thus, if you are curious to know more about what to do with your dog at Target while on an errand, then keep reading our article. We will explore Target's pet policy and all the rest. Keep reading the article to the end and find out what we got from the research.

Table Of Contents

Is Target Dog Friendly?

Target is a popular grocery store with a stringent no-pet policy. Unless it is under a stated condition, no customer is allowed to bring their dogs into the store. The few exceptions are only when it is a service dog or animal. According to the American disabilities act, Target stores also allow certified service dogs into the store with disabled persons.

However, you must follow a particular policy in the store or at the entry. The reason why Target prohibits pets is its extensive grocery section. This might confuse you, but there are still a few facts that you can grab under Target's pet policy. If you're curious to learn more about these guidelines or the exceptions, we g]have researched for you. From the findings, here is everything you need to know.

Why Does Target Not Allow Pet Dogs Into the Store?

There are so many reasons why Target has a strict no-pet policy in their store. Firstly, they state that they care about the safety of their customers. Thus, regardless of the breed, these guys do not allow the dog into the store at the entry unless it is a service dog at work or under training. The Target grocery section features unpackaged as well as open food under a particular section, which Target does not wish to risk contamination through some animals or bacteria from dogs.

Based on the FDA guidelines, dogs are not allowed into the grocery, focusing on food preparation from any location. This means the no pet policy is applicable in all the stores around the world. Health regulations don't permit dogs into the grocery store. Most of these grocery stores are regulated through the state and local government despite the FDA.

Types of Legitimate Service Dogs in Target

In the above section, we have mentioned a lot about the service dog, and most people are still wondering what the service dog is and what category the service dog Target allows into their stores. According to the Americans with Disability Act, customers are allowed to enter with their specific dog into the grocery store under a condition that they have the particular not only a valid but also a certified service dog.

Thus, service dogs are particular dogs that have sufficient training in helping to carry out a specific task aimed at benefiting the Target ADA person. Some of the people with disabilities range from mental disabilities to sensory, intellectual, physical, psychiatric, etc, and these service animals must be present directly helping them at a very close distance. Based on the Target guidelines, there are few instances under which a dog is counted as a service animal. Target animals are available but in six categories. Here is the groupings:-

1. Medical alert and assist dog

These kinds of dogs are allowed into the store to sense and understand any dangerous signs of measurable body symptoms or diabetes and alert a particular person.

2. Service Allergy alert dog

This is another trained animal with a high ranking, which enables it to detect the allergen before the Target person ingests it.

3. Guide dogs

These are also trained dogs that play a vital role in helping people with visual impairment or blind customers to walk to their destination safely and effectively.

4. Psychiatric service dog

When there are cases of autism as well as PTSD, these dogs are available in the Target store to help handle that situation. They are certified mental service dogs with the skills to assist Target people.

5. Hearing dogs

These are dogs that help people with hearing impairment. They guide the owner through simple navigation in their daily errand.

6. Seizure alert and response dogs

This is another group of service dogs with enough skills to predict the episode and then escort their owner to the safe places. They also alert the closest people to offer assistance. Therefore, before making a claim, if the service dog has the above training, you can walk it through Target stores while on your shopping or routine.

However, anything outside the above dog counts is not regarded as a service dog, and you are not allowed to have it in the Target store. A good instance for the count is the emotional support and therapy dogs; they are not considered service dogs according to the Target pet policy.

Are Target Staff Allowed to Ask You If Your Dog Is a Service Animal?

The ADA handler's rights are also rigorous. Thus, employees at the Target stores are not allowed to ask whether the dog is a service animal and seek documentation from the disabled person. However, the guidelines only give employees the option to ask two questions. You can seek clarification of the dog's services. You can also ask for the dog's function or what tasks it will do to persons in the Target store.

The guidelines restrict the employee from asking further questions beyond the above two clarifications. If you are the customer with the service dog, always ensure that these animals are outfitted with the relevant typical neon-coloured service jacket or sometimes harness. With these, employers from any grocery store will easily spot the service dog and different formal animals. This is one of the legal identification forms for some states worldwide.

How to Shop at Target Store with Dog?

If at any point you manage to stop by the Target store with your dog, when entering the shop, you must leave the dog outside the store. Outside the Target, there are plenty of shades as well as shelter.

These guys recommended that as long as you secure it tightly, you can leave it outside their stores with the appropriate fixture. While handling quick tasks, you can leave most dogs outside the store. As a rule, never leave your dog for a long time without attending to it. Also, note that in whatever situation, never leave your dog in the car.

Why Does Target Only Allow Service Dogs Into the Store?

Reading from the state and municipal programs, which are ADA's Title II as well as Title III-public facilities, it is clear that served animals are allowed or have permission to enter the free locations. Therefore, these service dogs must possess specific skills with enough training to carry out particular tasks aimed at helping the owner in their disabled conditions or while in a dangerous state or health condition.

The service is vital as far as health is concerned. Hence, people are allowed to have their service dogs, and for the pretty same reasons, Target stores have strict exceptions for these service dogs with no pet policy. Today, service dogs are allowed into Target stores. While the ADA does not explicitly give guidelines on the service or training about the public areas and facilities, few places and stores allow the trainee service dog to enter or access.

But based on the ADA Handle Responsibility, the rules extended to the service dog under training. It states that your animal must always be under control as long as it is vaccinated and housebroken; it must also follow the guidelines from local and state laws.

Are Customers Allowed to Carry Their Dogs Into the Target Store?

No one can carry their dogs into Target, even with a purse or the respective doggie carrier. Regardless of the situation, you cannot carry a dog, even if it's not walking. Target has a strict no-poet policy. The same policy applies to the service dog. If the service dog doesn't walk independently while on duty,  the associates in Target might have an issue with your dog. You are not allowed to carry it into the store.

Do other grocery stores allow pets?

The rules apply to any food store or grocery store. Thus, Food and Drug Administration guidelines are very strict with all the groceries. These groceries have strict regulations on live animals. Groceries are regarded as food establishments as well as restaurants and operate under no pet policy.

This is because these pets have an insanity nature and are not allowed in places where food is prepared or sold. Still, they claim that few pets feature phobias and allergies; hence, such pets being allowed in-store is likely to activate the condition, risking the health and safety concerns of the customers. The only animal allowed in the grocery store is the service animal.

What Are the Dog-Friendly Stores

There are numerous dog-friendly stores across the US where you can bring your well-behaved canine companion:


Target operates with a strict no-pet policy aligned with the guidelines from the FDA and food service codes. Unless it is a service code based on the ADA guidelines, you are not allowed with a pet into the Target store. However, the emotional support, as well as therapy dogs, are not classified as service dogs and hence are not allowed into the Target stores. Read the above article for detailed information on the Target no-pet policy.

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