Are Dogs Allowed in Target? Everything About Target’s Dog Policy

In the US, more than half of all households have a pet. The average family has 1.7 pets and spends about $1000 on them each year, not counting vet care or food! Pets are great companions that provide emotional support and help people manage stress.

Dogs are great, but they can be difficult to take care of. We work all day, and we can’t take them with us. But now some stores like Target are open 24 hours, so we can always bring them with us on trips at night after work!

Target is one of the most popular stores in America. They allow only service dogs inside their store. Other pets must stay outside the store with a pet carrier or on a leash. This includes both guide and hearing-ear dogs as well as trained animals that provide services for people with special needs such as autism, diabetes, seizure disorders, and other ailments.

Target does not allow any dogs to enter their stores unless they can help people with disabilities. They want to make sure the team members who work there all day don’t get stressed.


Are Dogs Allowed In Target In 2021?

No. Target does not allow people to bring their pets into the stores as of 2021. The only exception to this case is of the Service dogs, which are helpful to support mentally or physically disabled people. The service animals are permitted to enter all retailer-occupied premises under the Americans with Disabilities Act. Service animals should be leashed or harnessed unless these devices interfere with the service animal’s work or the individual’s disability prevents using these devices. Individuals who cannot hold their dogs for health reasons can use transport chairs to enter target stores.

Why Are Pet Dogs Not Allowed In Target?

Target cites health and safety concerns as the main reason for no longer allowing pet dogs:

“We welcome dogs on our and sites, and guests must be 18 years of age or older to enter target stores with a dog.” The company’s policies say that pets are not allowed in its stores because “guests may be scared by large animals” and “pets may leave accidents on store floors.”

Target has ways to make sure its customers are safe. They offer pet stations in their stores, near the entrances, so people can put away their dogs’ leashes before they enter. They also have water bowls and sometimes dog treats so pets can drink or eat while their owner’s shop.

Target says that they provide pet stations because the company cares about the convenience of its customers and does not want guests to be forced to keep their pets at home if they need help with them while shopping.

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Are Service Dogs Allowed In Target??

Yes. Service dogs are allowed in target stores as of 2021. These dogs assist mentally or physically disabled people and help them perform daily tasks that they would otherwise be unable to do alone. The Americans with Disabilities Act protects the rights of people who use guide, hearing and other types of service animals, requiring places open to the public, such as businesses and nonprofit organizations, to allow people with disabilities to bring their service animals onto business premises in whatever areas customers are generally allowed. 

Target follows this law as well as its policy on pets by allowing service dogs into all retailer-occupied target stores as long as the owner has a proper leash for the dog and can maintain control if it tries to wander from its owner’s side.

In addition, target emphasizes on its and sites that service animals allowed in target stores include:

“Guide dogs, Signal dogs or any other animal individually trained to do work or perform tasks for the benefit of an individual with a disability,”

This means that while target welcomes people’s pet dogs into their stores, they do not accept them if they are being used as service animals. The main reason behind this is that target treats both types of animals differently because of health and safety concerns, which involve areas such as protection from allergies, prevention of accidents, and overall hygiene. However, target acknowledges both pets and service dogs by providing water bowls around the entrances to many target stores along with free dog treats at some target stores where available.

What Counts As A Service Dog In Target?

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A article answers this question by saying that while the ADA allows many types of service dogs to enter target stores, target’s policy excludes untrained emotional support or comfort animals from entering its stores even if they have a note from the owner’s doctor. This means that while target welcomes service dogs into their stores, they do not allow people who bring in pets pretending to be service dogs because the target has set guidelines for what qualifies as a service dog to make sure customers are safe when shopping at target.


  • Service animals wear special collars and harnesses
  • Emotional support animals may display “provider” identification such as a card or documentation
  • Trained service dogs will respond to commands such as sit, stay and come

This means that target takes the ADA’s rules for service animals seriously because target wants its customers to feel safe while shopping since some people may be afraid of large dogs. But target also acknowledges people who need assistance with their pets by providing places inside target stores (known as pet stations) where they can place their dog before entering the store and by giving out free dog treats at some target stores. Note: Pets are not allowed in target fitting rooms at all, even if they’re on a leash.

Target Uses Video Monitoring To Spot Fake Service Dogs In Their Stores. So, the Fake service dogs should be barred from entering the premises once caught.

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What Does Not Count As A Service Dog?

You can’t bring your untrained and uncertified dog into Target as a service animal under the ADA. For example, therapy dogs or emotional support dogs are not the same as service animals. They will not be allowed to go into the store with their owners, even if they want to.

Can Target Ask If Your Dog Is A Service Dog?

Target does not make employees ask people with disabilities what their disability is. Target has made guidelines for service dogs to keep customers safe when they go to target.

Target does not allow store employees to ask people who bring their pets into the store if they are service dogs. They do not want people to think that their policy about bringing in dogs applies differently for those with disabilities and those with pet dogs.

Instead, Target wants customers to feel safe when they come in for a visit. Some people may be afraid of dogs and feel uncomfortable around them. That’s why Target’s Dog Policy is developed in such a way to protect the customers.

Target lets customers report someone who brings a pet into Target, pretending it is a service animal. They can do this by telling Target’s customer service desk. It is fraud when someone wraps their dog in an emotional support animal vest and walks it into Target, claiming that this dog is a legitimate service animal even if it isn’t.

This means that Target investigates these types of situations because they want shoppers to feel safe when they are in the store. Some people might be afraid of large dogs or feel uncomfortable around them, just like the guide on bringing pets into Target stores.

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Are Service Dogs In-Training Allowed Into Target?

The ADA does not specifically address situations where service dogs in training may be taken into public buildings and areas, but several states have specific rules governing when those trainee animals can enter particular spaces.

Although ADA Handler Responsibility does not extend to service dogs in training, the animal must be controlled at all times, housebroken, and vaccinated according to state and local regulations.

How Do You Shop At Target With Your Dog??

If you feel it’s essential to bring your dog to Target, then you will have to leave them outside at the Pet Stations. The Pet Stations are nothing but a few posts with a couple of poles where you can place your dog while you go shopping.

Target provides free dog snacks to customers at certain locations, and seeing-eye dogs are permitted inside target shops! Isn’t Target a great location to spend time with your pet? This implies that since target wants its consumers to feel safe while shopping, it takes the ADA’s regulations on service animals seriously. Target also recognizes how essential pets are to people who need assistance while in crowded places.

Can You Bring Dogs Into Any Grocery Stores??

ADA does not specify the rules about the dogs in the grocery stores. But, the state laws have different say about these. Some of the states explicitly say that they don’t allow dogs into the grocery stores due to safety reasons. But some states Do allow Target and other grocery stores to bend the rules for themselves. In this case, the target would have to check the grocery store state location policy on bringing pets into the target and other grocery stores.

Final Words – Does Target Allow Dogs?

Target’s dog policy is that they will not allow guests to bring dogs into stores, but there are some exceptions. You can find the list of store locations with a pet-friendly entrance on their¬†website. The locations are conveniently color-coded on the map to help you identify target dog-friendly locations vs. target locations with no dogs allowed. All target stores have a no pets policy. So, the answer to Does Target Allow dogs is No, with an exception.