If you regularly shop at Target, you might wonder what their policy is regarding dogs. Maybe you have a furry friend that you’d like to bring with you.
Perhaps, your dog is a service animal, and you want to know if Target at least allows service animals on the premises.
No, Target does now allow dogs in the store unless the dog is a service animal.
Keep reading for more details on the pet policy at Target stores.
Is Target Dog Friendly?
Many retailers are pet-friendly, meaning that they allow pet owners to bring pets of all sorts onto the premises. Unfortunately, Target is not a pet-friendly location.
The company wants to ensure that the Target facilities remain safe and enjoyable for all consumers. Therefore, they do not regularly practice allowing animals to enter the building with their owners.
The company takes all things into consideration, such as allergic reactions that other customers might have.
They also consider that small children might fear the animals, and untrained animals may cause health hazards inside the store.
Their overall attitude toward pets in the store in not welcoming.
What Is Target’s Official Policy on Dogs?
Target’s official policy on dogs is that they only allow service animals on the premises.
A corporate representative stated that:
“We will allow customers to bring service animals into the store, but not non-service animals.”
A person may have to have a service animal with him or her for a variety of reasons. These are some of the types of service dogs that Target may allow:
Regular Service Dogs
Service dogs are usually trained by professionals to assist people with various disabilities. The most common type of service animal helps with blind persons.
People usually refer to this service animal as a “seeing eyed dog” because it helps to lead the blind person throughout the store.
There are also medical alert dogs. Medical alert dogs may have special training that enables them to help their owners when they have medical emergencies.
For example, a medical alert dog may know when its diabetic owner needs medication. It may know how to obtain the medication and bring it to its owner before he or she has a blood sugar crisis.
The medical alert dog may also know how to bring the owner a telephone so that he or she can contact an ambulance or medical provider quickly.
Seizure alert dogs accompany people who have conditions such as epilepsy.
They may have a special way of alerting other people when their owner runs the risk of having a seizure in the near future.
Their special alerts may summon help from people in the area so that the owner can get to a safe place before the seizure occurs.
Service dog owners may be unable to shop without having their pets accompany them. They may increase the chances of getting hurt or not getting help if something happens if they do so.
An owner of a service animal may explain the circumstances so that they can enter the building.
Companion dogs do not require any specific training, and they don’t necessarily service people who have specific disabilities or conditions.
An everyday dog can be a companion dog. A service dog can be a companion dog, as well.
Emotional Support Dogs
Emotional support dogs serve their owners and help to alleviate symptoms brought on by certain illnesses.
Examples of mental illness that an emotional support dog can help with are anxiety, depression, PTSD, and bipolar disorder.
Emotional support dogs may also assist owners with eating disorders, separation anxiety disorders, or neurodevelopmental disorders.
Owners may not handle being separated from their emotional support dogs very well. That may justify their presence in the Target store.
Therapy dogs serve people who have experienced recent trauma. An example of a trauma that may warrant a therapy dog is a natural disaster.
Some people who have recently lost loved ones may also need to have a therapy dog with them. They may need to pet their animals when they experience sadness or anxiety.
They may also talk to their pets, and they may need to feel their presence with them all the time to lift their spirits.
Does a Dog Owner Have to Bring Proof for Target to Let Their Dog In?
Target stores are supposed to follow their official policy. That means that leadership personnel may ask customers who enter with dogs if their pets are service animals.
They may take the customer’s word for it, or they may ask that person to prove that the animal is a service animal.
Emotional support dog owners might be able to produce a certificate.
Service dog owners might also have registration certificates that they can produce, as well.
Does Target’s Policy Vary Across Locations?
The policy is the same across all locations, according to Target corporate. However, it’s an imperfect world.
Therefore, some employees may not pay as much attention as other employees do when a person enters the premises with an animal.
Some people may not be aware of the correct policy. Some may not want to enforce it. Others may enforce it too aggressively.
The policy is uniform across all locations, but it might not be uniformly enforced.
The Final Word
The best advice we can give consumers is to avoid bringing non-service animals to Target locations.
Such individuals should bring verification or certification if they do have a service animal, and they would like to bring the service animal into a Target location.
Alternatively, they are free to shop at a store that is more pet-friendly and has a more relaxed policy.
We hope you’ve gained a full understanding of Target’s rules and practices regarding dogs.
If you have any additional questions, please reach out to the company, or your local Target store, for more specific and detailed information.