Are Dogs Allowed In Target In 2022?
The answer is No. Target stores have this firm no pet policy that restricts customers from bringing their pets into their stores. This no-pet policy is being implemented firmly in 2022.
However, Americans with service animals can bring their pets per the Americans With Disabilities Act. But you need to have verified certifications and must fall specific guidelines of Target Stores.
There are thousands of Target stores across the United States, becoming a central hub for buying pet supplies. You can get anything from food supplies toys to pet essentials here at Target.
But when it comes to taking your dogs inside, certain restrictions prohibit customers from bringing their dogs into the store. You cannot take your pets inside their premises except for in case of service animals for a disabled person.
Why Target Prohibits Pet Dogs?
There are specific reasons behind prohibiting dogs in target stores. Most people who love to shop at Target take their dogs either in a car or in a stroller. This creates an unruly situation for other customers and puts their dogs’ safety at risk.
For example, if a pet dog barks and attacks somebody, there can be big trouble for the dog owner. This is why pets are not allowed inside Target stores which helps maintain cleanliness and a peaceful environment. Since you cannot take your pet inside Target stores, you need to plan accordingly when you are going shopping with your pet.
What Is A Service Animal?
A service animal is a dog or other type of domestic animal specifically trained to perform tasks for a person with a disability. The complete and official definition of service dogs is given in the Americans with Disabilities Act, 1990. Any pet that is trained to help a disabled person in day-to-day tasks falls under the category of service pets. In most cases, service pets are allowed at almost every premise.
Different Types of Service Animals
Based on the disability of the person, there are different types of services for pets. Different types of service pets undergo different training programs.
These programs are designed while looking at the requirements of specific disabilities and the role of their pets in overcoming them. The most common types include
• Guide Dog – A guide dog is specially trained to assist the general public with visual impairments such as sight loss or slight color blindness. They guide the public around by leading them with the head and ears and may also provide balance and support by pushing down on the handrails to prevent slipping. Since they are well trained, they can also be used as alarm dogs in case of fire or other emergencies, so they bark and alert people, often saving lives.
• Hearing Dog – These dogs are trained to help people with some form of hearing loss. They alert the person by nudging them or getting their attention whenever there are sudden loud noises that may be harmful to the person, e.g., passing cars, ambulance sirens, fire-truck sirens, etc.
• Psychiatric Service Dog – Psychiatric service dogs provide many functions for their owners, such as bringing them comfort and companionship, reminding the person to take medicine or other tasks like turning on the lights (if they have a physical disability), or retrieving items that they might otherwise become disoriented and forget easily.
• Therapy Dog – A therapy dog helps to soothe the emotional pain of its owner by comforting them or running around with or wagging its tail. They may also be trained to sit on command, play games, and fetch items, as well as command stand.
What Target Has Said About Service Animals?
Target states that customers who have pets must keep them on a leash or be in carriers at all times. Customers may bring service animals into Target to assist individuals with a disability.
But it is strictly prohibited to bring pets such as dogs and cats into Target stores, even if they are well-behaved and trained, except for the case of a service dog. This is mainly because the presence of pet animals may offend other customers who are allergic to them or targeted by them.
Service Dog’s ID Cards
Under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), service dog owners do not have to provide documentation or particular information regarding the nature of their disability.
For example, if the dogs can not behave themselves outside the store, you will not be able to bring them inside even with proper identification tags. However, in some instances where proof is requested (e.g., on airplanes), owners must be able to present relevant papers such as:
- Service animal certification
- Medical documentation
- Other official identification cards
The ID card is necessary because it indicates that the dog has been trained as a service dog and which tasks it can perform on behalf of its owner. This can help avoid confusion or confrontation when the person and their service dog are out in public or travelling (e.g., on airplane).
It also helps airlines know how to handle service dogs during boarding, flying, and disembarking of flights, along with proper documentation and confirmation from the individual’s doctor.
Why Are Only Service Dogs Permitted Entry At Target?
Other than dogs that have been trained to assist a person with a disability, USDA regulations also allow pets (i.e., cats and rabbits) inside Target stores when they are “assisting” the handler or if they are “attended.”
In other words, you can bring your pet(s) in with you if they are within your control and not causing any disruption or harm to other people or pets. But, again, this decision is taken as per government rules and regulations. In addition, service dogs are allowed at Target because they help physically challenged or disabled owners understand their surroundings and avoid accidents like tripping or falling.
Can You Take Your Dog In A Pet Carrier In Target Stores?
The simple answer is no. As per Target policy, pets are not allowed on their premises, and the only exception is for service animals for a disabled person.
According to the guidelines, this policy applies to pet dogs and other cats or birds. However, you can leave them in your car parked in the parking area, or if you have a service dog, you must be able to take it out of its carrier or leash to assist you or your loved one with a disability.
Target allows dogs in their premises if they are trained to service dogs. However, if you are bringing your pet in as a pet backup dog, you will have to show the ID of the person who is allergic to dogs. Otherwise, it is recommended that you use the ‘service animals” tag, which must be displayed on the dog collar.
How To Shop At Target Stores With Your Pet Dogs?
If you are not aware of the rules of Target stores and bring your pet with you, then you can face problems with shopping while living your dog outside. However, in such scenarios, there are a few things that you can do to ensure both safeties of your dog and the shopping experience with better peace of mind. These tips include
- The best case is to leave your dog inside your car. If you have a car, it is best to utilize it while shopping. While leaving your dog inside your car, make sure you take out keys, lock the doors and leave your windows slightly open for ventilation.
- There are various dog care services available at Target stores. They are trained professionals who take care of your dog while you go and shop for as long as you want. However, there are certain charges associated with such services.
- Some of the target stores offer free pet assistance for your pet dogs. You can leave your dog at the hands of the Target staff and go on to shop with Target stores.
- Tie your dogs with a firm leash outside the store in a friendly and shady place. Make sure the leash is long enough for your dog to walk around a bit but at the same time restricts them from making any troubles with the passers-by.
If you are about this no-pet policy of Target stores, then you should leave your dog at home. After all, the best place for your dog to be is at home.
To Sum Up!
You must know that the guidelines given here are not universal. Some stores may have their own set of pet policies defined for their customers. For example, some stores allow pets in specific areas like outdoor patio, so you must check out if such provisions are available in your area.
If you need any further help with these policies, you can visit the store manager or talk to customer service agents to help you with such questions and doubts. With the passage of The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) in 1990, disabled people have enjoyed the benefits of access afforded by public accommodations fully.