Are Dogs Allowed In Target? Welcome Pawsitivity

Are Dogs Allowed In Target?

Many pet owners like to shop with their furry companions by their side. But before bringing your dog along on your next Target run, it’s important to understand the retailer’s policies regarding pets in stores.

Does Target Allow Dogs? The Answer

Target does not have a uniform nationwide policy on pets. Each store’s management determines whether to allow dogs based on local ordinances.

So whether your dog can come shopping with you will depend on the individual Target location.

Delving into Target’s Pet Guidelines

While policies vary by store, there are some common guidelines Target has in place for pets:

1. Leashed and Well-Behaved Dogs

In stores that allow dogs, they typically must be leashed and well-behaved at all times. Barking, jumping, growling or otherwise disruptive dogs will likely be asked to leave.

2. Pet-Friendly Areas

Some Target locations may restrict dogs to certain sections of the store, like the garden center or Starbucks café. The sales floor is often off-limits.

3. Cleanliness and Hygiene

Target aims to provide a clean shopping environment for all customers. Pet owners are expected to promptly clean up after their dogs if accidents happen.

4. Service Animals vs. Pets

Special rules apply to trained service dogs for people with disabilities. Service animals are legally allowed in all areas of Target stores nationwide.

Understanding Your Nearby Target’s Pet Rules

Because policies vary from store to store, it’s advisable to check with your local Target before bringing your dog inside.

You can call ahead or look for signs posted on the entrance doors stating whether pets are allowed. Many Target stores also outline their pet rules on their individual store websites.

Target’s online FAQ states you can bring concerns about pets in your store to the store’s management for review.

Management will consider your feedback along with local ordinances and other customers’ experiences when shaping store policies.

Comparing Pet Policies Across Leading Retailers

Here are the general pet policies of some other major retail chains for comparison:

  • Walmart: Walmart welcomes service animals, but does not allow pets in stores.
  • Lowe’s: Lowe’s permits dogs and other pets to shop with owners. They must be leashed.
  • Home Depot: Home Depot leaves pet policies to the discretion of individual store managers. Some locations allow pets.
  • TJ Maxx/Marshalls: These stores do not allow dogs or pets inside, except service animals.
  • Costco: Costco does not allow pets, aside from service animals.
  • PetSmart: As a pet store, PetSmart allows leashed pets in stores, including dogs.

Key Takeaways

  • Target does not have a consistent nationwide pet policy; each store decides individually.
  • Call ahead or check your local store’s entrance for any posted pet rules.
  • Dogs are typically allowed leashed and well-behaved in pet-friendly Targets.
  • Service animals must be permitted at all Targets under federal law.
  • Pet policies can vary even between stores in the same general area.
  • If you have concerns, respectfully discuss them with Target management.

FAQs About Bringing Dogs to Target

Here are answers to some frequently asked questions about bringing dogs to Target:

Q: Are small dogs in carriers allowed at Target?

A: Most Target stores that allow dogs require them to be leashed, so having your small dog in a carrier or cart is unlikely to be permitted. Always check your local store.

Q: Can I bring a puppy on a leash to Target?

A: Puppies on a leash are generally allowed in Target stores that permit dogs, as long as they are well-behaved. But rambunctious puppies may be refused.

Q: Does Target provide clean-up bags or areas for dogs?

A: Target aims to keep stores clean for all shoppers. Bring your own clean-up bags and promptly dispose of any accidents. Some stores have designated potty areas.

Q: What if another customer’s dog approaches my dog at Target?

A: You can ask the owner to restrain their dog and maintain space. Report overly aggressive dogs to Target management. Keep your dog under control to prevent incidents.

Q: Are emotional support dogs allowed in Target?

A: While emotional support animals are not service animals under the ADA, some Target locations make exceptions if you have a doctor’s letter. Check with your store.

Q: Can I leave my dog tied up outside a Target store?

A: Target does not recommend leaving pets tied up outside stores. It could be unsafe and disruptive to other customers. Leave dogs at home if a pet sitter isn’t available.

Q: Does Target provide water bowls for pets?

A: Target typically does not provide amenities specifically for pets in stores. Bring your own water and bowls for your dog when shopping.

Q: Can I feed my dog a treat inside Target?

A: You may be asked not to have your dog eat treats or food while shopping at Target, so it’s best to avoid doing so. Take dogs outside the store for treats.


Target strives to provide an enjoyable, clean shopping environment for all customers. Its pet policies aim to balance the needs of pet owners with other shoppers.

When in doubt if you can bring your dog to a Target store, reach out to the location’s management directly.

With open communication and responsible pet ownership, you and your furry companion can have a smooth shopping trip.