When you have a beloved canine companion in your life, you likely want to bring them everywhere with you.
Even the thought of leaving them to go to the store can seem tough, causing you to wonder if they can come along with you.
Target is a favorite amongst many, making this a staple in most American’s regular shopping routine.
So the next time you go to Target, can your dog come with you? Are dogs allowed in Target?
The answer to this question is yes and no, as Target only allows certified service dogs in their stores.
To help you better understand whether or not your service dog is allowed, let’s get into the details below.
Dogs Are Not Allowed In Target
Unfortunately, the average pup is not allowed inside Target.
Target only allows official service dogs to enter the store with their owners, as these shoppers rely on their service dogs to complete daily tasks.
As long as a service dog is registered and is wearing some form of service identification, they can roam the aisles at their owner’s side.
What Are Service Animals?
A service animal is a working animal that is trained to perform tasks that aid a disabled person.
These animals are highly skilled and specially trained for each disability, allowing them to be of help to those with specific struggles.
These dogs must not only complete rigorous training through a reputable organization, but they must only be assigned to those who have doctor approval.
Service dogs can aid those with blindness, chronic illness, PTSD, seizure disorders, and more.
Types Of Service Dogs Allowed In Target
As long as your dog is a registered service dog (not an emotional support dog), they are allowed to accompany their owners in Target.
To introduce you to the many types of service dogs that are allowed in the store, let’s break down the different categories below.
Mobility Assistance Dogs
Mobility assistance service dogs are trained to help their owners get around with ease.
These dogs are typically assigned to those who struggle immensely with regular tasks, whether they are vision impaired or suffering with chronic mobility issues.
These pups may offer support when their owner stands, guidance in moving around the store safely, and they may grab certain items off the shelf.
Emergency Response Dogs
An emergency response service dog is trained to react to a specific situation that their owner struggles with.
For example, seizure alert dogs are trained to detect hidden cues that a person will soon have a seizure, allowing the dog to notify their owner beforehand.
This tells the owner that they need to get somewhere safe before their seizure occurs.
Medical Assistance Dogs
Medical assistance dogs that offer support to anyone with a debilitating chronic illness.
This could include alerting a diabetic owner of their low blood sugar, alerting their owner of high blood pressure, and even assisting those with excruciating migraine disorders.
Psychiatric Assistance Dogs
A psychiatric service dog offers support to those who suffer from severe mental illness or learning disabilities.
This can include assisting those with PTSD, anxiety disorders, OCD, and schizophrenia.
For example, schizophrenic service dogs can be trained to greet anyone their owner tells them to greet, as long as they are real.
If a schizophrenic person is having a hallucination and asks their dog to greet the hallucination, the dog will not greet anyone.
This will show the person that the hallucination is not real.
Is A Rescue Dog Allowed In Target?
No, rescue dogs are not allowed in Target.
While these pups may require specific care and support as they heal from any previous trauma, a trip to Target cannot be on the list of activities they participate in.
However, if your rescue dog becomes trained and credentialed as a service dog, they can then enter.
How Can I Get My Dog Certified As A Service Dog?
Though many service dogs are bred specifically to become a service dog and trained from the time of puppyhood, this is not always the case.
Any dog can become a service dog as long as they can be trained to do so, and as long as they pass the service dog testing.
Not only must your dog complete the training necessary to become a service dog, but your doctor must state that you require a service dog for the disability you suffer with.
Both you and your dog will need to be credentialed in order to become an active pair.
The service dog requirement steps are as follows:
- The owner is deemed eligible for a service dog due to a physical or mental disability
- The service dog is well mannered at all times
- The service dog is trained to perform tasks that help their owner with their disability
- The dog must pass a public access test
- The dog must then be officially registered and credentialed as a service dog
It is not easy to get your dog registered as a service dog for good reason.
Many have begun to abuse this privilege with the invention of emotional support animals, as these dogs do not have to be trained and tested.
If you are in serious need of a service animal, we suggest speaking with your doctor to start the process.
Only registered service dogs are allowed to accompany their owners on shopping trips.
We know you hate to part with your pup, but it looks like your furry friend will need to sit this Target run out.