Are Dogs Allowed In Target?

It’s time for another “Target run, and done!” headed to a store that sells canine-related products and is represented by a friendly dog as its mascot on advertisements. However, before you grab your Red card, shopping list and keys to rush out the door, make sure you leave your pup safely at home. If you do show up with your four-footed furry friend, expect to be asked to leave.

Target is not a pet-friendly store, and the company’s policy only allows service animals. What this means is that only registered service dogs are allowed. Don’t be confused thinking your emotional support animal will be welcome, either. The only canine their store policies support is a service dog.

Let’s get into more detail about the pet policy:

When you think of Target stores, a red bullseye logo probably comes to mind. For many, that red bullseye image may also conjure up a picture of a dog. More specifically, their official white mascot. Originally, this white dog sporting the infamous red rings around one eye was named Spot but is now called Bullseye. With all of their pet-friendly representation, when it comes to allowing pups inside the store, the official policy is anything but welcoming unless they are working pets.

As required by law, they do allow service dogs. Though, don’t think you can claim that your happy little furry companion is actually a support animal. Service and emotional support dogs are not the same thing. So, don’t walk into the store with a non-service animal and expect to go unnoticed.

According to a Target spokes representative as well as the official store policy, Target is not a pet-friendly store. An answer to the question about Target’s canine policy appeared on a social media post where an official representative answered the question as follows:

Only service animals are allowed inside. This policy exists to help provide a safe, distraction-free shopping experience for all guests… – Jen

To be fair, of course, health regulations regarding places that sell or store food items, grocery stores and most restaurants dictate that they cannot be pet-friendly. Though, some allow them on the patio outside. With this in mind, Target’s policy does fall under this restriction since the store does sell grocery items.


The next time you make a Target run, the best thing you can do is leave your pet safely at home. Otherwise, don’t be surprised if you are asked to take the dog out. Of course, another option is to choose a more pet-friendly store in which to shop.

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