Need to shop for home improvement tools–or automotive tools? If you’re about to make a run to the store and wondering if Harbor Freight allows dogs, the answer is yes!
As we always mention, store managers do have discretion and local ordinances can come into play–so, as we recommend (over and over again), always call first!
Your dog will need to be leashed or carried when shopping at Harbor Freight.
Taking Your Dog to Harbor Freight
Started in 1977, family-owned Harbor Freight has over 1300 stores across the United States, making them a good choice for shopping with your dog when you need to pick up tools.
TIP: If you’re traveling alone with your dog, this national chain is also one we frequently mention as a restroom stop for you. Like stopping at a dog-friendly pet supply store for a restroom break, you can bring your dog inside with you to the restroom–just be sure to buy a little something on the way out to help support the store and keep them dog friendly!
The key to having a good time shopping with your dog–and making sure dog friendly stores REMAIN dog friendly–is taking a few extra steps before and during your shopping excursion.
Before Your Trip
- Pack a leash no longer than 6 feet. This will help prevent your dog from becoming tangled in displays and minimize tripping risk for other shoppers. You’ll want your dog to remain at your side during your shopping.
- Leave the retractable leash at home. Retractable leashes can really present a tripping risk in stores (not to mention the possibility of turning over who-knows-what).
- Give your local store a quick call. If you haven’t been to this particular Harbor Freight location recently, use the online store locator and give the store a quick call to confirm that your dog may accompany you while shopping just to be on the safe side.
- Pack a cleanup kit. Along with poop bags, pack some paper towels and hand sanitizer. You never know.
- Pack a small blanket or throw for the cart if your dog will ride in the cart. If you have a small dog who will be riding in your shopping cart, PLEASE pack a throw for him to rest. This will prevent his paws from going through the mesh bottom of the cart. I was once at a store and heard a dog two aisle over whimpering in pain. I went over to help; his leg had completely fallen through the bottom of the cart and his owner was having a difficult time getting his paw back up through the cart. (The story ended well–but this is definitely a cautionary tale!)
During Your Trip
- Make a potty stop before entering the store. Even if your dog peed before leaving home, take a few minutes to visit the trees in the parking lot. With all the dogs that visit Lowe’s on an given day, your dog will be inspired to add to the collection of scents at the trees–and far better there than in the store.
- Keep your dog near. For both the safety of your dog and fellow shoppers, keep your dog at your side while shopping. Harbor Freight has a lot of large equipment and shoppers don’t always have good visibility–or expect dogs in the aisle.
- Pick up any accidents immediately. If your dog has an accident, pick it up immediately. Especially if you have a male dog who likes to mark, keep a special eye out. Speed up your walking when passing those or distract your dog with a treat.
Share Your #HarborFreight Photos on Social Media
You’ll find photos of dogs in Harbor Freight stores on social media using the hashtag #HarborFreight:
Take a photo of your dog while in Harbor Freight!
Should You Take Your Dog To Harbor Freight?
OK, we’ve determined that most Harbor Freight stores will allow leashed dogs in the store–but SHOULD you take your dog shopping with you?
Well, the answer depends on your dog.
On a scale of dog-friendly stores, I’d put Harbor Freight in about the middle when it comes to noise and fear factor for dogs. It’s not as loud as home improvement stores like Lowe’s, but it’s not as quiet as home decor stores like Tuesday Morning.
If you’re not sure how well your dog will do in the store, visit during an off-peak time–and a time when you don’t have to turn all your attention to the shopping task at hand.
And, as always, if your dog has any kind of aggression–to people or other dogs–dog-friendly stores are not for your dog.
Can Service Dogs Go to Harbor Freight?
Yes, a trained service dog that is required to assist you is allowed in any store under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA):
Please note that this ONLY covers trained service dogs; it does not include emotional support dogs.
If your dog is not a trained service dog, do not attempt to misrepresent your dog as a service dog. Depending on where you live, misprepresenting your dog as a service dog can carry a fine of up to $1000.