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Is Harbor Freight Dog Friendly? 2024 Update

Written by: Chris Dinesen Rogers

Last Updated on May 10, 2024 by Dogster Team

Woman with white dog entering supermarket with beautiful turquoise sliding doors

Is Harbor Freight Dog Friendly? 2024 Update

Pet humanization has profoundly affected our relationship with our animal companions. You probably never heard terms like “fur baby” or “pet parent” several years ago. Now, however, we expect them to accompany us on vacation, to the beach, and even to the store. Fortunately, many businesses are pet-friendly, including the family-owned hardware chain Harbor Freight.

Allan Smidt and his son Eric founded the company in 1977. They’ve stayed true to their mission to provide affordable products to pros and DIYers alike. More than 1,500 stores later, Harbor Freight has found its niche, already opening several stores in 2024. It is a private company based in Calabasas, California

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Is Harbor Freight Dog-Friendly?

Harbor Freight being dog-friendly is a no-brainer. After all, they have no legal constraints that a business selling food would have, prohibiting animals in their stores. However, Title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) ensures private businesses must allow your service dog to accompany you. Otherwise, it constitutes discrimination against these individuals.

Still, it benefits Harbor Freight to allow dogs in their stores. Being around dogs can provide welcome stress relief for employees. Notwithstanding, retail isn’t the easiest job, making pets on premises an advantage. Research has shown that dogs in the workplace benefit employers with a more positive corporate culture. How can you not be happy when you can meet some cute pups at work?

While Harbor Freight is dog-friendly, we suggest contacting the store before bringing your pet with you. Individual store policies may vary. Other restrictions may also apply. Remember that some things may be out of the control of the business, with local regulations taking precedence. One bad experience with a dog can also sway managers to change their usual dog-friendly policy.

man push his french bulldog in pet stroller walking in pets friendly shopping mall
Image Credit: CandyRetriever, Shutterstock

Your Responsibility as a Pet Owner

Like many businesses, Harbor Freight has some ground rules for allowing pets on site. They prefer small dogs over large pups because they must also keep their other customers in mind. Not everyone is a dog person. About 9% of people have a phobia, with dogs accounting for one-third of those with a fear of a specific animal. So, you should also keep your pup on a leash.

Your dog should be trained and socialized before going to any store. Nonetheless, going to a business offers an excellent way to introduce your pet to new experiences, which can help these aims. Who can resist a cute puppy wanting to make friends? We recommend bringing sanitary wipes with you on your visit in case the excitement overwhelms your pet. Don’t expect the employees to clean up after them!

Your dog should be updated on their vaccinations. Businesses usually don’t require proof, but it’s necessary as part of your responsibility as a pet owner. It can also protect you if your dog bites someone. You know your pooch the best, so taking your dog to Harbor Freight probably isn’t the best idea if they’re running a blockbuster sale.

It’s worth noting that Harbor Freight offers a discount on pet insurance for full-time employees. That fact speaks volumes to us about their dog-friendly attitudes. It also goes hand in hand with being a family-owned business. After all, many of us consider our pets as members of the family.

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Final Thoughts

Harbor Freight joins a slew of businesses that have opened their doors to pets, specifically dogs. Many stores welcome dogs simply because they can. However, we recommend calling ahead before you get your pooch excited about a road trip. Make sure the leash, sanitary wipes, and waste bags are with you, and plan for the unexpected!

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Featured Image Credit: RossHelen, Shutterstock

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