It’s that time of year again: the air is cooler, the leaves are changing colors, and it’s finally time for your annual trip to the orchard! If you plan on bringing your dog with you to enjoy the pumpkin patch, apple picking, and hot apple cider (and cider donuts!), here are a few quick tips you should know before you head out:
Not Every Orchard is Dog-Friendly
In fact, most are not. Before your dog jumps in the car to come with you, do your research, give them a call, and check the websites of your local orchards and farms; most will have their pet policy posted. Usually, dogs are not allowed in the orchards or fields so plan accordingly.
Here is a short list of farms and orchards where leashed dogs are allowed near you:
- Smolak Farms, North Andover
- Boston Hill Farm, North Andover
- Brooksby Farm, Peabody
- Wright-Locke Farm, Winchester
- Drew Farm, Westford
- Doe Orchards, Harvard
- Nashoba Valley Winery, Bolton
- Applecrest Farm, Hampton Falls
- Mack’s Apples, Londonderry
- Scamman Farm, Stratham
- DeMeritt Hill Farm, Lee
- Poverty Lane Orchards, Lebanon
- Shelburne Orchards, Shelburne
- Hunger Mountain Orchard, Waterbury Center
- Mad Tom Orchard, East Dorset
Bring a Leash & Supplies
Always keep your dog leashed to comply with farm rules and for his/her safety, as there are many people, machines, and animals at orchards and farms. Bring a travel bowl for water, as temperatures may rise in the hot September sun in the fields.
Watch Out for Sneaky Snacks
There will likely be opportunities for your pup to grab a half-eaten donut or rotten apple off the ground which could cause GI upset, so pay attention and keep them close to you.
Avoid Crowds If You Can
Weekends are bound to be crowded with people during apple picking season, so pick your day wisely. Crowds can cause your dog to become anxious or overexcited. If you do go on a busy day, keep their leash short to avoid unwanted meet-and-greets with strangers or children.
Mind the Bugs
Orchards and farms are a haven for bees, flies, and other insects that could be harmful to you or your pooch. Be cautious, especially around the bees, so that your dog won’t get stung!
Keep Your Distance from Farm Animals
Many farm animals won’t appreciate being barked at or harassed by a dog passing by. Keep some space between them, even if there is a fence, to prevent stress to the farm animals and to your dog.
Continue the Fun at Home!
If you can’t bring along your pup, the fun doesn’t have to end once you get home! After you’re done baking pies and other goodies, try out some pet treat recipes with all those apples you picked like this one from our Ethos Pet Kitchen. Yum!
And most importantly, have lots of fun! Explore the trails, take pictures, and see if your local orchard allows your dog to join you on a hayride or tour. Happy fall!
Written by RACHAEL GILLIS