5 Tips for Bringing Your Pup To a Christmas Tree Farm
The holiday season is upon us and with it comes all of our favorite traditions—baking cookies, shopping for gifts, and going to a tree farm to cut down the perfect Christmas tree. While not every holiday activity is safe for pets to take part in, allowing your dog to come along to the tree farm with you is the perfect way to include Fido in the festivities.
While the humans might be spending time searching out the perfect centerpiece for their living room, our canine pals will enjoy traipsing through the rows of evergreens and taking in all the fun sights and smells. Hot tip: Christmas tree farms can be a fantastic place to take a family Christmas card photo, pup-included.
Are Dogs Allowed at Christmas Tree Farms?
Christmas tree farms, like pumpkin patches, are a great place to hang out with your pup, as they have open spaces, are outside, and are mostly safe, with a few tips in mind. However, even though we may think dogs belong at a Christmas tree farm just as much as elves belong in Santa's workshop, some farms are not pet-friendly.
Many of the farms we visit to get our tree are working farms, which means they have a lot of equipment, animals, and people working amongst the holiday fun. Make sure to call ahead to your local tree farm or check their website to see if they are dog-friendly, or if they have any special rules or regulations when bringing your pup along. Many popular holiday farm destinations have websites with FAQs pages that will answer your questions.
It's also a great idea to check and see if your local tree farm has any fun activities that your dog can take part in! Some farms have special amenities just for your pup like pictures with Santa, or a dog park that Fido can romp around in with his four-legged friends.
If your tree farm is dog-friendly, make sure to always bring a leash and keep these other safety tips in mind for a fun and safe trip.
5 Tips for Visiting a Dog-Friendly Christmas Tree Farm
- Know Your Dog's Tolerance For People and Animals
Not all dogs love every other living thing—and that's OK! Know your pup's tolerance for crowds, especially crowds that might include unpredictable children and other dogs. If your pup gets especially nervous near other dogs or children, it might be best to keep him at home for this activity to keep him more comfortable.
- Pack (and Dress) Accordingly
Before heading out the door make sure you have all the essentials for your pup–a leash, a travel water bowl, poo bags, and a dog coat or dog sweater if the weather is cold or snowy. You will be spending a lot of time outside and all dogs have different tolerances for the cold, so pack a layer for your pup to avoid shivering.
Another tip from experience—always bring a towel for the car! Your dog will likely get wet and maybe even a little muddy from romping in the field, and a towel always comes in handy for wiping paws.
- Keep Your Pup Leashed
Perhaps the most obvious one on the list, but farms have lots of smells that will get your dog super excited (especially if they have a strong prey drive). Avoid a possible holiday disaster by keeping your pup harnessed and leashed at the farm.
- Avoid "Marking" of Every Tree
Owners of male dogs might be familiar with the constant marking while on walks. While a tree at the park is one thing, these evergreens will eventually be hanging out in someone's living room so try to avoid having Fido mark his territory on every one. Keep your pup on a shorter leash so he can be respectful of the other customers and keep this motto in mind—you mark it, you buy it!
- Take Lots of Pictures!
Tree farms are the best places for festive holiday photos. Bring some of your pup's favorite treats along for motivation and stage a photoshoot of him in all his glory amongst the Balsam firs. This might be the perfect opportunity to break out those matching pet and owner Christmas sweaters. The memories will last a lifetime!
5 of the Best Dog-Friendly Christmas Tree Farms Across the U.S.
- Stokoe Farms in Scottsville, NY
This large farm outside of Rochester, New York is a personal favorite, and the tree farm that my family (dogs included) have been going to for years. They have wagon rides, farm animals, a bonfire, hot chocolate, and of course, tons of Christmas trees of different varieties. Dogs are accepted anywhere outside, as long as they are leashed and well-behaved.
- Santa's Tree Farm and Village in Half Moon Bay, Calif.
Santa's Tree Farm is a fan favorite amongst dog owners in the Bay Area. Not only can Fido help you pick out and cut down a tree out in the field, but he can also meet Santa, Mrs. Claus and all the elves in the Elves Workshop, who are rumored to be big dog lovers.
- Trinity Tree Farm in Issaqua, Wash.
Trinity tree farm is a gorgeous space in the pacific northwest that is so dog-friendly, they host the Newfoundland Club of Seattle every year. It's a special day where people can watch the beautiful working dogs do what they love to do most. What better way to spend a winter day than having a big fluffy Newfoundland help you haul your Christmas tree to your car? There is none.
- Dull's Tree Farm in Thorntown, Ind.
For Midwesterners, Dull's Tree Farm in Thorntown, Ind. is a great dog-friendly option. Not only does the farm have five varieties of evergreen to cut down, but it also has a wreath barn and Trading Post to show local goods. And bonus–this farm also has a Newfie dog day!
- Werner Tree Farm in Middlebury, Vt.
New England is synonymous with Christmas tree farms, and Werner Tree farm is no different. Like something out of a Hallmark movie, the farm sells Christmas trees, honey, maple syrup tapped right on the farm, and handmade wreaths. Keep your eye out for Annie, the farm dog who's known to make regular appearances.